About Friends of Chrisholm Historic Farmstead
About The Friends of Chrisholm
About the Amish Mennonite Settlement
About the Farmstead
About Christian Augspurger, the farmer
About the Friends of Chrisholm
Who we are...The Friends of Chrisholm was founded in 1995 to collaborate with MetroParks of Butler County to preserve and share the Amish Mennonite story and the farming history of the region.
In our 25 years of existence as a nonprofit we have:
- Assisted in the restoration of the bank barn, the Augspurger house, and the family cemetery.
- Created award-winning, demonstration gardens.
- Funded a composting, off-the-grid public restroom.
- Hosted the Smithsonian Exhibit, Between Fences; and the Ohio Humanities Exhibit, Rethinking Porkopolis.
- Created interpretive signage for both the house and the farm landscape.
- Moved and reconstructed the Rosemont barn for use at the site.
We have brought in over $200,000 in grants to both
- restore and enhance the site
- and to develop and present public history programs.
We are supported by over 130 members and donors - from across the country. Some of our members/donors trace their ancestry back to the original Amish pioneers of Butler County, Ohio.
Please join our team of strong supporters.
Please join our team of strong supporters.
About the Amish Mennonite Settlement of Butler County, Ohio
5 Items of Significance about the Amish Mennonite Community of Butler County:
- Christian and Katharina Augspurger and a group of their Amish co-religionists came to America from Alsace in France and then on to Butler County in 1819. The Augspurgers came to America to seek religious freedom, better farming conditions, and the ability to acquire and own land. They located on fertile farmlands to the west of the Great Miami River. At that time this was the western-most of all Amish settlements. Within a few years the settlement was growing faster than any other Amish community in America.
- More immigrants arrived in 1832 and these new transplants, though of the same Amish religious heritage brought with them on their trans-Atlantic journey a teacher, a library of books, two pianos, and other musical instruments. The introduction of all this newness brought much conflict into the community.
- These conflicts lead to a split in the community and the church, with the more conservative group becoming known as the hook and eye people and the other group the button people. The community gradually moved toward being Mennonite and away from being Amish and eventually formed the Trenton Mennonite Church.
- The Butler County Amish Mennonite Settlement was a hub of immigration. The first Amish communities in Illinois and Iowa were established by this westward expansion from Butler County, Ohio.
- In 1995 a remnant of Christian and Katharina Augspurger's Chrisholm Farmstead was deeded to MetroParks of Butler County. A non-profit support group The Friends of Chrisholm was formed at that time to act as stewards of the site and its history.
About the Chrisholm Farmstead
The Chrisholm Farmstead, MetroParks of Butler CountyThe Chrisholm Historic Farmstead, now a park within MetroParks of Butler County, is a remnant of a once thriving Amish agricultural community.
From Farm to ParkThe Chrisholm farm was the second farm owned by Christian Augspurger, the pioneer. In 1995, Cincinnati Gas and Electric (Cinergy, and now Duke) donated the house, barn, family cemetery and 17 acres to MetroParks of Butler County. The restoration project was initially a joint venture of Friends of Chrisholm (representing the community), The Butler County Antique Machinery Club, the Trenton Historical Society, and MetroParks of Butler County.
Settlement Centered in Madison TownshipThe original Amish pioneers, following Christian's lead, settled in the Milford Township area of Butler County, just east of the Seven Mile Creek and near the present day location of Collinsville. However, when Christian Augspurger later purchased land in Madison Township, many Amish families followed, buying acreage not only in Madison, but in St. Clair, Liberty, Wayne, and Lemon Townships as well.
The Home Farm or ChrisholmChristian bought his second farm and built a bank barn and a home on a rise overlooking the Great Miami River, just south of the village of Trenton. He built the home of stone harvested from the river, called it the home farm, and gave it the name of Chrisholm.
About Christian Augspurger, the Farmer
Christian Augspurger, the FarmerChristian Augspurger, born 1782 in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, Haut-Rhin, France, was the leader of a group of six Amish farming families who immigrated to America and Butler County, Ohio in 1819.
Pushed to AmericaAugspurger, widely known as a master farmer, managed the estate named Meinau in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France, for Napoleon's spy, Karl Ludwig Schulmeister (1770-1853). After the downfall of Napoleon and "the year without a summer" caused by the eruption of Mt. Tambora, Christian and his wife Katherina left France in 1817 and traveled all the way to Butler County, Ohio to scout for available land and hospitable farming conditions.
Award for Excellence in FarmingIn Europe, the Amish and Mennonites were famous for restoring fertility to soil depleted by poor farming methods. Their procedures included crop rotation, irrigation, use of natural fertilizers such as manure, and the planting of clover and alfalfa to replenish the soil. But perhaps no Mennonite farmer achieved greater distinction than did Christian Augspurger when in 1814 the French government under King Louis XVIII conferred upon him the Decoration of the Lily Flower for excellence in farming.
Extensive Land HoldingsChristian Augspurger eventually came to own nearly 2,000 acres, enough to leave each of his surviving children a farm of at least 160 acres. The division of Augspurger's extensive land holdings among his heirs is documented in the Christian Augspurger estate documents. Those documents are accessible at
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