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Old Lockeford chapel site to house real estate office, gun shop

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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:29 am, Thu Apr 3, 2014.

Two small cedar log buildings — one for real estate sales and one to sell guns and ammunition — are under construction where the quaint St. Joachim's Catholic Church in Lockeford used to be on Highway 88.

The first building, which should be finished next year, will house Nichols Realty, according to property owner Debbie Street-Haulk. The second structure, which Street-Haulk will operate herself, will be called Irongate Guns, where she will sell guns, ammunition and other supplies.

"We're putting in two small buildings, one 16-by-24 feet, one 16-by-32," said Street-Haulk, who lives in Santa Cruz County but commutes to her horse ranch about three miles from downtown Lockeford.

The structures will be built on the empty lot that was the former location of the local Catholic church's white clapboard A-frame chapel, constructed in the 1850s.

The United Brethren Church of Christ bought the structure from Lockeford pioneer Dean Jewett Locke in 1872. Four years later, the San Francisco Diocese bought the building and named it St. Joachim's Catholic Church.

The chapel was vacated in 1981, when San Joaquin County officials condemned it. It remained vacant for several years until parishioner and Lockeford history buff Gary Gordon began a campaign to restore the building in 2003.

Two weddings have taken place in the historic chapel since it was remodeled, and the Lockeford Historical Society conducted its monthly meetings there until the building was towed to the present parish grounds on Lockeford Ranch Drive in 2007.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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