St. Augustine’s History
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, located in Austin, Nevada, is Nevada’s oldest Catholic church building (1866) and also one of its finest.
The church is located on a prominent hill in Austin’s narrow canyon. Its stately appearance is compelling and dominates the town with a strong historic aura. The wood and tin clad spire rises seventy five feet making the structure seem very tall with its narrow Gothic Revival style. Built into the hillside on solid granite, both the bricks and granite used in construction were from the old Austin quarry and brickyard that flourished in the 1800’s.
The interior retains many early features including grained pews, Gothic confessionals, and a decoratively painted nine rank Henry C. Kilgen pipe organ in a Gothic case. In 1939 the parish hired Rafael Jolly to paint murals for the interior, and the vibrantly colored scenes of events in the lives of Christ and St. Augustine are today the building’s artistic highlight.
The church was sold to a private party who formed a nonprofit organization to restore and renovate the structure.
St. Augustine’s will eventually house a cultural and arts center for the community of Austin and Central Nevada. Activities will include artist workshops, historic presentations and dramas, docent tours, local art shows, music presentations, and permanent collections and exhibits of Austin and central Nevada.
We look forward to hosting weddings and family celebrations. The main level of the church with its twenty four foot ceiling lends itself to all types of performances and assemblies. Pews can accommodate over two hundred persons, and the former altar area is on a stage-sized platform. A sacristy off the platform is ideal as a staging/dressing room. The church has two very large rooms on the lower level with a bank of floor to ceiling windows facing south. The rooms are suitable for classes, workshops, and gatherings.
St. Augustine’s is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Nevada Register of Historic Places and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are gratefully accepted to help save this wonderful structure and piece of history.