George B. Garrison, builder of churches

I wrote briefly of my paternal great grandfather George B. Garrison a year ago. Today I’m sharing something about him that I only just discovered.

George was a resident of Rochester, NY, his entire life. In searching the online newspaper archive site, Old Fulton NY Post Cards, I discovered the following wonderful obituary for George. The write-up appeared on page A-2 of the Rochester Times-Union, June 5, 1943.


Isn’t this lovely? I had no idea he built churches! I knew he was a builder from census records and other newspaper items where his firm won bids for various building projects. But this obituary is a new discovery, thanks to the Fulton Postcards site adding new material their wonderful trove of historic New York State newspapers.

Naturally, after reading the names of the churches George built, I had to look them up on the internet to see pictures of them. Follow the links for each to see the buildings!

Sadly, the once elegant South Congregational Church now stands abandoned in a neglected, run-down part of the city.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is now the home of three merged parishes. This beautiful building is a masterpiece inside and out.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The architecture is a mix of Spanish Revival and Arts and Crafts style.

Central Presbyterian Church is now the home of the Hochstein School of Music.

My next trip to Rochester will certainly include a visit to these wonderful places of worship. Most special will be attending Mass at the Blessed Sacrament Church. It will be hard to focus on the ceremony as I look around me and ponder, “My great grandfather built this!”

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