1907: Rebuilt After Fire
St. Elizabeth of Hungary - The New Brick Church
photo credit: Dona Fizzel Cooper Collection
360° Panorama - Look around inside St. Elizabeth's
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church
St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church of Smethport was a continuation of the old mission of Instanter in Sergeant Township. Facts concerning the early church are not well established, but information indicates the first building was erected on Potato Creek near Walter DalyÝs farm.
St. ElizabethÝs Church was founded February 15, 1868. Through the generous donation of land at the corner of Main and Fulton Streets by John Keating and a subscription fund of $4,642 by B. D. Hamlin and Henry Hamlin and many others permitted completion of a church and parsonage in 1876. The first pastor was Father Peter Joseph Patterson followed by Father J. J. Galligan, one of the more colorful priests to serve the church. Born in Ireland in 1848 Father Galligan entered Allegany Seminary (now St. Bonaventure) in 1872 and was ordained in July 1877. After assignments in Erie and Titusville, he moved to Smethport in 1880.
On December 23, 1904, disaster struck. An overheated furnace set the church ablaze. The fire company was unable to save the church so they turned their attention to saving the parsonage. The church steeple fell towards it and the wooden church was lost except chalice, vestments, linens, and candlesticks. The Mass on Christmas Day was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. in the newly constructed Lyceum Theater at the corner of King and Mechanic Streets. Under the direction of Father J. F. Dugan a series of many fundraisers permitted completion of a new brick church in 1907. A catechetical and social center was built in 1955 in the basement of the church.
The long service of the Rev. Msgr. Thomas C. Geddes brought a period of growth, peace, and renewal to its parishioners. The parish, now under the guidance of Reverend Theodore B. Marconi, looks forward to many fruitful years.
See 1906 Ground Breaking After 1904 Fire
See Church Pre 1905
ST. ELIZABETH'S CHURCH DEDICATED