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Decker Chapel

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1856, Michael Decker, builder. 1000 PA 255

Just over a decade after the Roman Catholic settlers arrived in Elk County, Michael Decker was injured in a fall and promised to build a chapel if he recovered. Following his recuperation, he built this 12 × 18–foot, frame, gable-roofed chapel. Though roadside shrines were common among Catholics of Bavarian descent in Elk County in the late nineteenth century and short pilgrimages were often made from chapel to chapel, Decker Chapel is the last remaining in the region. The single plastered room contains eight original kneelers and a simple altar, both of wood. Today it is incongruously close to a busy highway and several big box stores.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Decker Chapel", [St Marys, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 444-444.

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