18 responses to North Carolina Amish Barn Raising
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    Slightly-Handled-Order-Man
    Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 7th, 2014 at 08:42)

    I imagine this will draw a number of people in to ask “can they build me a building too?”, which is natural.

    None the less, do communities, according to stereotype perception, build their own buildings to their own standards or do they use these sorts of in house work crews to do the job according to Ordnug and State/Province[Canad]/Federal Regulation?

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      Comment on Amish home construction (March 7th, 2014 at 12:05)

      Amish home construction

      Amish families will hire Amish construction crews to build their homes. Those who have construction skills may do at least some of the work themselves. They are supposed to be built to code but as we’ve seen in some examples in more traditional communities that is not always the case (related to things like window size, plumbing).

      On a related tangent, it’s interesting that Amish often get experience in a variety of trades, so you may be a full-time farmer but have a few years of carpentry under your belt. You might run a market stand but have furniture business experience. A friend of mine recently “retired” from farming, and his newly-married son has taken over the dairy. Now the father gets to return to his first and probably true love of woodworking in his “retirement”.

      The occupation choice for an Amish person is not just based on personal preference. Factors such as availability of a farm and your birth order influence what you end up doing. A son who loves dairy but marries before a farming father is ready to hang up the pitchfork will have to find something else to do. A son later down the line who happens to be setting up house around the time father is ready to stop farming may be the one who ends up taking over.

      I have been thinking about this a little lately…another example of deferring one’s own will to family and community. That said like anywhere else if you really dislike one occupation or have a strong love for another that’s going to influence your work choice too.

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    Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 7th, 2014 at 09:54)

    No matter the size of their community, their hearts are in the right place. xo

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    Jack Mitchell
    Comment on Great wooden buildings! (March 7th, 2014 at 10:26)

    Great wooden buildings!

    I love wooden buildings and to see wood-working craftsmanship! I wish more wooden houses were built here in the UK because I’m sure it’s cheaper, environmentally friendlier and quicker to complete a house/building than bricks and mortar!
    In the village where I live, two houses are being build…they started last summer and are still building!

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      Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 7th, 2014 at 12:12)

      Jack, my impression is that wood construction is a lot more common in the US than in Europe. In the UK do you think that reflects price, preference, or something else? European homes often seem more solid and even over-built. Probably hold up better in a tornado though.

      As for the building pace in your village, maybe you should print this article out and casually leave a few copies in the vicinity of the worksites? :)

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        OldKat
        Comment on Resources ... (March 8th, 2014 at 01:50)

        Resources ...

        Maybe it has to do with the fact that North America has historically had a far larger resource of standing timber than does most of Europe.

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          Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 8th, 2014 at 18:19)

          I’d think that would have something to do with it. By the way, have just updated this post with a couple of videos of the barn raising. One is a time lapse showing 3 days of work in under 90 seconds.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on Mark at barn raisings (March 7th, 2014 at 14:20)

    Mark at barn raisings

    I asked my son, Mark, who joined the Amish if he’s ever participated at a barn raising. He said that he’s participated in several, most in his own community and once at a barn raising in Holmes County, Ohio. He said that he limits his participation to what he can do from the ground or on a step ladder. As he said to me: “Dad, I know my limits. With my arthritis, if I tried clambering around on roof trusses and such it wouldn’t take long before they’d be scraping me off the cement floor with a scoop shovel.” I understand. With my limitations at 91 I’d be lucky if I could get myself and my walker to the barn site.

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    Don Curtis
    Comment on Union Grove Amish (March 7th, 2014 at 14:26)

    Union Grove Amish

    I asked Mark if he knows any of the folks at Union Grove. He said that he knows of some and has met the bishop. He said that Belle Center and Union Grove are in partial fellowship. He said that because Union Grove has electricity and tractor farming, those are considered too advanced by Belle Center to be in full fellowship. Belle Center would allow Union Grove preachers to preach at a regular church service. But a Union Grove bishop would not be allowed to officiate at a Belle Center communion service. I don’t understand all of the whys and wherefores but Mark does. But, then again, I’m not Amish and he is. So there you go.

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      Comment on Fellowship lines (March 8th, 2014 at 18:25)

      Fellowship lines

      Keeping all the fellowship lines straight seems like it could be a full-time job. But it’s always interesting to hear who is with who and to what degree.

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    Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 8th, 2014 at 09:14)

    My Father-in-law had his barn build by Amish. His job was to go around and pick up milk from all the local dairies, which were mostly Amish, and take the milk cans to the processing plant. Because of this he knew many Amish families.

    I was there during construction and it was amazing how fast they worked and how everyone seemed to know what their job was without asking.

    My wife also was hired to drive families to vacation places, and also to drive many to the chiropractor. She often commented that it was always the men even though she felt that the women worked hard too & must have needed a chiropractor from time to time :-)

    This was in Delaware. I wonder if visiting a chiropractor is common in other Amish communities?

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      Comment on Amish use of chiropractors (March 8th, 2014 at 18:22)

      Amish use of chiropractors

      It is pretty common Bob, I have driven Amish to the chiropractor as well in a couple of communities. Some make house calls. I think word of mouth works well in these cases.

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 8th, 2014 at 14:28)

    I believe the Union Grove community has deliberately held their size to a single church district, and that they now have a daughter community in VA. I think the Smyrna and Unity, ME Amish follow this pattern as well. I’m not certain I have my facts straight though.

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      Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 8th, 2014 at 18:24)

      If true about deliberately restricting that is interesting. I have asked outside the community why it has never grown and never gotten a conclusive answer. Some of the “para-Amish” churches intentionally limited their size and if this is the case in Union Grove perhaps there is a similar line of thinking at work.

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        Don Curtis
        Comment on church size (March 18th, 2014 at 15:46)

        church size

        I asked my son, Mark, about this. He said that church district size can be misleading. He wasn’t sure about Union Grove but he was pretty sure that they have a church house (sometimes called a community building). If an Amish community has a church house, they can accommodate a much larger congregation and don’t need to split into additional districts as would happen in Amish communities where they hold church services in the homes.

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          Comment on North Carolina Amish Barn Raising (March 18th, 2014 at 17:42)

          That’s helpful to know Don. Give Mark our thanks. I believe they do have a meetinghouse which might suggest an answer to the question.

          Also I came across an account of a recent visit to the community by a student from Winthrop University:

          http://melaniehicks.tumblr.com/post/46866943434/amishfieldtrip

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    Sandra Kathleen
    Comment on Current knowledge of building practices and Rammed Earth Construction (March 8th, 2014 at 19:29)

    Current knowledge of building practices and Rammed Earth Construction

    I have two questions.

    1. Do those in the Amish who work construction on a regular basis, are they trained in how new products are applied; e.g., Hardie board siding?

    2. I’ve just been reading up on rammed earth construction. It’s labor intensive, which makes it pretty high-priced when using regular contractors; however, with the potential man-power available among this community, it may be something to think about. Mother Earth News had a few articles about how it’s done…fairly straight forward, but, as noted, a lot of manual labor. Nonetheless, the building last for hundreds of years — the Alhambra and The Great Wall of China (portions) are still standing.

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    Christopher
    Comment on Help in Barn Raising (April 17th, 2015 at 00:58)

    Help in Barn Raising

    Is it possible to assist in helping the men raise a barn? I am wanting to offer my help for no charge, just to help a needing family, church or bishop. How can I find out more about being a part or doing whatever is necessary to help someone?

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