Grasshopper Chapel

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This chapel in Cold Spring, Minnesota, stands testimony to a miracle that happened in 1877. Crop failures due to Rocky Mountain Locust infestations  occurred in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876.
Each year the hoppers ate everything in sight, laid their eggs, and flew away to torment another place. When the eggs hatched, the hatchlings could not fly for 5-7 weeks.  During these weeks, they marched across the Midwest, searching for food. When mature, they laid their eggs and flew away. The cycle repeated.
The grasshoppers settled like a huge teardrop across Central North America, from the prairies of Canada down to Dallas, TX. Flour mills closed, farmers starved and governments were desperate.  The economy crumbled. Many folks packed up and left.
A Catholic priest in Cold Spring gathered his struggling flock. He said that if they would build a chapel and hold an extra weekly service for 15 years, God would deliver them from the locusts. It seemed impossible– but they obeyed.
At the same time, Governor Pillsbury called for a day of prayer and fasting to ask God for deliverance from the Rocky Mountain Locusts.
In 1877 the grasshoppers flew away without laying their eggs. Some credit divine intervention. Others think a late April snowstorm disrupted their cycle. For whatever reason, the grasshoppers left and have been extinct ever since.  The Grasshopper Chapel in Cold Spring remains.
It’s a beautiful spot. You’d enjoy a road trip to see it for yourself.

Candace Simar is a writer and poet from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, in the heart of Lake Country. As a life-long Minnesotan, the grandchild of immigrants, Candace nurtures a passion for Minnesota History. Website:

GREAT Theatre: As Good As Broadway

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by Jason Grabinger

Since 1998 when Dennis Whipple began GREAT Theatre, the community has benefitted greatly from the exceptional quality shows put on by dedicated actors, directors, and crewmembers each season. What began as a children’s theatre had blossomed into an organization performing a vast range of shows to entertain and enlighten the entire family. GREAT’s mission is to bind the community together through shared theater experiences, and they have a vision to ensure everyone in the Central Minnesota community will have access to the transformative power of the arts. GREAT Theatre has enjoyed wonderful success, and it is all due to the dedication of volunteers and the support of our community. Saint Cloud and the surrounding area is passionate about the arts, and has helped GREAT to build their World Headquarters in Waite Park. The GREAT Theatre World Headquarters is the first of its kind in MN, featuring rehearsal halls, a scene shop, a costume shop, and an administrative office. GREAT is also working on building a learning lab to share the magic of live theatre with people of all ages. Performing over 120 shows and counting, you can find GREAT Productions performing at phenomenal local venues including the majestic Paramount Theatre in downtown Saint Cloud, the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the campus of Saint John’s University, and other wonderful venues. The shows, thanks to the passion and talent of hundreds of volunteers are often compared to Broadway shows, and each season offers something new for the entire family. GREAT Theatre is passionate about our community and is an active participant in the betterment of our cities and the residents of them. GREAT is a proud member of United Arts of Central Minnesota. GREAT actors often share their talent and skill for local causes, and weekly summer camps for children of varied ages introduce the wonder of live theatre early. These camps, along with GREAT shows build confidence and encourage people to achieve their dreams. Whether you are interested in seeing a show, volunteering your time behind the scenes, or would love to audition for a role, more information is available on GREAT’s website at You can also reach them by phone at (320) 258-2728. We are fortunate to have such a quality community theatre in our area, and checking out all that GREAT Theatre has to offer is certainly worthwhile.

Great River Educational Arts Theatre
710 Sundial Drive Waite Park, MN

Trisko Jewelry Sculptures – Wearable Sculptures

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Creating jewelry images as “Wearable Sculpture” allows me to concentrate first on creating a intriguing form, and then adapting it to wearability. By designing each ring as a unique sculpture, I am able to eliminate the circular form typically used to make rings, and thereby create an ergonomically correct design, which balances the ring on the finger without turning or tipping. The intellectual underpinnings of my work are a Master’s Degree in Sculpture and Metals as well as a degree in Mathematics, enabling my work to reflect an architectural quality, with pieces often standing as sculptures-in-the-round. Most of my jewelry pieces are the result of the “loss wax” method, which enables them to be polished to a more graphic finish and eliminates the solder joints and seams that often appear in fabricated pieces during polishing. I lap most pieces to maintain sleek, sharp lines, and pay close attention to detail and perfection in each piece I create. None of the my work is molded. Rather, each design requires a separate wax model and casting. In fact, some pieces utilize several wax components, which are then cast, polished, and assembled. Often, these finished pieces are modular units with strategic alignments that allow my creations to become additive and subtractive sculptures.

My unique images are available in 14K and 18K white or yellow gold. Complementing my work are beautifully individually selected gemstones, custom cut or carefully sorted for size in order to make the math “work” in my architectural style of design. Each finished piece is then copyrighted, marked “14K or “18K”, and stamped “Trisko.”

Robert C. Trisko