Club visits Amish town

Group also visits ‘birdhouse man’ in eclectic home

Friends and Neighbors Extension Homemakers Club of Jackson County met Sept. 27 for a trip to Daviess County to once again observe the simpler lifestyle of Amish friends.

Thirteen members and guests made the drive. No formal meeting was conducted, but a quasimeeting happened en route with pledges and roll call. Members responded with their favorite place to eat with friends. Absent members were accounted for.

Discussion concerning the October meeting resulted in a decision to visit downtown Franklin to observe and enjoy the town’s revitalization efforts on the regular meeting date, Oct. 25.

Katie Marner, a member of the Amish community in Daviess County and longtime friend of Judy Carter’s family, joined the group at her home and directed everyone to the residence of her son, where a meal had been prepared.

Following the meal, a stop was made at a local store for a bit of shopping and photos before bidding goodbye to Marner.

A school was the next stop. Everyone was welcomed into the main classroom by the teacher and seated on benches in the back. Grades 1 through 8 joined them in a song fest led by the gentleman teacher of the upper grades after which the children each introduced themselves.

Leaving the Amish community, the group made another backroads stop at the home of an eccentric known as the “Birdhouse Man,” by the name of Bill Larkin.

The geodesic dome house he calls home is totally surrounded and engulfed inside and out with thousands of birdhouses, most of which he has constructed and painted.

He invited club members to walk through the house and out onto the deck, which circled around the back, to view the wooded ravine entirely decorated by racks of birdhouses and painted rock gardens.

He told a bit about his life and how he came to spend his time in the endeavor. They are not for sale, but he gives a small birdhouse to every person who comes for the tour.

Members taking the trip were Ruth Bateman, Judy Carter, Joann Davidson, Joan Hines, Rhonda Kidwell, Charlotte Lovegrove, Helen Lutes, Martha McIntire, Ruby Niccum, Donna Patterson and Shirley Sears. Guests were Peggy Burns and Joni Muchler.