It’s more than a century old, but a historic Hays church building is heading for a new start.
The small, white church that previously sat on property near the intersection of Interstate 70 and the U.S. Highway 183 Bypass is in the process of being relocated to Rock Haven Spa, 1530 Smoky Hill River Road, just south of Hays.
Owner Dereama Allenbaugh said Monday morning she is anxiously monitoring the church’s progress and hoping all will go smoothly during the transport — which could take as long as several days.
“It really has a fun history, and I’m just hoping it’s going to make it,” she said. “So far, so good.”
The building is 108 years old and was used for local worship services until 1985, she said. It was moved to the former Frontier City attraction near I-70 in the 1990s.
The move — coordinated by Kuhn’s House Moving in Victoria — began at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The church inched slowly down the bypass, led by a procession of police cars to direct traffic and crews from Midwest Energy, who had to lift power lines in order for the building to pass underneath.
From the bypass, the moving crew was headed for county roads and even was preparing to move the church through two pastures in order to reach the final destination — a concrete pad ready and waiting at Rock Haven.
“I know that’s going to be a very slow, tedious part of the move, so that’s kind of what’s going on,” Allenbaugh said. “It’s just making its way, and I’m hoping it makes it in one piece.”
Assuming all goes well, she plans to restore the historic building and has “a lot of dreams” for the future.
“It’s just really a charming little church, and I really feel fortunate that I was able to buy it,” she said.