46 responses to Amish in North Carolina
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    Bill Rushby
    Comment on Keep the Emails Coming (October 8th, 2014 at 05:01)

    Keep the Emails Coming

    Hello, Eric!

    I enjoy reading your stories and viewing the great pictures. Please keep them coming my way.

    Thanks.

    Bill Rushby

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      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 11:52)

      Gladly Bill, will do that. For a few years we were doing posts 5 days a week, the past year it’s been more like 3, might get back to that previous level at some point. The feedback is always appreciated.

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        Fred Jensen
        Comment on Texas Amish (October 17th, 2014 at 14:59)

        Texas Amish

        I was raised 30 miles from Holmes county in Ohio and having draft horses I did business with the Amish a lot, however I was transferred to Texas in 1969 and didn’t get back into the horse business till the late 70’s, now that my age is catching up with me I wonder if you know of and Amish settlement in Texas that is working horses, if so I would appreciate a note to make contact I have some unbroke horses that need started am appreciating you Blog.

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    Kim Shinn
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 06:42)

    On our recent visit to this community, the highlight was talking to the store owner’s two little boys. They are around 6 and 8 and very smart and respectful. Just wondering if you had the pleasure of meeting them.
    P.S. I am definitely driving an hour soon to try that pumpkin ice cream! I had raspberry back in the summer.

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      Comment on Union Grove NC Amish Stores (October 8th, 2014 at 11:55)

      Union Grove NC Amish Stores

      Kim I did not meet those guys, the fellow working the cash register at Shiloh General Store looked like an older son. They were a bit slammed with customers when I was there, maybe that is a Saturday AM thing, when I visited a few years ago I believe it was a weekday and they weren’t nearly as busy. More and more people may be learning about this store though.

      The Wholesome Country Creamery store is a lot smaller, really just a room with a few freezers/fridges, but worth the visit.

      Folks familiar with Union Grove, are there any other stores that I missed? Both of my visits have been briefer than I’d like so didn’t go down every single road in the area.

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        James
        Comment on Used to live there (October 8th, 2014 at 20:01)

        Used to live there

        My mother and father are Amish convert living in Union Grove. (going one 30 years) They actually started shiloh general store. You should look them up next time you go. They love to share their experience.

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          Comment on NC Amish Community (October 8th, 2014 at 20:08)

          How neat James. I take it then they are not related to the Grabers who own the Shiloh store now. I’m sure I’d enjoy meeting them.

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            James
            Comment on North Carolina Amish Community (October 8th, 2014 at 21:16)

            They sold it to the Grabers because they wanted to semi retire.

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        Judy
        Comment on Union Grove Amish (September 24th, 2016 at 09:05)

        Union Grove Amish

        Erik, you hit the main stores in the community. The furniture store is open now and the furniture is shipped from Ohio. The owners, the Millers, do a great job of keeping the business going and although the furniture can be costly it is made to last for centuries. The two young boys, Isaiah and Kevin are old enough to be found working in the store on Saturdays. They help with making doughnuts and other jobs around the store and home. Saturday is indeed their busiest day and I hear we can look forward to a future expansion project. The family is a great compliment to the community and does their best to keep the business going. The creamery is thriving, and both business families work hard daily at many different tasks. These people truly live their daily lives based on Biblical truths. It is sad to see many businesses claiming the Amish name on their establishments yet they are not really Amish owned. Consumers beware: if the business is not in a community it may not really be Amish owned.

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        Deb
        Comment on Union Grove, NC store hours (May 7th, 2017 at 10:29)

        Union Grove, NC store hours

        Can someone tell me the store hours in UG, NC? What are the stores in the area.

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    Al in Ky.
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 06:48)

    I always enjoy seeing pictures from an Amish community I haven’t visited. I was interested in your comment about the farmsteads/homesteads not all looking that different from non-Amish. I’ve experienced that in other New Order Amish settlements. Sure is a lot different from a Swartzentruber settlement where you can pick out the Amish places very easily.

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      Comment on NC Amish Homes (October 8th, 2014 at 11:57)

      NC Amish Homes

      Exactly Al. Generally speaking I think you see homes more like English ones in the more progressive communities. As Don Curtis notes below this is an electric New Order group so basically just about the most technologically progressive Amish group which is still considered Old Order or horse-and-buggy Amish.

