St. Mary's Church and Rectory

Courtesy of Livingston County Historian

St. Mary's Catholic Church was originally located on the site of its parking lot across North Street on land given to the church by General James Wadsworth. The old church was repaired and remodeled in 1903 and served as a parish center known as Emerald Hall until it was razed in 1951.  

The present structure, a traditional upstate Gothic church, was built in 1889 after plans by A. Druiding of Chicago and carried out by contractor John Heffron. About 1928, the interior was remodeled and redecorated by the world famous architectural firm of McKin, Mead and White, who also did the east wing and restoration of the White House in Washington, D.C. Lawrence Grant White of this firm, was a son-in-law of the late Mrs. Winthrop Chanler

c. 1960
Courtesy of Livingston County Historian

A lovely velvet drapery, hand-blocked in gold and done in Italy especially for the church, hung behind the altar. Also installed at this time was a large crucifix that had been executed by the Lang family of Oberammergau in Germany. Anton Lang played the Christus in the world famous Passion Play held there. The drapery and crucifix were removed around 1960 but under the guidance of Father Carron, the church was preserved and the crucifix returned.

The original Catholic rectory was located on the corner where the present St. Mary's Church stands today. (The old church was located across North Street, site of the present parking lot.) When the erection of the present St. Mary's Church began in 1888, a new foundation was laid adjoining it to the North and the old rectory was moved there. In 1915, it was determined necessary to replace this old building with a new rectory. Plans were drawn by the local architect Robert Sherlock, and construction under the direction of Edward Forbes began in the fall of 1915. The building was completed and ready for occupancy in 1916.