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St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church

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1898, August O. Goetz, builder. 205 N. Lidice St.

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church is a well-preserved example of Gothic Revival architecture in Bon Homme County. The church is located near the northeast end of Tabor, with a cemetery adjacent to the east and parish house (1910) on the west.

The basilica-plan church, which measures 42 by 132 feet, is made of brick hauled by horse and wagon from nearby Lesterville and sits on a quartzite foundation. Several Gothic Revival features are found throughout the building, including the pointed arch windows and doors, stained glass windows, and a central bell tower with steeple. A gabled roof covers the nave and a pentagonal roof covers the apse on the church’s north end. The church bell had been donated to the town’s original 1874 chalkrock church, which had no bell tower; it thus sat beside the church until 1898, when August O. Goetz, a general contractor and builder from Yankton built this new structure on the site of the former church.

The interior features an elaborately carved altar, pulpit, confessional, and crosses. The stained glass windows include biblical passages inscribed in Czech, reflecting the heritage of Tabor’s settlers. The parish was officially organized in 1871, shortly after the first Czech settlers arrived in the area, and named for the patron saint of the Czech people. Services were held in Czech until the 1960s.

St. Wenceslaus is the only church in the town of Tabor. It has been a focal point of the Czech community for more than 100 years.

References

Stewart, James, and Gerlad Wolff, “St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church and Parish House,” Bon Homme County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1984. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

 

Writing Credits

Author: 
Michelle L. Dennis
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Data

Timeline

  • 1898

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Michelle L. Dennis, "St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church", [Tabor, South Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/SD-01-009-0003.

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