Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Historic District

Cedron Road, Jamestown, Missouri


Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Historic District

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Historic District, at the intersection of Cedron Road and Zey Lane in the rural settlement of Cedron, Moniteau County, Missouri, is locally significant under National Register Criterion C in the area of Architecture. Father Ferdinand Helias, known as the -Apostle of Central Missouri,- founded the congregation in 1838. In its formative years, members met at nearby farms but soon constructed a small log church building on the current church property. By the 1860s the congregation was overflowing the original building and constructed a new brick gable-end church in 1867-1872. In 1903 architect O.E. Sprouce designed front and rear additions, transforming the church's appearance. The church is a significant Moniteau County example of the center-steeple church type as described in the -Rural Church Architecture in Missouri, c. 1819 to c. 1945- Multiple Property Documentation Form. State-wide the center-steeple type is the second-most common rural church, though its popularity varied by county and its use can be loosely linked to the culture and denomination of the founding congregation. The center-steeple church type was particularly popular among rural Catholic congregations, so its adoption by Assumption Church is not surprising. 1 As the Catholic population of rural Moniteau County was historically small, examples of the church type in the county are uncommon-with only two (both Catholic) identified in the survey sampling used for this nomination. The significance of the Assumption church is enhanced by the existence of auxiliary buildings and sites. Rural churches, especially rural Catholic churches, were often centers of small complexes that included schools, cemeteries, outhouses, and rectories. As parishes disbanded or populations changed, auxiliary structures were often lost. Assumption, however, retains it associated resources including a contributing cemetery (est. 1841}, one-room school (c. 1900), rectory (1908), and privy (c. 1900). These are important features of historic rural church complexes, and resources that are increasingly rare in rural parts of the state. The period of significance for the district is 1867 to 1914, the date of initial construction of the church through the period when the last of the stained glass windows were installed. The period represents the evolution of the church into a center steeple church type and the development of its significant associated resources. The property meets the requirements of listing under Criterion Consideration A as the property derives primary significance from its architectural design rather that historic religious use.

Posted to the NRHP 2-5-2014


19th Century (37,971)
Built 1867 (378)
Built during 1860s (3,786)
Cemetery (1,146)
Church (5,733)
District (10,541)
In operation (2,346)
Missouri (4,899)
Moniteau County, Missouri (11)

Update Log 

  • August 20, 2014: Added by Dave King