Table Rock, Nebraska, May 25, 2013 -- The Table Rock Historical Society and Museum, Inc. of Table Rock, Nebraska celebrated the dedication of the St. John’s Catholic Church Museum today. USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul attended.
“USDA Rural Development was pleased to assist the Historical Society with $50,000 to renovate the church as a museum,” said Moul. “The preservation of history is important as it traces the footsteps of the past for present and future generations.”
St. John's Catholic Church was built in 1877 and is one of the oldest churches in Southeast Nebraska. The church has large murals covering the interior that were painted by a displaced immigrant from Russia in appreciation for refuge in the small community. He used his artistic talents to create on plain wallboard an illusion of marble walls, pillars, and curtains. Most striking is the large mural behind the altar. The museum will display religious items. Some of the original pews and church furniture remain and the Church’s interior is as it was when used for religious services.
“The Historical Society felt it was important to preserve this piece of history for our community. The church has a fascinating history and is unique in many ways. We felt it was important to preserve for future generations.” said Board Member Kim Vrtiska, Table Rock Historical Society and Museum, Inc.
Table Rock Historical Society and Museum, Inc. matched the USDA Rural Development funds. The funds provided for renovations that included replacement of the footings and foundation, new interior and exterior paint and the installation of a new roof and doors. The stained glass windows were repaired and the statues restored. Additionally, the interior wood floor was refurbished.