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On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union.

Capital: Des Moines

Origin of Name: An Indian word meaning “This is the Place” or “The Beautiful Land”

State Nickname: Hawkeye State State

Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain

State Song: “Song of Iowa"

State Forests: 10

State Parks: 83

Famous for: Corn and Agricultural Products

Famous Iowans: John Wayne • Cloris Leachman • Kate Mulgrew (actors), Johnny Carson (TV entertainer), William "Buffalo Bill" Cody (scout), George H. Gallup (poll taker), Herbert Hoover (President), Ann Landers (columnist), Glenn Martin (aviator, manufacturer), Frederick Maytag (inventor, manufacturer), Glenn Miller (Big Band), Robert Schuller • Billy Sunday (evangelists), Abigail Van Buren (columnist), Henry Wallace (Vice President), Andy Williams (singer), Bix Beiderbecke (jazz)

Doon, Iowa  Population: 588

Doon, Iowa is the hometown of Western Novelist Frederick Manfred, who published 22 novels between 1944 and 1992.

The Anderson Bridge on the Northwest edge of Doon, Iowa was built in 1900 across the Rock River. Though still open to automobiles and appearing quite safe do not expect a smooth ride across this Riveted, 7-panel Pratt through truss bridge. 

Doon, Iowa is a very quiet town and honestly one of my favorite stops. While driving down the dirt roads I often times saw friendly faces waving from their front porch, the perfect American small town feel.  

Holy Trinity Queen of Peace Sioux City, Iowa

Trinity Heights - Sioux City, Iowa

The development of Trinity Heights began in 1985. Father Harold Cooper, then pastor of St. Joseph Church in Sioux City, presented the idea to bring a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace to Sioux City. The non-profit corporation, Queen of Peace, Inc., was formed and purchased the grounds that formerly served Trinity College, High School, and seminary. Trinity Heights opened to visitors in 1992 shortly after the Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace was placed on the grounds. Today Trinity Heights Welcomes thousands of visitors from all faiths. The grounds now include:

30 ft stainless steel Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace

33 ft Sacred Heart Of Jesus statue

Multiple shrines of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes,  Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal),

22 ft long life size carving of the last supper hand carved by Jerry Traufler of Le Mars, Iowa which took 7 years to complete.

The way of the saints (Statues of Mother Teresa, Saint Padre Pio, Saint Therese the Little Flower, Saint Peregrine, and Saints Peter and Paul, lie on the interior of The Way of The Saints. The exterior sidewalk includes six groups of saints with plaques honoring a total of 60 saints. 

"Heaven's Special People" A memorial dedicated to children and adults who are physically or mentally challenged

Circle of Life Memorial to the Unborn with a statue of Rachel Weeping. This area is dedicated to the victims of abortion, it is a place to inspire reflection, forgiveness, prayer and hope.

The Trinity Gardens dedicated to the teachers and students of Trinity High School and College in the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

Holy Family Shrine including Jesus, Mary and Joseph 

The Seven Sorrows of Mary The Sorrowful Mother is ready to listen and aid everyone who has experienced tragedies

20 decades of the Rosary illustrated 

St. Michael the Archangel serves as the protector of Trinity Heights placed at the front entrance

Veterans Memorial with bricks laid out in the shape of a cross, these bricks can be purchased and engraved by friends and family members wanting to include their loved ones name on one of the bricks

Devine Mercy Chapel which holds mass every Monday, Wednesday and Friday along with every 1st Saturday of the month. 

The Shrine of The Grotto of Redemption - The Eighth Wonder of The World - West Bend, Iowa

Grotto of the Redemption - West Bend, Iowa

Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein was born in Rosenfeld, Germany on September 21, 1872. At 20 years old he immigrated to America. He then spent time at St. Francis near Milwaukee to prepare for the Priesthood. It was there that he began to show his signs of great artistic ability. He was ordained at St. Francis on June 30th, 1897. For one year he served as chaplain for the Sisters of Mount Carmel hospital in Dubuque. Then when the Archdiocese of Dubuque was divided and Sioux City jurisdiction was formed he was appointed the pastor of West Bend St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and remained there in that capacity for the rest of his life. During fifty-seven years he was counselor, instructor, and leader to the parishioners of St. Peter and Paul’s.

As a young seminarian, Father Dobberstein became critically ill with pneumonia. As he fought for his life he prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He promised to build a shrine in her honor if he lived. The illness then passed and the seminarian student completed his studies and after his ordination he went to West Bend as Pastor in 1898. For over a decade he was stockpiling rocks and precious stones.

In 1912 his vision started to take shape and become a reality. The designed purpose of the Grotto is to tell in silent stone made spiritually eloquent, the story of man’s fall and his redemption by Christ, the savior of the world.

Father Dobberstein was seventy-four years old when Father Greving was sent to West Bend to assume Dobberstein’s clerical duties, as well as to assist with the ongoing building project. New to the rigors of grotto construction, Father Greving immediately envisioned the usefulness of an electric hoist and miraculously convinced his superior to introduce this device. Up to that time all lifting had been done by hand. Dobberstein worked with Father Greving and Matt Szerensce on the Grotto of the Redemption for another eight years. Rev. Paul Dobberstein, the creator and builder of the famous Grottos at West Bend, Iowa laid down his trowel July 24, 1954 at 7:25 p. m. It was as if God waited until the last ruddy rays of the setting sun had shed the last warm friendly rays over the twinkling towers of his Grottos and then called the tired artist home from his life’s work. Father Dobberstein was laid to rest in the parish cemetery one-half mile west of the Grotto. The grave marker reads “Father P. M. Dobberstein, 1872-1954″. After forty-two years as priest, spelunker, and grotto builder extraordinaire, Father Dobberstein passed the torch to Szerensce and Greving. Though he fully believed in the radiating spiritual power of his work, he may never have imagined the magnitude of his influence. Matt Szerensce continued to work on the Grotto until his retirement in 1959. Father Dobberstein often told Father Greving “the show must go on”. For 50 years Father Louis Greving continued to build and care for the Grotto with the tender hands of a loving Father. Father Greving is quoted in the book “An Explanation of the Grotto of the Redemption”, saying “By providence of God I spent my priesthood of some 45 years (since 1946) in the shadow of the Grotto of the Redemption. The Grotto is a monument of faith, hope and love that once lived in the mind and heart of Father Paul Dobberstein”. Over some 42 years he labored laboriously and perseveringly to give external expression of that faith and love in a structure which is now the Grotto of the Redemption-an artistic portrayal of the life of Christ in stone. Some 100,000 tourist come to see the Grotto annually. As Father Dobberstein’s successor Father Greving considered it a privilege to carry out his plan the best he could. Spending all except one year of his priesthood at the Grotto. Father Greving continued to build and care for this wonderful gift. But most of all welcomed the thousands of visitors each year. Father Greving celebrated 50 years as a priest in 1996. Having retired he continued an active life ministering to and caring for the many who came to know and love him. Fr. Greving departed this life and went to his heavenly reward Feb. 14, 2002. He is buried at West Bend Cemetery.

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