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Near Weatherly in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Church of the Immaculate Conception

 
 
The Church of the Immaculate Conception Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 26, 2021
1. The Church of the Immaculate Conception Marker
Inscription.  Construction of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, and its neighboring rectory, began early in 1861. It served the large number of recent Irish immigrants, one-fourth of the town's population. By October 25th, the altar was consecrated; the church was declared a parish and received its first priest, Patrick Noonan in 1862. From this parish, a mission church was formed in Freeland called St. Anne's.
Until about 1900, the congregation was primarily Irish. The Catholic immigrants from Eastern Europe, who settled in Eckley in the 1880's and 1890's, walked to Freeland to attend churches with congregations that shared the same nationality and language.
The congregation of Immaculate Conception began to decline slowly prior to WWI, even though the ethnic barrier had begun to break. Surface mining replaced underground mining. Miners lost their jobs, moved away from Eckley and looked for other forms of work in the larger towns and cities.
While the Eckley congregation declined, St. Anne's, the mission church, grew. By 1930, it had more members than its parish. As a result, the Bishop of Scranton raised St. Anne's to the status
The Church of the Immaculate Conception image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 26, 2021
2. The Church of the Immaculate Conception
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of a parish and Eckley became a mission church.
The anthracite mining industry declined after World War II and this was reflected in the dwindling population of Eckley and Immaculate Conception's congregation. In late 1958 the church was closed and deconsecrated.
Eckley became a Museum in 1971. Since then, Immaculate Conception has been restored to look as it did about 1920. The altar is original but the other furnishings - statues, stations of the cross and pews-were donated by the Immaculate Conception Church, Berwick, Pennsylvania. They are similar in style to those once used at Eckley.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical date for this entry is October 25, 1861.
 
Location. 40° 59.737′ N, 75° 51.392′ W. Marker is near Weatherly, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. Marker can be reached from Main Street west of Eckley Road. Inside the Eckley Miners' Village
Located inside the entrance to the church. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Weatherly PA 18255, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The tree of liberty (within shouting distance of this marker); Exploring the Corridor (within shouting distance of this marker); Eckley Miners’ Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); a different
The Church of the Immaculate Conception image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Wintermantel, September 26, 2021
3. The Church of the Immaculate Conception
Interior of the church
marker also named Eckley Miners' Village (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Eckley Miners’ Village (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Laborer’s Double Dwelling (about 400 feet away); The Slate Picker's (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Weatherly.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 90 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 28, 2021, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Aug. 12, 2022