Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

St. Mary's Church, Gorham, KS, 1894

In the mid 1800’s, western Kansas was home to Native American Indians, buffalo, and a few settlers living in dugouts. When the Kansas Pacific Railroad tracks went through, a group of Germans from Pennsylvania arrived and formed a community which later became Gorham around 1878.

In 1894, the cornerstone was laid for St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and the first mass was said on Christmas 1898.

Gorham, like many of the other small towns in western Kansas, experienced the thrill of an oil boom in the 1920’s, and it lasted for several years. Once the oil boom died down, it returned to its earlier small town roots.

My husband was born in Gorham and, along with his parents and nine siblings, called Gorham ‘home’ for many happy years with St. Mary’s church playing a vital role in their Catholic family.

When we were back in 2012, many of us were able to attend mass together and visit the cemetery where loved ones are buried.

St. Mary’s Church, as well as the town of Gorham itself, may be considered relics; but the current 300+ residents have joined together to maintain a vibrant small-town community that they are proud to call ‘home.’

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About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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13 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

  1. How wonderful to have such a family connection to any one place! I’ve moved and moved and moved, and never have felt that way. 🙂 Beautiful church!


  2. What a beautiful old church, so pretty, and lovely to have the family link


  3. pbmgarden says:

    A beautiful church. There’s something special about small town communities.


  4. Joyce says:

    Gorham has what most of us really want out of life – deep roots in a small place where everyone knows and cares about each other.
    I attend a beautiful church that is now designated as a “basilica.” Saint Adalbert’s was also built by German immigrants and it is as lovely as your Saint Mary’s.


  5. Grandma Kc says:

    What a beautiful church. So often small towns like that don’t rally around one another and become very neglected and run down. Sounds like a neat town.


  6. My wife’s father came from a town in South Dakota that was about the same size. I’d say about a third of the people there are her relatives.


  7. What a beautiful church! 🙂


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  9. JSD says:

    Every little town has a significant background, and most of those histories are lost over the decades. Thank you for sharing Gorham, Kansas, with us. 🙂


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