The building which now houses the Cottage Grove Museum has had a visible presence in Cottage Grove since its construction in 1897. Its unique octagonal shape makes it easy to see, as this photo taken in 1903 from Mt. David clearly shows.
According to “Golden Was the Past,” prior to the building of the church, services were first held in railroad cars and then in the private homes of Catholic families. By 1895 there were enough members that they needed to build their own church. It served its function for just over sixty years, but by 1960 the congregation had outgrown the space. Ownership of the building was transferred to the Cottage Grove Historical Society for the museum after the a new church was constructed.
I love driving by this little octagonal building with its beautiful stained glass windows (most of which are still the originals). Last Christmas we made a special trip down there at night to see the windows aglow. As an architecture buff, it is the architectural features that catch my eye when I visit, but lots of Cottage Grove History is contained within these walls as well.
In 1997, on its centennial birthday, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more details about its history and construction go to here: http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=43612
The Cottage Grove Museum is located on the corner of H and Birch Streets in Cottage Grove.