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St. Francis Xavier Church (Warwick, Maryland)

St. Francis Xavier Church
250px
Location Church Road, Warwick, Maryland
Coordinates

39°26′16″N 75°48′12″W / 39.43778°N 75.80333°W / 39.43778; -75.80333Coordinates: 39°26′16″N 75°48′12″W / 39.43778°N 75.80333°W / 39.43778; -75.80333{{#coordinates:39|26|16|N|75|48|12|W|region:US-MD_type:landmark |primary |name=

}}
Built 1792
Architect Unknown
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference #

75000884

[1]
Added to NRHP October 10, 1975

St. Francis Xavier Church, or Old Bohemia, is a historic Roman Catholic church located at Warwick, Cecil County, Maryland, United States.

History

Beginning in 1704 the Society of Jesus bought a farm and initiated missionary activities on the site, thereby establishing a second mission in Maryland half a century after the foundation of the Newtown Manor mission in St. Mary's County, Maryland.[2]

A school here taught many distinguished early American Catholic leaders, including future archbishop John Carroll and his cousin, founding father Charles Carroll. Priests assigned to this mission evangelized in the Delmarva Peninsula, including the modern Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Wilmington. Perhaps the most famous grave in the graveyard is of Catherine ("Kitty") Knight (1775-1855), credited for saving an elderly neighbor, a church and much of Georgetown, Maryland during the War of 1812, although her own house burned to the ground.[3]

Structure

The most historic properties on the site are a brick church, constructed shortly after the American Revolutionary War and dedicated in 1797, and an early-19th-century brick rectory connected by a one-story hyphen. The church consists of a four-bay-deep by three-bay-wide brick structure, with a 3-story brick tower added on the southwest facade of the church subsequent to its original building in 1792. The rectory is a five-bay-long, 2 12-story brick building with a two-bay-long hyphen on one end and a two-bay-long kitchen on the other. Also on the property is a public graveyard, as well as a relatively modern barn and farmhouse. A fire gutted the church's interior in 1912, but the church was rebuilt within the old walls. Regular services discontinued in the 1920s, but resumed in modern times. The Old Bohemia Historical Society, begun by a Catholic, a Quaker and a Methodist in 1954, bought the property's core 120 acres and now maintains the site.[4][5]

The St. Francis Xavier Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Maryland Historical Trust". National Register of Historic Places: St. Francis Xavier Church and Rectory. Maryland Historical Trust. 2008-10-05. 
  3. ^ Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 3, p. 136, available at http://books.google.com/books?id=mfkMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=catherine+knight+georgetown&source=bl&ots=AWivifXtD4&sig=lWaJLiTYld1I0PGwrlTs_kN1FUs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lIa_U5_WO4GeyATX_IDwAQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=catherine%20knight%20georgetown&f=false
  4. ^ Arnett, Earl, Brugger, Robert J., and Edward C. Papenfuse Maryland: A New Guide to the Old Line State (2nd ed.)The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1999 p. 141.
  5. ^ http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/the_secret_mission_of_old_bohemia
  • Bohemia 1704–2004: A History of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Shrine in Cecil County, Maryland. By Thomas J. Peterman. (The Bohemian Historical Society, Devon, Pennsylvania: William T. Cooke Publishing Co. 2004).

See also

Joseph C. Cann, History of Saint Francis Xavier Church and Bohemia Plantation, Now Known as Old Bohemia, Warwick, Maryland (Old Bohemia Historical Society, 1976)

Mary DeVine Dunn, Lillian DeVine, St. Francis Xavier Church, Warwick, Maryland, "Old Bohemia": Its History, the Burial Register : Historical Notes (DeWitt Publishing, 1966)

External links

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