Monday, February 10, 2014

St. Margaret Queen of Scotland Church, Albany, Louisiana, 1910

Blogger's Note:  After hearing stories from farming families who had tended the land for generations, Albany Woodworks CEO Richard Woods learned that our Antique Heart Pine and Cypress flooring and millwork, built in the traditional way, has deep roots.  Fantastic, adventure-filled stories about the area's lumber-rich past piqued his interest.  It wasn't until finding photographs and first-hand accounts of the time that stories of the larger-than-life cypress barons who carved the lumber industry from their native forests; became, no longer legend, but fact.  Richard has gotten a sense of the area, after living and running a sawmill on the same rich 40 acre plot of land for over 37 years, near the Town of Albany, Louisiana.  And of the story; Hungarian farmers who traveled from their homeland at the height of the Ellis Island immigration of the 1890s to have better opportunity in America, and more specifically, Árpádhon, the cultural home, and Hungarian settlement from which sprang the town of Albany, Louisiana - our namesake.

From the Árpádhon Hungarian Settlement Cultural Association website:



"Construction began in 1910 and reached a stage that year that allowed it to be used for religious services. Much of the lumber used in the church was donated by Brackenridge Lumber Company, located at the present Interstate 12 Albany-Springfield interchange, and by Thomas Lumber Company from Springfield.

The church was used partially incomplete for some time as many parishioners recall attending mass and being able to see the bright Louisiana sky overhead. Completion was slow since all labor was donated.


Farmers tended to their strawberry fields and helped in church construction on weekends when there was no farm work. Construction was completed in May 1912 and the solemn blessing took place September 8, 1912.


(Above) The church in Albany, Louisiana shares its name with St Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, the oldest building in Edinburgh.

The church was dedicated to St. Margaret Queen of Scotland who was born in Hungary. St. Margaret was well known for her holiness, feeding the poor and her great works of mercy. She was a great blessing to the people.


Since there was no resident priest, a priest came by horseback or by a horse-drawn buggy from Gessen, now known as Rosaryville, located on Highway 22, east of Springfield about 5 miles away. Archbishop Blenk from the Archdiocese of New Orleans approved the official name of St. Margaret Queen of Scotland."