Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Speaking German In Washtenaw County

Today we were taking a ride in Washtenaw County, which surrounds Ann Arbor. We stopped to look at the church in the photo, called Bethel Church. The people who built it started a church here 150 years ago. First they built a church out of logs; later, a wooden building, and finally, they built this stone church almost 100 years ago (in 1909). The people who lived on farms all around and who built the church spoke German and had German church services until about 50 years ago.

Many of the farmers and settlers who came to Ann Arbor and to this county between 180 and 100 years ago were from Germany or Switzerland. The founder of this church came from Basil, Switzerland before 1840. Many farms still are owned by people with German names and families from the German community that first farmed this area. They have big barns and silos to hold feed for their cows, and they grow crops like corn, hay, and soybeans.

On our ride today we enjoyed seeing the beautiful farmland, the bales of hay standing in the sunshine, the trees between the fields, and the wind blowing the standing corn and shaking the reeds in the marshes in the low areas. Near Ann Arbor there are no big mountains, but lots of little hills. As we rode, we went up and down the hills.

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