In 1882, six German friars from St. Boniface monastery in Scipio, Kansas, founded a new Carmelite monastery at Grelton Station, halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso on the Texas & Pacific Railroad. They renamed the station Marienfeld and established a German Catholic colony.
Under the leadership of Anastasius Peters, the Carmelites attracted immigrant farmers to the area, some of whom joined the religious order. In 1884, this building was constructed to serve as the living quarters for the friars; it was expanded in 1886. From here they journeyed all over west Texas and eastern New Mexico, ministering to the Catholic families in communities along the rail lines and starting new Catholic parishes. Their work in Marienfeld had a direct impact on the town's development and on the formal organization of Martin County in 1884.
In 1888, the Marienfeld Carmelites numbered 34, but severe drought during that period resulted in an economic depression that led to faltering support for the friars and the colony. By 1891, only five friars remained, and they left in 1901. In 1897, the Carmelites sold the monastery building to the Sisters of Mercy, who developed an academy on the site in 1898 and used this building for their living quarters and chapel. Soon after a 1938 tornado swept through the complex, the Sisters of Mercy withdrew, and the property was sold.
Built of adobe in the Gothic Revival style, the monastery features four-foot thick walls, a stone foundation, Gothic pointed-arch windows and a wrapround porch. It is the only building remaining from the Carmelite occupation of the site.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2000