21 responses to The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine
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    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 16th, 2013 at 07:51)

    Beautiful photos! I was amazed to see the Amish boy making a snowman. That is a first for me.
    Tom The Backroads Traveller

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      Comment on Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 25th, 2013 at 20:07)

      Fort Fairfield, Maine

      Just catching up while I had some time after Christmas guests left. The article about the Maine community was very interesting. I think the child in the scarf is a boy but in the Ohio community I drive for I have seen quite a few of the older girls wearing sweatpants under their dresses in cold weather or while helping with barn work that requires activities that might expose legs (climbing ladders, driving or unloading hay wagons). Also here the children often make snowmen or “forts” when we have enough snow.

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        Lorrie Miller
        Comment on Lorrie in OH (March 20th, 2014 at 08:59)

        Lorrie in OH

        I had heard a couple years ago that there were Amish communities in Maine. I live in Ashtabula county in Ohio and we’ve had one heck of a bad winter, but boy you have to be tough to live in Main.
        I too do some driving here in Ohio myself. I live not too far from Middlefield. I’ve seen a few snow men around too, but for the most part it’s been too blasted cold for the kids to go out. Amish and Yankee. I saw a couple of igloos the Amish kids made when the snow got good for packing and the weather cooperated. It’s hard to play in the snow when you have actual temps below zero for days at a time. It’s actually almost too dangerous to let them out when it’s that cold.
        As for the girls wearing sweat pants, yeah I’ve seen that around here too. Hey when it’s -17 and the wind chill is -30 you have to protect yourself.

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    Comment on Homesick! (December 16th, 2013 at 08:32)


    As Erik knows, I grew up just a few miles from Fort Fairfield. The Amish have been welcomed into the Aroostook community, where good farm and neighbor habits are appreciated. I live in Chicago now, and the photos made me terribly homesick!

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      Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 16th, 2013 at 14:35)

      Sorry about that Magdalena. Unintended consequence 🙂 I’ve never visited Maine, actually never been further into New England than Massachusetts. I admire their gumption in starting a new settlement so far off the beaten path.

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    Christine T
    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 16th, 2013 at 10:06)

    I didnt know there were Amish there! We have spent vacations outside of Ft Kent. Love that area!

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    Sandra Kathleen
    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 16th, 2013 at 11:37)

    How interesting and informative the whole article was! The area is beautiful…maybe a place to visit someday.

    I was curious about one of the pictures — I think of a very young girl and boy walking toward a quonset hut sort of building…The girl (at least I think it’s a girl given the scarf that is worn) looks like she has jeans/pants on. Is this acceptable wear for girls and women under certain circumstances, e.g., sub-freezing weather?

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      Comment on Amish girl in trousers (December 16th, 2013 at 14:41)

      Amish girl in trousers

      I missed that first time through Sandra. Have never seen it myself but I have heard that young girls may wear this in work situations, not sure if it has to do with temperature as well. See the bottom photo here for another example, and also the comments section: http://amishamerica.com/bowling-green-missouri-amish/

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        Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 18th, 2013 at 06:59)

        I very much doubt that is a little amish girl in pants. It is not unusual for the little boys to wear a scarf, which is better ear protection than the hat. If a little girl would wear pants it would be under her dress, and even that is unusual.

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    Comment on Well, that made good reading (December 16th, 2013 at 14:51)

    Well, that made good reading

    …and I should never have seen it if not for you. Thank you.

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    Joan Sheldon
    Comment on Fort Fairfield Amish (December 16th, 2013 at 16:43)

    Fort Fairfield Amish

    Many thanks for posting this, Erik. The article is very well written, and very accurate as far as I can tell. I only know the communities in Unity, Smyrna and Hodgdon. I live 6 miles from the Unity one and am one of their drivers for doctors and trips to the thrift stores, and to take them to sell at some farmer’s markets. They have helped me be a better person. I subscribe to their Pathways publications and especially like Family Life, and Beside Still Waters.

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      Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 17th, 2013 at 11:33)

      Thanks Joan, great to hear from a local 🙂 If you haven’t seen it already, you might like this reader account of the Unity settlement, I bet you might know the folks/businesses mentioned: http://amishamerica.com/unity-maine-amish-settlement/

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        Joan Sheldon
        Comment on reply to Erik (December 18th, 2013 at 16:30)

        reply to Erik

        Yes, thanks Erik, I saw that article and made copies of it for the Community. It must have been written about 2 years ago. The Community Market is finished and has expanded quite a bit. The Living Grains Bakery that the flier shows is closing as of Dec 20 and the Community Market will take over some of the baking that Katie was doing. Kenneth will continue with his wood working. I do indeed know most of the members of the community quite well.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 16th, 2013 at 17:50)

    Another interesting, thought-provoking article. Thank you, Erik!

    The mention of cutting ice in the winter resonates with me, being a member of our local Historical Society. Our town grew up on the banks of the Fox River, and we have photos of ice-cutting operations that went on here, back in the late 19th/early 20th century. It’s so interesting to see photos of horses and wooden sleds and men hauling huge blocks of ice from the frozen river to shore. More amazing (to me) is how that ice kept well into the following summer, allowing families to keep their milk (etc.) cool in their iceboxes.

