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,
During the late 1800s Franciscan missionaries from Ashland and Bayfield journeyed to Solon Springs by foot and snowshoe to spread the Gospel. By 1878 the first church, a log structure, was built near the center of Solon Springs on a property that is now the Catholic Cemetery. Parishioners were American Indians and white settlers. In 1902, Bishop James Schwebach of La Crosse condemned the log church because it was too small. Mass was then celebrated at various homes until Mr. and Mrs. Ed Phelps moved to Solon Springs. They built a large mercantile store with a hall upstairs and it was here that services of all denominations were held. In the fall of 1905, Fr. Augustine Gagnon arrived from Texas. On February 13, 1906, his brother Louis Gagnon arrived and together they set forth to build a new church. The name for the new church was St. Mary of Good Counsel. In June 1906 the cornerstone was laid during a ceremony conducted by Bishop Augustine F. Schinner. About 1917, a new rectory was built at the bottom of the hill from the cemetery. In the 1940s the church was moved next to the rectory. For nine years parishioners labored to raise funds for a new church, on July 10, 1955, a ground-breaking ceremony was on property which had formerly been Solon Springs Golf Course. Because Pope Pius X had. recently been canonized, the church was renamed St. Pius X Catholic Church. During the summer of 2004 a new added to accommodate the large Church renovation also included the restructuring of stained glass windows, enlargement of the seating area and the process of making the church handicap accessible.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.