The Amish of Augusta, Wisconsin

A world without automobiles, telephones, and computers?  I could not imagine life without all the accommodations.  However, Amish communities thrive without today’s technology and the headaches that come along with it.  From sunrise to sunset, they are a hard working group.  They use the land and all it has to offer without the machinery that we see today.

According to Wikipedia:

“Amish lifestyle is dictated by the Ordnung (German, meaning: order), which differs slightly from community to community, and, within a community, from district to district. What is acceptable in one community may not be acceptable in another. No summary of Amish lifestyle and culture can be totally adequate, because there are few generalities that are true for all Amish. Groups may separate over matters such as the width of a hat-brim, the color of buggies, or other issues

Bearing children, raising them, and socializing with neighbors and relatives are the greatest functions of the Amish family.  All Amish believe large families are a blessing from God.”

This particular Amish settlement in Augusta, Wisconsin was founded over 30 years ago and is 6 church districts in size.  Roughly ¾ of Wisconsin’s forty or so Amish settlements consist of just 1-2 church districts. Wisconsin has been experiencing high levels of in-migration as nearly 30 Amish settlements have been founded over the past two decades.

The Amish are known for their beautiful handmade quilts, baskets, furniture, and many other items. In their communities you will often find bakeries, furniture or cabinet making shops, quilt shops, as well as general stores with unique items.

If you are ever in the area, the Woodshed, in Augusta, Wisconsin specializes in Amish antiques and woodworks and offers tours through a nearby Amish settlement. Visitors can savor mouthwatering homemade candy and baked goods, watch furniture makers and visit the Amish sawmills in this area. This tour also offers the chance to visit horse breeders and harness makers.

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Augusta, Wisconsin

On this particular morning, Dan and I had discussed traveling to the area of Augusta, WI.  The sun was shining and the weather was perfect for a photography outing, so we packed up the car with photography gear (and the girls) and headed on our merry way.

Augusta WI map

Augusta, Wisconsin is a small community situated between rolling valleys in central Wisconsin and is part of a region known as Chippewa Valley.  The area is beautiful, full of river valleys and streams, rolling hills, marshes, forests, and bountiful farmland.  We were also drawn to this area due to its Amish settlement and Dells Mill (both of which will be mentioned in later posts).

On this day, we were lucky enough to spy not only one, but two, abandoned farmsteads, a thriving Amish community, and a new industry popping up in this area.  The outcome was a fun filled day of a variety of photography, a realization of the impact of man’s consumer needs, and two very tired pups.  Please enjoy the first of three posts regarding this area.  This post will focus on the two abandoned farmsteads we just happened to stumble upon this day.

ATTRACTIONS IN THE AREA INCLUDE:

Amish Tours at The Wood Shed 
(715) 286-5404, 105 West Lincoln Street (Hwy 12 East), Augusta, WI 54722

Dells Mill Tour – Water Powered Museum Tour
(715) 286-2714, Museum is 5 miles North on County Road V, Augusta, WI 54722

“Come, follow me” said the goat.

Seeing, to me, is sometimes simply viewing life through my camera’s viewfinder.

If Dan and I have a few hours to spare, we will pack up the car and spend a fun filled day driving the backroads of the beautiful bluff country in Southeastern , MN.  From a run in with an abandoned farmstead, or stumbling upon a collection on an ever spinning reel.  Maybe it is seeing the magic of the sun as the light shines through the branches of the swaying trees in the woods of this area, or a surprise run in with the friendliest goat you have ever seen.  No matter what, we can drive the backroads of Minnesota and Wisconsin daily and always see something new.

Along one of these roads we saw the sun hit a horse’s mane as it was standing in the pasture, so we stopped and got out of the car to photograph the sight.  To our surprise, a goat walked right under the fence and gave us a friendly look as if to whisper “Come follow me”.  He was a character alright and was very interested in what we may of had to offer him.   Yep, this day was another photography outing to go down in the record books.