I know this is going to sound biblical, but this type of thing used to happen often, and it still doesn't in other parts of the country/world. I'm talking about plagues of locusts. Back in the 1800s Minnesota was being struck by plague after plague of the flying/jumping bug. It got so bad that residents here in Stearns County turned to a higher power to rid themselves of the insects. A chapel was built to pray the insects away. That chapel, while not the same one, still stands in Cold Spring.

The 'grasshopper' chapel in Cold Spring was originally built in the late 1870s after Father Leo Winter "suggested his two Stearns County congregations should petition the Virgin Mary for relief from the grasshoppers."

103.7 The Loon logo
Get our free mobile app

Atlas Obscura detailed the chapel online, and I thought this was a really cool thing that happened during and after building the chapel in Cold Spring.

Mysteriously, around the same time that construction began, the swarms of grasshoppers flew away. By the time the church was complete and Masses began, not a single grasshopper could be found. Since the grasshoppers did not remain long enough that summer to lay eggs, they did not return the next year. Furthermore, they did not return any other year and the species went on to become extinct less than 30 years later, making North America the only continent, besides Antarctica, to lack a major locust species.

In 1894 the original chapel was destroyed by a tornado, and in 1952 a new chapel was built. The chapel lacks pews inside of it and also features the stations of the cross surrounding the outside of the chapel.

If you ever get the chance to check it out, you should, as it's a pretty interesting piece of local history.

Come Explore Royalton, Minnesota in Pictures

Ghost Towns of Benton County





More From 103.7 The Loon