Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park is in the Chicago Archdiocese. It may have been organized as early as 1845. It was started as a mission of St. Joseph in Wilmette. A log cabin was built in 1846 and this was used for early services. At that time it was called St. Mary of the Woods. The building was taken apart, moved to a new location, and rebuilt in 1851. A cemetery was added in 1853.
A new frame church building was started in 1873. A brick church was built in 1891. The old log cabin stood until 1894.
The cemetery was moved between 1899 and 1908. In 1903 the church burned and was rebuilt. A school was added in 1912. It burned in 1916. The church and school were then rebuilt at a different location. In the 1950s a new school was built. A new church building followed in 1965.
Most early parishioners were Irish. Immigrant Italians joined the congregation later, and even later Spanish-speaking parishioners moved to the area.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has microfilmed baptisms from 1874-1916 for Immaculate Conception Church. The film is available for rental through your local Family History Center. Click here for Immaculate Conception film notes. Be sure to look for items 6 and 7 on the film to find the Immaculate Conception records.
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