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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Holy Hill


A cone shaped hill in  Washington county, formerly called Miracle Hill, on which is erected a Catholic church, has been given this name; a visit to the hill at a certain time of the year is supposed to effect cures of all sorts of diseases. Tradition has it that the hill was first discovered by Father Marquette in 1673 on his return with Joliet from the discovery of the upper Mississippi; that a German priest who had been recreant to his vows seeking to do penance in the new world, found a reference to this hill in a strangely discovered portion of Marquette's diary; that on his way to find the hill, he was taken ill in Chicago, and when he recovered he was paralytic.    He persisted in his efforts to find the hill and when found it and crawled to the summit on his hands and knees he was cured of his paralysis. The hill and its little church have very picturesque  surroundings. Every year a goodly number of pilgrims, some only curious, others with faith that  they will be healed of their diseases, visit the hill.

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Wisconsin: comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form, ed. by Ex-Gov. Geo. W. Peck (Madison, Wis., Western Historical Association, 1906). ]
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