Southern Illinois is old oil country. Most people don’t think of the Land of Lincoln as the land of Black Gold, but a southern swath of the state from Oblong City to Lawrenceville is full of rusting oil pumps, some still working, slowly pulling crude from below. Others sit silently in the sun, rusting and thirsty. The boom days are long past, but the slow trickle of oil remains, a nod to the area’s prosperous past. Crooner and Frosty the Snowman star Burl Ives called Oblong City his birthplace.
And nearby a small Amish settlement has established itself. And there is where our new Amish Cook columnist, Gloria Yoder, calls home. I had the pleasure of spending the day in her settlement yesterday and I’ll be sharing recipes, images, and stories from her settlement over the days ahead. But I thought I’d share three photographs today. Below, the small settlement’s school sits waiting for students to return in a few short weeks. And, below, one of Gloria’s sisters corrals the horses.
They have a couple of horses and a pony. The pony was hitched up yesterday for a ride to the nearby bulk food store. And Gloria’s mother Dorcas Raber still uses an old Maytag wringer washer. This was the wringer washer doing the laundry yesterday. You’ll hear more from Dorcas in the months ahead, I am sure.