The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

     About this site
We've created a database and photographic inventory on more than three-fourths of the 18th & 19th century churches in the state and add to it more or less each month. We welcome and solicit all corrections, contributions and suggestions from our visitors.

St. Mark's German Catholic Church

Rahway, Union County
Hamilton Street
founded 1871, built 1885

Rahway-StMarksIt is somewhat startling to see a really large wooden-frame building in an urban setting. St. Mark's stands a block or two from the commercial center of Rahway in what was once a residential neighborhood. It also stands within sight of St. Mary's, the older Catholic parish in town, which turned out to be a problem in this century, as declining enrollment has led to a merger of the two parishes. It appears that most of the masses, in Spanish and English, are held at St. Mary's. St. Mark's is labeled as St. Mark's German Catholic church on the 1886 and later Sanborn Insurance maps.
A student of architect would probably describe this as a vernacular front-gable building with a bargeboard in the Carpenter Gothic manner at the top of the gable, Gothic arch windows, and a porch over the main entrance in a Carpenter Gothic manner. The tower has no window openings until the very top, where there are what appear to be louvres in the paired Gothic arch openings in the belfry. Note also the absence of any buttresses; even when they were not necessary, architects usually included buttresses as a part of any Gothic-style church.
There were also German Lutheran and Presbyterian churches in the city in the 1880s.