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Here’s the buggy entrance for the auction house (Southside Produce Auction). I happened to be there just before the annual school consignment auction, when they were getting things ready.

I stopped in, picked up a sub and a burger, and talked to the Amishman running the food operation. I learned more from him about this community, which originated from St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

For those that missed earlier posts, Burke’s Garden was formed from the collapse of limestone caverns collapse long ago (it’s not an extinct volcano, though you can see why some might think so). Only one paved road goes into the valley, through a twisting mountain pass. There is a small Amish community here, comprising about 14 households. This is the actually the second settlement in this area. The first was founded in 1990 before dwindling out in 1999.

Over a decade later, Amish began arriving to settle the valley once again. This latest group started in 2012, and has ties to the Amish from Dover, Delaware.

On completing my purchase, I went outside and spoke with the owner Rudy Wengerd, who is originally from the Somerset County, PA settlement. A friendly and talkative fellow. He was going back to his home community later that afternoon to spend Christmas Eve with his family, the first time in 14 years. They would go in a fully loaded 15-person passenger van.

Text here.

Other communities connected to this one are Marion County, Kentucky, and one in New York (I thought he said “Raysville” but that might not be right). The settlement has been here since 2006, so it sounds like Rudy was one of the first to come here.

 

This sign instructs you at the turn-off from Tazewell, the town which lies just on the other side of the mountains, to begin the winding drive up over a twisting mountain pass that takes you into the valley.

More text goes here.

virginia amish

This sign instructs you at the turn-off from Tazewell, the town which lies just on the other side of the mountains, to begin the winding drive up over a twisting mountain pass that takes you into the valley.

amish virginia sign

A home in the community.

virginia amish home

Some shoofly pies.

And Matties Place, a nice business located there.

Amish-made cheese

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