Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Marty House

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Institution Name: Mount Marty College
Original/Historic Place Name: Residence of Bishop Martin Marty
Location on Campus: south edge of campus overlooking Missouri River Valley
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1883original construction Unknown
2000-2001restoration Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: red brick
Walls: red brick
Roof: tar paper with rolled roofing (original); black rubber (current)
ca. 1883private residence (of Bishop Marty, then of college/monastery chaplain)
ca. present (2007)private residence (of small group of Benedictine Sisters who maintain it)

Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterBishop Marty Rectory (1974)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Marty House was built in 1883 on the bank of the Missouri River as a free-standing residence for Bishop Martin Marty, OSB, the first Catholic bishop of the Dakota Territory. The house was built in the French Mansard style, popular in this region in the latter part of the 19th century. It stands out today with its unique roof, spaced cornice dentils, stoop with a roof, and the entrance with paneled glazed doors. Just inside the entrance is a stately walnut staircase with traditional hand-turned balustrade. Fourteen-foot ceilings, massive oak baseboards, tall doors, and a marbleized fireplace create an air of elegance. But unlike the typical Mansard houses of that time in this area, this house does not possess the distinctive cupola. Some years after the original structure was completed, a kitchen was added, and the structure at various times has been connected to adjacent structures. It was most recently restored in 2000-2001. Today the house is well preserved and is used as a residence by several Benedictine Sisters who care for it. (Legend also seems to be a part of this house. There are reports that a very old Indian burial ground lies deep beneath the house and that sounds of singing used to be heard from under the cellar floor. In the mid 1900s there were reports of a strange black cat that would emerge from and then suddenly disappear into the fireplace.)

The house, listed on the National Register in 1974, is also significant because of its connection with Bishop Marty and the key role he played in Native American/Euro- American relations during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mount Marty College is of course named after him. He was responsible for the establishment of a school for Native American boys on this hill (then called Prospect Hill, now known as Mount Marty), but with changes in federal regulations, this school was subsequently moved to an area reservation. However, through his leadership an orphanage, then a hospital, and finally an academy for girls were established on Marty's hill overlooking the Missouri River.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Duratschek, Claudia. Builders of God's Kingdom. Register, SD: Lakota Printing Press, 1979.

Duratschek, Claudia. Crusading Along Sioux Trails: A History of the Catholic Missions of South Dakota. New York: Grail Publications, 1947.

Duratschek, Claudia. Under the Shadow of His Wings. Aberdeen, SD: North Plains Press, 1971.

Karolevitz, Robert F. Bishop Martin Marty: The Black Robe Lean Chief. Yankton, SD: Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Convent, 1980.

Karolevitz, Robert F. Pioneer Church in a Pioneer City. Aberdeen, SD: North Plains Press, 1971.

Klimisch, Jane. Travelers on the Way to Peace. Sioux Falls, SD: Brown and Saenger, 1955.

Rockboy, Joseph, et al. Bishop Marty Rectory [Mount Marty College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1974.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: Sacred Heart Monastery Archives

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