The grotto was constructed in 1910. The original grotto was designed by Raphael Knapp, OSB and was smaller than the one today. The grotto was first constructed out of smooth field stones.
Redesign and Repairs
In 1939, the Grotto was redesigned and covered with larger granite rocks. After the redesign, the grotto more closely resembled the site for Our Lady of Lourdes in France, with the grotto itself roughly imitating a cave and a trickling stream. The redesign was complete with a statue of Bernadette.
Sometime after 1960 the statue of Bernadette disappeared. A new statue was installed during the centennial year, 2010.
In 2005 the grotto underwent repairs. Concrete was added to strengthen the structure. Because of this the stonework can no longer be seen from the back of the grotto.
The Grotto's Centennial Brochure, from the St. Benedict's Monastery, 2010
Casper, Kathyrn, OSB. "Grotto Pilgrimage," May 18, 2010 entry on the Sisters of Saint Benedict's Monastery blog
Thomes, Mary. "These Gentle Communists," 1944, p. 3
"Facula," 1945, p. 4 and p. 22
McDonald, Grace, M, OSB. "With Lamps Burning," 1957, p. 109