    That first photo of the horse pulling an open (brrrrr!) buggy really spelled “C-C-C-COLD!” to me!

    I wish these “Amish pioneers” much luck and prosperity. It’ll be interesting to see how fast they grow (and I sure hope the community DOES grow!)

    Alice Mary

    Alice Mary

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    Al in Ky
    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 17th, 2013 at 00:01)

    In the article from the Down East Magazine, it says that the settlement is of the Troyer affiliation. I was wondering what affiliations the members of the community were part of before they moved to Fort Fairfield. Were they all of the Troyer affiliation or different ones? The pictures and information in the article remind me so much of Swartzentruber Amish. Is the Troyer affiliation an offshoot of the Swartzentrubers, vice versa or neither?

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      Comment on Troyer Amish in Maine (December 17th, 2013 at 11:30)

      Troyer Amish in Maine

      Al this was one of a couple of details in the article which I wasn’t sure about. There are 2 or 3 Amish groups in St. Lawrence County, NY (where Potsdam is located). One is a large Swartzentruber community. It’s possible this may be a Joe Troyer church they are referring to. This piece explains more about the divisions within the Swartzentrubers: http://amishamerica.com/an-amish-america-q-and-a-with-professor-karen-johnson-weiner-part-two/

      Or perhaps another of the communities in vicinity of Potsdam is Troyer Amish. Troyer Amish are very plain but do now use the SMV triangle (vehicles in included photos do not have the triangle; I’m assuming these are all photos from the Fort Fairfield community). There is a large Troyer Amish commmunity in Conewango Valley which is a different part of the state: http://amishamerica.com/new-york-amish/#conewango

      However the description of the community they left behind in NY(“some two hundred families”) doesn’t seem to fit the expected size of the communities listed (smaller than the Swartzentruber at 12 districts, larger than the other 2 at one or two church districts).

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        Al in Ky
        Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 18th, 2013 at 07:38)

        Thanks for your reply, Erik. This weekend, I’m going to visit one of my friends who is a Swartz. bishop and I’m going to take a copy of the article along and see if he has any insight on the affiliations/settlements. Your comment about the slow moving vehicle sign reminded me how much I have enjoyed your quizzes where you challenge us to guess what communities the pictures are from. I hope you’ll have another one of those quizzes sometime — maybe from pictures from you took during your Amish travels this summer?

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          Comment on Joe Troyer Amish in Maine (December 18th, 2013 at 14:27)

          Joe Troyer Amish in Maine

          Al I passed your question along to the go-to person on this subject, Karen Johnson-Weiner. Karen kindly replied with the following:

          “They are, indeed, Joe Troyer folks. There are two Maine settlements with North Country roots, one is Andy Weaver and the other is Joe Troyer. There were some folks from the Nicholville/Hopkinton area (which also has Potsdam addresses) that went up there–this settlement, which was a Mose Miller group, schismed when the Miller schism occurred a few years ago, and one large segment went Joe Troyer (the other affiliated with the Isaac Keim faction–lost yet?).”

          She also says the “200 families” reference is including an area far larger than Potsdam.

          I’d love to do another one of those photo quiz posts, I’ll need to find some good photos for it though. A good photo has enough of a hint but is not too obvious…sometimes hard to find. Readers are welcome to send in candidates.

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      Comment on Paul Cyr Photography (December 17th, 2013 at 14:26)

      Paul Cyr Photography

      “A second Maine Amish community can be found near the town of Fort Fairfield, also in Aroostock County. Karen Johnson-Weiner notes that a group of conservative “Joe Troyer” Swartzentruber Amish left the Heuvelton, NY Amish settlement in 2007 in order to found a settlement in Maine (see New York Amish, p. 60).” per Erik! from http://amishamerica.com/amish-maine/

      Photographer Paul Cyr has 4 lovely pictures featuring the Amish and the aurora or northern lights in Easton, Maine, in October. Easton and Fort Fairfield are both in Aroostook County.

      Photography by Paul Cyr

      More photos by Paul Cyr https://www.facebook.com/CrownOfMaine/photos_stream

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    Matt from CT
    Comment on The Amish of Fort Fairfield, Maine (December 17th, 2013 at 07:22)

    >That first photo of the horse pulling an open (brrrrr!) buggy really
    >spelled “C-C-C-COLD!” to me!

    Have a friend who retired to northern New Hampshire…it was low single digits and snowed for the first time over the weekend. And they had a horse that came from Georgia this summer who was just bewildered 😀

    Posted a video of their other horse, used to winter in the far north of New England, having to coax him out of the barn to go play in the snow.

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    Comment on Amish Unbroken in Smyrna Mills (December 20th, 2013 at 08:52)

    Amish Unbroken in Smyrna Mills

    May I also recommend 20 photos that Lottie Hedley took in Smyrna Mills, Maine? Is Smyrna Mills the same as Smyrna? Smyrna is located in Aroostook County. I think it’s titled “Unbroken” because the Hilty family is not breaking the faith. Some photos were taken in 2011 and 2012.


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