The Cambrian


An angel at Old Santa Rosa Chapel before restoration.
An angel at Old Santa Rosa Chapel before restoration.

People at the Santa Rosa Catholic Church Parish Hall on Sunday, May 2, will share more than neighborly chats and a traditional meal of polenta and stew. They’ll also band together to help maintain the Old Santa Rosa Chapel and Cemetery, and to renovate or replace parts of both.

Proceeds from this year’s dinner will go toward restoring an antique plaster Madonna statue, redoing the cemetery-perimeter fence and paying off the $32,000 bill for a new roof.

The meal includes beef or chicken stew, salad and a classic Swiss bread pudding called torta. Adults choose from coffee or wine; youngsters drink raspberry lemonade.

The Parish Hall at the “new church” is at 1174 Main St., and the dinner is to be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults pay $15; children eat for $5. Buy tickets at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., or at the door.

The Rev. Mark Stetz, the church’s new pastor, is to say a special mass in the chapel, 2353 Main St., at 11 a.m.

For details, call the chapel at 927-1175 or e-mail

Donation checks made out to Old Santa Rosa Chapel can be sent to P.O. Box 316, Cambria CA 93428.


According to historian Dawn Dunlap, the chapel was built in 1870 or 1871 by Henry Williams at a cost of $100 for labor and materials (about $1,800 in 2009 dollars), raised at dinner-dances in San Luis Obispo. Williams built many of the old houses on Bridge Street, mostly from local-