In the Beginning…on the West Site of Town

(Download and read entire history as a PDF file)

1882 to 1887 Newspaper Excerpts From the PROGRESS

Compiled by Glenn Neumann for his books “Bay Breezes” (Volume 1 – 4) and other un-published volumes.
Researched by Dan LeBlond: President, Elk Rapids Area Historical Society

(Note: Dates are the edition of the newspaper)

Dan LeBlond Note – The first church was built on the west side of town on the east side of Spruce Street on the fourth lot down from what today is known as First street. The lot number is 327 and the street address was 311. (see attached 1895 Sheet 1 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map).

Feb. 23, 1883: The Roman Catholics, of Elk Rapids and vicinity, intend building a church, at this place, this spring. They now have $375 deposited, drawing 10 per cent., and are circulating petitions asking for aid in building. We hope they will be liberally helped so that a commodious church can be built.

June 01, 1883: The work on the new Catholic Church to be built here will be commenced next week. The size of it will be 24 x 32 feet with a half pitch roof. Walter Sterling has contracted to do the job.

June 15, 1883: The contract to build the new Catholic Church has been let, and all those who have contributed to the building fund are requested to pay it to the undersigned or to Dexter & Noble – Basil Sarasin.

Aug. 17, 1883: Next Wednesday evening, Aug. 22nd, Rev. T. Leo, of Louisville, Ky., will arrive on the Faxton and begin a Holy Mission the same evening in the Catholic Church. The Mission will last a few days, and the Rev. Father will preach twice each day. Come all and attend. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Richter, bishop of the see of Grand Rapids, dedicated the new Catholic Church at this place last Friday.

Dec. 14, 1883: Rev. Augustus Graff will hold service in the Catholic Church, the first Sunday in each month. Service will begin at 8 and 10 o’clock A.M.

July 18, 1884: The Rt. Rev. Bishop Richter dedicated the new catholic church at this place last Friday and confirmed a class of nearly fifty. In the afternoon he conducted the service and preached an excellent sermon. The Bishop has a fine presence, and his address was pleasing.

Jan. 09, 1885: Elk Rapids has five churches: Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, German Reformed and Presbyterian. People locating here can have good church privileges.

Jan. 01, 1886: Catholic Church. Service the fourth Sunday in each month at 10 A.M.
M.E. Church. Evening service at 7:30 by Rev. O.J. Golden. Sunday school at 12 noon.

Aug. 20, 1886: We understand that the Catholics whose church interests are centered at Elk Rapids are agitating the propriety of purchasing more ground commodious enough for church and school purposes. The church authorities are not decided if they purchase at all whether it will be in Elk Rapids or East Elk Rapids.

May 19, 1887: The Catholics talk of selling their church property on this side [west] and building a larger edifice.