This is St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pesotum, IL. Currently, it shares a pastor with St. Thomas, Philo, and Immaculate Conception, Bongard, and has done so for some years. My wife was once organist at the other two churches and occasionally helped out here; this picture was taken in 2010 on her last day playing for all three churches. It has a lovely little early-20th-Century organ, built by Carl Barckhoff sometime between 1900 and 1910, which has been kept up and was restored only a few years ago.

Apart from the the hint of an SUV parked in front of the church, this scene could have existed in 1950; apart from the electric wires, it could have existed in 1900 (the church was built in 1894). The architecture is vernacular American Brick Gothic, so it’s a stretch to say that what we see here could also be found in Germany, but the thought is apt, as German immigrant families founded the parish and built the church.

There are many little gems just like this scattered across central Illinois, and I wish I had more time to go photograph them.


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