of St. Francis Catholic Chapel
And excerpt from:
History of St. Francis Catholic Chapel, Kilmarnock, Virginia, by Agnes Worthington Palmer.
“As early as 1875 Bishop James Gibbons,
later Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, visited Lancaster and Northumberland counties to determine what possibilities there
were for the establishment of a Catholic Church in Kilmarnock. He found two zealous catholic families.
The Palmer family in Kilmarnock, and the Ball family at Midway and Bayview. There were a few scattered
Catholics throughout the two counties, perhaps twenty-five in all.
Ten years later, in 1885, September 6, Bishop John J. Keane, of Fredericksburg, latter
Archbishop of Dubuque, dedicated St. Francis Catholic Chapel at Kilmarnock; He spoke of it as “a small but neat frame
structure, built near the spot where three Dominican Missionaries were martyred by the Indians.”
From 1885 to 1915 it was more convenient for the
priests to come from Fredericksburg. A steamship line then ran from Fredericksburg to Baltimore, Maryland.
These ships stopped at the wharves, which were dotted along the Rappahannock River. The nearest
wharf to Kilmarnock was Irvington, five miles from Kilmarnock, my father (John Armstead Palmer) met the priests there, and
our home was their home throughout their stay.”