A historical overview by Pat Champion (a founding parishioner of Our Lady of the Mountains)
The following is a quote from The History of Pickens County by Luke Tate which was published in 1935, “In the nineties, the Catholics came to see us. Like the Jews, Catholics are not often found in virgin territory, but many of them were at work in the marble industry in Tate and Marble Hill. Mr. John McGrath, father of the present Father McGrath, was one of the members of and principal supporters of this church. For lack of support it has been discontinued, and the field has been left to the Methodists and Baptists.”
The Marble Hill Church was closed before 1900 and it was many years before Mass was held regularly in Pickens County. Father Edward McGrath, son of John McGrath, served at Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta and became a monsignor.
About 1957 Father Kolb, a Redemptorist priest from Dalton parish, began saying Mass at the home of Joe Butler in Jasper. Besides the few Catholic families in Pickens County and Northern Cherokee County, there were four or five large Catholic families who spent summers at Tate Mountain Estates on Burnt Mount. To accommodate everyone during the summer months, the building which is now the Tom Quinton Art Center was rented. This arrangement continued for several years, but by 1961, the building was being used every Sunday of the year.
Father W. Hiavac, who was also a Redemptorist, followed Fr. Kolb and after several years, the Marist Fathers from Marist School in Atlanta said Mass for the Catholics of Pickens County. In the summer of 1968, the Catholics of Pickens County began attending Mass in Canton, which had become a Mission of St. Francis of Assisi in Cartersville. Mass was said in what was then the Georgia Power building on Main Street in downtown Canton. On April 24, 1977, Our Lady of LaSalette in Canton was dedicated. Father Joseph Nolan served the mission church from 1979-1984.
On September 16, 1984, Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan decreed that Our Lady of LaSalette would have a new mission in Jasper beginning immediately. Father Joseph Nolan was named pastoral administrator. The first Mass was held at the rectory of the Jasper Mission October 13, 1984 with 26 in attendance. The Mission was soon named Our Lady of the Mountains and having rapidly outgrown the rectory, the Catholics of Pickens County were once again using the Art Center building after an absence of sixteen years. In only three years, our lovely Church building was completed and dedicated on Saturday, November 7, 1987.