St. Mary of the Oaks

© Photographed July 10, 2015
Erected 1963 by Dane County Historical Society
Cross Plains, Dane County, Wisconsin
43.195631,-89.620487 (park entrance)
43.189653,-89.621056 (parking lot to access the marker)
43.189487,-89.620332 (marker location)

ST. MARY OF THE OAKS
On the brow of a hill, one-half mile east overlooking Indian Lake, rests a tiny stone chapel. The structure was built in 1857 by John Endres in fulfillment of a religious vow he made in return for protecting the lives of his family during a diphtheria epidemic.

Aided by his son Peter, Endres hauled several tons of stone to the hilltop with an ox team.

The building has been much venerated by local families for several generations. Family names identified with care of the chapel are Endres, Ballweg, and Marx.

The chapel was formally dedicated by Archbishop Messmer in 1926.
The marker is located along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail at Indian Lake Park, and is accessible from the park's upper parking lot, at 8183 Highway 19, Cross Plains, Wisconsin 53528.

NOTE: The entrance to the park is on eastbound Wisconsin Highway 19, at its intersection with Matz Road. Head south on Matz Road (the park entrance). Follow the road to the top to the upper parking lot. The marker will be on your left.

NOTE: Despite walking along unmarked trails for nearly an hour, I was unable to locate the referenced chapel. Very disappointing. There is nothing at the park indicating that the chapel even exists, that alone signage on how to access the chapel. 


The marker is No. 1 in the Dane County Historical Society Markers Series.

This location is Wisconsin Registered Landmark 22 (designated October 9, 1965), and is included in the Wisconsin Registered Landmark program.


Looking east along Wisconsin Highway 19.

The marker is located at Indian Lake Park.

The marker is located within the city limits of Cross Plains, Wisconsin.

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