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“New” church building celebrates 100 years

Sts. Peter and Paul holds special Mass to mark century

SOLON– It was a bright and sunny morning on Sunday, June 5, at Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel.
Across the road from the former Catholic church, a large tent was set up in a grassy area of the cemetery, the site of a special Mass featuring Most Rev. Martin J. Amos, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport.
At the conclusion of the service, a stream of young children carrying baskets filled with white and pink flower petals strew them in advance of a processional leading to altars situated on the edges of the cemetery.
The Feast of Corpus Christi service was the first in a series of events at the church that day, all marking the 100th anniversary of the chapel.
A catered meal was offered after the service, and John Krob performed in the chapel afterward.
Construction on the existing Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel started in April of 1916, over a half-century after the church had been established.
St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church was established around 1861 by the Bohemian immigrants who settled around Solon.
According to the Sts. Peter and Paul Historical Foundation’s website, the original stone church was located across the road from the present church and was built at a cost of $1,300. The rock was hauled by a team of oxen from a distance of five miles. Built by hand, it took five years to finish building the structure.
The original St. Peter and Paul’s church was torn down in 1938.
The new church was finished and dedicated on July 15, 1917.
It closed its doors as a Catholic church on June 30, 1996, but the diocese sold the building to the church’s members, who undertook the creation of a foundation to maintain the structure.
Major renovations were completed, and the structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. It has continued to serve as a non-denominational chapel since that time.