Annual Celebration of the founding of St. James Church to be held August 7th

Annual Celebration of the founding of St. James Church to be held August 7th

By Cathy Lampman Hawkins St. James Catholic Church Remembered On Christmas Day, 1857, Jeremiah Denneen lay dying. “And when I go” he was known to have said, “bury me on the hill above the road under the big tree.” That same hill became St. James Catholic Cemetery located in Vermont Township in Dane County. A church was constructed of logs on that site by 1860. A second church was built in 1883 across the road to replace the deteriorating first church. Originally known as St. Simon, it was renamed St. James in 1891 due to the parishioners “righteous indignation” felt was associated with the character Simon Legis in the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Old timers in the surrounding area will remember the St. James Catholic Church picnic held every August. Visitors from all over Dane and Iowa County enjoyed a delicious family style meal prepared by the church ladies, served by the younger girls, and games and beverage booths manned by the church men. All of that ended 53 years ago. The church was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire in the early morning hours on June 12, 1969. The site now is memorialized with a simple monument etched with a picture of the church. The cemetery remains across the road. Former parish members and friends are invited to the annual celebration of it its founding. This year’s event is on Sunday, August 7th, with Mass at 12:30 p.m. near the monument on County F just north of Moyer Road. A potluck luncheon will be held after the service at Mound View Park in Blue Mounds.

By Cathy Lampman Hawkins 


St. James Catholic Church Remembered




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