Wednesday, March 2, 2011

St. Colman Catholic Church


St. Colman Catholic Church is located about 15 miles away from Hinton, in an area of Irish Mountain named Sullivan's Knob.  Maurice Sullivan was the first settler in the area, purchasing 435 acres of land from the Gwinn Family in 1855.  The following year he was joined by the Quinlan family, and then several other Irish families.  Together, they turned the small, isolated community into a thriving Irish farm settlement.

The community  was largely of the Roman Catholic faith, and church services were held in private homes, provided once a month by a traveling preacher from St. Patrick's in Hinton.  The community pushed for a church of their own, and in 1876, Sullivan deeded over 1 acre of land to Bishop Joseph J. Kain for use as a church and a cemetery.  The cemetery unfortunately came first, as in that same year, John Quinlan passed away and was buried on the grounds.

The church was built the following year and consisted of a hewn log structure.  The cemetery is unique in that it has a "Lost Souls" corner for unbaptized babies.  The name St. Colman comes from a Gaelic saint, and the church became known as the "little Catholic church on Irish Mountain."

The church never did gain its own preacher, and continued to receive services through St. Patrick's in Hinton.  In 1928, the church was refurbished.  Clapboard painted white was erected over the hewed logs.  In 1983 it became a registered historical site.

Visitors to the church in recent years have reported unexplained cold spots and cold mists that are actually seen.  Some have reported these cold mists will take an almost human shape, and that sometimes they will stop and pause on pews by visitors, as if sitting beside them.
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