21 responses to Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos)
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    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 07:42)

    This group is not old order is it? I wonder how it compares to the white gate community in terms of use of technology.

    • Anne in other words are you wondering if this is a New Order community?

      The “Old Order” term is a little confusing b/c in its basic meaning it covers all horse and buggy groups, so yes it would be an Old Order/horse-and-buggy Amish group.

      But when you talk about affiliations, say those in Holmes County, the term can also refer to a specific affiliation (rather than say New Order or Swartzentruber). Maybe Jerry can answer the question for us.

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    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 07:47)

    Great post! Thanks! It definitely would be a great place to explore.

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    Comment on Burke's Garden, VA (July 16th, 2015 at 08:33)

    Burke's Garden, VA

    Does this valley have a nickname like some of the valleys do in Pennsylvania (Big Valley, Sugar Valley, Buffalo Valley, Nittany Valley)?

    On photo #5, of the barn, would you call that an old hex sign or a new barn quilt?

    About the potatoes, I have heard of Yukon Golds, but not Yukon Gods!

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      Comment on Yukon Golds (July 16th, 2015 at 08:40)

      Yukon Golds

      Oops–just fixed it Linda. I thought it was an interesting name, but I’m no potato expert 🙂

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        Jane Hanes
        Comment on Mattie is now at Mattie's Place (August 5th, 2018 at 21:32)

        Mattie is now at Mattie's Place

        Hi, Just wanted to point out that Mattie has a new Amish Store called Mattie’s Place. It is a new store that she built and is fabulous!

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      Comment on Burke's Garden (August 14th, 2015 at 18:04)

      Burke's Garden

      The hex sign looks more like a barn quilt, usually 8 ft by 8 ft. Around us there are over 300 of these new barn quilts. We had one put on our barn two years ago.

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    Debbie H
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 08:48)

    Oh what a beautiful place. I would love to visit it and especially the store. Sitting on the porch sounds so relaxing.

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    Juanita Cook
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 08:49)

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article and all the nice photo’s.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 10:03)

    I love the story about the bumper potato crop from the original potato peelings! Priceless!

    Would such “sweet” soil be good for most other crops, too? I would think this would be a big draw for other Amish who want to continue farming but are being driven out of their areas by development & rising prices.

    Boy, would I ever love to visit that general store…ESPECIALLY on Wednesdays! (To me, pizza is the staff of life!)

    Great photos of a “neat” (in more ways than one) area. I haven’t done a great amount of traveling since we had kids (grown), but we’ve visited Virginia, and I was very taken by that state! I wouldn’t mind living there!


    Alice Mary

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    Terry from Wisconsin
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 16th, 2015 at 16:48)

    Thanks a bunch for this post! It’s always enjoyable to read of “What’s new” in other states and what the Amish are doing in new locations.

    Keep up the good work!

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    Comment on Photos of their buggies (July 17th, 2015 at 12:20)

    Photos of their buggies

    Eric, You made a comment about their buggies being a different style than any style of buggy you have seen before. Do you have any photos of their buggies? There is one photo of a man driving a vehicle. Is that their buggy?
    I speak dutch myself and lived in the Shenandoah Valley. So I just wondered if the Amish have a Virginia accent when they speak dutch? I am not making “sput”. Indiana dutch sounds different than PA. dutch.

    Just a side note. I would love to travel around like you do to visit the different Amish Communities.

    • Hi Wayne, could you point out what you’re referring to regarding the buggies being different, because I don’t think I made any comment like that?

      I enjoy visiting Amish communities but don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.

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        Comment on Response to eric (July 17th, 2015 at 13:51)

        Response to eric

        Maybe I got confused. Here is what i saw:”The buggy parked in front is like none other I’ve ever seen. Subtle differences but yet very different from what I’m used to.” I copied this from your article. Were you describing the store?

        • Okay, gotcha. If you read the top bit (my introduction), you’ll see this article and photos actually all come from one of our readers, Jerry. He would be the one to let us know. One thought I had was that he was making a joke about the car parked out front being the “buggy”, but we would have to hear from him.

