LumberJocks

" Miraculous Staircase "

  • Advertise with us
Project by Arthouse posted 08-21-2013 01:20 AM 5577 views 27 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just returned from Santa Fe and want to share this Miraculous Staircase built in the 1879 . The wood is unknown , the craftsman is unknown and why it is standing is unknown. The Legend of the Miracle Staircase started with the Sisters of Loretto built a church but the Architect forgot a staircase to the choir loft which was not uncommon for in those days most used a latter . The Sisters needed a staircase not a latter. After many carpenters and many prayers to there devoted St. Joseph A gray haired man came with a donkey and tool box . Eyewitnesses passed on to others said the only tools he had was a hammer, a saw and T-square. He worked by himself during the christmas season of 1879. Eyewitnesses also said they saw wood being soaked in tubs of water throughout the courtyard. The staircase does two complete 360 turns without a center support and no nails . When Mother Magdalen went to pay him he was gone. The local lumber company had no bill for lumber. Many experts have tried to identify the wood and surmise where it came from. It has been identified as a previously unknown type of spruce with the strength of hardwood but the flexibility of spruce. It cell makeup is a spruce grown at over 10,000 feet which would mean Alaska. Where the old carpenter got that wood is a mystery. The construction after looking at it is like a coiled spring and works like that. When the Sisters walk on it , the weight is transfered to the bottom. I looked closely at the wood and found out the wood was painted over with lime plaster and horsehair. Later the Sisters had it painted over to resemble varnished wood as it looks today. Everyone who visits it is amazed at its wonder and beauty, but no one can explain how it got there and how it stays there . It is truly an inexplicable stairway. All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart





38 comments so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

7360 posts in 2119 days


#1 posted 08-21-2013 01:27 AM

Beautiful. Cool story. Amazing what was done so many years ago by master craftsmen

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View aussiedave's profile

aussiedave

3014 posts in 510 days


#2 posted 08-21-2013 01:39 AM

That is an awesome staircase and an amazing story. The mind boggles at the building of the staircase, just an amazing work of art in wood and craftsmanship…

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View NormG's profile

NormG

4254 posts in 1690 days


#3 posted 08-21-2013 01:46 AM

Now known as the Loretto Chapel, it is a former Roman Catholic Church (convent chapel), but is now only used for weddings and is a museum. The movie The Staircase about 15 years ago is about this very staircase. Before the building was complete the original architect died suddenly. Some say it is a duplicate of a Chapel in Paris. Also they say the carpenter responsible for the staircase is a Frenchman. Who just chance also died suddenly. You are correct it is a very impressive staircase and also one of a very good craftsman

-- Norman

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4758 posts in 978 days


#4 posted 08-21-2013 01:55 AM

Beautiful staircase and story. Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3092 days


#5 posted 08-21-2013 02:09 AM

Great post tonight!

I saw this while in High School on a church trip to NM. Growing up with a dad as a woodshop teacher, I saw some incredible woodworking in my, then, young life. I remember being completely blown away then by the stairs and the story. After many years of woodworking now and way more tools than the old gray-haired man had, this project is even more overwhelming to me now.

I was at Boy Scout camp this summer, and one of the boys was telling me about this stairway after seeing it on a family vacation not long back. He knew I would be excited to hear about it, so he told me the story and described the stairs. To see the awe and wonder in his eyes as he explained the story and described the stairway was really cool….better than video games.

When the Master Carpenter works….”How great are God’s riches! How deep are His wisdom and knowledge!”

”Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11721 posts in 1791 days


#6 posted 08-21-2013 02:23 AM

I saw that staircase in Santa Fe. The sisters said it had no railing for many years. It was not made with a railing. They actually climbed that staircase without anything to hang onto. They added the railing later for safety!
..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View deon's profile

deon

2199 posts in 1712 days


#7 posted 08-21-2013 02:56 AM

Amazing story. Thanks for posting

-- Dreaming patterns

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2591 posts in 1704 days


#8 posted 08-21-2013 04:04 AM

I saw it last week when we were traveling through New Mexico! You are right that it is an amazing piece of work, I got chills just trying to fathom how the carpenter managed to do a that!!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View raydawg's profile (online now)

raydawg

21 posts in 718 days


#9 posted 08-21-2013 05:52 AM

do I hear a little Led Zeppelin from this post?

View jeffro's profile

jeffro

156 posts in 1378 days


#10 posted 08-21-2013 08:29 AM

shut the front door!!!!

-- Jeffro,knockonwood

View clarkey's profile

clarkey

447 posts in 1742 days


#11 posted 08-21-2013 11:31 AM

AMAZING, The start of the Stairway to Heaven !

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2906 posts in 1771 days


#12 posted 08-21-2013 02:23 PM

I have heard the story many times, but this is the first time I have seen the stairway, thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7092 posts in 1989 days


#13 posted 08-21-2013 03:23 PM

my goodness, what a marvelous story, i look at this in awe, the kindness and goodness that others give like in this example is something that strengthens my faith …there are many angels upon this earth as well as heavenly ones, no doubt this man resides with our father and his son…his workmanship just overwhelmes me, and inspires me, thanks for this post…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15959 posts in 1553 days


#14 posted 08-21-2013 03:27 PM

I have heard this story a number of times. Thanks for the picture.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Greg72's profile

Greg72

55 posts in 798 days


#15 posted 08-21-2013 04:02 PM

I have seen this staircase several times and every time I am more amazed by it. Thanks for sharing it with everyone!!!

showing 1 through 15 of 38 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase