Up in Door travel blog

Great mural

Beautiful picture

Queen of the Holy Rosary Mediatrix of Peace Shrine

The shrine was quite a place

A sure sign of fall


Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Red-headed woodpecker

Marshland has its own beauty

Some of the Sandhill Cranes at the Refuge

This imprint is on the running board of our car!

Largest bicycle in America

This ship is 12 feet long

Quite a wedding cake

Luxury living for some lucky bird

Imagine the time this took to create


Even broken coffee cups were used


La Crosse, WI We stop to see a number of unusual things but one of our stops today was quite different - the Queen of the Holy Rosary Mediatrix of Peace Shrine. In 1949, Mary Ann Van Hoof reported receiving a vision from the Virgin Mary. She claimed she was told to "bring the truth to people" through prayer and the rosary. Many of the visions Van Hoof saw happened in her back yard at home. 100,000 people attended the vision in August, 1950, and witness accounts vary significantly. The Roman Catholic Church investigated and found the reported visions and other phenomena indisputably faked, and when Van Hoof and her followers refused to desist, put her under interdict. This didn't stop her followers. A shrine was built, complete with religious statues in glass chambers. It is a fairly large site with a path leading to different scenes. A sign outside the premises announces that the Blessed Virgin has no patience for women who wear "unfeminine attire" (i.e., pants of any kind, tank tops, etc.); improperly-clothed women wishing to visit the site are loaned wrap skirts at the gate. On a more conventional note, we stopped at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge was instrumental in starting the preservation program for Canada geese back in 1939. We saw 4 whooping cranes, 40 or so Greater Sandhill cranes, some Canada geese, and some ducks. Another stop was Wegner Grotto - a fantastic garden of concrete sculpture decorated with thousands of glittering glass shards. The Wegner farm couple began building this grotto of concrete and shards of glass in 1929 after retiring. One sculpture is a 12-foot long ship. Concrete was poured and then shards of glass were placed in the soft concrete to create a cruise ship complete with portholes made from the mouths of Coke bottles. Glass, broken crockery and china, broken beer bottles, sea shells, broken carnival glass, Indian arrowheads and gunpowder casings were used to create colorful set of figures. There is an American flag, a glass church, the ship, a wedding cake and more. When we broke a bottle, we always threw the pieces away. Who knew?

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