Matt’s Midwestern Meanderings

Barn near Oak Ridge by Matt Steinhoff 08-07-2013_7925Son Matt, Sarah and Malcolm made a pilgrimage to Cape to help Mother kick off an early Birthday Season (the real one isn’t until October, but school is out in the summer). He knew I was going to be busy packing and truckin’ on down the road, so he loaned me some pictures he shot while driving between Cape and St. Louis. I figured it was time to dust them off since a Facebook friend was looking for barn photos.

This barn was taken near Oak Ridge. Click on the photos to make them larger.

We’re in Illinois?

Kaskaskia Island 11-09-2012_9025Sarah was surprised to find herself in Illinois without crossing the Mississippi River when they went over on Kaskaskia Island from St. Mary. (OK, I cheated. this is my photo taken last fall.)

On the road

MO roadwayby Matt Steinhoff 08-07-2013_7905I thought this looked like the bottomlands on the way to Kaskaskia, but Matt swears it was near Chester.

Immaculate Conception Church

Kaskaskia Church by Matt Steinhoff 08-07-2013_7888They got to see the Liberty Bell of the West and the Immaculate Conception Church, founded in 1675. The church has had a tough time with floods over the years, but it always comes back.

Marian Cliff Manor

On our way back to Cape after the James McMurtry concert in St. Louis and a pause at the Fourche a du Clos Valley Roadside Park, we rolled into the tiny town of St. Mary.

There’s not a lot to remember about St. Mary

  • It was (maybe still is) a notorious speed trap on Highway 61 (Highway 25 for REAL oldtimers).
  • Much of the town has been lost to Mississippi River flooding.
  • You don’t have to cross the Mississippi River to get to Illinois from there.
  • It’s where you turn off to go to Kaskaskia to see the Liberty Bell of the West.
  • There used to be a spooky old building up on the hill overlooking the town.

Built by slaves

The spooky old building is now a perky red and is a residential care unit. The Marian Cliff Manor’s website says that it was built with the help of slaves in 1861. The white tower was used by the Confederate sympathizer owner to view the movement of Union troops. Over time, it has been used by a number of religious non-profit groups. It is home for about 50 disabled veterans today.