Oldenburg 1871 Sorrowful Mother Shrine


Oldenburg Indiana is known for its rich religious history. Founded in 1837 by German settlers, it is known as the “Village of Spires” due to the multiple church steeples that make up the town’s skyline.

Located about a mile outside the town limits visitors will find the beautiful Sorrowful Mother Shrine, erected in 1871 by Siegfried Koehler, who had arrived in Oldenburg from Alsace, France in the late 1830’s.

The Altar

Prayer bench

The statue on the altar is actually a plaster cast of the original that Koehler brought with him on the ship from France. The original was found to be hand carved from black walnut, and now is in the Holy Family Catholic Church in Oldenburg to protect it from vandalism.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary

Seven Sorrows pictured

The shrine is found on a country road, and is in a beautiful setting. Trees, lawns and a stone…

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Foggy spooky early and late evening

Normally dense fog shows up in the morning. This afternoon the local National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory starting at 3:00 PM, not the normal time of day for fog appearing.

Creepy winding foggy road

Darkness has fallen, fog thickens

The fog got thicker and denser as the evening went on. Glad we were not out on the road tonight!


Covid-19 lockdown: remembering March 2020

This is a post we published in March, 2020, after the Indiana Governor’s Executive order to shut down the state.

When the sound of a mower is relished

Our local NBC station showed a video on their noon news of the city of Indianapolis. The video was in black and white and showed scene after scene of the city with no people, cars, buses or any sign of life. Totally empty streets and parking lots made the shots look like they came right out of the last scene of the movie “On the Beach”, an apocalyptic movie from 1959.

Carry out only

Sher and I and our son were commenting on the video which led to the discussion of the quiet nature that has become our neighborhood. It seems as though most of the neighbors are paying attention to the Indiana declaration of “stay at home and work from home”. Very little traffic, even the guy with the extra loud Harley is not to be heard recently.

Then we heard someone starting up their lawn mower. Wow who would ever think that the usually obnoxious noise from a Briggs and Stratton engine would provide a twisted sense of normalcy to this COVID -19 pandemic abnormal situation. Thus the title of this post.

At times the pandemic lockdown feels like years ago, at times it seems like yesterday.

Abe Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois

The formal parlor in the Lincoln home

During our travels we have enjoyed some of the sights and historic attractions in Springfield, Illinois. The only US National Park in Illinois is the four block area that includes the home of Abraham Lincoln and his family. Lincoln only owned one house during his life, and it was this one in Springfield.

Today the home is completely restored including what is touted as original Lincoln family furniture and other items. You have to go on a guided tour of the Lincoln home. Tickets are free but you do need a ticket. The tickets are available at the information center. There were not a lot of people there today but there were a couple of bus loads of tourists. We did have to wait a couple of hours before our tour. On a real busy tourist day it might take a while to be able to take the tour.

The tour was quick, maybe a half hour at the most. I would have liked to really look at some of the furnishings of the house, but those NPS Rangers kept you moving, and by golly you better not even touch the walls or even the door jambs! I understand not wanting things worn out but to yell at a fellow who puts his hand on a painted wood door jamb? Oh well, it was still fun to see the Lincoln house.

A ‘classic’ view of the home

These parlor chairs are said to be Lincoln’s in this house. The NPS guide said they went into storage after Lincoln moved to DC. and were recovered.

Lincoln’s desk in his upstairs bedroom. Legend says he wrote his debates with Douglas at this desk.

Lincoln’s dresser with wash basin and pitcher and shaving gear.

When it is too cold to go to the outhouse…

The four block historic area around the Lincoln home on the left

There are lots of displays in the info center as well as a couple of short films. And of course the gift shop was packed with just about everything Lincoln you could imagine.

Two Englishmen fight it out in 1870 Louisiana

Here’s two neat little tidbits of history from a Mississippi River town, Kenner, next to New Orleans. Check it out…


We noticed a neat park on the Mississippi River levee at the town of Kenner, Louisiana. I turned into the parking lot because I saw an interesting statue. It was, in fact, a statue of a couple of men in boxing stances. I had to see what this was all about. Here is a picture and a little history.

Bronze statue portraying the 1870 boxing contest

On May 10, 1870, a trainload of about 1000 people left New Orleans for the little town of Kenner, a few miles from NOLA. The purpose of the trip was to visit an old sugar house near the banks of the Mississippi River. In that house was a makeshift boxing ring. In that ring a fellow from Beeston, Norwich, England named Jed Mace was the victor over another Englishman named Tom Allen from Birmingham. The 10 round bout was a bare knuckle affair. What made…

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