Saint Joseph Church -"The way we were"

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    In conjunction with the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the present Church building, the Saint Joseph Church Parish Center, West Milford, was set up as a mini museum this past weekend, allowing visitors to view artifacts on loan from parishioners and friends. The hundreds of items on display represented local homes and fashions, social and family mementoes, agricultural equipment, photographs and church-related items. They presented a snapshot of what West Milford was like one hundred years ago. The people of Saint Joseph Church trace their roots back to the iron workers and their families who were brought over from the Black Forest region of Germany to labor in English-owned iron companies. The parish still has decedents of the three original Catholic settlers, the Strubles, Sehulsters and the Marions and there are many family tombstones in the older section of Saint Joseph's Cemetery dating back the 18th century. The first Catholics in the Echo Lake area built the original Saint Joseph Church in 1829. It is believed to have been a small, crude structure. A larger church, built in 1886, was destroyed by fire in November of 1904. The present Church, standing in the footprint of the second church, was built in 1905. It is this third building that is being celebrated this year under the banner of "Built on the Foundation of Faith.