Cross-Tipped Churches - July 23, 2005
The "Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches Byway" in western Ohio is less than 40 miles long and passes through level farm land so there are no sweeping scenic vistas. There IS an abundance of Catholic churches with crosses atop their spires. They even start, with McCarty's Sacred Heart Church, a little bit short of the Byway's official beginning where OH-119 and OH-29 cross. A highlight is the convent at Maria Stein. It houses a museum and gift shop plus the second largest display of religious relics in the U.S. The majority of the 1000 plus relics are bone fragments of saints.

The churches in the next two pictures are St. Rose and Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary. Besides churches, the byway also passes a large number of bird houses made of painted gourds. This is the largest collection I saw but there are several places with a cluster of houses on a single pole. The byway turns at Ft. Recovery and switches from OH-119 to OH-49. The cross-tipped church at St. Anthony is the only one I saw between Ft. Recovery and the byway's end at the intersection of OH-49 and OH-29. OH-29 is not part of the byway but marks both beginning and end. It is the hypotenuse of a triangle whose sides are OH-119 and OH-49.

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