Jim Halverson shares a visit he made back in the fall to the Wakarusa area of northern Indiana. This town lying north of Nappanee is in the vicinity of a small Old Order Mennonite community. Jim made two interesting stops while in the area, as you’ll see below.

Instead of trick-or-treating on Halloween, I attended the Wakarusa Driving Horse Auction.

Wakarusa is about 15 miles southwest of Goshen and 30 miles west of Shipshewana. Despite the cold day the auction was well-attended.

I enjoyed watching people arrive and tend to their horses.

I talked with a friendly gentleman who arrived as I was looking at some of the parked buggies. He explained that the auction was primarily an Old Order Mennonite event and that many of the attendees are horse and buggy Mennonites from the Groffdale Conference. He said that they rotate the location of their church services to 3 area meetinghouses including Yellow Creek, which is approximately 1 mile east of the auction site.

I then wandered around the auction.

Heading east on CR 38 after leaving the auction, I saw this sign.

Being the son of a funeral director, I had to investigate. I saw this notice taped to the door….

…and this is the shop.

I was met by Rhoda Martin and had a wonderful conversation with her. She explained that her husband Elon started the shop in the mid-1960’s and she then showed me around the shop.

The Martins attend the Yellow Creek Meetinghouse. On my way home I stopped at the Menno-Hof Cultural Center in Shipshewana and purchased the book Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups by Stephen Scott.

Information about the Yellow Creek area is found in Chapter 2 of the book.

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