Just spent a few days in Wisconsin—the first day was devoted to research and shooting photos for an upcoming Etsy story. The second day was a lovely ride on the Sparta-Elroy bike trail. On our way home, I couldn't help but stop at a couple of grottos, even though I'd already finished my Etsy story.
The Dickeyville Grotto is the better known of the two. It's definitely flashier and larger. It's both religious and patriotic. But there aren't any trees nearby and there was very odd muzak playing, which was rather disorienting. The grotto I liked best was at the site of the former home of the Paul and Matilda Wegner. When they retired, they started building grotto-like structures around their home, including a model of the ship that brought them to the United States from Germany. It was charming and their chapel, which you can apparently get married in (although I can't imagine three people can fit inside), included elements of multiple religions...I appreciated the Wegner's inclusivity.
After nearly 13 years as a writer and editor at the University of Iowa, I'm a full time freelancer. I specialize in writing for quilting, sewing, and crafts publications and blogs. I love all things textile-related and my dog Pearl feels the same way. We both delight in fabric and yarn—I like to use it and she likes to roll around in it. Please ask permission before using any photos or text from this blog. Thanks!