Established in 1883, St. Anne Church was known as the church that served the French Catholic faithful.
Excerpts from St. Anne Church: 100 Years & Counting
“The history of St. Anne’s Church is closely interwoven with the migration of French Canadians to the United States and those French Canadians are tied directly to their forebears who had come from France many years before. Almost exclusively from Quebec, they are descendants of those explorers and adventurers, fur traders and farmers, who had come from France to establish a new country.”
Fr. Peter C.A. Winter – St. Anne’s first pastor, 1883-1884
“Why he came to northeastern Michigan is an interesting question, but when the wandering French priest Father Peter C.A. Winter made the long arduous journey to the sawdust city of Alpena in the late fall of 1883, he must have seemed the answer to a prayer.
The French Catholic parishioners of St. Bernard’s Church, trying desperately to keep some semblance of their Canadian heritage alive in the rough, rugged city of fishermen, farmers and lumberjacks, wanted a French-speaking pastor and church of their own.
They were in a new unfamiliar place; surrounded by strange people speaking strange tongues; and attending a Catholic church that had as many ethnic groups as any lumber camp. With a French-speaking priest and a French church, they knew they’d be better equipped to maintain a grip on their heritage and cultural identity.”
Where it all began . . .
“The Church Home – This photograph, circa 1890, is of the old church home on Chisholm Street. Built in 1866 and named St. Bernard’s, it was Alpena’s first Catholic church and served all members of the faith until 1883, when the parish split into three groups. The Polish Catholics found their own church, the St. Bernard congregation built a church almost directly opposite this one on Chisholm, and the old church home became the property of the French congregation. It was promptly named St. Anne and served the parish until a new church was built in 1904.”
St. Anne Church: 100 Years & Counting
Some Historic Dates
About the Church
September 1904 – parish moves out of the Chisholm Street church to it’s new constructed church on Ninth Avenue.
August 4, 1907 – Church destroyed in fire
1920 – Church rebuilding completed
About the School
December 10, 1936 – St. Anne School – 3rd floor burns
1937 – School was repaired and reopened as a two-story building
July 11, 2016 – Former St. Anne School was demolished