Thursday, October 04, 2018

Former Residence of the Sisters of Notre Dame

From about 1909 to the early 2000s, this building in the 500 block of Decatur Street served as the residence for the Sisters of Notre Dame, who were associated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church and School in Sandusky. The building was originally constructed as a school in 1887, and housed the female parochial students, while male pupils attended school in a building on Jefferson Street. The girls’ school was constructed of limestone. Above the main entrance was a tower, and the windows featured decorative lintels. When the new St.Mary’s School opened in 1909, the girls’ school was converted to a residence for the Sisters of Notre Dame.  Below is an image of the residence in 1930. The picture appeared in a history of St. Mary’s Church that covers the years 1855 to 1930.

During the Influenza Epidemic of 1918, when the Health Department closed all schools in Sandusky, the Sisters of Notre Dame “gladly and without charge” offered their services to suffering humanity. 

In the 1940s, a wing was added to the southern portion of the convent. Included in the new addition were a reception room, office, pantry and kitchen on the first floor; while a chapel, typing room, linen storage, and bedrooms were located on the second floor. In 1948, twenty sisters who taught school at St. Mary’s were residents of the convent, along with a housekeeper. Though the former residence of the Sisters of Notre Dame no longer stands, these pictures take us back in time to the traditions of some of our grandparents and great grandparents who were of the Catholic faith.

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