St. Anne's Retreat: Student Collection: St. Anne's Retreat
St. Anne's Retreat
St. Anne’s Retreat was originally established up Logan Canyon for Cache Valley’s Catholic nuns who needed to “get away” from things for awhile. One nun got herself in trouble and as time passed her problem became more noticeable. He[r] superiors knew that something needed to be done—she couldn’t walk the streets in her condition, so she was sent to the St. Anne’s for the duration of her pregnancy. The Mother Superior at St. Anne’s talked this nun into putting up the baby for adoption when it was born, because she thought this sort of thing was horrible. If the nun would agree to do as the Mother Superior said, the Mother Superior would help her. If not, then she could fend for herself. Well, as time went by and this nun spent her time reading, thinking, swimming in the pool, and walking around the retreat and in the nearby woods, she began to think of this child and knew she could never give it up. She decided to leave the order and raise her baby. When the baby was born she told her decision to the Mother Superior. The Mother Superior did not agree and felt that she had to end this situation. One day when this nun was sleeping, the Mother Superior took the baby and drowned him in the swimming pool. The nun took it very hard, but couldn’t believe the Mother Superior would actually do this. She thought the Mother Superior had taken the baby and given him to a family, or was hiding him on the retreat somewhere. As she was recovering, she would take walks around the retreat to see if she could find her baby. As she walked by the pool one day, the Mother Superior pushed her in and she drowned. The Mother Superior thought she had rectified the problem, and now could live with herself after taking care of this nun. About three weeks later another nun was sent to St. Anne’s to rest and relax for a couple of weeks. One day as she was walking past the swimming pool she saw a nun floating face down in the pool. She screamed, and the Mother Superior came to see what the problem was. The Mother Superior tried to grab at the nun in the pool, but the nun disappeared. The second nun wanted to know what had happened, but the Mother Superior would not say anything. The second nun called the Father and told him to come up to the St. Anne’s Retreat. St. Anne’s is still used as a get away place for various groups and there have been reports that the one nun is still looking for her baby. Some have seen her walking around the retreat, and some have seen her floating in the pool. While there are no reports of anyone talking to this nun, there are plenty of reports of people who have seen her, so as you go camping in this part of Logan Canyon, beware of the nun (Fife Folklore Archives, Folk Coll 8a: Group 7: Box 8, Folder 9: L18.104.22.168.34).
This example illustrates a theme presented in some legends portraying the female as an outsider vs. the male insider: the female breaks the rules in these legends and pays the penalty. She becomes ostracized as the nun who becomes pregnant, noted by the following segment: “St. Anne’s Retreat was originally established up Logan Canyon for Cache Valley’s Catholic nuns who needed to 'get away' from things for awhile. One nun got herself in trouble…she couldn’t walk the streets in her condition, so she was sent to St. Anne’s…” (Folk Coll 8a: Group 7: Box 8, Folder 9: L22.214.171.124.34). This may not only be illustrating the attitudes of the local Mormon religion of their perception of such a situation by stating that pregnant unwed women cause shame and should be hidden away—but this situation may also be inverse of reality and that it reflects their own attitudes about as if happened to their own. The punishment for breaking moral codes may even become rape and murder as can be seen in some legend versions.