The history of the Diocese of Superior dates back to the 17th century. Our Journey Through Faith offers a glimpse into the historic events that played a role in the growth of Catholicism in Northern Wisconsin.
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
St. Anthony of Padua Church dates back to about 1886, when Antoine Gordon, founder of the town, was responsible for the construction of the first church. He also donated the lot and the first bell for this church. Gordon’s grandson, Philip J. Gordon, was ordained a priest of the Superior Diocese December 8, 1913. The mission was first attended by Fr. Chrysostom Verwyst in October 1878 and was visited several times a year from that date until 1883. The mission was originally known as Our Lady of the Angels. To the Native Americans it was called Waikaming. A plaque with that name still hangs above the church entrance. The current church, erected in 1890, was built on land and with money donated by Antoine Gordon. In the fall of 1905, Fr. Augustine Gagnon, arriving at Solon Springs, was also the first full-time pastor of Gordon. He built the first addition to the church. The succeeding pastors of Solon Springs were also pastors of Gordon. In 1947, another addition of 20 feet and complete remodeling of the church was undertaken. The addition and remodeling were completed in time for administering the sacrament of confirmation on June 23, 1948, by Bishop Albert G. Meyer. In the summer of 1952 the entire church exterior was covered with asbestos shingling. On June 6, 1954, Bishop Joseph J. Annabring blessed and dedicated a new set of carillon bells in the church.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.