Wednesday, December 5, 2012

American Gothic

Church ruins in a forest. The ruins of a Catholic Church, St. Stanislaus Kostka, once serviced by the Jesuits of Woodstock. It is located on a hill overlooking the Patapsco river near what was once the mill town of Daniels (Alberton) Maryland. The land is now part of the Patapsco Valley State Park. Local history says that when the river was frozen over in winter, a Jesuit would ice skate down the river from Woodstock to Daniels to say Mass then skate back upriver to Woodstock. The church, built in 1879, was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire in 1926.

To put the general location in popular context: Woodstock was the location of a Jesuit school of theology. In the movie, The Excorcist, there is a brief scene where a young Jesuit runs to find and summon the exorcist, Father Merrin, who is found walking on a path along a wooded slope. That scene was filmed at Woodstock.