If you are driving down Highway 71 south of Carroll and you look off to the west, there's a good chance you'll see a beautiful church steeple sticking up over the rolling hills.
That steeple belongs to the historic Holy Angels Catholic Church in Roselle.
Carroll County is home to a large population of Catholics and was largely settled by German Catholics in the 19th century. As such, there are a lot of gorgeous churches with graveyards connected. In fact, before stopping at Holy Angels in Roselle, I stopped in Mt. Carmel, a community about 10 minutes to the north. Mount Carmel also has a big beautiful church and is celebrating their sesquicentennial later this summer.
Up close, the church is even prettier than I imagined from a distance. With its majestic steeple, gorgeous windows, beautiful bricks, and immaculate detailing, it's clear that they certainly do not build churches like this anymore.
I was not able to get into the church to see inside, but they do have a Facebook page and nice website which includes a wealth of history and other pertinent information. Unfortunately, as of 2018, the church no longer has weekly mass and the congregation has merged with another nearby church.
There is also an historic cemetery next to it. It's quite peaceful and also includes a number of nice monuments. The website has a lot of information about the cemetery and it's preservation as well as a function that allows you to search the graves.
This building on the north edge of the cemetery was being torn down on the Saturday I visited.
Before departing town, I drove around and found a few nice homes and businesses, including the Roselle Tavern. Those German Catholics certainly like their beer!
There are a couple of other commercial buildings as well as some nice single-family homes.
Our state is dotted with beautiful and historic churches like Holy Angels. They not only provide a place of sanctuary for worshipers but help to galvanize a community. I'm sorry to see that this church no longer has weekly masses, but I hope the building can continue to survive as it is a gorgeous piece of architecture.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Carroll County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.