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Illinois Amish Heritage Center Prepares to Break Ground on September 23 for Barn Raising

Arthur, Illinois – The Illinois Amish Heritage Center is hosting a public horse-drawn slip scraper groundbreaking event September 23, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at their campus located between Arcola and Arthur, Illinois, on Illinois Route 133.

To kick off the process of the Herschberger-Miller barn raising later in October, the Illinois Amish Heritage Center will use a one-of-a-kind way of breaking the ground by horse drawn plow, which was very common during the era of the original barn usage.

Traditionally, ground is broken by horses pulling a plow, as well as a slip scraper, signifying the ground becoming ready for a new building. Several board members of the Illinois Amish Heritage Center will operate the plow, as well as descendants of the Herschberger-Miller family.

The Herschberger-Miller barn, that was originally constructed three miles west of Arthur, Illinois in 1879, was dismantled by Firmitas, formerly Trillium Dell Timber Works, in spring of 2022. The intricate process raised massive media coverage in the region because the barn was not only being removed from its original site, but, the 143-year structure was tagged, labeled, dismantled piece by piece, and will be relocated, refurbished, and rebuilt at its new home, Illinois Amish Heritage Center.

A two-day public Barn Raising is scheduled for Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 from 9am – 5pm. One of the biggest attractions is the rare opportunity for attendees to witness a partial hand-raising of the barn, which hasn’t happened in over 100 years in Central Illinois.

Other events on the Illinois Amish Heritage campus will include pioneer and Amish-based activities such as blacksmithing, glass blowing, rope making, Kiddie Tractor Pull, petting zoo, pony cart rides and more. Additionally, local Amish favorites will be made and sold onsite such as fresh apple cider, popcorn, ice cream and more! The food tent will also be serving an authentic German breakfast, and other food vendors.

For more information, call Cassie Yoder (217) 254-4012. Also, look for the Illinois Amish Heritage Center at www.illinoisamish.org and on Facebook.

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