Churchgoers of 1857 originally worshipped in a log cabin about a mile from
the current site, yet still in the strong French community that came to be
known as Dayton, Minnesota.
On Thanksgiving Day 1904, the current brick building was dedicated, with Fr. Pettigrew as Pastor. The main church area is 30 ft x 80 ft, with the transepts measuring 54 ft x 54 ft each. The architectural style is Gothic, as evidenced by the pointed arches and exterior buttresses throughout. The footprint of the church is in the shape of a cross, or "Cruciform" in style. The bell tower stands 150 ft., with a 13 ft. cross. The secondary belfry reaching 96 ft. and has an approximately 7 ft. cross.
When originally built, the sanctuary was located on the far north end, the
current social hall. The sanctuary was moved forward to make room for
The altar area was again remodeled in the Pastorate of Fr. Schnitzius (1989-83), to meet the liturgical standards of Vatican II. At this time the classrooms were also turned over to a Social Hall, as the church does not have a basement.
Our St. Therese chapel was originally the sacristy and confessional area for
the church, but vacated when the school was started. After the school
closed, the area was used as a workshop for the intense repairs to the stained
glass windows throughout the church. This project spanned from 1989-97, and was
under the Pastorate of Fr. Remmerswaal OSC. The
Chapel was then created in honor of St. Therese, and is used for daily
As would be expected, the church structure has seen major repairs. In
1937-38, much work was done to the fieldstone foundation, the walls, roof and
the heating system. The roof was again repaired in 2003. Steeple
repairs were done in 1965, and again from 1997-99. For the later repairs,
the bell tower was actually removed and the 17 ton steeple was set back in
Permission was granted in 1890 to build the rectory, which was completed in 1895. This too has seen much change, such as significant repairs to the foundation, removal of the cupola and porches, and the windmill. Horse stalls have given way to a new garage as well.
For a more complete history of the