The first Catholics settled in the Sandusky area in the early 1830s. Missionaries in Sandusky offered Mass in a small stone house located on Franklin Street. Holy Angels Church was built in 1845, followed by St. Mary’s being erected in 1853. With the increased population and spread of homes in the eastern part of Sandusky, a new parish was needed and the cornerstone for the new church was laid in 1866. That parish is Sts. Peter & Paul!
The first Mass was celebrated in the newly built Sts. Peter & Paul Church on April 9, 1871. The first pastor, Father R. A. Sidley was the pastor of Holy Angels Parish when he began construction of the new church of Sts. Peter & Paul. After completion, Holy Angels became a ‘Chapel of Ease’ from 1871 to 1875, with their former parishioners now being served by their new Parish of Sts. Peter & Paul. Fr. Sidley is also credited with the beginning of Catholic School education for students of Sts. Peter & Paul Parish.
Built on 2 lots on the south east corner of Columbus Avenue, the foundation was begun in the spring of 1866 and the cornerstone was laid on July 22, 1866. The building is 145 feet long and 71 feet wide. The original tower was 135 feet high. The material used was native blue stone, ornamented with native sandstone. The cost of the lots was $2,400 and the construction cost of the Church was $75,000.
The interior ceiling is composed of several large arches and entirely unsupported by columns. The absence of pillars gives an unimpeded view of the altar and a closer sense of participation in the liturgy. The architect was Patrick Charles Keeley. In 1871 a pastoral residence was built south of the church on adjoining property at a cost of $5,000. The residence is now used as the parish office for Sts. Peter & Paul Parish and the pastoral office for the three Sandusky Catholic churches.
Many renovations and improvements have been made over the years, the most significant one being in 1981 –1982. At that time, plaster was removed from the stone walls, communion rails removed with portions being used in other areas of the church and the altar was brought forward. The Mary and Joseph shrines were moved, a new organ installed, lighting improvements, tuck-pointing of the stone walls and the installation of ramp for the south entrance. This renovation addressed liturgical as well as maintenance concerns.
Renovation work and improvements to the properties are made possible only by donations from our many generous patrons.