St Margaret Church

St Margaret 

672 Hale St 
Beverly, MA 01915

The history of St. Margaret's Parish coincides with the expansion of the Beverly Farms-Pride's Crossing section of Beverly into a summer residence for wealthy Bostonians and many from other sections of the country.  In addition, the steady emigration from Ireland and Italy to Boston of those seeking a better opportunity in America, and who found employment with the owners of these homes, greatly increased the Catholic population of the area, particularly during the summer season.

The early Catholic settlers of Beverly and Beverly Farms were obliged to travel to Salem each Sunday to attend Mass.  In 1870 St. Mary Star of the Sea Church was founded to accommodate all the Catholics of Beverly, Beverly Farms and Manchester.  In 1885, Father William H. Ryan became Pastor of this new parish.  However, "St. Mary Star of the Sea growing so rapidly and as there were a large number of communicants at Beverly Farms, it was deemed advisable by Rev. W.H.Ryan the Pastor of the parish, to erect a house of worship at Beverly Farms..."

Consequently, in October, 1886, Lawrence Watson, a Beverly Farms contractor, donated a lot of land located on Hale Street, equidisant from the Centers of Beverly Farms and Pride's Crossing for the site of the Catholic Church.  Mr. Joseph Iasigi, the Turkish Consul, a summer resident, sugged that the church be modeled after St. Sylvia Church in Bar Harbor Maine, and Mr. William R. Emerson, a well-known Boston architect, who designed the Bar Harbor Church, was engaged to draw up the plans. 

the sum of $4,200 was raised through donations and pledges; the summer resident were very generous.  The entire cost was estimated to be $10,000.  Contracts for the construction were given to: Lawrence J. Watson, stone work; John McLaren, East Boston, carpentry; C.J. Toomey, Danvers, plastering.  Father Ryan chose his mother's name and thus the church became St. Margaret.  Work was begun at once and proceeded according to schedule and on sunday, July 10th, 1887, although not entirely completed, the first Mass was celebrated.



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