Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church, Silver City, Idaho

Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church

Silver City, Idaho

Idaho, with mountains of precious metals and minerals, is filled with old mining towns. Among these are the ghost towns. The Queen of them all, without question, is Silver City. Sitting high in the Owyhee Mountains, Silver City is in the southwest corner of Idaho, not far from the Oregon border.

The history of the church in Silver City goes back to the days of the Idaho Territory. The church, originally named St. Andrew's, was dedicated on December 18, 1868. That building was sold in 1873 and no Catholic church existed in Silver City until 1882. On November 5, 1882, St. Andrew's was rededicated under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows with a new church building on Jordan Street. During the years between 1900 and 1925, mining in the area dwindled and Silver City gradually declined. St. Andrew's fell in to disrepair and was abandoned.

The current church building was donated in 1928 to the Catholic Diocese by the Episcopalians. The Episcopal Diocese had been approached by some Namp businessmen who wished to buy their church building (St. James Episcopal Church) and convert it into a roadhouse. To spare the church this fate, Episcopal Bishop Barnwell offered it to Bishop Edward J. Kelly of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise. The church was thus rededicated as Our Lady of Tears Catholic Church.

The beautiful church that stands today and overlooks picturesque Silver City serves as a reminder of the faith of the pioneers and is an inspiration to residents and visitors alike.

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