Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church was built in 1853-54 to accommodate the ever growing German community. By 1900 there were over 1000 families attending services making St. Martin one of the largest parishes in Kentucky. Services were conducted in German up until World War I. As the neighborhood industrialized and suburban flight began, the congregation began to diminish. By the mid-1970’s the church consisted of about 125 people.
In 1977 Father Vernon Robertson came to St. Martin. He started with a choir and inspired liturgies and as the congregation grew, a campaign to restore the church and its pipe organ did too. The church is known for its beautiful statuary and stained glass windows as well as housing the relics of two saints, Magnus and Bonosa. Two saints live there! Today there are over 2500 parishioners involved with the church.
We’d like to point out, as a little note here, photography was invented more or less around 1840 in Europe. We think the fact that this is a photo from 1870ish, in Louisville, is quite special. Oh to find more images from this era–is our biggest dream!