St. Rita's Church History
Fr James Reagan O.P
Over the next three years Fr Reagan offered mass at the camp for all the campers and the many faithful Catholics from the surrounding areas from Rollinsville to Ward. “If you put enough green stuff in the collection,” he told his congregation one day, “I will build you a chapel.” By 1935 the money was raised and Fr Reagan purchased the timbers that would lay the foundations for a Catholic chapel in Nederland. Parishioners of St. Dominic’s and from the mountain communities joined together and had soon constructed a modest structure which Fr Reagan christened St. Rita’s Chapel.
The Antlers Hotel
For many years the summer camp thrived in the old Antlers Hotel. The building had been constructed in 1897 and named after the renowned hotel in Colorado Springs. During the flu epidemic of 1917 the structure was converted into a hospital to care for the sick and dying. Fr Reagan’s summer camp was operational from 1932 to 1954 but as the ’60s dawned the camp was shuttered and Nederland and the surrounding mountain communities were ready for a church all their own. So in 1961 The Antlers was demolished and in it’s place St. Rita’s Catholic Church was built.
St. Rita’s Today