Marian Cliff Manor History
In 1861 Mr. Henry Caldwell of Virginia built a beautiful home on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. It was built with the help of slaves. Mr. Caldwell sided with the South so on the top of the home he built a special lookout tower. It was arranged to view the movement of the Union troops during the civil War. This home later was purchased by John Tiapek. Mr. Tiapek was educated in Prague, his native city. In 1965 he came to St. Marys. He clerked in his father’s store and also managed the flour mill. He built a lumber yard here with the branches in various parts of Ste. Genevieve and Perry Counties. Mr. Tiapek, assisted Mr. Houck in railroad enterprises. In 1900 he organized the St. Genevieve Telephone Company. Mr. Tiapek’s business interests included Western Lime, Bank of Perryville, and the Electric Light Company of Ste. Genevieve.
After the death of Mr. Tiapek the home was not immediately sold but has been used by various non-profit groups. The Sisters of Mercy used this beautiful home for a spiritual renovation program fo their Sisters. The Sisters of Mercy added a dormitory wing, chapel, and a chaplain’s quarters. The porches were enclosed with glass for sunrooms and dining area. On September 11, 1954 Cardinal Ritter assisted at a dedication ceremony. The home and surrounding area was called Marian Cliff.
Later the Montfort Fathers had a seminary at this location. The Montfort Fathers, while residing at Marian Cliff, added a special touch to the local community,. They helped teach CCD Classes, managed a Teen Center, and provided entertainment for the local celebrations.
At the present time Marian Cliff Manor is owned by Harris Care Centers, Inc. There are presently about 50 disabled veterans living at this famous, old home.