Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches

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The Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches is a rural region in the western part of the U.S. state of Ohio, centered near Maria Stein in Mercer County. Its name is derived from the dense concentration of large Catholic churches that dominate the area's architecture. These and other buildings were constructed by the Society of the Most Precious Blood under the oversight of the missionary priest Francis de Sales Brunner. Under his leadership, the Society founded many churches and schools in the region, as well as several seminaries.

The earliest buildings from the mid-19th century were mostly small wooden or simple brick structures. Most of these were replaced in later construction periods; only two from this generation are still in use as churches.

Many of the massive Gothic revival churches that remain today were built in the late 19th century and early 20th century by Anton DeCurtins or his descendants. The churches of the region have changed little since the early 20th century, and only one new parish has been established since 1925.[1]

Historic buildings[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

In 1976, many churches in the Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches were added to the National Register of Historic Places, along with a small number of church-related buildings. These buildings are detailed in the chart below; each is listed under the name by which it appears on the Register.

[2] Name[3] Patron Date[3] Location[3][4] County[3] Photograph
1 Botkins Elementary School N/A 1921 Botkins: Main St.
40°28′8.8″N 84°10′57.5″W / 40.469111°N 84.182639°W / 40.469111; -84.182639 (Botkins Elementary School)
Shelby Site of the Botkins Elementary School.jpg
2 Cassella Catholic Church and Rectory Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1858 Marion Township: State Route 119 in Cassella
40°24′24″N 84°33′3″W / 40.40667°N 84.55083°W / 40.40667; -84.55083 (Cassella Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Parish church from east.jpg
3 Chickasaw School and Rectory N/A 1904 Chickasaw: Maple St.
40°26′10″N 84°29′35″W / 40.43611°N 84.49306°W / 40.43611; -84.49306 (Chickasaw School and Rectory)
Mercer Precious Blood Rectory in Chickasaw front and southern side.jpg
4 Holy Trinity Catholic Church Complex Holy Trinity 1899 Coldwater: E. Main and 2nd Sts.
40°28′49″N 84°37′42″W / 40.48028°N 84.62833°W / 40.48028; -84.62833 (Coldwater Catholic Church Complex)
Mercer Holy Trinity Church in Coldwater, front and western side.jpg
5 Egypt Catholic Church and Rectory St. Joseph 1887 Jackson Township: junction of Minster-Egypt Rd. and State Route 364 at Egypt
40°23′5″N 84°26′4″W / 40.38472°N 84.43444°W / 40.38472; -84.43444 (Egypt Catholic Church and Rectory)
Auglaize St. Joseph's Church at Egypt, southern side and front.jpg
6 Glynwood Catholic Church St. Patrick 1883 Moulton Township: 6 miles northeast of St. Marys on Glynwood Rd. in Glynwood
40°34′59″N 84°19′5″W / 40.58306°N 84.31806°W / 40.58306; -84.31806 (Glynwood Catholic Church)
Auglaize St. Patrick's Church in Glynwood, front and northern side.jpg
7 Gruenwald Convent N/A 1854 Marion Township: 0.5 miles south of Cassella
40°24′1″N 84°33′3″W / 40.40028°N 84.55083°W / 40.40028; -84.55083 (Gruenwald Convent)
Mercer Gruenwald Convent.jpg
8 Holy Family Catholic Church Holy Family 1866 Wayne Township: State Route 185 at Frenchtown
40°14′46″N 84°31′25″W / 40.24611°N 84.52361°W / 40.24611; -84.52361 (Holy Family Catholic Church)
Darke Holy Family Church, Frenchtown.jpg
9 Holy Rosary Catholic Church Holy Rosary 1867 St. Marys: junction of E. Spring and S. Pine Sts.
40°32′42″N 84°22′58″W / 40.54500°N 84.38278°W / 40.54500; -84.38278 (Holy Rosary Catholic Church)
Auglaize Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Marys, Ohio.jpg
10 Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Complex Immaculate Conception 1903 Celina: Anthony and Walnut Sts.
