Yesterday and Today|
by Bill & Connie Warren
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Yesterday, c. 1900, the second Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was erected in 1872 (see 1877 Bird's Eye map, "L" in the legend). The parish's first church was built in 1852, and was dedicated that same year as St. Mary's Catholic Church. That building was destroyed by fire in November 1871. When the second church was dedicated, it was renamed as the Immaculate Conception Church. This church was a brick building with a tower and steeple that faced onto Summer Street. Its interior included 150 pews made from chestnut and black walnut wood with seating for 900 communicants. There was also a gallery where another 200 people could be seated.
Today, there is a third church on this site. The second Immaculate Conception Church was demolished in 1933-34. The new church is also brick and is set back a few feet from Summer Street. The tower and steeple with brass cross are now at the back of the church on Chatham Street. The stained glass windows were saved, along with the pews and bell, from demolition to beautify the new church.
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