The Dickeyville Grotto is an interesting example of "outsider" art, i.e. created by someone who works independently of formal schooling or traditional concepts of "art." Wisconsin is particularly rich in "outsider" art - with another outstanding example to be found in Hollandale, not far from here. (Check out my VT page for Hollandale.) Moreover, the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan is a serious and well-endowed collector and preserver of "outsider" art from around the USA.
"The Shrine of Dickeyville with its colors and curios rises beside the red-brick of Holy Ghost Church in the Catholic parish grounds of the village. Its reason for being is to give glory to God and praise to America. And it is dedicated to the unity of two great ideals in the hearts of all Americans: the love of God and the love of our country. The Shrine takes its name from this southwestern Wisconsin village, just as the place took that of an early settler and trader, a grocer named Dickey." (from the official guide book)
"Like other institutions and places of interest, the Shrine is as much part of the village as it is part of the parish church. And more than this, it is the work and dream and ideal of a priest, Father Mathias Wernerus, who served the parish from 1918 until his death in 1931. It is his work, but not a personal monument. It is a creation in stone, mortar and bright colored objects of great variety, where all may see and be stirred by an ideal of religion and patriotism. . .
"The Grottoes and Shrine are a great and lasting testament of patience and ardor for beauty created of simple things. It was conceived and executed with simplicity and sincerity. Represented in this work is an ideal which should intensify our Love of God and country. What has been built in patience and love remains for everyone a monument in simple grandeur."