Iditarod Trail Shelter Cabins, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, (Moved from Fourth & Steadman), Nome, Nome Census Area, AK
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(Moved from Fourth & Steadman), Nome, AK
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS AK-5-N
Building/structure dates: 1901 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1946
Building/structure dates: 1944 subsequent work
Significance: Designed by the Seattle architect J.B. Randall, Old St. Joseph's Catholic Church was built in the Autumn of 1901 under the direction of the Rev. Fr. Aloysis Jacquet, S.J. as part of the Nome Jesuit Mission. The 40' x 61' church designed in the Gothic style originally had an 88 foot high spire (removed in 1944) topped by an 8' cross. Because of its importance as a navigational aid in the region's relatively flat tree-less tundra, the cross was illuminated by seven lightbulbs on the seaward side and three on the tundra side during the dark winter months. As a prominent landmark, the illuminated cross became known as the "White Man's Star" by the region's Eskimo population. By 1927 the Nome population became too small to support the monumental church on a full time basis and from 1927 to 1945 the church was used only on special occasions such as Christmas mass. In 1945 the building was sold to the U.S.S.R. & M. Company. The company moved the building in the winter of 1946 from its original location at 4th and Steadman to its present location for use as a warehouse. Currently the building is used by the Alaska Gold Company as a warehouse.
Randall, J. B.
Jacquet, Rev. Father Aloysis
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. SIDE AND FRONT
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