Church History

Historical Overview of the Church

Interior of St. Williams on Long Point 1890s, Raquette Lake NY
Interior of St. Williams on Long Point Church 1890s

1889

William West Durant donated land and commissioned J.C. Cady Co. of New York City to design the first Roman Catholic church in the region. Hammon & Mosher of Saratoga Springs constructed the church.

1890

On June 26, the church was dedicated in honor of St. William by Bishop Edgar P. Wadhams with Father Gallivan as the presiding Priest.

Henry Beach postcard of St. Williams on Long Point exterior
Henry Beach postcard of St. Williams on Long Point exterior

1900

The Raquette Lake Railroad was constructed on the southwest shore of the lake and commercial activities began to move to the site of the current village.

1911

The ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception Province began and Father Henry Thameling was the first Franciscan Priest.

1929

January 26, Father Henry was tragically killed when his car fell through an ice hole near Camp Echo.

1930-31

The church underwent extensive repairs and improvements.

1932

Electricity was brought to Long Point using the Friars’ boat “Omnicron” to lay the underwater cable.

1937

Father Tom Grassman and Father Daniel Lutz urged the community to build a new church in the village.

1938

St. Williams Rectory in the village was destroyed by fire with all parish records being destroyed.

1939

New St. Williams in the village was built and dedicated. The main contributors were John Callahan, Mrs. Francis Garvan, and J.P. Morgan.

1940

August 18, St. Williams on Long Point celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a Solemn Mass and became a summer retreat for the friars and visiting priests. A bunk house was added.

1949

A boat house was constructed.

1986

June 6, A tornado touched down on Long Point causing a large hemlock to destroy the front porch.

1988

The covered deck was added to the Main House

1990

The Centennial Celebration Mass was held in the village church with a chicken BBQ and festivities continuing at St. Williams on Long Point.

1993

Through the work of Brother Ed Falsey and loyal friends, St. Williams of Long Point, Inc. was formed to take ownership and stewardship of the church and grounds with the mission to preserve and utilize the property for the communities benefit. The traditional Chicken BBQ was reinstituted, public programs offered and the first newsletter sent to interested supporters.

1994

John Van Iderstien donated a work plan to stabilize the foundation and reset the 36 piers. Thrusday Evenings on the Lake Series was initiated. Helen Roe became the Innkeeper.

1996

The foundation and building stabilization project was completed.

2000

Exterior restoration continued with new cedars shingles on the church. Craig and Don Lamphear did the work.

2003

Tuesday Afternoon book club discussions were initiated. The silent auction was also added to the Chicken BBQ festivities.

2005

St. Williams on Long Point was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

church interior night
Church interior at night

2010

The cedar shingles were conditioned with a special oil.

An historic church and house rental facility.