Espenschied Chapel is not a church nor affiliated with any churches. But the simple elegance of its design inspires a spiritual energy, making it an ideal place for people to gather together.
Mascoutah Cemetery Chapel, Inc. is the official name of the 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit group that was formed to save the chapel from demolition in 1999.
Since its restoration, it serves as a cultural center in the community. We have a concert series and are working toward hosting more programs and cultural events and workshops! We feature artists who play original and traditional music.
The chapel was built at the bequest of a generous local family in 1928. Though it was very well built, after a short time it fell out of use, as funeral homes and local churches were preferred for services.
So the chapel sat unused and neglected for decades, until a decision was made that it was not needed anymore and that it would be too costly to invest in repairs to save the building.
Some concerned citizens rallied community support just in time to spare it from the wrecking ball. A not-for-profit group was formed and raised all the necessary funds –thanks to the generosity of the community– and with sheer determination, pitched in and did the work to restore the chapel to its original glory. A kitchen was added downstairs, new furnace and central air conditioning, new restroom facilities and some other improvements as well.
The intimacy of the small venue (100-115) will spoil you!
If you are interested in sponsoring or underwriting a concert, please contact us.
With that same can-do attitude that saved the chapel, we aspire to become a looked-to cultural center and concert venue.
Saturday, March 14, 2020, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 15, 2020, 5 p.m.
John Dennis is a Nashville, TN based singer-songwriter signed to Rainfeather Records. He has developed his own unique brand of Americana music that, at once, harkens back to some of folk music’s greatest lyricists, namely: Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and James Taylor, while also carving out a musical place that is uniquely his own.
He has continued to establish himself as a songwriter with thought-provoking lyrics that take a profound look at life’s obstacles and the beauty that stems from tragedy. His new album Mortal Flames is a personal record that touches on universal themes; through each song, Dennis searches for meaning in his childhood, the disillusionment of adolescence, the joys and sorrows of first love, learning to accept the past, healing, and eventually death—the inevitable constant that keeps the cycle going. The album has been spotlighted by a variety of outlets, including print features in ProSound News, Adelante Magazine, and The Freeburg Tribune. Glide Magazine compared Dennis’s “simple yet powerful folk songs” to the likes of Jason Isbell and Conor Oberst, while Americana Highways commented, “John Dennis has created a truly captivating, innovative sound as he tells a story from beginning to end on Mortal Flames.”
Advance tickets $15, available here or locally at Bee Hollow Market, 217 East Main, Mascoutah.
Your tickets will be waiting for you at the door - just introduce yourself. Seats are not numbered, so it is first in, first seated. There are really no bad seats. Doors will open 30 minutes before show time
Saturday concert starts at 7 p.m.
Sunday concert starts at 5 p.m.
We are still in fundraising mode!
Thank you to all the generous donors who have helped make this project possible.
Construction is complete! Several things have come up that have added to the estimated cost. And, we did not meet our fundraising goal yet.
And we do have a list of needed further improvements, which include plaster repair, a new roof, improving gutters, stage lighting, tables and chairs, microwave oven, landscaping, a vacuum cleaner ...
Please consider make a donation.
We are a 501(c)(3), so gifts are tax-deductible.
Wedding photos by Larissa Photography
Just to mention a few...
Espenschied Chapel is now the headquarters of the Artisan Guild of Southern Illinois. Meetings are the second and last Thursdays of each month. New members welcome.
May 1 & 2, 2020
Southern Illinois Art and Fiber Fest!
Thank you to all who helped make this concert happen! The donors, the ticket purchasers, the chapel workers and, of course, JUDY COLLINS and her team.
It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you were here and would like to share a comment please, we'd love to hear it.
If you would like to receive email from us about upcoming events or news about projects at the chapel, please let us know. If you had signed up for our email list and are not receiving emails from us, please contact us. We have been getting a lot of rejected mail and are trying to update our mailing list.