Building Highlights

“The lumber & material were purchased from the late Joe Deschamps.
The materials coming from Wesley on the Arrow Lakes.
The stone for the foundation was quarried on the site where the present church stands”
Diocesan Archives, Undated letter

 

“The stone was a large one, weighing between 300 and 400 pounds and on it was carved a small gilt cross, surmounted by an inscription in gilt letters: Ch. Of Mary Imm. . . . His lordship [Bishop A. Dontenwill, OMI] inscribed 12 crosses on the corner stone, which was then with some difficulty placed in position by four men. ”
Daily Miner, 10 October, 1898

 

“The dimensions of the church are 90 x 45, the extreme length from end to end, between the cornices, being 107 feet.  The building will contain three aisles, the height from the floor to the apex being 29 feet, and the height above the two side aisles 19 feet.  There will also be four ionic columns in the interior of the church.”
Daily Miner, 10 October 1898

 

“The workmen engaged on the Roman Catholic church finished putting up the metallic* ceiling yesterday”
Daily Miner, 6 June1899

 

*Decorative tin ceilings were a durable, lightweight, fireproof and
affordable alternative to the exquisite plasterwork used in Europe.

 

“The plasterers have nearly finished their work on the Roman Catholic church,
and, in a few days, work will be commenced on the interior decorating and finishing of the building.”
Daily Miner, 30 June 1899

 

“Father Feland ” … is very proud of some statues which he has just received for the church.  They are of Italian workmanship and come from Carli of Montreal.  The modeling is excellent, the figures being life size, and though perhaps the coloring is a little florid the general effect is distinctly good.”
Daily Miner, 20 August 1899

 

“During the week a series of beautiful pictures has been placed in the church of Mary Immaculate, representing the stations of the Cross.  The pictures proper are oil prints and in perspective, coloring and expression, are valuable pictorial descriptions of one of the most tragic events in history.  The grouping of the pictures is probably of the best in the work of art.  The frames are of solid oak. With carvings and turnings of the same material.”
Nelson Daily News, 12 May 1901

 

“The fittings and base of the altar for the church of Mary Immaculate arrived yesterday from Montreal.  The whole when completed will make one of the handsomest altars in the province.”
Nelson Daily News, 25 June 1903

 

“Yesterday morning a handsome bell was presented to the Church of Mary Immaculate by Rev. Father Althoff.  None of the congregation knew of the priest’s intention to make the gift… it having only arrived from New York a few hours before.  With the attachments it weights over 1,600 pounds.”
Nelson Daily News, 30 June 1903

 

“A magnificent pipe organ for the church of Mary Immaculate was received yesterday in Nelson.  The instrument is a large one, having in the neighbourhood of four hundred pipes, and is said to be equal in size and volume to the organ in the Catholic cathedral at Victoria.”
Nelson Daily News, 1 October 1903

 

“The new bell of the Catholic church was hoisted into the tower yesterday morning, and tested.”
“The ringing of the bell at the church of Mary Immaculate at the early hour yesterday morning got a large number of people up under the impression that there was a fire.  Since its elevation to the top of the church the bell can be heard plainly at One Mile
Point and for over a mile west of the City.”
Nelson Daily News, – December 1903

 

Between 1899-1907, straight-back wooden chairs were used in the church.
“Proceeds of the St. Patrick’s Day Concert have been set aside to pay for pews
for one side-aisle of the Church. The young men of the Parish, learning that
Father Althoff has ordered pews for the other aisle, have expressed the wish to
collect among themselves sufficient amount to meet this additional expense.”
Letter from Church of Mary Immaculate Committee, May 1907

 

The first mass in the chapel of St. Joseph’s convent was celebrated by
Rev. Father Althoff. . . . Particularly imposing in the new chapel are the
four beautiful stained glass windows, the gifts of J.O. Patenaude, Rev. Father Althoff,
Mr. & Mrs. LaPointe and E.F. Smith and family.
Nelson Daily News, 20 March 1923

 

“A new inside vestibule has been erected in the Cathedral and is a great
help in keeping out the drafts and in keeping the church warmer.”
The Prospector, 2 February 1940 

“Improvements are being made on the Church. . . . The work on the church
is almost completed. Two coats of white paint inside and out have brought out
the beautiful Greek architecture and made it once again the most beautiful
building in Nelson. In addition a new lighting system is to be installed
shortly inside the church.”
The Prospector, 10 May 1940

 

After the outdated St. Joseph School building and its chapel were demolished
in 1979, the four Gothic decorative windows (c.1923) were stored for over three decades.
In 2010, when the Cathedral’s rectory and its chapel were renovated, three of
the windows were resurrected, restored and now brilliantly radiate their former glory.