Saturday, May 3, 2008

Piatt Castles

You’ll have to travel about an hour south of the Toledo diocese, but if you enjoy architecture and Ohio Catholic history, it’s worth a daytrip to Piatt Castles in West Liberty. (When I visited several years ago, I knew nothing of the family’s Catholic background, and was surprised to see a room set aside as a chapel in the Mac-O-Cheek estate during a tour.)

The Piatts were a prominent Ohio family, active in politics, government, abolitionist efforts, journalism and literature during the 1800s. Elizabeth Barnett Piatt, the matriarch of the family, joined the Catholic Church after hearing a mission preached by Rev. John Austin (Augustine) Hill, O.P. in Cincinnati in 1824, and brought the rest of her family along.
Rev. J.A. Hill, O.P.

When the family moved to West Liberty, Elizabeth sought to start a parish. An 1894 article in Catholic World recalls a visit from Archbishop Purcell:

Many years later, a great-grandson drew up plans for a church, but Elizabeth’s desire for a parish did not come to pass.

More information here:


Jeffrey Smith said...

Wonderful buildings with seriously asinine names.

Irene said...

When those were built in rural Ohio, they really were castles.