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      Comment on Burke's Garden (July 25th, 2015 at 20:36)

      Burke's Garden

      The buggies here are covered with a finer weave canvas. They have rounded corners and doors slide on the outside of the buggy. The springs are configured differently than those I find in PA. They also use pony carts and open top “buckboard” types of wagons.

      I would consider them Old Order but they do use some electricity. Maddie said that they have a milker for the cows. It could be ran off a generator or perhaps like the OOM in Synder County that use compressed air for many of their machines.

      The mountain sides coming into the area are dotted with weekend retreat “cabins”. Many from NC, Tenn, Ohio, NY and Eastern VA. The collection of people will amaze you. Everyone is so darn friendly and they all want to tell you their “story”. If you go there, get the conversation started, sit back and just listen.

      I still have relatives on my mother’s side living there and my brother’s wife spent her summers there with an aunt. “God’s Thumbprint” and the “Garden of Eden” are nicknames as well.

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        Comment on Correction (July 25th, 2015 at 20:41)


        Mattie not Maddie. Sorry.

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    Terry from Wisc
    Comment on Their differences (July 18th, 2015 at 08:35)

    Their differences

    Good morning,
    When you were discussing the different buggies, that’s just one way, of a list of several, that we notice that are different. Why am I writing that because we have discussed their differences already! Ha!

    Years ago I had a visit with an Amish couple from my home area about buggies. Years earlier Alvin had lost his wife to cancer and through all the pain and grief, the neighbors told him to take some time away from home. There were 10 little kids in the house, and now no mother, so he had a lot on his plate. He’d never been to PA, so on a whim he got on the train and off to PA he went not knowing a soul there.

    When he got off the train there were Amish in the depot and they got to talking and he ended up going home with them. In their conversation he explained how he lost his wife after only 3 months, to cancer, and that he had 10 kids at home. (Here’s where the buggy comes into the story) It was Sunday and they were on their way to church and made a pit stop. The back of the front seat went down and a lady climbed over and sat with him! It had only been a couple days and the word was out that there was a widower in town! Wisconsin buggies don’t have a fold down seat, they have a side door to get in instead of climbing over. If you look at PA buggies they only have the front door. I never gave it a thought until I heard this story. Anyway, he informed the locals that he was NOT looking for a wife, and got on the train and headed back to Wisc!

    Alvin and his brother Joni had married sisters Mattie and Esther. Matttie died of cancer and Joni fell over dead from a heart attack. So, the best solution was to marry your sister-in-law, and they did! Alvin and 10 kids and Esther 6, and they had one together Esther junior who was in my class at school and we’ve been friends for over 50 years.

    I had to ask if that was a common practice to do some pre-arranging for marriage and Mammi Esther said they do things different in PA! Ha! One way to get young folks acquainted is to ask them to be table setters for a wedding. Sometimes that works and I know that it does because Alvin’s son John met Dora from MO working together at a wedding and they got married.:)

    Sorry Erik about the book again but you know how I am! lol

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    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Burke’s Garden, Virginia (13 Photos) (July 19th, 2015 at 19:17)

    Forgive me if I have over looked this feature, but is there a way to send in questions? Thank you.

    • Adam, if it is a general question about the Amish, you are welcome to leave it in the comments section of a related page here on the site and I or someone else will try to provide you a response.

      If it is something that requires answering in a private forum, you can email me (see the “About” page in the top menu for my email).

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    Comment on The Garden (October 6th, 2017 at 09:33)

    The Garden

    I use to be a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service out of Wytheville. We patrolled Burks Garden during the halloween in ’02 because kids would light the round bales on fire. I remember going to that general store when it was owned by an englisher. It is quite possibly one of the most beautiful areas that I had ever seen. (And one of the darkest at night…lol) One could see an over abundance of deer everywhere. He was not kidding about the drive in. You could see your own taillights the turns are so sharp. ;)I would love to see it now.

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