Benton Co. History: St. Peter And Paul’s Church in Gilman
GILMAN (WJON News) -- The catholic parish in Gilman goes back over 150 years.
Benton County Historical Society Executive Director Mary Ostby says the church was established in 1872. The first church was made of logs on land donated by the railroad. Each family was asked to donate three logs to help build it.
The second church was completed in 1888, which had a fire in 1891. They rebuilt and had their first mass in the rebuilt church in 1893.
At the time the parish was quite large with 400 families from several surrounding communities.
The church that stands today was built in 1930 and has been on the National Historic Register since 1982.
It's got some amazing architecture with its granite pillars, marble windows, and stained glass. If you show people a picture of it they are amazed at the structure.
The church features vaulted ceilings, stained glass, free-standing polished granite columns, an organ loft, three bay entry and two flanking towers.
The cost to build the church was $104,000 and the debt was paid off by 1945. Ostby says that's amazing considering at that time they had gone through the depression and World War II.
The St. Peter and Paul's Church building is turning 94 years old this year. The parish's name actually changed each time the congregation built a new church building.
Once a month Ostby is on the News @ Noon Show talking about the history of Benton County.
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