VANISHING HISTORY IS EVERYBODY’S LOSS!

In 1840s immigrants from Germany began settling in the near north Saint Louis areas.  The neighborhoods where they settled became  known as Bremen and Baden from the areas where they had lived in Germany. Except for a few, most lived in rented row houses that filled the north of city. 

So the first buildings that these new arrivals constructed were Catholic Churches.  Holy Trinity was the first in 1849. It was followed by Saint Liborius in 1856. Seven years later Holy Cross Parish was founded to the northwest in the Baden neighborhood.  And in 1873, Perpetual Help was founded. And just one year later, Saint Augustine Church was founded. The pastor was the Rev. Henry Jaegering and the founders of the church included my great-grandfather Franz (Frank), my grandfather Adolph and his eight brothers and sisters. Actually, it took them about 24 years to complete building their church.st.-augustine-248x356

In 1897 this classic gothic church was built at the corner of Lismore and Hebert Streets. Soon, a large grade school was constructed across the street facing the church. Both my father and I attended and graduated from that school about 27 years apart.

DadsGrad

This was my dad’s class in 1937.Graduation1953

This is my class. We’re actually both standing in the same row, second from the top. 
(If you click on the photos to make them bigger, you might be able to pick us out.  Note, the priest in both photos is the same man. He was pastor until he died in the late sixties.)
This is what our church looks like today …

StAug

The Old Saint Augustine Catholic Church Today

 Back in the 1970s the church was closed, deconsecrated and sold by the Archdiocese of Saint Louis to a Baptist congregation. It was passed down to other non-denominational churches over the years. 

And in just about the same time that it took to build the church in the first photo, you see the church as it stands today.

 By comparing the two photos you can see where the church has been vandalized. The stained glass rose window has been partially destroyed and most of the windows have been boarded up. The school building actually caught fire and was demolished. Where it stood is now a vacant lot.

Why is today’s society so determined to destroy the culture our ancestors struggled so hard to build?

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About Robert Edler

... a somewhat unknown and/or imaginary actor, writer, director, producer, photographer, friend, brother, uncle and all round good fellow that you really should get to know because he lives with that most glamorous fourpaw Mademoiselle Renee. (Mlle. Renee for short)

Posted on March 12, 2014, in LOST YESTERDAYS, Memories, ROB'S RAMBLINGS AND OBSERVATIONS and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

    • Yes, my past is being destroyed or demolished. The grade school I attended is a vacant. The high school I attended is a refuge for drug addicts. I’m afraid what might happen with Washington Universit.

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