(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 – Now the Catholics buy land on the east side of Elk Rapids. (see attached 1895 Sheet 1 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map – lower left hand corner).
Jan. 26, 1888: Rev. Fr. Norbert Wilhelm tells us that by fall the Catholics of this vicinity will have a stationary priest and that work on the new church will be commenced. The Catholics have purchased a nice piece of land over the river [east side] and will build a church in the fall and as soon as they can will build a school and a residence for the priest.
June 13, 1889: The Catholics have bought an acre of ground over at East Elk Rapids and will build a church there as soon as they are able. They also intend purchasing another acre for a convent.
Nov. 28, 1889: Strong talk of a new Catholic church in East Elk Rapids. Will know for certain next week. The church which the Catholics contemplate building will cost $2,500.
Dec. 19, 1889: The church privileges of Elk Rapids are among the best. Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Methodist, German Reformed services every Sunday with Catholic and Scandinavian services occasionally. More interest is being shown in church work than ever before, which is a very good thing for the town.
Jan. 16, 1893: The Catholic society are now occupying their new church on the east side for religious services. The old church on the west side is used by the C.M.B.A. society.
Sept. 18, 1893: The new church in East Elk Rapids was consecrated by Bishop Richter, of Grand Rapids, on last Tuesday. The church is the most expensive in Town—costing $8,000 and is a credit to the society that erected it.
Sept. 21, 1893: CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART Consecrated by the Bishop and Five Priests.
The Catholics of Elk Rapids were proud and happy Tuesday when they turned over to their Bishop the beautiful church which is such a credit to them and to the town. The solemn service of consecration of the sacred edifice commenced at 5 A.M., with low masses every hour until 9 o’clock, the appointed time for the consecration.
Mar. 05, 1896: The old Catholic church on Spruce will hereafter be used as a place of worship by the Indians. Fr. Bruno will conduct the first service there on Wednesday, April 1.
July 02, 1896: Fr. Bruno Torka will conduct services for the Indians in the old Catholic church Tuesday, July 7th.
Nov. 28, 1901: Eight churches in Elk Rapids and yet the citizens of this wide awake community will have no public worship to-day (Thanksgiving). Our citizens and the stranger who may be within our gates should certainly be thankful to have lived to enjoy this one of the most prosperous years in the history of the nation.
Feb. 27, 1902: The usual services were held at the Catholic church last Sunday. The date for the next regular service at this church is Sunday, the 23rd day of March.
May 29, 1902: Rev. Father Krakowski held the regular monthly services at the church of Sacred Heart last Sunday.
Mar. 26, 1903: It is expected that work will soon be resumed on the Catholic parochial residence [Rectory] on the east side. The present intention is to veneer it with red brick, which will probably be purchased at Boyne City and delivered here some time in April.
Mar. 02, 1905: Rev. Eustace Faucher, is the first resident priest of Sacred Heart Parish. Paroachial Residence now occupied. The Rev. who, February 22d, was appointed by Bishop Richter as pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, in this city, arrived last week and conducted services last Sunday.
Dec. 19, 1907: The new main altar of Sacred Heart catholic church is being installed, and will be used for the first time at the five o’clock mass on Christmas morning.
June 13, 1912: The Sacred Heart church is being wired for electric lights. John Schmaltz expects to complete the work tomorrow, in time for the forty-hours devotion, which begins with the nine o’clock mass of Sunday morning and will continue until Tuesday evening. Fr. Faucher expects three visiting priests here during the latter portion of the services.
Mar. 27, 1913: Fr. Eustace Faucher, who has had charge of Sacred Heart church and parish leaves here this week, having been transferred by the bishop to the parish at Homer, Calhoun county. He will be succeeded by Fr. Jewell, who comes from Homer, and is said to be a priest of ability and success. Fr. Faucher has been here for eight years, and during that time has met with great success in building up his church and congregation.
Feb. 07, 1918: The closing of the churches of Elk Rapids because of the shortage of fuel seems to have affected very few and has not deprived many of the privilege of attending divine services. Lamentable as it may seem, this village is not and never has been noted for large attendance at church.
May 28, 1925: The members of the Sacred Heart church are urged to go to the Sacred Heart cemetery Saturday, to assist in cutting down weeds, brush, etc., to improve the appearance for Decoration day.
Jan. 19, 1928: While Fr. K.E. McGinn, priest of the local Catholic church is handy with the rod and line to get results his brother, Fr. O.T. McGinn, of Grand Rapids, is equally proficient with the rifle, preferring to bring down big game to angling. One of the latter’s pet “stunts” when with friends is to split a rifle bullet on a razor blade.
July 31, 1934: A rare treat in store for Elk Rapids Tuesday evening August 7th at the town hall. Two clergymen will present a unique program for the benefit of Sacred Heart Church. Rev. O.T. McGinn, chaplain of Mercy Sanatorium, Manistee, will present his famous program consisting of a lecture on big game hunting, motion pictures of wild life, and expert sharp-shooting. Recently the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Detroit News devoted a whole page, supplemented with pictures to the prowess of this Rev. Gentleman. He is called the silver-tongued orator of the middle West–the only man in the world consistently splitting a bullet on a razor blade and hitting two targets. See him in person. His brother, Rev. K.E. McGinn will assist him in acts of modern magic.