Saint Alphonsus Parish
Attracted by fertile farmland, some forty German-speaking families from Rhineland-Westphalia settled in this area between 1825 and 1848. The community celebrated its first Catholic Mass in the home of Peter and Catharina Theisen Esper in 1851. The Espers donated four acres of land on the northeast corner of Warren and Schaefer Avenues for the construction of a school, built in 1846, the first church, built in 1852; and a cemetery, founded in 1849. Father Anthony Buechsenmann, who served from 1897 to 1920, kept detailed records of the births, marriages and deaths of some two hundred families. He delivered his sermons in German until World War I.
Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church Complex
On May 18, 1930, Saint Alphonsus Parish dedicated its third church, built to accommodate the growing membership. Architect Arthur Des Rosiers, designed the church, as well as the 1924 convent, in the Neo-Gothic style. The church features magnificent windows from the Detroit Stained Glass Works, paintings by Alfred Wrobbel, and a marble and onyx main altar. The cemetery, established in 1876, contains over 250 graves. Many burials, the oldest one dating from 1849, were relocated from the old cemetery at the corner of Warren Avenue and Shaefer Road.