St. George’s Episcopal Church on a winter day in 1967. Courtesy of the Cordova Historical Society

Working our way north on Second Street, we have reached the Red Dragon Historic District, which includes St. George’s Episcopal Church and the Red Dragon. In this issue, we will focus on St. George’s.

In January 1909, Eustace P. Ziegler arrived in Cordova to serve as lay missionary. These missionary trips gave him material for the artistic career that was to vault him into prominence and gain him the reputation as one of Alaska’s foremost pioneer artists.

Artist/missionary Ziegler designed St. George’s Episcopal Church building, and it was dedicated on April 20, 1919 by Bishop P.T. Rowe. The Cordova Daily Times described the building as “of English architecture.”

Ziegler painted a large altar piece, a copy of Reuben’s “Descent from the Cross,” which eventually became so damaged by frost and dampness that paint peeled off the wood, and the painting had to be taken down. Set against the backdrop of Mt. Eccles, St. George’s is picturesque and in 1982 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information, visit or visit the Cordova Public Library for books on Eustace Ziegler and this history of the Red Dragon. Up next–the Red Dragon–Cordova’s first multi-use facility!

As the City of Cordova begins preparations for the revamping of Second Street, the folks at the museum have been assisting the State Office of History and Preservation as well as the Alaska Department of Transportation in researching the historic areas of Second Street. Over the next few months, the Museum will share some of the stories of those buildings we see every day and their unique history.

This photo is from the collection of the Cordova Historical Society.