St Aloysius Church & Cemetery
A brief history of St. Aloysius Parish from "A Tremendous Champion of Everything Catholic: Reflections on the Life of Monsignor Albert J. Schmitt" by Joyce Wilson (Chicago Spectrum Press, Louisville, Ky, 1998), pp. 20-21:
- Mission priests from the Cathedral of Louisville shepherded the local congregation until 1863. At that time ground was purchased for a small cemetery which became known as Catholic Hill ... After designating a portion of the land for the cemetery, a small gabled church was built on the grounds and dedicated to St. Aloysius (1865). The congregation was served as a mission by priests from Shelbyville and from the Cathedral of Louisville. It became an official parish in 1871 (editor's note: the year after Pewee Valley was officially incorporated). The parish that was once a mission now began to provide missionary services to others -- in Oldham, Henry, Trimble and parts of Jefferson counties.
- In 1904, additional ground was purchased at a more convenient location on Mt. Mercy Drive (editor's note: then Railroad Avenue) where an interurban line ran from LaGrange to Louisville. It wasn't until 1911 that construction started on a rectory. June of 1913, a foundation for a new church was laid out by Andrew Singer and dedicated by The Rt. Rev. Bishop O'Donaghue. The stone church was blessed and opened its doors, June 21, 1914 with the Rt. Reverend Bishop O'Donaghue again presiding at the dedication.
- It was believed that the original church on Rollington Road had been torn down or burned, however in research for the 125th anniversary of St. Aloysius, it was learned that the little church, the first St. Al's, was purchased and moved across Rollington Road where it served as a private residence. The former rectory from the original church grounds was also sold and used as a private residence on Central Avenue. (Editor's note: this building may have actually been the St. Aloysius Hall, which was used for various church functions and fundraisers in the 1890s, before the church decided to move to Railroad Avenue/Mt. Mercy Drive)
- In late summer of 1926, The Reverend Raymond Kraemer O.F.M. welcomed the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy. They moved into a beautiful house west of the church that had been deeded to the parish by Jeremiah Bacon, founder of Bacon's Department Store. (Editor's note: Jeremiah Bacon, founder of Bacon's department store died in 1889 and was buried in Cave Hill. The donor of the former Miller/Burge/Holt home was most likely Jeremiah Bacon, Jr., who died in November 1926 and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. Jeremiah, Jr. was one of Jeremiah Bacon, Sr.'s three sons who carried on Bacon's department store after their father's death. The others were John, who became the store manager, and Edwin. The Bacon brothers sold out their interest in the department store in 1903. By the time Jeremiah, Jr., died, his brothers had already passed away, Edwin in 1920 and John in 1922.) The Sisters named the building Mount Mercy, went to work and on October 3rd, of that same year opened the doors to the boarding school. In summer the facility was used as a vacation home for girls who worked in Louisville as clerks, secretaries, etc. and would otherwise have no vacation due to limited funds. (Editor's note: there is no proof of this and the author may have confused the camp with the Jennie Casseday Rest Cottage, also in Pewee Valley, which was formed for the specific purpose of providing working girls with a cheap vacation getaway). There were tennis courts, a gazebo, a swimming pool, and beautiful country scenery. (Editor's note: postcard views show a lake as well)
Kentucky Irish-American, Saturday, June 6, 1914:
St. Aloysius Church in Rollington: 1871-1913
1989 Photos from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination
Catholic Hill: Saint Aloysius Cemetery
To search for people who may be buried in the St. Aloysisus Cemetery, go to the Oldham County Graves Index compiled by the Oldham County Historical Society. St. Aloysisus Cemetery is cemetery 004 in the index.