The Old St. Joseph Church was built in 1840, originally for Christ Episcopal. The Greek Revival/Gothic Revival church was sold to the Catholics in 1857 when Christ Episcopal built a new church (MDAH Historic Resources Inventory). It was moved to its current location and served the Catholic community until 1981.
This Historic American Buildings Survey photograph (Jack E. Boucher, March 1975) provides a much clearer view of the church without the mature trees that have obscured much of the view of the building.
Father Oberti, a native of Morra, Italy, was the parish priest assigned to the church when the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 hit Holly Springs (stjoseph.org). Father Oberti and 13 teaching sisters remained to care for the sick. At the age of 31, Father Oberti died, as did six of the nuns.
The building had been unused for 20 years and “in a state of serious deterioration” when the Historic Heritage Preservation Corporation of Holly Springs was founded to restore it (stjoseph.org). It now serves as the Church of the Yellow Fever Martyrs Museum.