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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia City in Storey County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

St. Mary's in the Mountains

The Cradle of Catholicism in Western Nevada

 
 
St. Mary's in the Mountains Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
1. St. Mary's in the Mountains Marker
Inscription.  Known as the "Bonanza Church" because of the rich silver mines of the last century, this Mother Church of the Comstock Lode traces it history to 1858 when the Rev. Joseph Gallagher (1821-87) offered the first mass in Nevada. His brother, the Rev. Hugh P. Gallagher (1815-82), opened the first church in Virginia City in 1860. Destroyed by the winds of the following winter, this church was replaced in 1864 when the Rev. Patrick Manogue (1831-95) erected a new church a block away from here. The present church, originally built in 1868, was seriously damaged in the Great Fire of 1875 but rebuilt in 1876. Today St. Mary's stands here as a treasure of the old west and is now recognized as a National Catholic Historic Site.

Erected 1991 by the International Order of Alhambra
 
Erected 1991 by The International Order of Alhambra.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1858.
 
Location. 39° 18.547′ N, 119° 38.924′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Nevada, in Storey County. Marker is
St. Mary's in the Mountains Dedication Plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
2. St. Mary's in the Mountains Dedication Plaque
Mounted high up on the church, visible above the stained glass rosette but below the steeple, is a dedication plaque reading:
St. Mary in the Mountains.
Built 1868. Burned 1875. Rebuilt 1876.
Rev. P. Manogue Pastor
This is no other than the house of God,
and the gate of Heaven Gen. XXXVIII.
Click or scan to see
this page online
at the intersection of E Street and Taylor Street, on the right when traveling north on E Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 South E Street, Virginia City NV 89440, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Pioneer Church (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of Julia C. Bulette (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bonner Shaft of the Gould & Curry Mine (about 300 feet away); The Nevada Bank of San Francisco (about 400 feet away); Col. Morris Pinschower Building (about 400 feet away); The Great Fire of 1875 (about 400 feet away); BOB (about 400 feet away); V & T Car No. 13 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located to the immediate right of the main entrance of the church.
 
"Manogue - Miner, Priest, Bishop" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
3. "Manogue - Miner, Priest, Bishop"
Mounted to the immediate left of the front entrance is an ornamental plaque dedicated to the Rev. Patrick Manogue. In addition to being responsible for St. Mary's, in 1886 Manogue became the first bishop of the newly-formed Diocese of Sacramento.
St. Mary's in the Mountains - Interior view, looking toward the altar image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
4. St. Mary's in the Mountains - Interior view, looking toward the altar
"...The wooden arches and pews in the church were made from Northern California redwood with white pine moldings. The pews (complete with doors) were once rented to the citizens of Virginia City, with the more prominent townsfolk sitting in the front pews!" - from the St. Mary's in the Mountains website history.
St. Mary's in the Mountains, as it appeared in 1937 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Robert W. Kerrigan, circa March 1937
5. St. Mary's in the Mountains, as it appeared in 1937
This photo is courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey.
St. Mary's in the Mountains as it appears today image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 11, 2010
6. St. Mary's in the Mountains as it appears today
The Manogue plaque is visible to the left of the front entrance, while the historical marker is visible on the right.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 652 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 14, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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May. 27, 2022