VIGNETTE > Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

First ChurchB

First Church – Next to the Grammar School

Spiritual needs of Mill Valley Catholics were initially provided by Sausalito’s Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church. In 1891, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Mission was established. Monthly services began in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Thompson on Molino Ave. Their daughter, 11 years old at the time, would become the famous novelist Kathleen Norris. In 1892, mass was said at the Grammar School on the corner of Cornelia and Summit. Every Sunday, the assistant pastor in Sausalito drove a horse and buggy to Bolinas for a mass and then to Mill Valley for a mass in Portuguese for the ranchers and a second mass in English. In 1893, a church was built next door to the school. In 1917, a new church was built on Buena Vista across Blithedale from the Outdoor Art Club. In 1955 a school was built next to the church. In 1959, a convent was built up the street for nuns teaching at the school. In 1956, the church was demolished. A new church on the same site was dedicated in 1968. In the interim 12 years, services were held in the school auditorium.

Second Church 1919 - Outdoor mass during flu epidemic

Second Church 1919 – Outdoor mass during flu epidemic