Dyersville, Iowa is the home of Field of Dreams. We've been there before, and decided not to go there again today. Instead, we chose to visit St. Francis Xavier Basilica in downtown Dyersville.
There are 52 Basilicas in the United States. Randy and I have visited one in Santa Fe and one in Lackawanna, New York, both large cities. 51 of them are in metropolitan areas. The one is Dyersville is the only one in an agricultural area.
It appeared over the tops of businesses and auto garages in the little town as we drove in. Not enormous when compared to the one in New York, but a definite presence. It was built in 1888, seats 1200 people, and has 64 stained glass windows.
I always take a photo of the front door of buildings of reknown, and did so today. Once we had opened that door and walked in, we could not even speak for the beauty of this magnificent church. I will have to let my photos tell about that. We are not Catholic, but we appreciate beauty.
You can read about this Basilica further at www.xavierbasilica.com/tourism.htm
Another twenty miles, perhaps, and we arrived in Manchester, Iowa, birthplace of my father. I've been there several times over the years. In the center of town is the Delaware County Courthouse. My great grandfather delivered a speech at the dedication ceremony for that courthouse in 1895. My paternal grandparents, who had passed on long before I was born, are buried in Oakland Cemetery, along with my paternal great-grandparents. Some great aunts and their families are also in there, and some distant cousins, as well. We visited them all this afternoon.
We continued our western drive into Waterloo, Iowa. We did some "hotel shopping," and are in a brand new motel with the best deal. Randy has had a swim, we've had a pizza delivered to our room, and as soon as the convention wraps up the last speech, we will be asleep. We have a mental map of where we will be going tomorrow, don't know how far we will drive or where we will stay, but we know we will have a good time.