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Jasper, Indiana: Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko

Father Thad Sztuczko spent the 1960s methodically cementing thousands and thousands of geodes into a multi-acre grotto of shrines and birdbaths.

520 W. 9th St., Jasper, IN
Northwest side of town. From Hwy 56/W. 6th St. turn north onto Bartley St. and drive a quarter-mile. Grotto entrance on the right. Next to Dairy Queen. In the back of the St. Joseph Church's cemetery.
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Visitor Tips and News About Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko

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Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko

This place is pretty amazing. You can park on the street right next to it, or behind the church (which is also right next to it). Make sure that you see the figures along the sidewalk. The area is very safe. There is some lighting of the grotto at night, but not as much as I had hoped for.

[Dave O., 06/05/2023]

Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko.

Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko

Just found the Roadside America app while driving through southern Indiana and visited the Geode Grotto.

[Mary Sue, 08/09/2018]
Geode Grotto of Father Sztuczko

The Geode Grotto was built in the 1960s under the direction of Father Philip Ottavi. His design was based on the Grotto of Lourdes, France. It is reported that when someone commented on the grotto not looking exactly like the original, a construction worker replied that "there were no blueprints, only inspiration." When you walk through the Grotto, starting at the entrance in the back of St. Joseph Cemetery, you can follow the stations of the cross. Look for the light switch (low, on a timer, to the left of Mary) in Mary's Grotto, the main attraction.

In 2017 St. Mary's local hospital purchased half of the Grotto grounds. They are working to preserve the grotto by moving the structures to the other half of the lot.

[Sal, 11/26/2017]

Geode Grotto.

Geode Grotto

For ten years Father Phillip Ottavi, assisted by helpful neighbors, built a grotto that covered several acres, using mostly geodes that were found in a nearby creek. Set into cement, the spongy brown orbs were used in everything from benches to birdbaths. Twin shrines to Mary and St. Joseph, the patron saint of the "home for retarded men" managed by Father Phillip, form the grotto's centerpiece.

The grotto, among the more recent of these rocky devotionals, was completed in 1970.

[ypsi-slim, 05/14/2013]

August 2014: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Giant Popcorn BoxGiant Popcorn Box, Jasper, IN - < 1 mi.
A League of Their Own: Movie BallparkA League of Their Own: Movie Ballpark, Huntingburg, IN - 7 mi.
Dutch-Style WindmillDutch-Style Windmill, Holland, IN - 11 mi.
In the region:
Joe Palooka Statue, Oolitic, IN - 41 mi.

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