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St. John the Baptist Church SavageSt. John the Baptist 125th Anniversary is remembered in the Savage Pacer's Remember When Series.
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St. John the Baptist Cemetery, ByrnesvilleToday this is known as the OLD section of the cemetery, but this pre-1902 photo shows the original section where pioneers including William Byrne are buried.

This hillside cemetery is maintained on a regular basis and is in good shape. The cemetery is located in the western section of the city of Burnsville, near the eastern edge of the city of Savage, in Scott county. This cemetery is the former Mount Calvary Cemetery.The burial rows in this cemetery do not line up well and it appears that the rows may have been angled slightly to compensate for the cemeteries location on the side of a large hill. This is more pronounced in the older northern half of this cemetery. Within the older northern section of this cemetery there were several old slab style monuments that had been broken off and were lying flat at ground level. This appeared to have occurred some time ago, as many of these loose monuments have sunken into the sod and have grass growing out of the cracks. In the 1910 "History of Dakota and Goodhue Counties, Minnesota", by Editor-In-Chief Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, he wrote: ‘... Mount Calvary Cemetery, located in section 15, was first consecrated to its use in 1859. It is a beautiful shady spot of two and one-half acres, owned and controlled by the St. John’s Church.’ (page 438)The Dakota county cemetery compilation lists this cemetery as: St. John the Baptist of Byrnsville Cemetery (formerly Mount Calvary), established 1859. 2 1/2 acres. Section 15, NE 1/4 of SE 1/4, Township 115, Range 21. Judicial Road between County Road 34 and Burnsville Parkway.This cemeteries burial monuments were transcribed during the spring of 2000.
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Interior of St John the Baptist of ByrnesvilleThis was the third church, which burnt in 1902. The parish was moved to Hamilton/Savage, according to legend, because the town had a fire department.
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St. John the Baptist Rectory ByrnesvilleAfter the 1902 fire, this rectory was moved to the site of the new church in Hamilton/Savage.
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April 13, 1883 St. John the Baptist burnsFire (arson) destroys the catholic church in Burnsville. Ironically the replacement church, built in Burnsville, would also burn in 1902 with the parish moved to Hamilton/Savage.
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St. John the Baptist fire 1883On the morning of the 13th (April 1883) the Catholic Church of Burnsville was burned to the ground....This was the second church, the first a cabin.... this would be replaced by the Church we have photos of, that burnt in 1902, replaced by the brick church in Savage.
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St. John the Baptist Catholic Church when in Burnsville Third churchSt. John the Baptist Catholic Church was chartered in October of 1854 as the 13th Catholic congregation in the Diocese of St. Paul. The first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Augustine Ravoux, a missionary priest, in 1853 in the home of William Byrne.

That year, a log structure was built and a cemetery consecrated on land donated by the Byrne family. This parcel of land was in Burnsville, located near Judicial Road. In 1866, a frame structure was built and a new bell that is still used today weighing 1,800 pounds was installed in the tower. Bishop Grace dedicated the church in October 1866. On April 13, 1883, the frame structure burned to the ground.

IN PHOTO -- Another frame structure was built and was dedicated by Archbishop John Ireland in 1885. On Candlemas, 1902, a wood burning stove caused a fire and this church, too, burned to the ground. The Archbishop decreed another church would be built for the congregation of St. John the Baptist, but this time, the building would be located in the neighboring town of Hamilton (now called Savage) which among other amenities boasted an organized fire department.

The brick church was built at the cost of $11,497 and its cornerstone was laid on Oct. 5, 1902. The bell from the previous frame structures was recast and installed in the steeple of the new church. Fr. John A. Kane served as pastor until 1931.

On July 5, 1955, parishioners celebrated the church's 100th anniversary. Fr. Albert Ziskovsky, the pastor at the anniversary, had a special dream to build a parish school. By the time he left St. John's, he had raised $32,000. A new pastor made the dream a reality and on June 24, 1959, St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Convent were dedicated.

In the following decades, the congregation continued to grow and plans were made to replace the 1902 church. In 1984, the 1902 church was torn down and the structure in which St. John's parishioners worship today was built in its place. The cornerstone from the 1902 church, now installed near the church 125th Street entrance, is a reminder of the parish's tradition.

Additions to the school and church in 1965, 1994 and 2000 created the present St. John campus which serves more than 2,100 families, representing more than 6,600 individuals. In 2009, the parish celebrated the 25th anniversary of the new church, the 50th anniversary of the school and the 20th anniversary of the preschool.
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St. John the Baptist Catholic Church when in Burnsville (Third Church)St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was chartered in October of 1854 as the 13th Catholic congregation in the Diocese of St. Paul. The first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Augustine Ravoux, a missionary priest, in 1853 in the home of William Byrne.

That year, a log structure was built and a cemetery consecrated on land donated by the Byrne family. This parcel of land was in Burnsville, located near Judicial Road. In 1866, a frame structure was built and a new bell that is still used today weighing 1,800 pounds was installed in the tower. Bishop Grace dedicated the church in October 1866. On April 13, 1883, the frame structure burned to the ground.

