Old St. Raymond's ChurchEdit profile
Old St. Raymond's Church is a historic church in Dublin, California. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 2006.
The oldest extant Catholic church in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, it was built in 1859 and dedicated in 1860. The structure was erected on the northeast corner of 4 acres (0.016 km2) of land donated by Michael Murray and Jeremiah Fallon that also served as the site of the historic Old Murray Schoolhouse and Dublin Pioneer Cemetery. Jeremiah donated $30 in cash toward the church's construction costs.
The church features simple Gothic Revival design and a New England-style clapboard white exterior along with nicked wooden benches and wide-plank redwood floors. The wood for the chapel came from the hills around Oakland; the trees were brought over by oxen to be milled in Dublin. It was constructed by the Murray and Fallon families, Irish immigrants from Elphin, County Roscommon who left before the Great Famine and had lived in New York City before joining some of the early wagon trains to the west, including the Donner Party. But both families parted with the Donner Party at Fort Bridger. During construction of the church, pioneer, Tom Donlon, fell to his death on September 6, 1859 and became the first formal burial in the nearby Dublin Pioneer Cemetery.
Originally a mission church, the local residents were unable to afford a full-time priest so a member of the Oakland clergy would ride to St. Raymond's once a month by mule to offer Mass. Later the church came under St. Leander's Church in San Leandro, then St. Michael's in Livermore and finally, in 1961 it came within the jurisdiction of St. Augustine's in Pleasanton. It held its first wedding in 1865 between Ellen Fallon (daughter of Jeremiah) and William Tehan.. The belfry was first added in 1880. In 1966, the church moved to a new, much larger location (also named St. Raymond's Church) and the Oakland Diocese gave the old church to Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society (ALVHS) to be preserved and restored. ALVHS put the building to many uses, then sold the church to the City of Dublin in 1993. The city was also able to acquire the adjacent Old Murray Schoolhouse and the Dublin Pioneer Cemetery to set up an area deemed the Dublin Heritage Center. The City of Dublin rents the building out for community and private use.
The first recorded renovation of Old St. Raymond's Church was 1922, and the most recent soon after the city took possession of the structure. The church's general appearance has remained unchanged since its construction in 1859. Through private donations, a new bell tower was constructed; in 1967 the church's restoration was complete.