Filed Under Anaconda

St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church

Goosetown Historic District

Anaconda architect W. W. Hyslop designed St. Peter’s Austrian Roman Catholic Church, constructed in 1898. Its contrasting colors, pointed arches, side buttresses, tall pointed steeple, ornate terra cotta panels, and rose window reflect the High Victorian Gothic style. Built as an alternative to the Irish-dominated St. Paul’s Church, St. Peter’s primarily served Anaconda’s Croatian, Slovenian, and Montenegrin community. For Slavic smelter workers and their families, whose home countries were then part of the Austrian empire, the church helped ease the transition to America. Father John Pirnat, himself from Slovenia, was instrumental in convincing the diocese to construct St. Peter’s. He served as the church’s pastor for over fifty years, raising the funds for the 1902 rear addition as well as for many other Anaconda Catholic institutions. Father Pirnat often preached in Serbo-Croatian, performed traditional Slavic funeral and wedding services, and led the church in celebrating such ethnic holidays as Mesopust (a pre-Lenten carnival). In so doing, he made St. Peter’s a pillar of Anaconda’s Slavic community and an important bridge between the old and new worlds.

Images

St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church, Anaconda, MT
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church, Anaconda, MT View looking southeast at church facade and rectory Source: Montana Historical Society's Explore Big website Creator: Joe Furshong Date: May 2019
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church, Anaconda, MT
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church, Anaconda, MT View looking east at central tower and entrance Source: Montana Historical Society's Explore Big website Creator: Joe Furshong Date: May 2019
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church Detail view of central tower Source: Montana Historical Society's Explore Big website Creator: Joe Furshong Date: May 2019
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church View looking north at south side elevation Source: Montana Historical Society's Explore Big website Creator: Joe Furshong Date: May 2019
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church
St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church Detail view of central tower and facade decoration Source: Montana Historical Society's Explore Big website Creator: Joe Furshong Date: May 2019

Location

714 Alder Street, Anaconda, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “St. Peter's Austrian Roman Catholic Church,” Historic Montana, accessed July 13, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/318.