Kossuth County Advance from Algona, Iowa on May 17, 1971 · Page 12
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Kossuth County Advance from Algona, Iowa · Page 12

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, May 17, 1971
Page 12
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vance MONDAY, MAY 17, 1971 - AIGONA, IOWA - ° f Clare ' STHPY An u ," > " Trier ' Mrs ' STORY AND photographs by Tom Waller WEST BEND'S > v *• •, ,_<'* » ,. v ' V-V .*- /<t ' >s " ; •' < v " J . ! > ' "f ' of thfe Redemption ' WEST BEND (Special) - The World-famous Grotto of the Redemption will begin hourly tours May 30, Memorial Day, and continue them until Oct. 15, according to Father Louis Greving' of St. Peter and Paul's, West Bend. , -Father-Greving, who has been in charge of the grotto for 25 years, said 'five student guides have been selected for the summer season: Jean Haag, Marlene Vernia, Daniela Brown, Connie Reding and Mary Hoskins. > Father Greving said 125,000 persons viewed the grotto la$t year. He expects an increase this season, possibly aided by the"- ti Proximity of the Highway469 detour route. "" oningvon^putUng; some^igns^awfoe'detouit^-tf f;"I'm''going <Jft'the r Sell-see Idwa'trlp'May 9th to the though'." , Father Greving said he'll take literature about the grotto with him on the 1,700-mile tour which will circle all midwestern states.- it will describe, editorially and pictorially, the detailed scheme of mosiac, shell and gem from all over the world. Geologically it's valued at $1 1/2 million. -HOW?How did such a unique creation emerge in United States culture, much less,'in Iowa, in Palo Alto County, or in West Bend? The story is as moving as are the Biblical scenes which the grotto portrays, and too briefly told, it would include only three words"Father Paul Dobberstein." t The late Father Dobberstein is said to have built the intricate '8 ro tt°,"sing his mind rather than blueprints as a guide. For 42 years he gathered, treated and laid stones, fossils, shells and gems. But why? ° After stays of service in Wisconsin and Dubuque, la., the young artist-priest came to West Bend in 1897 as pastor of St. Peter SJ h Pa ,? ^^ ***** stockpiling Precious stones, the first of which he laid 15 years later in 1912. He was so dedicated to the massive task that he individually placed most stones' in minute and mosaic' detail. He never really stopped until his death in '' / fc ! • , -NEAR DEATH- , / _ seminarian, the German-born Dobberstein became ,ill with "'pneumonia, it is said he prayed for his life -NOTHING COMMERCIAL- Before he died, he requested that the grotto never be used for commercial purposes-a request which has been honored. Visitors are urged to support the grotto with contributions, - including tpitclyjd, tinto, Jquntains.uwhtehUt^ part of/ the-gtotto but „_.,.- is no admission charged for,guided or'non-guided tours, A souvenir stand on the grounds is a departure from commercialism, but it is located apart from the grotto itself and will raise needed money for grotto maintenance. Father Greving said agates collected, cut and polished'for the past 13 years have been used in the construction of the 50' x 62' x 8' building which is only now nearing completion; •, ' , Tatter said he was assisted by retired Creighton University priest Raymond Bishop and Pete Jackson, Louie Pritchett and Bud Dahlhauser of West Bend. -SWAN EGGS- The grotto also has a large pond enclosed by an iron fence which in turn, is encircled by a shaded picnic area. A pair of I In the pond in 1955 have produced eggs often, includ- .. -,-J year. However, they have never been fertile Never- < theless, the swans still instinctively guard the eggs Other "hou^e guests" include several birds whose nests rest within the 12 Stations of the Cross and elswhere. "The grotto £id ^""- Uary f ° r them t0 raise their young '" Father > G request of the artist-priest _ _ r we let them stay anyway '

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