St. Wenceslaus Roman Catholic Church

Also known as: The Island Church
SE of Waterloo at jct. of Blue Point and Island Rds., Waterloo, Wisconsin

Picturesque wood frame church, built high on hill

Photos 

East (Front) Elevation

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in June 2015

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Map 

Description 

St. Wenceslaus church was built in 1863 on one acre of land by the mostly Bohemian and German immigrants that had settled in the area. It became known as the Island Church because it stands high on a hill, surrounded by wetlands. The road that passes out front is known as Island Church Road.

It ceased operation for regular Masses in 1891 but continued in use for special Masses, right up to this day. It was recently restored.

The cemetery reflects the heritage of the church. An interesting sidebar story is the unmarked grave of an immigrant from Bohemia, Wenzel Meitner. His death at the age of 29, just two years after settling here from Bohemia, was a tragedy for his two sons and wife, six months pregnant. His grave was unmarked, but a caretaker took the top of a marker that had broken off and scratched the name MEITNER into it. He used it to mark the grave.

In 2012, a special marker was created for Wenzel Meitner's grave that tells his story. The broken piece had been returned to its original marker, adjacent to the grave, and glued in place.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 1975
Reference number
75000070
Areas of significance
Ethnic Heritage - European; Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Period of significance
1850-1874
Significant year
ca. 1863

Update Log 

  • June 14, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status and Added Photos

Sources