Below is a view from St. Mary’s Church in Altus, the heart of Arkansas’ wine country. This image  — poorly taken in trying out the iPhone’s panorama function — is looking south.

In the 19th century, German, Swiss and Italian Catholics immigrated to Arkansas, spurred by religious persecution at home, and encouraged by the acres of rich  farmland being offered by railroad companies serving the Arkansas River Valley. The railroads figured if they could bring in farmers, the farmers would need a way to get their crops to market, and their friendly, neighborhood railroad would be the way to go.

Arkansas’ wine industry grew out of the immigrants’ need for sacramental wine for Mass. Today there are  commercial wineries, not only in the Ouachitas, but also north in the Ozark mountains.

ALTUS -- Altus, Ark., looking from the parking lot of St. Mary's church.
ALTUS — Altus, Ark., looking from the parking lot of St. Mary’s church.

8 thoughts on “Just because it’s Sunday

  1. Hope you had a wonderful visit, Altus is just ten minutes west of me. Have a lot of family there as well. It is a beautiful view from the top of St. Mary’s mountain but it is an awful drive down to Altus proper when there is ice or snow! God bless you!

      1. Many years ago when I was a teenager, I worked for awhile tying grapes for weidekers, it was an interesting time because no matter what the weather, we worked. I had a Valiant that the gear shift kept coming out of. One time going up a hill near there in very bad weather, it came out half-way up the hill, and I had to let it roll back down the hill. I was scared half to death because there was a small wooden bridge over a steep ravine with a stream at the bottom. Thank God I made it, but it was an interesting time!

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