The original structure was built in 1874 by a prominent Fremont jeweler, Lewis Leppleman. The house was a French Second Empire mansion used as a three story private residence. The Charles Green Family purchased the estate in 1890 and it became known as “Evergreen Hill”. The property was then sold to the Sisters of Mercy in 1925.
Our Lady of the Pines was dedicated on October 4, 1926 by Bishop Samuel Stritch. The cornerstone proudly bears the words, “House of Mercy, Holy Year AD 1925.” After necessary and additional construction the facility originally opened as the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate and in later years become the Mother of Mercy Academy for Girls. In 1943 a fire destroyed the third floor of the building and it was never rebuilt.
The Sisters of Mercy officially established Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center in 1962. Retreat and renewal programs have been available since that time with new and innovative programs being added. Anyone who seeks the experience of opening themselves to God in quiet through prayer and reflection will find it here in this sacred space. Our Lady of the Pines is “holy ground” where men and women of all races and creeds are welcomed into an atmosphere conducive to holistic growth and integration. The Center operates year round and accommodates retreatants from all over North America.