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    Janar
    Comment on late visit (October 8th, 2014 at 06:49)

    late visit

    As I visited more than 10 different settlements this summer – I liked the Union Grove/Chatham community the best. Mostly because they did something that most of the Amish settlements are afraid to do. As I spent couple hours in Chatham I met most of the families who moved away from Union Grove and there were couple of reasons:
    The settlement grew too big for the church.
    They started new settlement (Chatham) not too far from the old (U.G.) so the people could attend their church service. Same time it’s far enough, so you can’t just go and visit them every day.
    The smaller the community, the closer are the people.
    It’s better to run businesses as they are not gonna be in competition with each other.
    Land prices were going up, so it was cheaper to start a farm in Chatham, VA.
    Chatham community is building their 1st Bulk food Store, one family is starting out with Produce etc

    So overall they were brave enough to leave their friends and family, so they could follow the principles that they believe in.

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      Comment on North Carolina Amish offshoot community (October 8th, 2014 at 12:01)

      North Carolina Amish offshoot community

      Thanks for sharing this insight Janar. I know you were at a lot of communities over the summer but didn’t realize when we spoke last month you made it to NC too.

      On your comment about starting a new church because it grew too big, I seem to recall either hearing or reading from one of our commenters here that that was something the Union Grove community has focused on doing, which may be why it is still one district in size 30 years after founding. It’s a very conscious way to keep the community close I suppose, and avoid problems more common to large settlements (though it would take a LONG time to grow from one district to the size of say a Holmes County 🙂 ).

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        Janar
        Comment on communities (October 8th, 2014 at 13:13)

        communities

        Erik last week I did my end of the summer trip:

        Tuesday – Canastota, NY
        Wednesday – my last day in Penn Yan area with horse and buggy mennonites
        Thursday – Lyndonville, NY
        Friday – Oakland, MD
        Saturday – Chatham, VA and Union Grove, NC

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    Mark – Holmes Co.
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 07:21)

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

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    Randy A.
    Comment on Thank you (October 8th, 2014 at 07:42)

    Thank you

    Erik, Thanks for a great post. I really enjoy the photos.

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    Juanita Cook
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 07:57)

    I always enjoy reading about the Amish. Love seeing your pictures. Thanks foer sharing them with us.

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      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 12:03)

      Mark, Randy, Juanita, my pleasure. Being an NC native I am glad this community is here.

      I was disappointed to see the Windsor Country Store closed, I enjoyed my visit with the owner last time. He had quite a good memory about some of the things I told him three years ago. I was surprised, and at the same time wasn’t 🙂

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    Forest In NC
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 08:31)

    On Saturdays the Amish in Chatham have been setting up at the Farmer’s market at the Agricultural Center on Rt. 29. with baked goods, produce, etc.

    Thanks for the article on the Union Grove community. They are the ones who started the Amish Church in Caswell Co, which today has evolved, sort of, into the Caswell Mennonite Church.

    I’ll have to get up there and sample the ice cream, especially now that the leaves are starting to turn. It’s a pretty drive, once you get past Winston-Salem/

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      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 12:04)

      Very interesting Forest. Let us know how you find the ice cream if you go. I have a feeling the peach is going to be good.

      Do you have any idea how many households are in Chatham?

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        Janar
        Comment on Chatham (October 8th, 2014 at 13:00)

        Chatham

        I think about 15 families moved to Chatham about a year ago.

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    Rich and Polly Stevick
    Comment on Thanks, Erik. A couple Union Grove Questions (October 8th, 2014 at 08:43)

    Thanks, Erik. A couple Union Grove Questions

    Do any of you know if Union Grove regularly conducts their church services in English or only when they have English visitors? Does anyone know what proportion of their membership are converts from the English? Also what churches do they “communicate with,” i.e., fully fellowship with, even sharing communion? Thanks for the travelogue, Erik. I’ve always been curious about Union Grove. If you invite me, I’ll travel with you anytime 🙂 Rich

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 09:02)

      I do know they fellowship with the main New Order group here in Holmes Co. so I’d guess they fellowship with the other New Orders. Some of those families moved down there from here in Holmes County. I know there is one family of converts living there and some who have moved there from very low Amish churches, but the rest I’m not sure about.

