It was a beautiful day for a “Sunday Drive.” Our sights were set on Amish country; this time in Wisconsin.
Augusta is two hours nearly straight East of St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN. Amish farmsteads dot the landscape from Augusta in the North to Osseo to the Southwest and Fairchild to the Southeast. This Amish settlement was founded in 1978 and consists of six church districts. Seventy-five percent of Wisconsin’s forty Amish communities are one or two church district.
Augusta is home to the Yoder family. Wisconsin vs. Yoder was particularly significant in regards to Amish educations. The local conflict reached the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in a landmark 1972 decision which granted Amish and other religious groups the right to remove their children from school upon finishing the eighth grade.
It wasn’t much of a mystery as to where the Amish might be. All you have to do is look for buggy tracks or horse poo on the road. I love driving through Amish country. Their farms are very well-kept along with everything else, including beautiful vegetable and flower gardens. They are a simple and hard-working people. For the most part, they just want to be left alone to live their way.
This settlement had several sawmills and timber processing and furniture making appeared to be their Forté. Their sawmills were not the only thing visible on this rural landscape. There was something else here; something I was not aware of – something that many communities, including the Amish would rather not see at all. Something that is significantly impacting their way of life already. More on that later…