Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 53 Dense Fog Morning Shower Clearing High 69)

With this entry we wrap up the blog entries dealing exclusively with the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend Iowa - A Miracle in Stone.

The Grotto was reportedly once paid a visit by Walt Disney himself, who had a notion he might be able to duplicate Dobberstein’s achievement on a bigger stage. But once he saw the Grotto in person, the American dreamer par excellence quickly realized he was looking at a one-of-a-kind attraction.

With all the natural stones and minerals we guess it had to be inevitable, stalactites and stalagmites are forming in the man made Grotto. Here are a couple of the stalactites, the stalagmites haven't reached this level of detail yet.

The statues were added after the first visitors to the Grotto began donating funds. Fr. Dobberstein reportedly posed for each statue so that what he was looking for was conveyed. Here is Jesus at the Semon on the Mount.

Fr. Dobberstein could not find anything that he thought was good enough for whenever he wanted water in a scene so he created his own. He melted glass and combined it with blue crayons until he got the look he wanted.

An interesting fact about the Church that we just blogged on was that Fr. Dobberstein's brother painted the mural above the Sanctuary.

Whenver Fr. Dobberstein needed roses he used barite roses from Oklahoma.

Finally a note to our RV'ng friends, there is a campground right next to the Grotto. It is electric only with a central water supply and a dump station. Sites are for RVs and tent camping.

As we leave the Grotto for the last time we will end with Fr. Dobberstein's own words: “Spoken words are ephemeral; written words remain, but their duration depends upon the material on which they are written; but if carved into bronze or sculpted into stone they are wellnigh imperishable.”

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


  1. Very interesting. Who would have thought of combining melted glass with crayons!! Thanks for the pictures.