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KARE in the Air: High above St. Michael Historic Catholic Church

The historic structure, in all its neo-gothic revival glory, was completed in 1892 as the German farming town grew and matured.

ST MICHAEL, Minnesota — Fans of architecture know churches are among the most amazing examples of ornate, eye-catching design on Minnesota's landscape. 

Among those that please the eye and lift the spirit is the historic Church of St. Michael in downtown St. Michael, Minnesota. 

The parish website says its worship community started in a small log cabin/church in 1856, not long after St. Michael was established. The historic structure, in all its neo-gothic revival glory, was completed in 1892 smack dab in the center of town. It featured handmade stained glass and plenty of ornate statues. 

St. Michael historian and author Bob Zahler says Fr. Rudolf Deustermann was the driving force in building the church, coming to the Minnesota farming town from Kansas with a reputation for getting things done. “He arrived Christmas Eve 1889 and immediately set out to convince the parish that it was time to stop their wrangling and build a new church,” Zahler wrote. 

Seventy families contributed to the creation of the worship space, which was built at a final cost of $26,000. The parish says those pioneers definitely had an eye towards the future, building a church big enough to seat 500. Parishioners would travel in horse-drawn carriages on Sunday. 

The Church of St. Michael was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It remained in use through 2005 and still stands, marking the heart of "old" St. Michael. The parish's current building was constructed in 2004. 

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