HERE ARE PHOTOS of Sainte Marie du Lac Church, in Ironton, Missouri. Located in the beautiful Arcadia Valley of Iron County, this church is located about 89 highway miles south-by-southwest of downtown Saint Louis, and is a part of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
The name of this church is French, meaning ‘Saint Mary of the Lake’.
The exterior of the church, which was built in 1957. The church hall adjoins on the left, and the rectory is behind the camera.
The interior layout of the church is very similar to the many neo-Gothic churches built around the turn of the 20th century, but it uses instead the architectural vocabulary of Modernism.
In an article, the pastor says that his flock has dwindled to about 200 families, mainly due to loss of jobs in the area, but the CCD program is growing.
Ironton is located in the Arcadia Valley along with the nearby towns of Pilot Knob and Arcadia. It is in the geological core of the Ozark Mountains, the Saint François Range, which has extensive mining history as well as incredible scenic beauty. Nearby is the highest point in Missouri, Taum Sauk Mountain, as well as the geologically interesting Elephant Rocks and Johnson's Shut-ins. This valley saw extensive fighting during the Civil War, including the Battle of Fort Davidson, and numerous reminders of this dark period of American history can still be seen. Nearby are the buildings of the former Ursuline Academy.
Click here for some of my old photos of the Arcadia Valley.
Stained glass window of Jesus.
The church has the familiar Stations of the Cross, as well as a set of unfamiliar (to me, at least) devotional stations; here is undoubtably the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
Cornerstone of the church.
Many more photos of this church, by Tina aka Snupnjake, can be found here.
A statue of the Blessed Virgin stands above a spring, which fills the lake seen in the photo below. Life-giving waters spring forth from rock, and so therefore are a symbol of God's grace.
A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Christ Child stands on small island in a lake on the grounds of the church. Ducks and geese call this lake their home.
These grounds were once the garden of the Lindsay-Emerson home, later called Emerson Park, then Grant Park, and later Villa Sainte Marie du Lac of the Sisters of St. Mary Hospital.
During the Civil War, Union troops encamped here on the grounds of the home of John W. Emerson. At this spot Ulysses S Grant received his appointment to the rank of Brigadier General from President Lincoln; Grant himself later became President of the United States. A statue in his honor is located on this lawn; it was placed by veterans of his unit in 1886. The landowner, John Emerson, landscaped these grounds after the war, turning it into a park, and later most notably founded the Emerson Electric Company.
350 South Main Street
Ironton, Missouri 63650