From Staff Reports
Prior to the 9 a.m. mass at St. Mary Immaculate Conception Church on March 20, local artist Brenda Thompson presented the congregation with a painting of the original church built in 1855.
“Last year for the Moses Riney Celebration held here at this chapel in February, I wanted to honor the history of this parish, so one of my entries was a painting of the original 1855 frame church,” Thompson said. “This painting was based upon a black-and-white photo of the church that was published in the Immaculate Conception Church history books of 1974 and 1989.”
In 1853, the St. Mary’s Seminary of Perryville bought six acres of land from Miles Gilbert in St. Mary’s Landing across from the site where his home was built.
In 1855, a small frame church was built on this land for the parish mission.
In 1874, the St. Marys Seminary deeded this land to Archbishop Kenrick and the mission gradually became an independent parish.
On Sept. 11, 1887, the cornerstone for this present brick church was laid.