New Old News: St. Peter’s Cathedral Cornerstone

Posted on by Jessica Shirtz

by Kelsey Boldt

During this time of isolation in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 the tradition of gathering and celebrating major milestones in life has been put on hold.

Birthdays, sporting events, graduations, weddings, religious celebrations – so much has and will come and go in the passing weeks. Much can be done virtually to provide some space to be together in some instances. Still, the desire for something more lingers.

With Easter behind us and Passover coming to a close in a few days, this week’s New Old News article is all the more relevant.

The article above details the great lengths taken to include all of Marquette and the surrounding communities in the laying of the St. Peter’s Cathedral cornerstone. Special trains ran from all over to accommodate those who wished to celebrate the occasion. The article ran in the June 18, 1881 issue of the Weekly Agitator.

The 1881 construction of St. Peter’s Cathedral, located in downtown Marquette, actually marked its rebuilding following a devastating fire in 1879. The original structure was built in 1866.

Those who took the trains from all over the U.P. to watch the laying of the cornerstone in 1881 were not just commemorating the construction of a building, but the rebuilding of a community.

Celebrating. Rebuilding. Soon, when it’s safer, we’ll be gathering to do a great deal of both. In the meantime, even a trip to the past can help us see the brighter days ahead.


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