National Register of Historic Places

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church

Rock Springs

Date Added to Register

Thursday, November 06, 1997

Smithsonian Number


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Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, also known as the South Side Catholic Church, was constructed in 1932 and designed by the Boston architectural firm of Maginnis & Walsh. The Union Pacific Coal Company loaned the services of their architect, James Libby, as supervising architect and engineer. The church is built of buff-colored combed brick with a red and brown clay tile roof. It is significant for the importance it has had among Western European immigrants and the community of Rock Springs as a whole. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church became identified with immigrants from Ireland and other west European Catholics. It was a touchstone for this community and represented a distinct difference in the two strains of Catholicism which coincided in Rock Springs, the other being the east European settlers who formed a rival parish on the north side of town. One notable piece of Our Lady of Sorrows' history occurred in November of 1940. At the 8:30 a.m. Mass on November 3rd, a very famous family attended Mass with the parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Von Trapp family from Austria honored the congregation by singing the Mass. They were passing through Rock Springs on their way to Denver where they were scheduled to appear in concert. The family's history was later made known to the world in the movie ''The Sound of Music.''

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources