St. Joseph 1923 Fire and Restoration


In late 2010 we had some very high winds in Burlington. We noticed that the cross on top of the steeple was leaning. Later it was leaning even more and the cross and rooster was removed for safety reasons.

In the Spring of 2011 the steeple was checked and it was determined that due to much rotted wood, it had to be removed. It was removed by Demag riggers and it was noted that there had been a fire inside the steeple many years ago, but no one knew when it happened.

I contacted David Blow, a Burlington historian and past archivist at the Diocese Brady Center Archives on North Ave. He searched his records and supplied me with 2 dates when the Free Press had articles on a fire at St. Joseph's. Here are the articles that I found in the Burlington Free Press. There is no mention of the fire in the St. Joseph History book.

March 9, 1923 St Joseph Church Damaged by Fire

April 30, 1923 Changes in Church

The following Free Press article is in the St. Joseph History book, noting the radical re-decoration that occurred but it does not reference the fire that prompted all the re-decoration. It is in the J-7 section of the book. The two articles above also would belong on page J-7 and on page 71. The two previous articles explain why the re-decoration took place.

September 5, 1923 Interior of St Joseph's Re-decorated

This information has nothing to do with the fire in the steeple which we are told occurred sometime between 1940 and 1955. If anyone knows what year and month it took place, please contact me.