Editorial: Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church roof renovation nearing completion

Photos By Mike Bibb: Workers disassemble the old roof of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Solomon in the photo on the left, and the new roof nearly completed is shown on the right awaiting shingles and finishing touches. 

Column By Mike Bibb

SOLOMON – Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Solomon, Arizona is nearing completion of its new roof.  It has taken about six weeks to remove and replace the old roof.

Something it hasn’t experienced in over a century.  (See my Gila Herald story “Our Lady of Guadalupe receiving new roof,” April 11, 2023.)

The last time the church had an entirely new roof structure was when it was built and dedicated in 1912.  Handmade adobe side walls and timber gathered from Mount Graham and milled locally, have remained in place for 111 years.

The old walls are still in place, supporting the recently fabricated cover.  Also, interior improvements will be done, as well as heating, cooling, lighting, and electrical upgrades.

However, stained-glass windows, a bell tower (with the original bell), an altar, interior icons, and other sacred items will remain.

The little church/mission has served the small community since about 35 years before Arizona’s statehood in 1912.

In 1981, the church was dedicated a Shrine by the Diocese of Tucson.  

Solomon was once the seat of Graham County government until 1915 when it was moved to Safford.