18 responses to The Amish of Branch County, Michigan
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    Richard from Amish Stories
    Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 08:07)

    An interesting post about a state most folks think about being “the American car capital of the world”, and i notice what looks like a BB gun hanging on the front porch. Richard

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    Comment on Michigan Amish (May 17th, 2012 at 10:36)

    Michigan Amish

    I live in Grand Rapids, MI, and have yet to visit these communities. I will be planning a day trip to enjoy the Amish so close to my home. Thanks, Eric, for giving us information about geographical locations such as this.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Similarly different (May 17th, 2012 at 10:36)

    Similarly different

    I find it very interesting, comparing different Amish settlements, and these are a prime example. It’s interesting to consider what lead them (both “born” of the Swiss Amish)to their current state of being, their own, particular “Ordnung.” Similar, but different!

    The photos were beautiful,Erik, especially the one under the “California Township Amish” heading. Are you still considering updating the “Amish America” website banner? I’d suggest using that photo, perhaps even a very faded, PhotoShop-ped version of it behind the actual “Amish America” text. When I looked at that particular photo, I thought, “Now THAT’S Amish!” The linear layout, the barn and outbuildings, house in the background, windmill—no electrical lines in sight—it says “Amish” to ME! (Just a suggestion!)

    Alice Mary

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      Comment on Things I noticed at California Township (May 17th, 2012 at 12:45)

      Things I noticed at California Township

      I have not seen any lawn mowers. I also notice that there are fences and gates around the lawn. I therefore assume the horses are used to eat the lawn…

      No motors of any kind seen. I did see a horse driven shaft drive going into buildings so that is probably how washing machines, table saws, woodworking tools, etc. are powered. Only the more conservative Swiss Amish and a Old Order Mennonite community in KY have rules against motors, that I know of. Can anyone confirm whether or not Nebraska Amish use motors?

      Alice Mary says that this is what Amish are supposed to look like. I agree. You will be more likely to see that trait in the smaller and older Amish communities where farming is still the primary occupation. In communities where home shops/stores, and factory or other away from home occupations are popular, the buildings look more like a Amish suburb than farm country. With current land and commodity prices, I expect this to be the direction most Amish go in the future.

      Notice the picture of the porch. There are 3 different sidings to the house. No fancy landscaping and prideful houses here. Many, maybe even most of the houses at CA township have unfinished look to them and tend to be small for the family size.

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      Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 21st, 2012 at 07:14)

      Thanks for the suggestion Alice Mary, I’m not sure if I will change it or not, for a couple of reasons (one technical another aesthetic). I do like the concept though, I am quite partial to windmills.

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    Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 11:09)

    Gosh, I wish we were retired so we could go around the country visiting these different Amish communities you share about! I would love to see these places first-hand, but until then, THANK YOU, Erik, for sharing these articles and pictures with us!

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    Denise VanWoerkom
    Comment on Friend form this area (May 17th, 2012 at 16:19)

    Friend form this area

    I have traveled to Shipshewanna, Ind. and to Lancaster, Pa. Have yet to visit these Amish communities in my own state. However, I met an ex-Amish gentleman, through work, whose family is still Amish. They live in this area; Burr Oak, I believe. I loved all the stories he would tell about growing up Amish.

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    Wm Justice
    Comment on Motors/engines among the Swartzentrubers (May 17th, 2012 at 16:53)

    Motors/engines among the Swartzentrubers

    My Swartzentruber friends in Randolph use gas and diesel fueled engines. The diesels are used to power their shops via under the floor belt drives and the gas fueled engines are used in washing machines, on water pumps and on table saws. I once confronted my best friend when I visited her while she was mowing her lawn with a reel push mower. I asked, “You use a lawnmower engine to pump water, wash clothes and run table saws. Why not use a lawnmower engine to mow a lawn?” She fired back, “Well, you gotta to stop somewhere.” I should mention that my friend is a rarity among the Swartzentrubers. 61 years old, living alone in her father’s grandpa house and never married. BTW, she is a superb quilt maker as well as great humorist.

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      Lee Ann
      Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 18:56)

      Wm Justice:
      I would love to meet your friend and talk to her about her quilt making. Maybe one of these days I will make it to Michigan and the Amish community there. Would she be willing to speak with me?

      Erik, Loved to see the photos of the difference in the Amish communitites. Wow!

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        Wm Justice
        Comment on Lee Ann (May 17th, 2012 at 21:20)

        Lee Ann

        Of course she would. She is on of the most delightful woman I have ever met.

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          Lee Ann
          Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 22:37)

          Thanks Wm Justice:
          I would need to get your friends address in order to find her when I visit Michigan.

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    Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 20:39)

    Hi all;
    I have a question about the no-top buggy Amish. What do they do in the winter, particularly when there is snow and wet, do they have a covering?
    Not to sound critical, but what about the winter months.

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    Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 20:49)


    For protection from wind, rain, cold and snow, you have lap robes and umbrellas. You may get wet and/or cold depending on the weather. You hope the english that told you what the forecast is, is correct, because you do not want to get cold or wet because you might get sick. I still have my hack buggy which is like a old west buckboard and it is open top. I also have the lap robe and the umbrella. I sold my top buggy.

    Gives a new meaning to commitment. Might make one ask one’s self, are my commitments to my faith as strong?

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      Lee Ann
      Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 17th, 2012 at 22:36)

      If you sold your top buggy, will you still be returning to the Amish community you grew up in? Have you already returned?

      I wouldn’t want to be in an open buggy in the winter or rainy months. To cold, and as you mentioned, one would get sick from the wet weather.

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        Comment on The Amish of Branch County, Michigan (May 18th, 2012 at 09:40)

        Lee Ann,

        When I return, I’ll have to make or have made a new buggy. Since I won’t have a excess money at the start it may be some time before I get a top buggy. My hack is a sturdy vehicle and it will have to do a lot until I can afford the luxury of a top buggy.

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      Comment on beliefs (November 14th, 2012 at 15:02)


      Just a question. I live and grew up in Coldwater and see a lot of Amish shopping in stores and eating at fast food places. What are the beliefs of the local Amish?

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    Wm Justice
    Comment on Randolph, Mississippi (May 18th, 2012 at 09:51)

    Randolph, Mississippi

    Lee Ann, the community I visit is in Randolph, Mississippi and not in Michigan.

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