Abbot Martin Marty of St. Meinrad’s Abbey in Southern Indiana established the site as a settlement for Benedictine German-speaking immigrants from land obtained in 1877 from the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad. In 1891, the priory was granted the rank of abbey by Pope Leo XIII, and the monastery was renamed Subiaco Abbey. The first monastery was destroyed by fire in December 1901, but the construction of new building was already underway and the Abbey opened as a high school for boys in 1902. Fire again burned the Abbey in 1927, but this time suffered a slower recovery due to the Great Depression. The site began expanding and Subiaco admitted eighth graders in 1940s and 1950s, but stopped admittance of that grade in 1957. Operation of Camp Subiaco, a summer camp, began in 1941. The site expanded to offer the Coury House Retreat Center in 1963, and the school began readmitting eighth graders in 2007.
The school has been host to students from around the United States and world, with teachers of Benedictine and other backgrounds. Over fifty monks reside at the Abbey. These monks keep Black Angus cattle, operate a sawmill, maintain vineyards, and grow other produce--including ingredients needed to make their Monk Sauce, a habanero pepper sauce. Since 2018, the Abbey also operates a brewery and tasting room.
With nearly 150 years of operation, the monastery and school has a rich history. The publications below offer insight into various aspects of the site and operations.
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Browse the Subiaco Abbey and Academy collection, 1917-2021 Collections:
Subiaco Abbey and Academy collection photographs, 1920-1929