Sunday, May 27, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Saint Mary's, New Oregon (North Collins) New York

   The history of Saint Mary's Church in New Oregon is somewhat murky. I've found several sites which list it as closed, and one that indicates it to be open. As a recent Google Earth image shows no sign in front of the church, I'm inclined to believe the former. As a result, I haven't been able to find much out about the church.
    According to one nineteenth century history, New Oregon was a German settlement in the town of North Collins (remember, German often includes Luxembourger). A real picture photograph available on Ebay shows the church to be in the typical German style. Other than that, I have no details. The cemetery is still extent, listed on Find A Grave, and apparently under the control of Epiphany of Our Lord. It is likely the records are there as well.

1 comment:

  1. From Georgianne Bowman, North Collins historian.

    There is a history of the town of North Collins at Scroll down to Town Histories. The website came down after Wally's death when the server went out of business. All the towns listed are in southern Erie County, NY. The Town of North Collins includes the former hamlets of Roses' Corners (now Village of North Collins), Lawton's Station (now just Lawtons hamlet), Marshfield (no longer a hamlet as population left), Langford hamlet, New Oregon hamlet, and Shirley (no longer a hamlet since the railroad came through the village).

    There were several families who originated in Luxembourg. They were not all located in New Oregon but were nearby in Langford. I'm sure you already know that "keeping house" merely meant a wife. As for the elderly, they often ceded their farms to a child and lived there until they died, occasionally helping on the farm when needed (but not really a full time laborer). Children were often listed as farm laborers also and were taken out of school when needed on the farm, thus farm laborer. It was not uncommon in this area for a large family to have one or more children "working out" as a house servant (girls) or farm laborer (usually boys) for another family.

    As for St. Mary's Church in New Oregon hamlet, yes, the church is now closed. The church, rectory and 4-grade brick school are now party of the Marienthal B&B (they have a website). St. Mary's in New Oregon, St. Frances Cabrini in Town of Collins, and St. Martin's in Langford were merged a few years ago to become the new parish of Epiphany of Our Lord based in the completely redecorated St. Martin's Church (largest of the three).

    My book, "Around North Collins" is available at if you want to see what North Collins looked like.

    Georgianne Bowman, Historian

    Town and Village of North Collins