Past Treasure of the Month – March 2018

Cornerstone from St. Paul
German Presbyterian Church
Fragment of the cornerstone from the 1886 St. Paul German Presbyterian Church.Fragment of the cornerstone from the 1886 St. Paul German Presbyterian Church.

During the month of March, Rosenberg Library exhibited a fragment of the cornerstone from the 1886 St. Paul German Presbyterian Church in Galveston. The cornerstone was donated to the Library by Lise Darst in 1988.

St. Paul German Presbyterian Church was organized by Reverend Henry P. Young in 1857. A permanent church building was erected at 1613 Ball Street in 1871. This structure was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1885 which decimated a large part of Galveston’s East End. In 1886, a new church was built on the same site. Construction costs for the two-story, slate-roofed building and bell tower totaled $4,500

Just fourteen years later, this structure was also badly damaged — this time by the devastating 1900 Hurricane. The roof was torn off, the building was knocked off its foundation, and the tower had to be removed. Most of the windows were broken. After Reverend Young’s death in 1901, no regular church services were held, and the building sat vacant. The congregation eventually merged with the nearby Fourth Presbyterian Church at 2120 Avenue G (Winnie). In 1908, St. Paul German Presbyterian Church was torn down and a residence — which still stands — was built in its place.