St. Catherine’s Catholic Church
St. Catherine’s Catholic Church watches over the town of Hornitos from a little knoll rising
behind the old jail. Built in 1862, there isn’t another building quite like it in all the Gold
Country. The church was built of wood along simple classic lines, and then made unique by the
addition of stone buttresses on each side of the building, to help hold the walls in place.
Perhaps the builders were fearful of strong winds, although more likely, they envisioned a long
life for their church and wished to help it stand for the years to come.
A walk through the cemetery behind St. Catherine’s will reveal the last, crumbling remains of
one of the original hornitos, the above ground rock and adobe graves which gave the mining camp
its name. On a nearby grave is an old wire cross which is said to be one of the town’s oldest
remaining relics. The headstones in the cemetery relate just how world-wide an event the Gold
Rush really was, as miners of many different nationalities made this old mining camp their final