St. Rose, Illinois, holds the honor of Clinton County’s newest incorporated community, voting to join together in November, 2016. This village, which is just five miles northwest of Breese, may be small but it definitely makes its presence known.
Early settlers began arriving here from Germany and Switzerland in the mid 1840’s. Many were Catholics and so one of the first things they built was a church. A St. Louis architect drew up the plans for the structure and Breese contractor Bernard Albers was given the job to build it. On the feast of St. Rose, August 30, 1868, the cornerstone of St. Rose Church was laid, but it would be many more months before enough money was accrued to complete the project. A rectory and school followed, and all remain anchors in the town.
Another centerpiece of St. Rose is its beautiful city park, owned and maintained by the St. Rose Development Club. A testament to community life, the park features two pavilions—one with kitchen amenities—providing places for families and groups to come together and celebrate.
Locals head to St. Rose for dining at the popular Popeye’s Chop House and, come August 12, 2018, for the annual St. Rose Church Festival. With delicious food, quilt bingo, and music all day, it’s one of our summer highlights.
The small town is also becoming a player in the farm-to-table movement with Main Street Pastures. This new store, the brainchild of Chad and Jill VonderHaar, sells pasture-raised meats. Nearly 250 animals roam and graze on the pastures at the VonderHaar farm which uses no hormones, non-GMO corn, and antibodies only when necessary. The new St. Rose store has freezers stocked with beef, pork—including hickory-smoked ham and bacon—and poultry, and free-range eggs in the refrigerator. Customers can also find Main Street Pastures products at the farm itself and at Wessel’s Corner Market in St. Rose.
Take a drive soon and stop in St. Rose for a visit. It’s another shining example of a Clinton County small town with a big heart.