In 1849 Dewberry Farm (125 acres of vineyards, orchards, mansion, and farm buildings) was purchased from Mr. Stuart with a St. Joseph medal as collateral for $12,000. The sale was concluded on March 19, 1850. Dewberry Farm was named “Nazareth”, in honor of the Holy Family. Father Meyer envisioned his new foundation in America as a New Nazareth where the Holy Family would dwell in the new world. Nazareth was a farm with a school. Nazareth maintained its farming interests until about 1915. The school was mostly self-sufficient and the students were expected to help with the farm chores.
St. Mary’s School for Boys opened in July 1850 and classes were conducted for 4 boys in the frame building in the vineyard at the west end of the property – previously used as lodging for farm help. This building was used for only the first session as the school and later served as home for the brothers. On September 1, 1850 the school was transferred to the Stuart mansion and a boarding department was opened and 14 Catholic boys from the Diocese of Cincinnati came to the elementary school. The Stuart Homestead was destroyed by fire in December of 1856 and was replaced by a structure called St. Mary Convent where classes were held and boarders resided.
Buildings on the property at time of the purchase: Stuart Mansion, a small frame building in a vineyard in the eastern part of the property which served as home of the tenant farmer, and barns and stables.
Some of the oldest buildings after the original purchase were designed and built by the religious community and students with whatever resources were available. The buildings were designed for the functions they served; they were built simply and to last.
Stuart Mansion - Destroyed (Dec. 27)
Small frame building in vineyard were the first classes were held July of 1850.- Destroyed.
Old Convent - Destroyed (Dec. 10)
Rike Center (May 2)
Barn - Destroyed (Feb. 22)
Garage - Destroyed
St. Mary's Hall
St. Joseph's Hall (Dec. 22)