Red Church Rectory Fire – 1877

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Press release of the Morning Star and Catholic Messenger, June 1877 regarding the Little Red Church Rectory Fire:

“In 1877, an arsonist set fire to the Presbytery (rectory) of the Little Red Church. It burned to the ground and 150 years of church records were destroyed. The original register from 1739 to 1755 is the only book that survived the fire. Churchwardens continued to collect revenues from farm acreage and to manage the property. Over 40 years would pass before a new rectory would be built. After the fire, the Red Church pastor resided on the west bank in Taft and continued to serve his parishioners from that location.”

Clippings presented are from the Morning Star and Catholic Messenger.

Red Church Fire Press Release
Press release of the Morning Star and Catholic Messenger, June 1877.


Fr. Paret Watercolor
Front Elevation. Father Paret enjoyed gardening and breeding of animals. He wrote to his brother, “I would like for you to see this big garden and how pleasant and inviting it is. Without false modesty, I think the inhabitants of St. Charles will be jealous of it.” At that time Fr. Paret had planted 488 trees consisting of orange, pomegranate, persimmon, peach, plum, mulberry, crepe myrtle and magnolia along with althea and rose bushes. (Photo courtesy of LSU Press)


Presbytery de St. Charles Painting by Paret - Image
Red Church Presbytery rear elevation. Father J. M. Paret lived in this presbytery from December of 1848 until October 1869, which spanned the golden age of the antebellum years to the era of Reconstruction. This included the Civil War and its profound social changes. The levee was raised only five to seven feet during this time. Wood was gathered from the Mississippi River twice a year during December and March, which the residents considered a Godsend. (Photo courtesy of LSU Press)

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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