• Last modified 762 days ago (April 23, 2020)


Historic Catholic church to be torn down

Staff writer

A historic stone Catholic church in Burns will be demolished soon because the unused structure has become unstable, Burns city clerk Heather Thiel said.

Deep cracks have developed in the 30-by-44-foot structure and the front wall has begun to fall away.

Repairs could be expensive, but the old house of worship is “a neat piece of history” and it would be wonderful if the right person wanted to save it, Thiel said.

“If someone were interested in giving it some TLC, that would be very welcome,” she said. “The shape it is in right now, it would need a lot.”

The Burns congregation was established by German Franciscan friars who held Mass in parishioners’ country homes until the old stone church was built, according to “Marion County Past and Present” by Sondra Van Meter.

A new frame church was constructed in 1901 and the old stone building was a parochial school until 1929. The building then served as a parish hall.

The city has discussed turning the church’s windows into a monument on the Church St. site where it stood for centuries, Thiel said.

Last modified April 23, 2020