Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Cassidy Home: Site of Early Catholic Church Services in Sandusky

A room in the home of the Cassidy family at 221 Hancock Street (no longer standing) was used for Catholic Mass in Sandusky, Ohio, before Catholic churches were built in the city. 

Edward and Robert Cassidy were immigrants to the United States, having been born in Ireland. The Ohio Historic Places Dictionary states that Robert Cassidy built Holy Angels Church in Sandusky between 1841 and 1845. In the 1855 Sandusky City Directory, both Cassidy men listed their occupation as mason. Edward Cassidy and his wife Bridget had a total of twelve children. An early plat map from the Erie County Auditor shows the exact location of the Edward Cassidy home, though by the time of this map’s publication, it may have been Edward Cassidy, the son of Edward and Bridget Cassidy who resided here. The house sat on the west side on Hancock Street between Market Street and Washington Street, in Sandusky’s Second Ward.

It is believed that this is the room in which the early Catholic church services were held when they met at the Cassidy home.

Ernst Niebergall this picture of a dresser in the Cassidy home in the 1920s, though its use as an altar for church services took place in the 1840s.

When Edward Cassidy died in 1893, a front page article of the Sandusky Register stated that he had been a “city father.” Edward and Robert Cassidy built many of the stone buildings in early Sandusky, including the first jail, the U.S. Customs House, and the shops of the Mad River Railroad and the Sandusky, Mansfield & Newark Railroad. Over fifty individuals with the surname Cassidy are buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky. 

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