In 1849, downtown Vicksburg was remodeled with the constructing of St. Paul Catholic Church. The church was one of many first within the state to be constructed of brick. The steeple, full with a bell, allowed the church to be seen from a number of streets away.
Because the church’s congregation multiplied, the church constructing grew finer with element. It was quickly full with statues and stained glass home windows.
Town was in a position to get pleasure from this Gothic Revival type church for greater than 100 years. In December of 1953, a twister hit Vicksburg, destroying many downtown buildings. A pre-decorated St. Paul Catholic Church was affected traumatically, and the constructing was finally demolished.
By 1957, a brand new church had been constructed — the one which stands immediately. This one didn’t have the identical Gothic Revival look, nevertheless it has a tower that stands 100 ft tall.
On the high is a bell tower and, above that, a limestone ball made by the Woolery Stone Mill in Bloomington, Ind.
The final time anybody went to the highest of the tower was when parishioner Conrad Rabalais redid the mechanical system for the bells in 2014.
Earlier than that, they have been having bother with pigeons entering into the tower. The display screen constructed to keep away from this downside was not sufficient, so Wayne McMaster positioned a faux snake and a faux owl to scare them away.
“He did it as a result of it’s open-air up there. There are screens to maintain birds out, however generally birds will nonetheless get in,” Rabalais stated. “He put the owl and the faux snake up there to attempt to deter pigeons from roosting up there.”
McMaster is a long-time member of the church. Over time, he has been answerable for taking good care of the bells and changing the organ.
Rabalais in contrast the faux snake and owl to a scarecrow positioned in a subject.
“It’s like placing a scarecrow in a cornfield. It most likely scares away some birds,” he stated.
The bells used immediately are the identical ones that have been put in within the Fifties. Solely the expertise of the management system has modified. Because of devoted parishioners of St. Paul — and the assistance of a few convincing decoys — the bell tower will stay unhurt.