St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church

Ian Thompson's History (2014)

From 1841-1874, St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, School, and Cemetery existed in the Village of Indiana. Indiana was a navigation-era village situated around the lands of David Thompson. Thompson was an early partner in the Grand River Navigation Company.

The Navigation Co. hired many Irish immigrants to work on their locks, dams, and at the mills along the River. David Thompson also took advantage of Irish craftsmanship in the building of his mansion, Ruthven.

In 1841 the Church was constructed on lots 16, 17, and 18, at the Lock in Indiana (Merritt St.) The land was sold to Bishop Remigus Gaulin and Pastor Rev. Michael Robert Mills. The Grand River Navigation Company approved the purchase on January 26, 1841 at a cost of five shillings. The deed was registered on June 30, 1841.

When Ruthven Mansion was completed, and after a period of decline for the Navigation Company, many of the settlers in Indiana were without work. The houses that they had built- most had been constructed on stilts- were dismantled and moved elsewhere in the country and the village became essentially abandoned.

In 1873 St. Stephen's Parish was established in Cayuga and St. Rose of Lima was closed and the cemetery abandoned. The Church was eventually dismantled.

In 1999 the Cemetery and former church property was transferred to Ruthven Park, National Historic Site. Bishop Wingle of the St. Catharine's Diocese and Fr. George Sammut, Parish Priest at St. Patrick's Caledonia re-dedicated the cemetery in 2007.