Click on the buttons below
to learn more about Ste. Anne's
Vision ] [ Time
Capsule ] [ Dempsey
Article ] [ Engle
July 24, 1701, Cadillac and his people landed at Detroit. Two days later,
July 26, 1701, Ste. Anne's Feast Day, construction of the first structure
began, Ste. Anne's Catholic Church. The site was just west of what is now
Jefferson and Griswold streets.
swept through the settlement on October 5, 1703 destroying the church,
rectory, and several other buildings. The parish's earliest records were
consumed in that fire. Even so, Ste. Anne's today, possesses one of the
longest continuous church records in the United States.
1714, the church was razed by the people of Fort Ponchartrain themselves,
to avoid having it be used as cover by the Fox Native Americans, with whom
the Fort's soldiers were fighting. For several years Mass was said in a
make-shift church in a fort building.
1755, the 6th Ste. Anne de Detroit was built when Father Simple Bocquet
began his 27 years of service. During his time, the English invaded, but
allowed religious freedom. English, Irish, and Scottish settlers arrived.
First Communion classes were instituted.
Gabriel Richard served Ste. Anne's as its pastor from 1802 to 1832. He
founded churches, schools, co-founded the University of Michigan, was a
politician, and a member of Congress. He was also a printer. He published
Michigan's first newspaper, The Observer. He imported carding and spinning
wheels, and looms so women could learn a trade. He loved to talk politics
- was well-read and deeply devout. He died in his 65th year, the last victim
of a plague, during which he had spent himself tending the sick.
8th and present church is now at 1000 Ste. Anne Street (formerly 19th Street)
at Howard, near the Ambassador Bridge. It's cornerstone was laid in 1886.
The church contains many relics from the 1818
stone church which stood on Bates Street. Among its treasures are: the
1818 cornerstone, the main altar, the intricately hand carved communion
rail, the "Beaubien Bell" and the statue of Ste. Anne and her daughter,
Mary. It also contains the oldest stained glass in the city. The church
has a 26-rank pipe organ and a reverberation time typical of some of the
finest European churches. Of particular interest on the exterior of the
building are the flying buttresses, a feature fairly common in gothic churches
in Europe, but unusual in the "new world." Four gargoyles guard the main
entrance on the north facade.
the chapel stands the wood altar from the church built in 1818. Fr. Gabriel
Richard celebrated Mass at this very altar.