Built atop a hillside in Dane County sits the Hauge Log Church. It's a place constructed in 1852 fostering the faith of some of Wisconsin's original settlers from Norway.
"They may have been living in really a mud hut. And they had the dedication to come here and build a church," Howard Kietzke told Newsline 9.
Kietzke is part of The Perry Hauge Log Church Preservation Association. That's an organization dedicated to keeping the church standing in it's original condition, and making sure the story of Wisconsin's Norwegian immigrants isn't forgotten.
"When I come here, I feel like I'm part of what's here," Anita Iverson said sitting in the small church's sanctuary.
Iverson's great grandmother used to walk six miles to get to the church's location, just northwest of the community of Daleyville.
"They were hard working, plain people. And part of the reason they cam here was they heard they could have their own land. And they worked very hard to get it," Iverson continued.
The work ethic of those early settlers is still visible in the structure today.
As the story goes, each family in the church's original congregation supplied one log for construction. And since most of the members were farmers, they needed to build the church during the winter, when their fields and farms didn't need as much of their time.
"I just love this place. It's something that I look at as being a special place in history," Rick Friedrickson said.
Friedrickson got married in the church, just like his friend and fellow preservation association member Linda Bluschke did.
"It's just the kind of place you need to explore for yourself. There really is a sense of timelessness when you sit in here," Bluschke said.
One of the first quaint characteristics visitors will notice when arriving at the church are it's two unlocked wooden doors. A feature that is commonplace at the peaceful setting, intended as a welcoming gesture to guests.
"It's open 24-7, all year round and there's a pretty constant stream of visitors," Bluschke continued.
On Dec. 22nd, the preservation association will host a Christmas caroling service starting at 4 p.m. Since the structure is in it's original condition the building does not have heat or electricity, so visitors are encouraged to dress warm and bring along battery-operated candles or lanterns, as open flames are discouraged from being near the historic building.
For more information and for directions, follow this link.