Friday, November 26, 2021/Categories: History
Finishing the construction . . .
On April 30, 1893 the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fink laid the cornerstone. Although nothing is recorded about the event anytime the bishop shows up there is sure to be a celebration of some note. Three and a half months later on August 11, 1893, the Seneca Courier-Democrat carried this news item: "The immense church structure at St. Benedict is up now to about three feet above the windows, or in other words 32 feet high. It puts on an imposing appearance. Mr. (Bill) Dougherty, the contractor, is taking pride in his work and will see to it that the building is the best constructed in the county."
Although it is commonly said that the parishioners themselves did the masonry work, on Dec. 1, 1893, the Courier-Democrat reported "The new church is looming up in great shape. The mason work is completed and the carpenters are busy, putting on the shingles. The St. Benedict boom is quieting down, for the reason that the stone masons, about 200 in number, have left.” “There are 3,400 perches of stone masonry above the water table (the level of white limestone at the front door level) and about 1,200 cords of rock in the entire structure.” (The Courier Democrat, Nov 23, 1894). On December 1, 1893 the church was under roof, except the tower. In January 1894, a new subscription of $14,000 was needed and thus raised by the pastor. August Droge, a young carpenter from St. Benedict did the carpentry work and made the pews. The pulpit was a gift from Frank Drier and cost $400. By the time of the dedication only a few of the new pews were in position, and the statues of the four evangelists were expected from Munich soon. (From St. Mary’s Catholic Parish 1859 – 2009, “Faith Moves Us Forward”).
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