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      Comment on Union Grove Amish Questions (October 8th, 2014 at 12:09)

      Union Grove Amish Questions

      Gladly Rich. If I can make it to Holmes County this year you’ll be hearing from me 🙂 I think Mark and Don Curtis below have answers to some but not all of your questions.

      The tack place in one of my photos above looks by the sign like it’d be an Amish business; the name on the sign was Dennis Whitaker.

      Crazy W does and doesn’t sound like a typical Amish business name to me – the initial in the name feels “Amish”, the “Crazy” part doesn’t 🙂

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        Judy
        Comment on Crazy W is not owned by any of the families there. (September 24th, 2016 at 09:23)

        Crazy W is not owned by any of the families there.

        They speak in German during the service, but it can be translated in notes taken by some who can hear it, translate it, and write it quickly. It is very difficult as the preaching is not at a slow pace. If an English person desires to visit the church it must be with the intent to seek a better way of life, and a desire to find the Gospel truths. Actually you would really need to be seeking to live their way to continue to go to the services. They surely do not desire to have their services become a tourist attraction. You must be prepared to sit for up to three hours on wooden benches. The songs are slow paced and acapello. Women should be dressed in long dresses and long sleeves which is their version of modesty, and not bright colors. The women sit on one side of the room and men on the other and do not even enter from the same side of the building. It is a beautiful and peaceful environment.

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      James
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 21:19)

      My parents are members there and are converts. When I lived there they would preach in English. Not sure if they still do.

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    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 08:53)

    Thanks Eric. I enjoyed your pictures and narrative.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on Mark's info on the Union Grove, NC community (October 8th, 2014 at 11:14)

    Mark's info on the Union Grove, NC community

    I asked my son, Mark, about Union Grove, NC. He said that he has never visited there but that he does know a little bit about it. He said that most of the New Order Amish churches would not be in full fellowship with Union Grove. Holmes County and Belle Center are not in full fellowship with them. They will exhchange preachers so far as just a regular church service. However, a Union Grove bishop would not be invited to officiate at a Belle Center or Holmes County communion (gross gmay). That is because Union Grove has electricity and farms with tractors. Union Grove would be in full fellowship with other New Order churches that have electricity and farm with tractors such as: Conneautville, PA; Greenville, PA; Princeton, KY; Kinsman, OH; Guthrie, KY; and others. Full fellowship means that the standards of a particular community are acceptable enough to another community that they will accept the bishop from that community to officiate at their communion service. I hope I explained that well enough. I don’t quite understand it all, myself. But, Mark seems to and I guess that’s all that counts.

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      Mark – Holmes Co.
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 12:13)

      I’m sorry. I was wrong about them fellowshipping with the New Orders here in Holmes Co., but Mark Curtis should know, as he is in a New Order church, so take his answer as right and mine as incorrect.

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      Rich Stevick
      Comment on Thanks for your help (October 8th, 2014 at 20:09)

      Thanks for your help

      So if I understand correctly, Union Grove is not in full fellowship with either Belle Center or Holmes County New Order groups b/c of electricity in the home and tractors in the fields. Thanks for getting in touch with Mark. If he is at the Mt Hope horse auction this week, I would very much like to track him down in the crowds, or let me know, rstevick@messiah.edu. Rich

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    James Beltz
    Comment on Store in Finger,Tn (October 8th, 2014 at 11:32)

    Store in Finger,Tn

    Have you went to Tennessee? There’s a store called Ada’s “RmThe Unusual” Country Store
    and it’s just like these. Good prices and lots of choices.Have a Facebook page as well..I’d say it’s the only store in West Tennessee till you get to Ethridge,Tn.

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      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (October 8th, 2014 at 12:37)

      Have not been there James. The only TN community I’ve visited is Ethridge. Looks like the place you are talking about is McNairy County in western Tennessee, one church district community founded 2009.

