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Central Historic District

Pilarczyk's Store/Visitors' Center

Pilarczyk's Store
The Panna Maria Historical Society was founded in 1966 to ensure historical preservation and the education of current and future generations in the history of Panna Maria and Polish migration, culture and heritage. The Visitors' Center is located in the Pilarczyk's Store building. The simple one-story stone structure was built in 1875 as the second commercial building in the town. The rectangular structure has a pitched roof with the gable end facing the street.
(open to visitors)

August Moczygemba House/Mika House

Mika House
The August Moczygemba House/Mika House is one of the few Polish colonial houses within the city limits of Panna Maria. The stone structure has the familiar steeply pitched roof of a mid-19th century peasant house with the dormer added in the late 1800s.
(exterior viewing only)

John Twohig’s Store/Snoga Store

John Twohig’s Store/Snoga Store (Exterior viewing only)
This simple one-story rectangular stone structure was built in 1855 by John Twohig, the man who sold the Panna Maria site to the colonists. The building was originally used as a storehouse to hold the corn crop that the settlers used to purchase the land. In 1918 the store was bought by the Snoga family and a brick front was added to support the original limestone façade.
(Exterior viewing only)

Historic Oak Tree

Oak Tree
The Oak Tree is the historic site of the colonists' first Mass of Thanksgiving in Panna Maria on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1854.

Fr. Leopold Moczygemba Marker

Moczygemba Marker, Moczygemba Marker
In October 1976 the remains of Fr. Leopold Moczygemba, father of American Polonia, were reinterred near the Oak Tree where he celebrated Mass with the first Polish Silesian immigrants on December 24, 1854.

Statue of Pope John Paul II

Statue of Pope John Paul II
The statue commemorates the Texas visit of Pope John Paul II in September 1987. The people of Panna Maria were invited to San Antonio to participate in the final event of Pope John Paul II’s Texas visit, a papal audience especially organized for members of Texas’ Polish communities.     

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Exterior, Interior, Ceiling

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church

In 1855, less than a year after arriving, the founders of Panna Maria built their first church next to the Oak Tree and dedicated it to the Virgin Mother. The first church was destroyed by lightning in 1875. The present church was completed in 1877 and was enlarged in 1937. The two-story, Gothic revival, stuccoed stone structure is dominated by the 100-foot central entrance tower on the southwest façade. Divided into three segments by horizontal molding, each level contains narrow lancet apertures. The third level is embellished on each face by diamond-shaped motifs of inlaid tiles. The simply detailed interior is defined by a central nave separated from the alter by a large pointed arch. Two colors of blue, the traditional colors of Panna Maria, predominate the interior. On one side of the alter is a mosaic of Our Lady of Czestochowa The Black Madonna. Recognizing Panna Maria as the oldest Polish settlement in the United States, President Lyndon Johnson presented the mosaic in 1966 in commemoration of the millennium of Polish Christianity. During a 20th century renovation, it was discovered that a false ceiling hid a painted ceiling in the sanctuary. The ceiling and church have been beautifully restored and can be viewed by visitors to Panna Maria.
(Open to visitors)

Parish Rectory

Due south of the church is the rectory, built ca. 1870s. The original portion is rectangular with a central double door. Original interior chimneys rise from each end gable. The two dormers, central portico and rear wing were added at a later date. The building serves as the priest’s quarters.
(Exterior viewing only)

Polish Heritage Center at Panna Maria

Heritage Center
Polish Heritage Center at Panna Maria, commemorating the Silesian immigrants and the heritage of Polish communities in Texas, is due to open in 2018

St. Joseph School Museum

Southeast of the church is the old St. Joseph School built in 1868 as the first Polish school in America. The two-story, symmetrical, stuccoed stone building is rectangular with two gabled end pavilions on the northwest (front) façade. These wings were added in the 20th century to provide additional space. A gallery spans the two wings and is enclosed on the second floor. On the southeast (rear) elevation the first floor has a large central double door with flat keystone arches and a transom, flanked on each side by two six-over-six windows. Five additional six-over-six windows extend across the second level. The building currently serves as a museum under the direction of the Panna Maria Historical Society.
(Open to visitors)

Former Convent (Sisters of the Incarnate Word)

Former Convent of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word
(Exterior viewing only)

Panna Maria Elementary School

The Karnes City Independent School District donated the elementary school building to the Panna Maria Historical Society. It is currently being renovated and will be used for community and parish educational events and gatherings.
(Exterior viewing only)

Panna Maria Hall

Panna Maria Hall is the site for many community and private events. It is the location for the annual Homecoming Turkey Dinner held on the second Sunday in October.
(Exterior viewing only)

John Gawlik House

John Gawlik House,
Located on the road behind the Panna Maria Hall and the Snoga Store is the first stone residence built in Panna Maria. John Gawlik, the stonemason who arrived with the second wave of immigration in 1955, built this home in 1858. Typical of the peasant cottages built in Upper Silesia, Poland at the time, the Gawlik house has a steeply pitched roof with the rear roof reaching nearly to the ground. The building remained in good condition and was used as a barn until it was renovated in 2015.
(Exterior viewing only)

Panna Maria Cemetery

, Panna Maria Cemetery

 North on FM 242