During the course of redesigning the blog and the website, I found an email from Brian Walzel, who visited the church when it was still standing.
Brian said in his email:
First, I have no physical or spiritual connection to the church as it was discovered during a petrified wood excursion into the badlands area while stationed at Ellsworth AFB. From your blog it’s not surprising that the church has collapsed. Even during the mid 1980s it looked structurally hazardous. As I understand its history it was used to serve the local ranches around a now defunct railroad way-station in the now defunct town of Conata. When the Conata Basin are was used as a bombing range during WWII that pretty much closed the area for such services. I had forgotten about the cemetery and the “Baby” grave marker; extremely sad. It sent chills down my back.I
I haven’t returned to that location since the attached picture was taken.
We had a brief email exchange, in which he added:
I recall the White River can be treacherous in the late spring and early summer. I don’t remember finding any petrified wood on that excursion. I’ve been told that the Black Hills are better; small wonder, more trees there.