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        James Beltz
        Comment on Tn (October 8th, 2014 at 16:30)

        Tn

        The store’s link

        https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476700152567917

        Located in Bethel Springs area…yes that’s partially correct…one inROSE CREEK VILLAGE: Situated on 100 acres in Selmer, McNairy County, Tennessee, this religion-based intentional community of about 200 members formed in 1989 (established in 1996) from a core of 17 families moving from Geneva, Florida, to Bethel Springs, Tennessee. Offering Rose Creek Village midwifery and childbirth services, the community also supports five other businesses: commercial and residential painting, construction, Solar Tint installation, a restaurant (Another Realm), and a distribution center offering office and warehouse services. Derived from the “Twelve Tribes Communities,” members express beliefs centered around God and a desire simply to be the people of Jesus Christ.http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/exhibits/utopia/others.htm

        The other church..Finger Christian Fellowship
        93 Mockingbird Rd, Finger, TN
        was Beech Amish I believe but left that and are now Mennonite.
        Workers from both communities work at the store.

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    Margaret
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 11:52)

    Great post!

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    Forest In NC
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (October 8th, 2014 at 13:49)

    Union Grove was preaching in German a few years ago. I think that is still the case. They did have some families who had joined from outside.

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    Jonathan Edwards
    Comment on Details (October 27th, 2014 at 16:14)

    Details

    The Union Grove settlement is in full fellowship with the traditional electric New Orders. Perhaps a little bit of history would help. The Holmes County New Orders started in the 1950s mainly regarding spiritual matters…supporting Bible study, Christian piety, non use of tobacco, etc. They fellowship in part with other New Orders and some Old Orders with similar values. A progressive group broke away from them twenty or thirty years ago. They are called New New Order or New Order Christian Fellowship. They have tractors and electricity. There is a small group called Tobe New Order that was the result of differing views amongst the Tobe people who broke away from strict Old Orders in Holmes County. But they are only called New Order because they decided to use tractors and electricity. Other New Orders do not fellowship with them because They have different values. But the Union Grove Amish originate from more traditional Amish communities which over time allowed tractors and electricity and tended to resist tobacco usage. There are a number of other twists and turns but a lot of the details can be traced historically. That requires local knowledge. And an ability to understand their interpretations, applications, and concerns.

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    Dianne Senn
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (November 10th, 2014 at 09:54)

    Lived in NC entire life and never realized there was an Amish community here. Very informative post and great photographs. Already planning a visit to Shiloh General Store in the near future. Thanks for your insight.

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    Sandra K
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (February 12th, 2015 at 16:51)

    Do the Union Grove, NC and Chatham, VA settlements have produce auctions? I just moved to Brevard, NC (western NC near Asheville) 2 months ago and want to know if I’d be be able to get produce for canning.

    Interesting post. Thanks!

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      Janar
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (February 12th, 2015 at 17:04)

      I would drive up there and just ask around. Usually in every community some Amish families grow produce. You don’t really need an auction to get some good deals

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      Judy
      Comment on Sandra K (September 24th, 2016 at 09:32)

      Sandra K

      These families do grow and can their own foods, but not for sale to outsiders. That would require much more land. They grow food enough for their large families. You may try to use the Shiloh phone number on the business card to call and see if anyone has a desire to have such a business in the future, but again, there is not much land for that kind of a business.

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    Sandra K
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (February 12th, 2015 at 19:45)

    Janar, I’m a bit shy. Is there a common place– maybe the store where I can make inquiries?

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      Janar
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (February 13th, 2015 at 03:45)

      Sandra give me your email or send me one janarsaviir@gmail.com

      I will give you some names and addresses where to go. I visited most of the families in those 2 communities last summer.

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      Forest in North Carolina
      Comment on Amish in North Carolina (February 13th, 2015 at 08:17)

      Heritage Hill Country Market at 5844 Callands Road would be a good place to start in Chatham. It has not been open too long, but apparently is wanting to draw in non-Amish along with the Amish in the community. Shiloh General Store is a pretty friendly place for visitors to the Hamptonville/Union Grove settlement. I have never heard of a produce auction in either place, but I wasn’t looking for one….
      You might also visit the Amish settlement near Nathalie Virginia. I have been to an auction up there, but it was not specifically a produce auction. The Halifax County, Va. website did have info on the Nathalie settlement.

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    Sandra K
    Comment on Visiting the Amish at Union Grove, NC (32 Photos) (February 24th, 2015 at 20:32)

    To Janar and Forest — Thank you so very much for the information. I will try to visit sometime during the week in very early spring, just to get a feel for everything and maybe for “visiting.” I’d like to get there before tourist season is underway too much — and make sure I get a full taste of yummy eatings! 🙂

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