20 responses to The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia
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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 3rd, 2014 at 08:49)

    Several years ago I spent many hours poring over real estate listings of Amish farms for sale in Giles, VA. At the time, there were probably six to ten places for sale, some of them beautiful log homes. There were photos of lovely home interiors, gardens, orchards, spring houses, cellars full of produce, mountain views, etc. It was quite a treat. It looks like all those listings are gone now.

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    Debbie H
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 3rd, 2014 at 09:22)

    Interesting. I don’t think Virginia is known for farming and living off the land. Seems like the Pearisburg Amish, like the Florida Amish, have found a way to exist there. Florida has strict building and zoning rules, especially along the coast, making it difficult to observe many Amish traditions. Florida has the extreme hot weather and Virginia has the extreme cold weather. I guess you pick your poison.

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    Jeanne
    Comment on Pearisburg Setttlemet (November 3rd, 2014 at 12:37)

    Pearisburg Setttlemet

    I had the chance once 10 years ago to visit with Sam and Lydia Chupp. they live in this setelement an they are one of the nicest families that I have ever meat!! I wantto go back one day and take my childdren for a visit. They were so warm ad inviting!!!

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Pearisburg a hidden gem (November 3rd, 2014 at 13:22)

    Pearisburg a hidden gem

    How intriguing! I’d be more interested in visiting a small, “hidden” settlement like this than the more usual big settlements. Beautiful photos. I hope it survives…it sounds very welcoming.

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    Jerry
    Comment on Pearisburg Settlement (November 3rd, 2014 at 15:36)

    Pearisburg Settlement

    I grew up one county over and have an Aunt and her family still living there. I visited often as a child and I remember that area had a nice limestone soil. Not like that in Lancaster but close. They grew huge peaches and I remember a gyspum mine.
    The local English were not exactly open-arm welcoming. The Amish tried to settle in near-by Tazewell county in a beautiful bowl shaped “Eden” called “Burke’s Garden”. There the locals refused to sell land to additional Amish families.
    About government regulations. Yeah they’re rough and getting rougher. Now days you have to get a permit to build anything and running water and septic systems a required. A lot of the time the area will not perk for a septic system. Most of the top soil is about two feet deep and then you have solid rock. Sand mounds are not allowed in many areas. It’s tough now.

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    Al in Ky
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 3rd, 2014 at 21:28)

    I visited the Pearisburg Amish community last year (Sept. 2013), as I passed through the area on my way to Harrisonburg, Va. I had Googled “Pearisburg Amish” on the internet and was directed to a website that listed quite a few Amish stores/businesses in the area,but didn’t really give any directions on how to get there. So after I crossed the W. Va. border into Va., I stopped at the Giles
    County Court House because I thought someone there would know. The first two court house staff people I talked with looked at my information I had downloaded and printed and said, “Oh, that’s old information. Those businesses are all closed because the Amish got in a big fight with each other and they all moved out.” Well, there was a local man who had come to the court house to do business and overheard our conversation and said, “Oh– there are still some Amish down there,” and gave me general directions on how to get to the settlement. I was surprised it was so far from Pearisburg — seemed to be about twenty miles or more southwest of Pearisburg. When I got to the area, the first two people I saw were two young women with a bake sale stand by the side of the road. They were dressed very similar to Amish women, so I asked them where some Amish stores were. Before giving me directions, they made it a point to tell me they themselves weren’t Amish (and I then saw their car parked under a tree). I wondered if they were part of the former Amish that left the Pearisburg Amish, yet
    remained living there. Anyway, I drove up the road to the Nature Way store and had a nice conversation with the owner. (I would’ve like to have talked longer, but he had lots of customers that day.)
    I drove around the settlement a little longer and stopped at another nice store that seemed to sell lots of household items. It is beautiful country around there. And thanks Shawn for the many pictures you shared of the settlement. Good pictures.

    And — Mark of Holmes County — yes, Sam and Lydia Chupp are still
    there. They send in news almost every week to The Budget. I still have last week’s Budget and looked at their letter and counted at least eight different Pearisburg Amish families they wrote about in their letter. And Rich Stevick — yes, I remember the major split in the community a few years ago, because the Budget scribe (can’t remember if it was the Chupps or someone else) wrote letters “with sadness” for several months about how distressed they were over the split and the many families who left.

    I always enjoy these posts about lesser-known Amish settlements.

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 4th, 2014 at 08:16)

      Last evening I asked my wife about Sam Chupps, as she keeps better track of people’s comings & goings than I do, and she said, like you did, that Sams are back in VA but had spent part of a year in MI where they have the Harmony Haven Home. We don’t get The Budget but do get die Botschaft and there is a different scribe for Die Botschaft, Ben Wengerds.
      There was a division there that caused a lot of stress for everyone and there were many who moved out or aligned with another church.

