Home > Building & Grounds, Franciscan-Belgian Foundations (1914-1917) > Construction of the Church Building

Construction of the Church Building



James Bardon donated land to the diocese for the site of the new church on block 45 of East Third Street and block 46 on East Fourth Street. Bardon (for whom Spirit Mountain’s Bardon’s Peak is named), was a pioneer of Superior. He had a illustrious career as an elected official, real estate agent, co–owner of a shingle mill, and the editor/publisher of Superior Times. Moreover, Bardon brought the Northern Pacific to Superior in 1881.

Fr. Rudolph wasted no time petitioning the city council for sidewalk and street improvements. Determined to begin construction, he gave the go ahead in mid July 1914 to Rene Lagae, an Allouez builder, confident that the parish would raise the necessary $4,200.

A 40 x 80 feet wood frame building with a full basement typical of early 20th century churches was built on the property. It featured a steeply pitched gable roof, a central steeple, pointed arch windows, and shiplap siding.

While the church was being built, Fr. Hanssens offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in parishioner’s homes. The first Mass was held in May 1914 with Emil Want as his first server. Soon other boys including, Archie and Maurice Jacques, and Alfred Cole joined him. Fr. Rudolph also celebrated Mass in the O’Brien home in Itasca.

That summer, Fr. Hanssens and the congregation gathered in the Woodmen Hall on Sundays for Mass as their new church was nearing completion.