St. Colman Catholic Church, a historic church located in Raleigh County, West Virginia, burned to the ground in an apparent arson attack Sunday, according to the local volunteer fire department.
A suspected arson attack completely destroyed St. Colman Catholic Church in Shady Spring, West Virginia on Sunday, June 27.
The Beaver Volunteer Fire Department in Raleigh County received a call about a structure fire, but found it “burned to the ground and smoldering” upon arrival.
The small, white building was known as "The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain," and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original structure dates to 1877-1888, according to the Register.
“On June 26, 2022 units from Beaver VFD were alerted to a structure fire at the Saint Colman Catholic Church on Irish Mountain Road in Shady Spring, WV,” the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department said in an online post.
Once the department arrived at the scene, the church had already burned to the ground and was “smoldering,” the post says. The post says the fire is considered “suspicious in nature.” The fire is being investigated as arson, the post says.
The 135-year-old little white church registered in the National Register of Historic Places was considered “The Little Catholic Church on Irish Mountain.”
Irish immigrant families settled the church and farmed the land around it starting in the late 1800s. It was the first Roman Catholic Church in Raleigh County, West Virginia.