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St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church - Waterloo
The “Island Church”
Church located in area known as The Island, intersection of Blue Joint and Island Church Roads, town of Waterloo
32-page history available upon contacting the society
Built in 1863, St. Wendeslaus Church served families who came chiefly from Bohemia and Germany. This little church, significant in Wisconsin's architectural heritage, closed in 1891. It is still opens for special masses. The plaque is dated 1970. An emblem in the upper left corner indicates that the church is a Wisconsin Registered Landmark.
When this part of the country was hardly more than a wilderness, faithful Catholics, who lived east of the village, felt the need for a church and with the crude instruments they had, set about to build with logs from the woods nearby, the edifice which today still stands as a silent and forceful symbol of the faith that motivates the men and women who settled east of Waterloo 75 years ago.
It is called the "Island Church" and it is located on the "island" several miles east of the village. Although no regular services have been held in the church for 30 years, everything inside remains just as it was when the last mass was read. The altar still stands with its candle sticks and other religious articles. On the walls, the pictures depicting the stations of the cross still hang just as they did when the church was in use. The pews also remain. The windows were boarded.
When the church was built, priests from Watertown and later Waterloo read mass every so often. On the Sundays when no mass was read, the parishioners would gather in the church to hear some member of the congregation read passages from the scripture and conduct prayers.
Some years after the church was built, the members of the congregation built a school in order that their children might be instructed in the elements of their religion. Each summer for many years, nuns would spend a number of weeks during the summer conducting classes in religion. The school building has been torn down.
The building is in a
beautiful rural area, located on
[Derived from the Waterloo Courier, 11 22 1934]
Held at Island Church
09 24 2003
St. Wenceslaus Day will be observed at St. Wenceslaus Church, also known as the Island Church, located in the town of Waterloo.
A special service will mark the rededication of the recently renovated church building, which is observing its 140th anniversary this year.
St. Wenceslaus Church is registered on the National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin and in the State Registered Landmarks. The church building was constructed in 1863 by a new congregation of Catholic families in the area. The building served families until 1891 when members registered at St. John's Catholic Church in Waterloo.
The 32x34-foot Island mission church has a log foundation. It is very eastern in style and resembles a primitive Slavic building. The interior is very plain with lime plaster over the log walls. Original unpainted pine pews, handmade by an early parishioner, are still in place.
A small iron stove with extended pipes, stands in the aisle where it stood more than 100 years ago. The choir loft is a platform raised about three feet from the floor.
The church, located in the area known as The Island at the intersection of Blue Joint and Island Church Roads, recently underwent an extensive two-year renovation to repair and improve the building's foundation.
The project included a new foundation, floor, entry way and repainting and cleaning of the inside. Future plans include repainting the outside and landscape work.
Dave Tillotson, secretary of the Island Church Foundation Inc., which owns and maintains the historic structure, said foundation work included a cement foundation and crawl space under the church to protect the building from moisture damage. The church floor was originally placed directly on a dirt foundation. Cement block on the outside has been covered with a facing of rock.
Some of the logs were replaced and plaster cracks were patched on the inside. The entry way has a viewing spot in the wall where the original logs can be seen.
Much of the work on the renovation project was completed by volunteers. Log work was done by Lyle Lidholm of Watertown, an expert in reconstructing log buildings.
Tillotson said the Island Church Foundation will likely need to have a fund-raiser in the future for a new roof and work in the steeple.
150th Anniversary of Island Church
07 14 2013
YouTube video clip, DJCGS
St. Wenceslaus Church Cemetery
Location: Section 14, Waterloo Township, Jct. Island Church Rd. & Blue Joint Rd. The church is located three miles southeast of Waterloo. Also known as the Island Church.
The church has 138 years of history. It was erected by German-Bohemian immigrants from the Landskroun (Landskron) region of present-day Czechoslovakia, northeast of Prague. The church was constructed in 1863 of hand-hewn logs, covered in board and batten, and featured a simple bell tower. The last church service was in 1891.
This time capsule of early Wisconsin was restored by volunteers from the Island Church Foundation. Christened St. Wenceslaus Church, it was known even then as the Island Church because it stands on a hill overlooking marshland.
HABERMAN Frank - 1829 -
Anna - w/o Frank - 1847 - 1935 (nee Stangler)
STANGLER Frank - d. Feb.13, 1895 77 y
FIEDLER Johann -
Joseph - 1872 - 1959
MENZ Johanna - Mar. 1, 1849 - Dec. 24, 1922
JANISCH Emilie - 1868 - 1915
Josepha - Mother - 1824 - 1917
SPRINGER Mary - w/o Hubert - May 4, 1855 - Jan. 4, 1901
Hubert - Nov. 3, 1853 - Nov. 7, 1908
BLASCHKA Elvina - d. Jan. 5, 1974 (nee Blaska)
Benjamin F. - Jan. 13, 1901 - Mar. 26, 1978
SPRINGER Ida - Aug. 9, 1879 - Mar. 19, 1890
ARNOLD Anna - w/o Joseph - Feb. 19, 1855 - Oct. 24, 1905
Joseph - Nov. 16, 1854 - Nov. 16, 1932
VAITH Emielie - Feb. 22, 1844 - Mar. 10, 1876
SKALITZKY Rosa - Mar. 31, 1833 - Jan. 3, 1901
SPRINGER Joseph - d. Apr. 17, 1886 87 y
Anna - w/o Joseph - d. Jan. 16, 1888 68 y
VEITH Frank - father -1849 - 1925
Anna - w/o Joseph - d. Sep.12, 1891 73 y 3 m 4 d
GREGOR Joseph - (inscr. Buried)
Anna - Aug. 19-1828 - Jun. 23, 1912
BLASCHKA Wenzel - b. 1822 in Tschenovir, Bohemia - d. Apr. 5, 1866
Mari Anna - w/o of Wenzel - b. 1821 in Dreihof, Bohemia
JANISCH Ignatz - d.
TOMSCHE Barbara -
DAUBRAWA Victoria - Sep. 27-1820 - Oct. 17, 1881
Theresia - Dec. 14, 1862 - Feb. 3, 1883
Amalia - 7 y
Agatha - 6 y
Martha - 3 y
FIEBIGER T.? - M.? Adeus - illegible
KLECKER Josephine - w/o John Sr. - d. Mar. 9, 1865 43 y
TOMSCHE Franz - d. Feb. 8, 1865 65 y
KLECKER Ignatz - d. 1881 55 y
BARTOSCH Joseph - 1836 - 1923
Johanna - w/o Joseph - Jun. 24, 1836 - Jul. 27, 1886
Moritz - s/o Joseph & Johanna - Aug. 19, 1868 - Jun. 24, 1885
VEITH Anna - d. Sep. 25, 1861 25 y
Anna - w/o Franz - d. Jan. 21, 1894 74 y 1 m
HABERMAN Barney -
s/o Wenzel -
KLECKER Walter -
HABERMAN Emma -
H. - s/o Wenzel - May
9, 1846 -
HABERMAN Wenzel - May
13, 1819 -
Teckla - w/o Wenzel - Jan. 6, 1819 - Apr. 8, 1893
KNETTIG Anna - May 23, 2823 - Dec. 5, 1886
FISCHER John - May 16?, 1819 -
Anna - Mar., 1818 - Sep., 1887
John - Father - 1847 - 1880
FIEBIGER Anton -
Feronake - w/o Anton -
FISCHER Joseph - Jul. 26, 1870 - Jul. 24, 1878