Church of St. Mary (Melrose, Minnesota)

Church of St. Boniface

The Church of St. Mary from the east
Location 203 5th Avenue Southeast, Melrose, Minnesota
Coordinates 45°40′21″N 94°48′28″W / 45.67250°N 94.80778°W / 45.67250; -94.80778Coordinates: 45°40′21″N 94°48′28″W / 45.67250°N 94.80778°W / 45.67250; -94.80778
Area Less than one acre
Built 1899 (church), 1907 (rectory)
Built by E. D. Richmond
Architect George Bergmann
Architectural style Romanesque Revival (church), Queen Anne (rectory)
NRHP Reference # 93001234[1]
Designated  November 12, 1993

The Church of St. Mary, formerly the Church of St. Boniface, is a historic Roman Catholic church in Melrose, Minnesota, United States. The church and the adjacent 1907 rectory were listed together on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 for having local significance in the themes of European ethnic heritage and social history.[2] The property was nominated to the Register as a manifestation of the importance of ethnic parishes in the cultural and religious life of Minnesota's rural German American populace in the 19th and early 20th centuries.[3]

On March 11, 2016, the Church of St. Mary was heavily damaged by a fire.[4]


The parish was founded in 1878 by German immigrants, six years after a nearby parish, St. Patrick's, was founded by Irish immigrants. The first building was a wood-frame structure, built in 1879 at a cost of $3,000. In 1882, they established a Catholic school and a convent. The current building was dedicated in 1898 and built for $50,000. The old building became a school, but it was destroyed in a fire in 1910.[5]

In 1958 the bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud decided that St. Boniface and St. Patrick would merge into a new parish named St. Mary's. St. Patrick's parish was outgrowing its space and was looking for new room. In 1970, the St. Patrick's church building was demolished. The church is now part of a four-parish cluster with parishes in Meire Grove, Greenwald, and Spring Hill.[5]

On March 11, 2016, the Church of St. Mary was heavily damaged by a fire. No people were injured, and the blaze was extinguished before the roof or exterior walls were lost.[4] Investigators announced in May that the fire had been set deliberately.[6]

See also


  1. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. "Church of Saint Boniface (Catholic)". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  3. Granger, Sue; Patricia Murphy (1993-06-01). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Church of St. Boniface (PDF) (Report). National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  4. 1 2 McKinney, Matt (2016-03-15). "Melrose residents stunned as fire destroys historic church". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  5. 1 2 "Church of St. Mary, Melrose, Minnesota: History". Retrieved 2013-01-24.
  6. Marohn, Kirsti (2016-05-20). "Melrose church fire intentionally set". SC Times. St. Cloud, Minn. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
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