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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Williamston in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Saint Mary Parish

 
 
Saint Mary Parish Marker - side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
1. Saint Mary Parish Marker - side 1
Inscription. (Side 1)
Beginning in the 1850s, Williamston Catholics worshipped with visiting priests. They often traveled ten miles by carriage or horseback on rutted, muddy roads to Saint Patrick Church in Woodhull (present-day Shaftsburg) to worship with Father Louis Van Den Driessche (Van Driss) of Lansing. In 1866 two brothers, Jerome and James Waldo, entered into a contract with Detroit Bishop Peter Paul Lefevere, stipulating they would sell a plot of land in the village of Williamston to the diocese for twenty-five cents, provided that a church worth at least one thousand dollars was built within three years. In 1869 a frame church costing eleven hundred dollars was erected on this site and named Saint Mary. Father John Lovett became the first resident pastor in 1879. Descendants of Saint Mary's founding families continue to worship here.

(Side 2)
During the winter of 1868-69, Owen Brannan and Peter Zimmer cut and hauled timber to construct the first of three Catholic churches on this site. Saint Mary Church became a parish in 1879, upon the arrival of the first resident pastor. From 1889 to 1898, despite its growing membership, the parish did not have a full-time priest and it became a mission. In 1895 the church burned. A larger, brick, Neo-Gothic building was erected the same year. Under the leadership of
Saint Mary Parish Marker - side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
2. Saint Mary Parish Marker - side 2
Father John J. Connolly, who served from 1898 to 1905, Saint Mary regained parish status. It comprised the church; a cemetery, founded in 1873; and a new rectory, erected in 1902. In 1948 a parish hall was built. In 1956 a convent was established for the Sisters of Saint Joseph who staffed the school that opened in 1959. The present church was built in 1985.
 
Erected 1994. (Marker Number L1918.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 42° 41.381′ N, 84° 16.858′ W. Marker is in Williamston, Michigan, in Ingham County. Marker is at the intersection of High Street and North Cedar Street, on the right on High Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 157 High Street, Williamston MI 48895, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Downtown Historic District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Grand River Trail (approx. 4.4 miles away); Chief Okemos / Okemos Village marker (approx. 7.8 miles away); Reference Mark for Michigan Center of Population (approx. 8.6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  A History of St. Mary Catholic Church.
Saint Mary Catholic Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
3. Saint Mary Catholic Church and Marker
(Submitted on June 22, 2015, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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