|Log Chapel built in 1934|
The Durwards, Bernard and Margaret, bought the land in 1862 as a place to raise their family and get inspiration from the beautiful landscape.
Bernard was a painter. The story we heard on the tour of Durward's Glen was that Mr. Durward looked for the richest man on their ship, followed him onshore in the new worrld and offered to paint his portrait. The payment for the picture was his first American payday.
Settled into Wisconsin not long after statehood, he was asked to do the portrait of the state's first Catholic Bishop. By the time the sitting was done, Bernard was on a journey to becoming Catholic.
The land stayed in the family 70 years when the Order of St. Camillus bought the land to use as a seminary and retreat center.
After the school closed it was briefly owned by a college out east, then purchased by an organization of local people to preserve its history.
It continues as a Retreat Center and an Oratory of the Catholic Diocese. You can even spend the night.
There's a lodge and two cottages. The oldest cottage used to be Bernard's studio and available for lodging (just like he had it, including no indoor plumbing).
|Prentice Creek and the Glen|
A trout stream runs through the land in a picturesque glen (Scottish term for narrow valley) that divides the property. It splashes and riffles down hill.
On top of the hill is an old cemetery, the final resting place for most of the Durward clan. Their history and quite a bit of their art is on display.
It hosts public events like "Bagpipes in the Glen" and a "Fall Festival."
|Statue of St. Anthony|
While walking the grounds, I was struck by the feeling of quiet on the grounds.
The call of the birds. The breeze through the trees.
It's a place which makes you feel close to nature, but also is a place to feel closer to the Creator of it.