Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


St. Anne Shell Chapel

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Institution Name: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Original/Historic Place Name: St. Anne Shell Chapel
Location on Campus: west of the Sisters of Providence Cemetery
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1843original log construction Unknown
1876updated, new stone chapel built to replace log chapel Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: stone (exterior); shells (interior)
Roof: none specified
1843-present (2007)memorial site (shrine)

Significance: history, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Mother Theodore grew up in a French coastal town, with great devotion to St. Anne, patroness of sailors. During a severe storm at sea as she returned from a trip to France, Mother Theodore promised that if the ship was saved, devotion to St. Anne would be fostered among the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. The first chapel was a log structure built in 1843, but it was replaced in 1876 by the present stone structure. The altar and walls of the interior are adorned with shells gathered by the Sisters from the Wabash River and arranged in artistic designs, the handiwork of Sister Mary Joseph le Fer de la Motte, assisted by the novices.

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Other: S. of P. Office of Congregational Advancement

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Last update: November 2006