History of Woodburn

Catholic Church

The property at the crest of a hill where St. Mary's Catholic Church now stands was purchased in 1868. This church was founded out of the desire of the Irish railroad workers to have a suitable place to gather for worship, and in the beginning served some 36 families of Irish railroaders.

The energetic priest who served pioneer families in the diocses, Father Bernard P. McMenomy, built a small church in 1870 at a cost of $1,200. It was a frame building and two or three years later was blown down. The determined parishioiners built a very sturdy church on the same site using native oak 2" x 6" scantlings and sheathing. This church is twice the size of the old church.

The church was remodeled in the 1960's under the leadership of Father Lawrence Burns. The installation of a new altar which faced the people was one of the most noted changes. The parish was served by the Leon Team Ministry from 1971 to the discontinuation of services in 1981. Today the church is called the Historical St. Mary's Catholic Church and has been restored by a dedicated committee of Woodburn area residents and friends. The outside of the building is much the same as it was when constructed. The inside is furnished as it was when services were discontinued.

Source: History of Clarke County, Lynette Davis

Graphics courtesy of: Christian Media


Last revised 10/31/2016

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