As you may know from reading this blog, before we left and even as we are traveling I have been researching charities in the towns we are visiting, as I know 2020 was a tough year for so many folks. It has been a challenge sometimes to find a charity in some of the smaller towns. I was delighted therefore to find that the Town of Perry, WI has something called the Hauge Historic District, and that they were selling pavers for a commemorative Heritage Circle to be placed within it.
I went to the website, and mailed a check before we left, including our plans to come visit. At the time I had no idea what the site was, except that it included an old wooden church, which is on the register of historic places.
I received an email, saying that when we were in town to come over and contact a gentleman named Mick Klein-Kennedy and he might be able to meet us at the site. So today as we approached the town of Perry we called him and he said he was at the site mowing grass.
It turns out the town of Perry we were approaching was not Perry at all, despite a church there bearing that moniker. We were in Daleyville, WI. Or maybe Mt. Horeb. A glance at a map also identified a community called Blue Mounds. Our GPS was sure we were in Perry, but we never saw the town.
Anyway, that has no pertinence to our meeting with Mick, at the Hauge Historic District Park. First of all, what is a hauge? Google defines it as a Norwegian surname, associated with a mound. The log church was the first Norwegian Lutheran Church built in western Wisconsin, erected in 1852. It was used as a school in the area until the first school was built. The church grounds house the remains of 30 of the first settlers.
It also has an outhouse, and I should explain that I can’t get to the bathroom in the RV when it is compacted for driving. It is possible that I used a wooden outhouse today, I can neither confirm nor deny that statement.
Our RV could not negotiate the turn onto the gravel driveway at the District Park site, so Von dropped us and we walked up a rolling hill and saw a man on a mower waving. We introduced ourselves, and Mr. Kennedy showed us around. Most of the ground was covered with grasses, but there was a mowed path up to the church site. He showed us where the pavers will sit, and explained that the land will be replanted in entirety with native prairie grass to help restore habitat.
It is a lovely plot of land, with gently rolling hills and a view of the Blue Mounds in the distance. The 30 acre park offers views from every portion, and really will be something special when they raise the funds they have set as a goal.
Here is the church, both inside and out:
At the end of the visit, we knew quite a bit about the church, and the plans for this park. The only great mystery is whether or not Perry, WI is like Brigadoon, and only appears once every hundred years.
#perrywi #haugelogchurch #friendsoftheparksofperrytownship #bluemounds #rv #roadtrip #perryorbussed