This area was settled in the mid-nineteeth century by Swiss immigrants. Not only is the first picture representative of transportation in earlier times, it is the primary mode of transportation yet today for those who adhere to certain of the Amish traditions.
In the museum there was a chart in time-line form delineating the history of the Mennonite, Amish and Brethern sects. This particularly fascinated me as I have long known just enough about the history of these Believers to be void of a clear understanding of the development of the traditions. Over the years there have been numerous splits and mergers of the various conferences but they all have a common heritage, their roots in Swiss history.
The magnificent red barn on the property was not built where it now sits, but was moved-- imagine that-- moved, not dismantled, from its original site some miles distant. The interior is most impressive and one gets the sense that this thing was built to withstand the ravages of time.
Our visit to the schoolhouse resulted in a "lesson" from Miss Charlotte who gave us a brief history of the development of education in the Northwest Territory. A section in each township was set aside for the support of a public school. While school attendance was not mandatory, it was the law in the territory that each child must have the opportunity for a public education. Many of us in the classroom were retired teachers, and for us this was a review of some things we had already learned.
The farmhouse, like the barn, was built to last. Those timbers used in the construction will still be solid at the resurrection of the saints. I photographed the ceiling in the kitchen, shown here, because it exemplifies the handiwork of these pioneers. Remember, no power tools, and all the lumber started out as standing trees on the farm. The garden was in the front yard of the home, because it was the pride and joy of the occupants who depended on it for sustenance and hundreds of quarts of produce were canned every summer to tide them over the winter. (Just as it was at home when I was a kid.)
Finally, a most impressive stop next to the apple orchard. Here was the cider mill. On our way over BBBH said, Oh, I've seen cider presses. Indeed. But we had never seen one like this, which is said to be the largest cider press in the world. The principal beam shown here weighs well over four thousand pounds. The screw was carved, by hand of course, from a single log.