Monday, June 20, 2016

St. Anne's Catholic Church Columbia CA

                                                                                                                   Phillip Fish

      My immigrant Irish ancestors almost invariably supported themselves and their families by farming.  One notable exception was my third great-uncle Edward Hore for whom my great-grandfather was named.  Like his brothers and one sister, after leaving County Carlow he started his life in America in Auburn, New York.  Unlike the others who never strayed more than 35 miles from that place, he ended his life in California where he had gone with his young family in 1862 to seek his fortune in the northern California mines.  Uncle Edward never did strike it rich, dying in San Francisco of meningitis at the young age of 42. 

      I've been looking at the different places this family lived in California, first Columbia, then Copperopolis and finally Sutter's Creek before they headed south to the Bay.  While reading about Columbia, I came across this lovely video of the Catholic Church built there in 1856, making it the oldest brick church west of the Rockies.  

     This is the church Uncle Edward would have attended, he would have actually sat in those pews and his daughter Winifred would have been baptized there! Probably from the very same marble font shown in the video.  I can almost picture Edward and Sarah walking up Kennebec Hill with their infant daughter, their three older children from ages seven to three alongside them, and through the doors.  It makes me feel so connected--to him, to my faith, to the past.

     It distresses me that twenty five years ago I spent a day in Columbia while vacationing in California and had no idea of my family's history there.  I doubt I'll ever get back, New York is a very long way from California, but at least I have this beautifully done video to enjoy.


  1. How nice that someone made a video and you can visualize what it would have been like for them to attend there!

  2. Very nice--gave me goosebumps. I sure wish I knew all this when I was in the neighborhood.