Cold Spring, Minnesota:
Assumption Chapel (the “Grasshopper Chapel”)
The story behind the Grasshopper Chapel:
The summer of 1876 must have seemed like the end of the world to the residents of northern Minnesota. For some reason, Rocky Mountain grasshoppers left their natural habitat and descended upon the area in something reminiscent of a Biblical plague. One day the abundant crops lay in the field and the next day there was nothing but stubble. To make things worse, the grasshoppers laid eggs so that the following year, when they hatched, the devastation was even worse.
The second year the situation was so bad that April 26, 1877 was proclaimed a day of prayer by the governor. In conjunction with this, Father Leo Winter, O.S.B., urged his parishoners to make a pledge to the Blessed Virgin Mary that they would build a chapel in honor of the Assumption and offer Masses there frequently for the next 15 years if she would interecede for them.
That year a small wood chapel was constructed and a statue of the Madonna and Child was placed inside. The grasshopper plague ended as quickly as it had begun.
The Grasshopper Chapel:
The original chapel was destroyed by a tornado in 1894….but miraculously, the statue remained intact. The site lay abandoned until until 1951, when Father Victor Ronellenfitsch, O.S.B., along with community members, oversaw the building of a new chapel.
Getting to the Grasshopper Chapel:
Now called Assumption Chapel, the chapel draws hundreds of visitors each year.
Address: State Highway 23 and Chapel Hill Street
GPS coordinates: 45° 27′ 21.6108” N, 94° 24′ 51.0120” W
Click here for information about Assumption Chapel on the website for Saint Boniface Church in Cold Spring. (click the Art & history link on their website)