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      Thomas E O’Quinn
      Comment on I need to speak with Sam Chupp about building building a cabin (August 16th, 2016 at 15:13)

      I need to speak with Sam Chupp about building building a cabin

      I would like to speak with Samp Chupp’ Does any one have a phone number that I can call him or his wife Lydia ?

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    Anne
    Comment on Thanks for the update (November 4th, 2014 at 10:13)

    Thanks for the update

    It’s so good to hear what’s going on in this community now. But it saddens me, because it sounds like it’s far from the thriving community it was when Ed found and joined it. The area is truly gorgeous, with Amish farms spread very broadly around. There is lots of good farmland due to the valleys, while the mountains provide a beautiful backdrop.

    When Ed decided to leave, he’d only been with them about 2-3 years. There were both broad and personal concerns; the broad being the hassle of dealing with gov’t regulation, and the personal being the changes the group was making. The latter was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for Ed. They decided to modernize with electricity and cars, a step too far for him. There were several “converts” in this group, and I think all of them left, as they’d joined in part to participate in the Old Order way of life. They spread out over a number of different communities. It’s especially sad to me, because this community was so inclusive. Hearing the service translated is an example of their desire to reach out and involve others. We had this experience many times.

    And a high point was the “bird zoo” as we called it. The birds were beautiful and quite exotic. I am quite sure they belonged to the bishop, Sam Chupp, and I wonder how this business has done? Especially if he was away for an extended time? But when Ed lived there, there were many in the community who helped out, so I’m sure some did that in this case. The decision to modernize was what spelled doom for this group in my opinion. I wonder if it will ever recover and renew what it once had…

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 4th, 2014 at 11:03)

    Anne, that is sad to hear. Unfortunately, it will probably discourage other old order groups from being seeker-friendly or otherwise welcoming to outsiders. I’m glad Ed joined when he did.

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      Anne
      Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 4th, 2014 at 11:52)

      Yes Naomi, I agree. My only concern is that I wonder if what he’s into now is what he “signed up for”??? I think he’s in a much more traditional community now, though they still seem very open to outsiders. But there’s also less flexibility. I know there are things he’s found there quite different from the Pearisburg community. In my heart of hearts I wonder if he’d make the same choice today if he knew he’d end up in the group he’s with now? Someday I bet he’ll tell me!

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 4th, 2014 at 12:02)

    Anne, i have wondered the same thing. It would be very difficult for our kind of Amish to move to a community like Ed is in, so I can only imagine what it must be like for him to find himself in that setting.

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    Anne
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 4th, 2014 at 12:05)

    The comfort to me is that many of his friends from Pearisburg are in Fertile, MN, with him now. So it’s good to have that continuity for him. The group in MN started this one, though other families have come in from other places. One of our favorite families is from Canada! And I know they are very supportive of Ed 🙂

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    Vernon in VA
    Comment on The Amish of Pearisburg, Virginia (November 5th, 2014 at 23:10)

    We live about 40 miles from the Whitegate Amish community in the Wytheville area. The name Whitegate comes from a very small spot along Rt. 42 close to where you turn in to the main part of the community which is on the south side of Rt. 42. If I am not mistaken, some of the ones that split off of the original group are the ones that have electricity and cars, not the core Amish group which the Chupps are a part. Sad to say, but there have been some issues there over the years that were difficult to deal with. We visited there a couple times and enjoyed it.

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    Linda Peck
    Comment on Friends of mine (April 26th, 2015 at 19:44)

    Friends of mine

    Just wondering if any one knows where Daniel and Suzanne Miller and their children from the White Gate community in Giles county Virginia live now. I did find out they moved from White Gate. Several years ago we came to know Daniel and his family. He built us a little cabin that we enjoy so. He set it up on Big Stony creek for us. I often think of him and his family. They are awesome people. Their children are the sweetest and loving kids I have ever met. Also had the honor of meeting Daniel’s father, nice man and he makes the best cheese.

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    Jonathan Edwards
    Comment on Southeast Iowa (April 27th, 2015 at 03:49)

    Southeast Iowa

    They helped establish a new settlement in southeast Iowa.

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      Linda Peck
      Comment on Thanks (April 28th, 2015 at 20:48)

      Thanks

      I would love to get in touch with Daniel and his family.

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    Thomas E O’Quinn
    Comment on I need to speak with Sam Chupp about building building a cabin (August 23rd, 2016 at 14:52)

    I need to speak with Sam Chupp about building building a cabin

    I would like to speak with Sam Chupp; or someone in the Amish community that would consider building me a log cabin in Bluewell W V.
    I prefer to speak with him or next in kin; but if he or his wife cannot be reached; please get a phone number that I can reach him. Thank you so much. Tommy O’Quinn cell 304-952-1693

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