40°33′7″N 84°34′22″W / 40.55194°N 84.57278°W / 40.55194; -84.57278 (Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Complex)
Mercer Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Celina, closeup.jpg
11 Immaculate Conception Rectory at Botkins Immaculate Conception 1887 Botkins: 116 N. Mill St.
40°28′9.6″N 84°10′57.8″W / 40.469333°N 84.182722°W / 40.469333; -84.182722 (Immaculate Conception Rectory at Botkins)
Shelby Immaculate Conception Rectory at Botkins.jpg
12 Maria Stein Catholic Church and Rectory St. John the Baptist 1889 Marion Township: St. John's Rd. and State Route 119 in Maria Stein
40°24′29″N 84°28′22″W / 40.40806°N 84.47278°W / 40.40806; -84.47278 (Maria Stein Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. John's at Maria Stein front and western side.jpg
13 Maria Stein Convent N/A 1846 Marion Township: St. John's and Rolfes Rd. in Maria Stein
40°24′57″N 84°28′34″W / 40.41583°N 84.47611°W / 40.41583; -84.47611 (Maria Stein Convent)
Mercer Maria Stein Convent driveway view.jpg
14 Minster Elementary School N/A 1904 Minster: Lincoln St.
40°23′42″N 84°22′44″W / 40.39500°N 84.37889°W / 40.39500; -84.37889 (Minster Elementary School)
Auglaize Minster Elementary School.jpg
15 Philothea Catholic Church and Priest House St. Mary 1871 Butler Township: Philothea Rd & Tangeman Rd in Philothea, between St. Henry and Coldwater
40°27′3″N 84°39′18″W / 40.45083°N 84.65500°W / 40.45083; -84.65500 (Philothea Catholic Church and Priest House)
Mercer St. Mary's at Philothea, angle.jpg
16 Sacred Heart of Jesus Rectory Sacred Heart of Jesus 1911 Van Buren Township: State Routes 29 and 119 at McCartyville
40°23′42.4″N 84°15′16.6″W / 40.395111°N 84.254611°W / 40.395111; -84.254611 (Sacred Heart of Jesus Rectory)
Shelby Sacred Heart of Jesus Rectory at McCartyville.jpg
17 St. Aloysius Catholic Church St. Aloysius 1875 Marion Township: U.S. Route 127 and State Route 274, west of Carthagena
40°26′11″N 84°34′12″W / 40.43639°N 84.57000°W / 40.43639; -84.57000 (St. Aloysius Catholic Church)
Mercer St. Aloysius' Catholic Church, Carthagena.jpg
18 St. Anthony Catholic Church, Padua St. Anthony 1869 Washington Township: State Route 49 and St. Anthony Rd. in Padua
40°30′32″N 84°47′7″W / 40.50889°N 84.78528°W / 40.50889; -84.78528 (St. Anthony Catholic Church, Padua)
Mercer St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Padua, front and southern side.jpg
19 St. Augustine Catholic Church St. Augustine 1848 Minster: N. Hanover St.
40°23′40″N 84°22′47″W / 40.39444°N 84.37972°W / 40.39444; -84.37972 (St. Augustine Catholic Church)
Auglaize St. Augustine Catholic Church, Minster.jpg
20 St. Bernard Catholic Church and Rectory St. Bernard 1906 Burkettsville: Main St.
40°21′8″N 84°38′45″W / 40.35222°N 84.64583°W / 40.35222; -84.64583 (St. Bernard Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Bernard's Church in Burkettsville, front.jpg
21 St. Charles Seminary and Chapel St. Charles 1906 Marion Township: 0.5 miles south of Carthagena, off U.S. Route 127
40°25′57″N 84°33′48″W / 40.43250°N 84.56333°W / 40.43250; -84.56333 (St. Charles Seminary and Chapel)
Mercer St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the afternoon.jpg
22 St. Francis Catholic Church and Rectory St. Francis 1906 Granville Township: Cranberry and Ft. Recovery-Minster Rd. in Cranberry Prairie
40°23′34″N 84°34′55″W / 40.39278°N 84.58194°W / 40.39278; -84.58194 (St. Francis Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Francis' Catholic Church in Cranberry Prairie, front and southern side.jpg
23 St. Henry Catholic Church St. Henry 1897 St. Henry: Main St.
40°25′3″N 84°38′19″W / 40.41750°N 84.63861°W / 40.41750; -84.63861 (St. Henry Catholic Church)
Mercer St. Henry Catholic Church side.jpg
24 St. John Catholic Church and Parish Hall St. John 1850 Pusheta Township: southwestern corner of Schlemel and Van Buren Sts. in Fryburg
40°30′57.5″N 84°8′54.6″W / 40.515972°N 84.148500°W / 40.515972; -84.148500 (St. John Catholic Church and Parish Hall)
