St. James Catholic Church
Operated: 1860 - 1969
Notes: In 1860 funds were gathered for items and goods needed were purchased and a church building constructed. The church was named St. Simon. Part of the church was constructed of logs and area settlers helped in the construction. The congregation consisted of German-Austrian and Irish settlers of the area. The pews for this first church which became known as the “old brown church” when a new building was constructed were crafted by Florian Zwettler. His tool chest that he brought from Austria and tools that he acquired is in the museum holdings of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society. Part of the old church building was sold off to St Barnabas of Mazomanie to be used as a school.
In 1883 a new church was built and in 1891, the Vermont Catholic church was renamed St. James. The centennial of St. James was observed in 1960 and the building was redecorated and repainted. In the spring of 1969 the building was once again beautified and on June 12th of that year the building was struck by lightning in the early morning hours and burned to the ground. The members joined other area Catholic churches and a memorial alter was placed at the site of the old church.
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