Friday, August 13, 2010

SEPIA SATURDAY- A ghost in the church

 My great, great, great grandfather, Bartholomaeus Theiss came from Germany and was one of Napolean's bodyguards. I've written about him before. He settled in Sublette, Illinois in 1846.

The family built the first Catholic church here in 1849. His son-in-law, Paul Lindstom was an excellent carpenter and did most of the building and the finish of the interior. An article in the Dixon, IL Telegraph, 1951, says that he carved the altar with an ordinary pocket knife. Originally it was called the Perkins Grove Catholic Church.

 I think I can see a ghost kneeling down to the left of the altar, wearing a white hood. Can you see it, too, or is it just me?

18 comments:

L. D. Burgus said...

What a wonderful old picture to have. It is wonderful with all of the carving done by Paul. Yep, I believe you have a ghost. It is a stronger view of one than any orb.

jinksy said...

There certainly appear to be two beings on the left, behind the railing...Is that where you meant, I wonder?

Martin H. said...

"..he carved the altar with an ordinary pocket knife." I can't imagine how many hours this would have taken. Amazing.

TICKLEBEAR said...

nice pic!! very moody...
ghost? i don't know.
and the pocket knife might be a stretch, no?! surely he had other tools to work the wood as a pocket knife is quite rudimentary and his work appears to be more refined than that.
:)~
HUGZ

Nancy said...

This is a beautiful church! Is it still standing and in it's somewhat original condition? It would be very fun to visit knowing that some of your ancestors helped build it and sat in the pews.

I'm not sure about the ghosts. I see something on the left of the photo but I can't tell what it is.... Have you heard family stories that the church was haunted?

Barbara and Nancy said...

Larry, I'm glad you see the ghost. Makes me feel a little less crazy, but only a little.

Jinsky, Yes, to the left behind the rail. It almost looks like Mother Theresa holding a baby. But maybe I have too much imagination!

Ticklebear, I agree. I doubted the story about the pocketknife,too. But I guess it's about as believeable as the ghost.

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

There is something there. Looks like a figure of a pope maybe. LOL. It is an amazing photograph. Perfect SS.
QMM

Barbara and Nancy said...

Nancy, The 1951 article said that it was still standing and being taken care of by the family. It also said it was now called St. Mary's. When I looked that up there was a picture of a huge brick church with large steeples. I'm sure that's not it. I'll have to do some more detective work. Only one of my relatives still lives there. I'll call her. Stay tuned.

Barbara and Nancy said...

Daylily, Yes, the Pope, that's it. I just told Jinsky I thought it was Mother Theresa. But I think you're right.

Christine H. said...

Yes, indeed, that's a pope ghost. Great looking little church and a rich family history.

Tattered and Lost said...

Wonderfully eerie.

Aimee Dars said...

Fun and a little creepy photograph!

Vicki Lane said...

An intriguing possibility!

Food Smarts said...

The ghosts do look like a mother and child. I'll be waiting for the rest of the story. Fantastic carvings with so few tools available. He must have dedicated his whole life to completing it.

CrazyasaCoolFox said...

When a story has a legend like "carved with only a pocket knife," or "walked 100 miles in barefeet," it's like adding a spice to make a good recipe even better. I doubt history will be as kind to me in that aspect. Maybe my legend will be "he went to has job driving ONLY his automoblie." haha. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my crazy blog written with ONLY a computer.

Alan Burnett said...

Great story and what a wonderfully atmospheric and evocative photograph. If that is not a ghost, it should be.

gibknitty said...

very eerie. gave me the chills a little!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I would have thought it was an altar boy until you mentioned ghost! During one of our RV trips through Iowa we detoured through the farms to see the world's smallest church, which was somewhat like this and also built by a Catholic immigrant family. Imagine the hours and hours to do this, thier faith was so important to them. Does this church still stand?

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