Auglaize St. John Catholic Church and Parish Hall.jpg
25 St. Joseph Catholic Church and Rectory St. Joseph 1866 Recovery Township: Sawmill and St. Joe Rds. in St. Joe
40°25′41″N 84°44′19″W / 40.42806°N 84.73861°W / 40.42806; -84.73861 (St. Joseph Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Joseph's Church at St. Joe, eastern side.jpg
26 St. Joseph Catholic Church and School St. Joseph 1899 Wapakoneta: 309 S. Perry St.
40°34′4″N 84°11′43″W / 40.56778°N 84.19528°W / 40.56778; -84.19528 (St. Joseph Catholic Church and School)
Auglaize St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Wapakoneta, light.jpg
27 St. Louis Catholic Church and Rectory St. Louis 1914 North Star: east of U.S. Route 127
40°19′29″N 84°34′13″W / 40.32472°N 84.57028°W / 40.32472; -84.57028 (St. Louis Catholic Church and Rectory)
Darke St. Louis Catholic Church, North Star.jpg
28 St. Michael Catholic Church Complex St. Michael 1849 Fort Loramie: State Route 705 east of State Route 66
40°21′5″N 84°22′19″W / 40.35139°N 84.37194°W / 40.35139; -84.37194 (St. Michael Catholic Church Complex)
Shelby St. Michael's Catholic Church in Fort Loramie, front and eastern side.jpg
29 St. Nicholas Catholic Church and Rectory St. Nicholas 1907 Osgood: State Route 705 and Washington St.
40°20′26″N 84°29′33″W / 40.34056°N 84.49250°W / 40.34056; -84.49250 (St. Nicholas Catholic Church and Rectory)
Darke St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Osgood.jpg
30 St. Patrick Catholic Church and Rectory St. Patrick 1915 Van Buren Township: Hoying and Wright-Puthoff Rds. in St. Patrick
40°22′13.1″N 84°17′19″W / 40.370306°N 84.28861°W / 40.370306; -84.28861 (St. Patrick Catholic Church and Rectory)
Shelby Site of St. Patrick Catholic Church in St. Patrick, Ohio.jpg
31 St. Paul's Catholic Church and Rectory St. Paul 1889 Gibson Township: junction of Sharpsburg and Meiring Rds. in Sharpsburg
40°22′2″N 84°42′41″W / 40.36722°N 84.71139°W / 40.36722; -84.71139 (St. Paul's Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Paul's Church in Sharpsburg, tower from base.jpg
32 St. Peter Catholic Church and Rectory St. Peter 1904 Recovery Township: St. Peter and Philothea Rds. in St. Peter
40°27′3″N 84°44′48″W / 40.45083°N 84.74667°W / 40.45083; -84.74667 (St. Peter Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Peter's Church at St. Peter, angle from southeast in the morning.jpg
33 St. Remy Catholic Church St. Remy 1890 Russia: Main St. and Russia-Versailles Rd.
40°14′0.68″N 84°24′53.25″W / 40.2335222°N 84.4147917°W / 40.2335222; -84.4147917 (St. Remy Catholic Church)
Shelby St. Remy Catholic Church, Russia.jpg
34 St. Rose Catholic Church Complex St. Rose 1892 Marion Township: Main St. in St. Rose
40°24′26″N 84°30′53″W / 40.40722°N 84.51472°W / 40.40722; -84.51472 (St. Rose Catholic Church Complex)
Mercer St. Rose Church, Mercer County.jpg
35 St. Sebastian Catholic Church and Rectory St. Sebastian 1904 Marion Township: Sebastian Rd. and State Route 716A in Sebastian
40°26′41.65″N 84°31′1.13″W / 40.4449028°N 84.5169806°W / 40.4449028; -84.5169806 (St. Sebastian Catholic Church and Rectory)
Mercer St. Sebastian's at Sebastian front and eastern side.jpg
36 St. Wendelin Catholic Church, School, and Rectory St. Wendelin 1870 Recovery Township: Ft. Recovery-Minster Rd. and Township Line in Wendelin
40°24′0″N 84°41′27″W / 40.40000°N 84.69083°W / 40.40000; -84.69083 (St. Wendelin Catholic Church, School, and Rectory)
Mercer St. Wendelin's Catholic Church, eastern side and front.jpg


  1. ^ Brown, Mary Ann, and Mary Niekamp. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Cross-Tipped Churches Thematic Resources, 2–5. National Park Service, July 1978. Accessed 2010-01-26.
  2. ^ Numbers represent an ordering by significant words.
  3. ^ a b c d "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  4. ^ DeLorme. Ohio Atlas & Gazetteer. 7th ed. Yarmouth: DeLorme, 2004, 44-45/54-55. ISBN 0-89933-281-1.

Further reading[edit]