A new purpose for an old church

Church becomes museum

DOUGHERTY, Iowa – After being closed down in 2012 by the archdiocese of Dubuque, a small town church is getting a new life and purpose in a community thanks to the new owners.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is now the property of a non-profit corporation formed by residents in Dougherty.

The St. Patrick’s corporation was founded after hearing the fate of the building and all of its history that might be lost.

Chairman of the corporation, Dennis Campbell says that saving the church from being demolished is a productive way of reviving their community and teaching people about the history of the area.

“Our goal is to keep the buildings in their present condition,” Campbell said, “because, this is so beautiful and our other choice was to let it fall down, or demolish it, and we couldn’t do that.”

Attached to the church is a catholic school that was also closed down just a few years ago.

Many of the classrooms have been transformed into museum exhibits showcasing different agricultural and city developments that have happened over the years.

Campbell says that they’re looking to expand their collection of historical artifacts and are encouraging people to bring in their own collectibles for displays.

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