THIS PHOTO Another frame structure was built and was dedicated by Archbishop John Ireland in 1885. On Candlemas, 1902, a wood burning stove caused a fire and this church, too, burned to the ground. The Archbishop decreed another church would be built for the congregation of St. John the Baptist, but this time, the building would be located in the neighboring town of Hamilton (now called Savage) which among other amenities boasted an organized fire department.

The brick church was built at the cost of $11,497 and its cornerstone was laid on Oct. 5, 1902. The bell from the previous frame structures was recast and installed in the steeple of the new church. Fr. John A. Kane served as pastor until 1931.

On July 5, 1955, parishioners celebrated the church's 100th anniversary. Fr. Albert Ziskovsky, the pastor at the anniversary, had a special dream to build a parish school. By the time he left St. John's, he had raised $32,000. A new pastor made the dream a reality and on June 24, 1959, St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Convent were dedicated.

In the following decades, the congregation continued to grow and plans were made to replace the 1902 church. In 1984, the 1902 church was torn down and the structure in which St. John's parishioners worship today was built in its place. The cornerstone from the 1902 church, now installed near the church 125th Street entrance, is a reminder of the parish's tradition.

Additions to the school and church in 1965, 1994 and 2000 created the present St. John campus which serves more than 2,100 families, representing more than 6,600 individuals. In 2009, the parish celebrated the 25th anniversary of the new church, the 50th anniversary of the school and the 20th anniversary of the preschool.
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Fr. Anatole OsterFourth pastor of St. John the Baptist, then in Burnsville - 1867 - 1878.
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1902 church faces wrecking ball 1984St. John's church, Savage landmark since 1902 faces wrecking ball. In a few weeks the church will be torn down to make way for a new building that can house the growing Savage, Burnsville parish. The 82 year old church is the fourth home for the parish which was established as St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of Byrnesville in the 1850s. The member first met in a log cabin in 1854. In 1866 parishioners built a frame church which burnt in 1883. The next church was dedicated in 1885 and burnt in 1902. The archbishop ordered parishioners to build the next church in Hamilton (now Savage), which had a fire and police department. Cost $11,497.
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Berrisford/Garvey Store Burnsville SavageBuilt as the Berrisford Store in Burnsville, after St. John the Baptist Church burnt in 1902 and was rebuilt in "Hamilton" Savage, the Berrisford Store was moved into town. At the time of this photo it is the Garvey Store.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageSt. John the Baptist 1916 First Communion Class, downtown Savage. (No identification).
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1926 St John the Baptist financial statementPhoto copy of the original 1926 financial statement for St. John the Baptist, Savage.
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First Communion of Mary Josephine Kelleher and Gene Kearney 1928St. John the Baptist Savage first communion photo of Mary Josephine Kelleher and Gene Kearney.
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St, John the Baptist Catholic Church SavageEarly photo of St. Johns after being rebuilt in Savage. Note the rectory, moved from Burnsville in background. Until 1965 St. John the Baptist in Savage was the parish for most of Burnsville, until the creation of Mary Mother of the Church.
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1947 Side view of St. John the BaptistIn this photo the original windows above the front door and steps are shown. Around 1958 the round windows would be replaced by a fan and in the 1970s a new entry built into the church.
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Interior of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, SavageThis 1947 wedding of Mark Ryan and Margaret Connelly shows the interior walls and altar area prior to the 1950s redecorating. Note the statues are on the "wall".
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Fr. VasekPastor of St. John the Baptist, Savage.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageInterior of St. John the Baptist Church, circa 1950s.
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1951 Wedding at St. John the Baptist, SavageThis photo shows the interior of the church in the 1950s.
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St. John the Baptist Catholic Church SavageUntil 1965 St. John the Baptist in Savage was the parish for most of Burnsville, until the creation of Mary Mother of the Church. Exterior of the church (1902 - 1984) before the removal of the round stain glass windows above the door. Approximate year 1953.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageInterior of St. John the Baptist 1970s, with new altars but original statues.
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1984 a New St. John the Baptist Church being builtHaving outgrown the 1902 church work began on a new worship space in 1984.
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1984 a new St. John the Baptist Catholic Church being builtHaving outgrown the 1902 church, the parish began a new worship space.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageA 1984 photo of St. John the Baptist, built in 1902, before being torn down for a new church.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageThis statue in the 1902 - 1984 Church was not moved to the new Church went built.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageThe statue of name-sake John the Baptist shown in the 1902 - 1984 church, is now in the current church.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageA 1984 photo of St. John the Baptist, built in 1902, before being torn down for a new church.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageA 1984 photo of St. John the Baptist, built in 1902, before being torn down for a new church.
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St. John the Baptist Church SavageThe 125th Anniversary of St. John the Baptist.
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