House on the move: Historic rectory picked up, relocated in McCloud
McCloud’s St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish House Rectory building went for a ride Monday morning as it was moved after to another location in McCloud.
Like a scene from the Disney Pixar movie “Up,” bunches of balloons were attached to the front of the rectory as the house was slowly hauled to its new home on Main Street.
Many in the community that came out to see the move, including McCloud Elementary School students on a field trip to watch this historic event. The children all chanted “move that house!” as it went past.
The historic building, donated to the church in the 1930s when the town was company-owned, was used to house the priests and nuns. Sometime during the following 10 years, a second floor was added. The interior was made in knotty pine to match the interior of the church. The house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining room and an office.
The rectory house that sits next to the church and directly in front of the Parish Hall was no longer used by the priests in the 70s and was then rented out. But through the years the upkeep to maintain the building as a rental was no longer feasible. In 2019 the decision was made to demolish the building if they could not sell it and have it moved.
Church finance council members Ann Campana and Al Schoenstein got the idea of selling and moving the building after the Carr Fire.
“People that lost their homes were buying houses and moving them to their properties. We really didn’t want to tear it down,” said Campana. The current priest, Father Lester Menor, said they are talking about using the space where the building once sat as an outdoor garden area where people in McCloud can come and pray.
In September of 2019 the Mathis family, who own the McCloud Mercantile and last year bought the train depot which includes part of the Main Street park – decided to buy it.
“The Mathis’ intentions were the most ideal and would satisfy the community by having it moved just around the corner,” said Campana.
“We first bought the train lot thinking that this is the last chance to get the train back to Main Street,” said Darlene Mathis. “We feel that this is the beginning of the future development for Main Street. We want to bring back more downtown that will add to our historic district.”
Keith Stotts and Sons and Weiss Construction have been preparing the house over the past week for the big move.
Dean Adams, a lifelong McCloud resident and owner of Adams Backhoe Excavator, has been preparing the lot on Main Street where the house was eventually moved.
“What I like about this is that when I was little, I played in the depot. When it burnt down, I was there and watched it. It has been strange that there has been nothing there through the years and now, it will be nice to see the Rectory house move there where it belongs. I will hook up the power, water and sewer once it is moved,” said Adams.
The permits, the move and the installation cost as much as buying the house, according to Darlene Mathis.
The new location of the rectory house is zoned commercial. There will be a business on the first floor and possibly an apartment on the second.
“It is like a whole new chapter for Main Street,” said Mathis. “They used to move houses around in McCloud. They would get rid of blocks and move the houses closer in town when it was a company town. Most of the churches in McCloud have been moved in the past. We are just following tradition.”
After the train depot burnt down, Jeff Forbes created the dinner train that he sold in 2011. He willed the property to the McCloud Clinic when he died. Conflicts of having a medical clinic in the heart of a tourist town, the property went up for sale. The Mathises hope to bring back the train in McCloud which was a large part of the town’s history.