The story of the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead is about those who came before us. “It’s a story of immigration, of families, successes, triumphs, sorrows and how we make it in this world today,” says Anne Jantzen.
In 1817, Christian Augspurger arrived here from Alsace, Germany. He and his family settled south of Trenton on Woodsdale Road. They liked the rich farmland and the Great Miami River, which reminded them of the Rhine River back in Germany. Augspurger and his wife Catherine raised 12 children on the site which is now the Chrisholm farmstead.
Fire destroyed the original home but it was rebuilt right over the first foundation. Samuel and Catherine often opened their home to welcome later settlers from Germany. Today, the Chrisholm Farmstead is owned by Butler County MetroParks.
In 2017, the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the arrival of the Amish to Butler County. Anne says that the farmstead plays an important role in that anniversary. “We preserve and share a fascinating and thought provoking slice of our Butler County history. This history serves as a foundation for future generations, it gives us roots. The stories we tell through this authentic site and the documents, photos, and artifacts we preserve here, ground us in what it means to be an American.”
In 2014, the Friends of Chrisholm Historic Farmstead established an endowment fund at the Foundation. The fund was started in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Friends of Chrisholm Historic Farmstead nonprofit organization. Earnings from the fund will be used for restoring, preserving, and gifting the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead to the families of Southwest Ohio and future generations.
This year, Anne and her husband Carl, both retired educators, joined the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Legacy Society. They designated the Chrisholm Endowment as the beneficiary, as a way to help further carry on the Chrisholm Legacy. “Carl and I want to continue to contribute to this important project/mission and that is why joining the Legacy Society is our natural next step,” says Anne. “The writing is on the wall that the Friends of Chrisholm will not be able to continue to survive as an all-volunteer organization. Funds are needed to hire an administrative assistant or a curator to continue our important mission.”
The Friends group wants to make sure that the stories of Chrisholm and its people continue. “We consider ourselves stewards of the history,” says Anne.
The Chrisholm Farmstead is a living reminder of our rich Amish, Mennonite and agricultural heritage, Janzten added. The hope is that future generations will be even more fascinated with the stories told at the Chrisholm Farm, the Augspurgers and other immigrant families, and the Amish Mennonite community. The grounds on the property are open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset.