The Teutopolis Monastery Museum, located off Route 40, at 110 South Garrett Street, in Teutopolis, Illinois is open to the public on the first Sunday of the month, April through November. The hours are from 12:30 to 4:00 pm. Admission for adults is $5.00 and $1.00 for children 14 and under. Special group tours for 10 or more adults or school groups can be arranged for days other than the scheduled Sunday openings, by calling the parish office at (217) 857-6404 ext. 236 and leaving message or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story of the monastery building, the Franciscans and Teutopolis are all tightly intertwined. Teutopolis was founded almost 20 years before the arrival of the first Franciscans in 1858. The museum was founded by the Teutopolis Area Bicentennial Commission as a memorial to the members of the Franciscan Order and to the early pioneers who settled the Teutopolis Community. Housed on the second floor in the former Franciscan Novitiate building the museum has more than 30 rooms filled with artifacts from the Franciscans and early pioneers. Of particular interest is a cord machine the Franciscans used to weave a cord which they wore around the waist of their habit. The machine still works and is demonstrated on the tour. Passports, secretarial records, receipts, deeds, furniture, clocks, quilts, toys, various household items, carpentry, farm tools and many more artifacts are also displayed. You will view a Mausoleum, the only one of its kind in the Midwest. The first Franciscan pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish was the first to be buried in the mausoleum in 1865. After this see the beautiful artistic windows of St. Francis of Assisi Church depicting events in the life of St. Francis. Volunteers are stationed at various tour points to explain displays and assist visitors.
The Memorial Tower was the main entrance to the former St. Joseph Seminary. It was opened in late 1862 by the Franciscans as a college for any young man to further his education. It later became a Seminary for the Franciscans until they moved to the Chicago area in 1969. “The tower, a memorial between the Franciscans and the townspeople, was built over a century ago and is the only remaining structure of the original St. Joseph Seminary.” The Knights of Columbus bought the ground, razed the building, except for the tower, and constructed a new Club room in this location.