20191017_.jpg

Photo contributed

St. Martin’s in Martinton has been around since the early 1900s.

St. Martin in Martinton will be torn down.

The town of Martinton has purchased the hall attached to the church, and the food pantry will still run out of it,” Kathy Webster said.

The diocese will pay for the demolition, and the rest of the funds the church does have will go to the cemetery attached to the church. That cemetery will not be affected, she said.

As for the church, “It wasn’t in good shape. The foundation was bad; it needs a new roof,” she said, and the money to do the work isn’t there.

In 2014 it became a mission church, and in that time there has been just one funeral conducted in the building. “There were 60 families who went to that church at one time.”

Webster said she’s been working on getting the building razed for two year.

For months she’s been coordinating getting special items out of the building.

Many of the items have been given to the churches in Beaverville, Watseka, Hopkins Park, Bishop Mac/St. Joe and St. Anne.

The stain glass had already been taken out. She said, “The alter had to be burned because it was blessed.”

According to information provided by Webster, “Tragic days were ahead for the infant parish. On Christmas Eve of 1903 the church was destroyed by fire. Reconstruction began immediately, but when the new church was almost completed a wind storm leveled the new structure. Undaunted by these tragic events the parishioners began a third building program and the present church was completed in November of 1904. During the days of reconstruction, Mass was said in the Treischel building on Main Street.

“A new rectory was built in 1906. Previous to that time the priests had lived in the Frank Schroeder home and in Mrs. Peter Wamba’s house, two blocks south of the church.

“In January of 1908 Mt. Olive Cemetery located one mile east of Martinton was established. The first recorded burials were those of Peter Gamache and Genevieve Tetrault (Tatro).

“On June 2, 1915, the dedication of the new stain glass windows was held. The windows were gifts from Fr. L.G. Libert, Mr. and Mrs. Octave Tatro, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Gamache, Mr. and Mrs. John O’Donnell, Amos Lubien, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Roach, Mr. and Mrs. O. Bunker, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Tatro, Mr. and Mrs. George Paro, and Mr. and Mrs. William Savoie.

“St. Joseph Parish, Papineau was a mission of St. Martin’s from 1913-1940, as was St. Joseph Parish of Crescent City from 1940-1956. St. John the Baptist Parish, L’Erable became a mission in 1956 and is still a mission at the present time.

“The St. Anne Sodality was organized in 1900. This organization has been the heart of all parish undertakings. It now serves under the title of the Council of Catholic Women.

“Another group that has served the parish well is the church organists. Mrs. Frank Gamache played the organ from its beginning until the late ‘30s. She was succeeded by Miss Cecilia O’Donnell, then Mrs. Wesley Caise, who has now played the organ for 30 years. She has been ably assisted by Mrs. Truman Langellier and more recently by Miss Jean Brown.”