February 13, 1905: Dedication of St. Jean Baptiste Church

On this day in Duluth in 1905, Catholic officials dedicated the new St. Jean Baptiste Church and parish school at 2432 West Third Street. The first St. Jean’s was built at 1100 West Superior Street—essentially the base of Point of Rocks—in 1885, when French-Canadians made up the largest population of Catholics in Duluth. (When the St. Jean congregation moved out of the 1885 church, they sold it to Italians living in the area, and it became the first St. Peter’s Catholic Church.) The dedication was led by Archbishop Adélard Langevine of Manitoba’s St. Boniface Parish while Father M. F. Fallon of Holy Angels church in Buffalo, new York, gave the sermon. The leader of the Diocese of Duluth, Bishop James McGolrick, made a short address “telling the congregation of his great love and hopes for the new church and laying special emphasis upon the importance of the school.” Archbishop Langevine also spoke of the school’s importance—in both and English and French so everyone in attendance could understand. The new building was designed by Duluth architects German & Lignell and served Catholic in the West End until it was demolished May 16, 1996. Read a more complete history of St. Jean Baptiste here.

The 1904 St. Jean-Baptiste Catholic Church. (Image: Duluth Public Library)