West End: Religious and Social Life

Tour curated by: Special thanks to local historians Gary Brueggemann, Jim Sazevich, and Tom Schroeder, local author Jerry Rothstein, and the West End neighborhood volunteers for their time and support. Additional thanks to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Historic Irvine Park Association for the use of their research.

Each component of the arriving populations had its particular religious needs. Religious life in Saint Paul from its earliest days was fertile, with Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Jewish, African Methodist Episcopal and others established as soon as enough persons of the same religion gathered.

In 1872, the Saint Stanislav Kostka Church was established, serving both Polish and Czech parishioners but with services in Czech. The Poles established Saint Adalbert’s Church. In 1886, the Cyril Congregational Church was formed, which conducted its services in Czech until 1945. Saint Francis de Sales church and school for the German Catholic community started in 1884. Saint James’ Irish congregation opened its church in 1884, but the school building was delayed until 1913. The Italian Catholic community worshiped at Holy Redeemer, located in downtown Saint Paul.

Saloons in the West End formed a complex network of social support “agencies.” Local bars served as places to leave messages, sources of employment information, and social networking sites. New arrivals would go to their country’s saloons to make connections and find family.

Locations for Tour

The Saint Stanislav Kostka Church was established in 1872, serving both Polish and Czech parishioners but with services in Czech.

Saloons in the West End formed a complex network of social support “agencies.” Local bars served as places to leave messages, sources of employment information, and social networking sites.