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St. Francis Xavier Church - Grand Marais, Minnesota
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 47° 45.482 W 090° 18.709
15T E 701455 N 5292907
Quick Description: Historic Catholic mission church east of Grand Marais, Minnesota.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 4/27/2013 6:24:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMGZC0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 4

Long Description:

Text of marker at site:

St. Francis Xavier Church

From the 1700s until the early 1900s, itinerant missionaries braved extreme hardships to minister sporadically to North Shore settlers.  In 1855, Jesuit missionaries from Fort William, Ontario, served Chippewa City, an Ojibwe community of about 100 families located near this site.  The Jesuits conducted monthly services in residents' homes until St Francis Xavier Church was established by Father Joseph Specht in 1895.  To raise money for construction, local women held basket socials.  Enticed by home-baked foods, area lumberjacks bid heavily on the handmade birch bark baskets.  The small clapboard church became both a religious and social center for the community.

Jesuit priests served Chippewa City until 1905 when Benedictines from St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, became responsible for this territory.  They, like the Jesuits, made only monthly visits until 1933, when Father Oswald Johannes became the resident pastor.  For a time, he alternated Sunday services between this church and the newly-constructed St. John the Baptist Church in Grand Marais.  A declining congregation forced St. Francis Xavier Church, the last remaining building in Chippewa City, to close in 1936.  Its religious functions were transferred to the Grand Marais church.  Although empty for decades, this church remains an important example of the state's 19th century Indian missions.  It was restored in 1970-1974.

The church is now owned by the Cook County Historical Society and maintained as a historic site.  The historical society offers tours of the building and has it open occasionally during the summer.  The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Type of Church: Mission

Status of Building: Restored building not in use

Date of building construction: 1/1/1895

Diocese: Diocese of Duluth

U.S. Hwy 61
Grand Marais, Minnesota

Relvant Web Site: [Web Link]

Date of organization: Not listed

Dominant Architectural Style: Not listed

Associated Shrines, Art, etc.: Not listed

Archdiocese: Not listed

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wildernessmama visited St. Francis Xavier Church - Grand Marais, Minnesota 5/25/2013 wildernessmama visited it