Sunday, April 20, 2014

Archaeology department's 3rd annual trip!

The archaeology department went on their third annual trip last Saturday, April 12th. 13 students, both majors and non-majors attended and had a great time. The first stop was at The Monastery of the Sisters of Saint Benedict. One of the sisters took us on a tour not only of the Monastery seen in daily operations, but also the infrastructure that holds it up. The architecture was amazing as was our tour guide, who seemed to know absolutely everything, not just about the Monastery, but  
about the history of Ferdinand. After the Monastery we stopped at the Wollenmann house, also in Ferdinand. It was absolutely beautiful. The house is modeled after a Swedish chalet and one can definitely tell by looking at it. I think everyone approved when we found out that the people who saved it from being torn down are renovating it and planning to turn it into a visitor’s center so that everyone can enjoy it for generations to come. I have to admit we were also pretty excited to hear they wanted to set up a little cafĂ© inside, it is definitely going to be a great place to visit when it is up and running.

After Ferdinand we took a scenic drive to Saint Meinard Archabbey. We were able to enjoy some lunch and stroll the grounds until it was our tour time. I ventured off and explored the library there. I highly recommend it as there are three floors, a small art gallery, and some amazing manuscripts on display from England. One of the monks gave us a tour and he was definitely a lively character. He made everything fun and exciting. One of our first stops was the church. This was definitely exciting as it had beautiful stained glass windows featuring Bible stories and stories from history, which our guide was kind enough to tell us. Another great place in the Archabbey was where the monks gathered to pray. It was filled with paintings on the walls and ceiling and beautiful decorations on the windows. We of course took time to stop at the gift shop, where a bunch of us learned, via Dr. Ebeling, that archaeologists have a patron saint! Saint Helen. Many of us bought the card that told her story. It was also very interesting to see the coffins the gift shop sells. As the guide said, many people are just dying to buy one from them. 

After finishing up at the gift shop we tried stopping at a little roadside dinner to see some buffalo, but they had changed management. However, we did still go out back. There were two little houses, one claiming that Lincoln had slept there. They were a little…run down. A few of us braved the little step ladder up to the second floor to take a quick look around, but there wasn’t much to see.

Our last stop was the Lincoln Boyhood Home. We went to the farm section where we were able to see some sheep, historic chickens, as in the type of chickens Lincoln would have raised, and replicas of the workshop and house Lincoln would have lived in. We meet with one of the employees who gave us our own private session. We learned how Lincoln’s mother died, what the cure for milk sickness is, how to spin wool into yarn, that flax looks like hair, that all of us girls should know how to spin and sew by now, and many more useful things. Unfortunately, it got too late in the day for us to visit the actual visitor center, but its not that far away and it was a great time regardless.

Of course one of the toppers of the day was Ms. Alexandra L’s. brownies. We had some at Saint Meinrad and when we returned to school, finishing the entire tin! It was an amazing day and next year’s trip is going to have to work hard to beat it. 

I would like to give a special thank you from all of us to Dr. Ebeling and Ms. Alexandra L. for organizing the trip and for getting us such great tours!

Our first view of the monastery at Ferdinand

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