Assumption Parish was founded in 1859, seventy-four years after the first Catholic church in New York City and State. Peekskill was becoming a thriving manufacturing center, and the Catholics of Peekskill wanted a parish and resident priest of their own. They received assistance from Fr. Nicholas O’Donnell, O.S.A., the Pastor of Verplanck, under whom the enterprise was launched. Collection for the new Church began in 1860, and Mass was said in a rented room. The Church was opened in 1865, under the title of the Assumption, during the pastorate of Father Patrick L. Madden, who succeeded Father O’Donnell in 1863.
Under the pastorate of Father James T. Curran, plans were made for a building that would serve a triple purpose: one that would accomodate the school population of the parish, provide for crowds at Sunday Mass whom the Church could no longer accomodate, and serve as the center of the social, cultural, and recreational life of the town and parish.
On July 25, 1904, ground was broken across the street from the Church for the Guardian, with contruction being completed on October 31, 1909. The theatre had its inaugural performance on October 1, 1906, and the school graduated its first class in 1913.
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