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Kolping Chapel Donated to the Chesterfield Historical Society

In October of 1928 the Catholic Kolping Society of Detroit filed their Articles of Association in Lansing and became legally entitled to hold real estate.

Mary Boset was interested in the Kolping work and donated four acres of land in Chesterfield Township for recreational purposes, back in 1929. Two years later she donated additional acreage, but contingent on the request to build a chapel as a wayside shrine for the edification of the neighboring farmers and any travelers along the road. Therefore, in 1932 Father Joseph Wuest, the Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Detroit and Praeses (leader) of the Kolping Society in Detroit complied with the request.

The walls of the chapel were of cement block with the inside and outside covered with chips of marble, granite and other specimens. These chips were requested by and sent to Father Wuest from other Kolping Societies, churches and missions worldwide, creating this Neo-Gothic chapel, reminiscent of the European wayside shrines. Once completed, there was an engraved stone located in the chapel which read, in German: “This Chapel (gives) Honor by Means of Untiring Work, Built by Reverend Father Joseph Wuest C.S.S.P., 1932.”

The chapel on her way to her new home

In 2015, when the Kolping Society put a “For Sale” sign on Kolping Park, located on Sugarbush south of Cotton Road, the Chesterfield Historical Society became interested in adding the chapel to their Historical Village, which was basically across the road.

Liz Furton, the President of the Historical Society, was afraid that the chapel would be vandalized or destroyed if it stayed, but by moving it to the Chesterfield Historical Village, which needed a church, it would be preserved and accessible to the people of Chesterfield. Once the negotiations were complete, the work of raising the necessary money to move the chapel began.

Finally, in late September of 2016, after weeks of preparation, the chapel was moved to the Historical Village. With the old school house and log cabin, the chapel was a welcome addition between the two. It gave the Historical Village a more complete look, with having the living quarters, the educational and the religious aspect of times gone by.

The work on the interior of the chapel will start in spring by adding electricity and reinstalling the mosaic floor. Then the brick walk leading up to the chapel will also be added. These bricks were sold to raise funds for the relocation of the Chapel and are inscripted. When finally completed, the Historical Village will look more complete to reflect an age gone by in Chesterfield Township.

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