You are here

St. Mary's Catholic Church

-A A +A
1881. 109 S. French St. (northwest corner of Washington St.)

This small Carpenter's Gothic church has a central, open belfry (1899) with shingle siding and four pedimented gables. Father Thomas M. Cahill and his parishioners built the shell in twelve days, but immigrant miners probably took longer to paint the interior ceiling stenciling. During the 1890s depression, the church was dragged downhill from the southeast corner of High and Washington streets. Next to the church, Benedictine nuns and monks built and staffed St. Joseph's Hospital and St. Gertrude's Convent and Academy in efforts to civilize and Christianize the mining town. One German monk complained that “all the roustabouts, rascals, loose women, adulterers, etc., etc., find their way to Breckenridge.”

This same Father Rhabanus Gutmann called St. Mary's a crude church with makeshift furnishings, “a disgrace to the name of St. Mary.” Today it has been elegantly restored. Next door stands the much larger frame, metal-roofed 1985 church, for which priest and parishioners once again donated material, money, and labor.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "St. Mary's Catholic Church", [Breckenridge, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 462-462.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,