Genevieve at prariebluestem.blogspot.com has shared some local insight in a piece about the influx of Amish and Mennonites into the Kentucky community where she lives.
KY Plain People
In Christian County live not only Amish but Old Order Mennonites, who also travel by horse-and-buggy and share many similarities with the Amish.
It seems a wide variety of other Mennonite designations are active in the area as well.
Genevieve says that at first the Anabaptist groups were not welcomed with open arms. Some locals used vandalism and unfriendly literature to show their displeasure.
Apparently over the past two decades, the area has adapted fairly well to the presence of these unusual peoples. Genevieve says damage to roads caused by horseshoes and steel tractor wheels has been a problem for some, however (a not uncommon complaint in Amish-inhabited areas).
I’d expect similar experiences to play out in communities across the country as the Amish branch out in coming years.
New Amish settlements are started every year, and some inevitably fail. In fact, over 150 communities started since 1860 subsequently went bust, according to Amish historian David Luthy’s excellent works on extinct settlements.
Some may last decades before disintegrating, while others may not even make it a full year.
But many survive and even thrive, as seems to be the case in this area of Kentucky.
Thanks Genevieve for the response!
Read more on the largest Kentucky Amish settlement, near the towns of Munfordville and Horse Cave. Amish have also started numerous businesses in the Bluegrass State, including woodworking shops. Find out more here: Amish Furniture-Kentucky.