The Alexian Brothers Novitiate


Built in the 30’s, the original house was specifically designed by a wealthy widow for her disabled daughter. Unfortunately the daughter died long before she was ever able to set foot in the beautiful house overlooking the Red River. After spending many years in the the 20 room house alone, it was gifted to the Alexian Brothers to be used by the Catholic Church.

Photo Credit (Carey’s Postcards)

With the completion of extensive renovations, the first novice class of 14 individuals arrived.  In order to become more self sustainable, the property was further expanded through the purchase of an additional 172 acres adjoining the property.

Right here, in the Wisconsin wilderness, people from all over studies and prepared themselves for a lifetime of service to others under the guidance of their superiors.  Even after all their time and work, changes to the church and a desire for new forms of spiritual formation led the brothers to Chicago.  The now 65 room mansion overlooking the river was put up for sale.  With no sale in sight, negotiations began with an organization of Indians from Green Bay.

After this plan failed, the house was left in the hands of a caretaker and his family. In 1974, the family was awoken in the middle of the night and taken hostage by armed members of the Menominee Warrior Society, who claimed the land was rightly theirs. Failing to meet a true settlement, the house continued to change hands until it fell into disuse and eventually it became the unfortunate victim of arson. All that remains is the shell of a once grand mansion.


6 thoughts on “The Alexian Brothers Novitiate

  1. Rich Lewis December 6, 2016 / 5:52 AM

    What a story. It’s amazing the history that is in these places if you research them.


  2. taphian December 25, 2016 / 1:31 AM

    Very interesting story and a beautiful place


  3. Elaine Moore November 16, 2019 / 4:00 PM

    Do you know if the house and lands are for sale or has someone taken ownership of them? Or has the property been abandoned and left to rot?


    • Jessica Mae Olson November 17, 2019 / 7:39 AM

      Hello Elaine! This property is owned and the family are actually taking steps to preserve and help share the property with the community!


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