Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking Back: St. Matthew School, St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 7, 2020


ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Parish was established as a mission of Sacred Heart Parish in Roseville in 1873, when the area was known as Erin Township. St. Gertrude was elevated to parish status in 1914 by Bishop Michael James Gallagher, and on Nov. 18, 1920, the parish began welcoming students to its new elementary school.

The Official Catholic Directory of 1921 listed St. Gertrude Parish in L’Anse Creuse as having a school by the name of St. Matthew’s, administered by the Dominican Sisters from Springfield, Illinois. The Sisters of St. Joseph took over the school at the beginning of the 1927 academic year.

Over the course of the 1920s and through the 1940s, the name of the school varied in church and local records, sometimes being listed as St. Gertrude’s School, other times being called St. Matthew’s. Regardless of the name, the three-story brick building saw thousands of children begin their education at 28851 E. Jefferson Ave. until the school closed in 1971. The location is now part of Lakeshore Senior Living, an apartment complex for adults over the age of 55 that opened in January 2018.

To view this image and other historic photographs, please visit the Digital Media Archive at

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library