Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Look into the Past

There are many reasons why I love my hometown so much. It's a beautiful community. My ancestors also helped settle the area. Today is the anniversary of the first Mass said by Father Helias at Struempf's Settlement in 1838. The Struempfs are my ancestors on my mom's side. After mass this morning, we checked out a display set up in the school cafeteria.
From a letter dated October 24, 1925

Rev. Ferdinand Helias, S.J. said Holy Mass for the first time at Rich Fountain, May 11, 1838, at the home of John Struempf. (The grade school kids put these church displays together.)
The first edifice, a small log chapel, was built in the year 1841. Remnants of it still stand today. This log chapel served its purpose until 1879 when the present church was built.
Rich Fountain was formerly known as Struempf settlement because John Struempf was one of the first and most influential settlers. He donated the first 4 acres of the present Church property which comprises today approximately 50 acres.

Rich Fountain, afterwards received its present name during the Jesuit's regime on account of a spring, which is located on the Church property and had never been known to go dry. (Before the earthquake in the early 1800's, the spring produced 70,000 gallons of water a day.) Rich Fountain was settled by Bavarians. The present church was built in 1879.

These are some artifacts from the past.
Church bells used for different celebrations. The red "sack" behind the bells is an old offertory bag.
In the back is a Lenten bell. They didn't ring the regular bells during Lent. A woman's finger points to a wooden holder that would attach to the side of the pews for flags. We think the silver dishes are ciboriums.
These round shaped cutters were host cutters. The churches used to cut their own communion wafers.
The parish used to publish a "Monthly Messenger." An entire year was compiled in this blue book.
Old ads in the Monthly Messenger, including one for "John Struempf's Restaurant."
Parish picnics used to be homecoming celebrations. Now they're major fundraisers. Back in the early 1900's, the meal cost 50 cents. Now it's $8 or more.
New artifacts: my brother, Doug and nephew, Garrett.

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