Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church

New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Grant Award: $273,417 (1997)
Grant Recipient: St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
County: Morris
Municipality: Wharton Borough

Residents of the town of Wharton, whose origins are tied to the Morris Canal and the mining industry that attracted Welsh and Irish settlers to the New Jersey Highlands, erected this church in 1872-3. St. Mary's was designed by Jeremiah O'Rourke, a leading 19th century New Jersey architect and Supervising Architect of the U.S. under President Grover Cleveland. The church is unusual for its use of locally mined stone, Little Falls brownstone trimmings, open truss roof, and pre-opalescent glass. The church has an imposing presence in this small town.

Restoration of the structure and exterior of the church was based on the architect's original drawings and extant details. The Trust grant helped fund exterior work, including: conservation of brownstone, securing of broken stones, conservation of finish carpentry, securing the timber trusses, replacing the missing iron roof cresting and the porch enclosure and doors, and conservation of the stained-glass windows.

For more information, visit:

to top