30 responses to Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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    Maine (February 5th, 2013 at 07:20)

    Maine

    What a lovely piece on Maine, the vistitor will be truly blessed to live in a place like Maine. Would love to live somewhere like that myself, work the land and live of the grid? How nice that would be. But i move to Dunblane Scotland next tuesday, and have a nice little piece of land in are garden were i will grow my own veg and have a few free range chickens, and the bonus is the people seem really nice too. :-)

    Maine

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    John
    Unity (February 5th, 2013 at 07:24)

    Unity

    In 2009 we had an opportunity to visit the Unity Settlement over a weekend and had an amazing and heartwarming experience. Unity is connected with the Smyrna District in northern Maine. The incredible part of our visit was the mixture of the Old Order/New Order ways of life and the above story is a verification of what we experienced. When we planned our trip I mentioned we need to stay for the Sunday Church services and what an experience that was. This is the only group that I know who considers themselves as Old Order Amish that actually go out of their way to testify to the general public, neighbors and anyone that they meet. We were there before they had a Church House built so the Church service was in the building shown above, the Community Market. They had only chairs to sit on instead of benches, one side for men & boys and the other side for the women & girls, all facing the Ministers. They have one very unique way of life that is very different from any other Old Order Church that I am aware of and that is they have two translators for any of the neighbors/friends that may want to experience an Amish sermon, one man and one woman. All Amish Church services are split in two segments, the one being like a short introduction which includes a few hymns and the first Minister preaches about 20 minutes or so and it is split by a silent prayer, followed by the Main Sermon. The difference here was the first Minister preached in German and was translated to English to the “English” people there, this was two men and one lady, however the Main sermon is all English. The couple we stayed with has a daughter who married a man whose family converted to Amish, so the testimonies have the rewards.

    Unity

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    Alice Aber
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 08:12)

    Greetings,

    What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it!! It certainly sounds like a place I would love to visit. It seems to me from reading various stories and my own personal experiences some Amish Communities are more welcoming than others. This sounds like an awesome place!

    Blessings, Alice

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    Liz
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 09:56)

    This writer’s description of mainstream teenagers is spot-on: “That restlessness and high energy paired with edginess that is so prevalent in kids today”. People like to blame it on hormones but I think the Amish kids have exactly the same hormones. Its about how kids are raised, the environment they are raised in, and the influences they are exposed to. I think the Amish have the right idea when it comes to raising kids.

    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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      reader/contributor
      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 8th, 2013 at 21:49)

      The Amish kids were probably on my “radar” because we have homeschooled our two children since 4th and 2nd grade, respectively. I am a product of 1980s Massachusetts (liberal) public education and my husband is the product of 1980s 1st tier, exclusive private schools (Choate and Andover).

      Regardless of their religious affiliation these children were centered, poised, and confident because their parents remain the primary influence in their lives, NOT schools (institutions), celebrities, or peers.

      Like the Amish children we observed, you can always pick homeschooled kidsokidsout in a crowd because they are so calm and polite….as my kids have been constantly “outed” as homeschooled by strangers throughout the years.

      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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    Annmarie
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 10:13)

    This place deems a visit:). Sounds a little like a small piece of heaven on earth!

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      reader/contributor
      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 8th, 2013 at 22:08)

      While Waldo County is indeed lovely, I would gently encourage people to please be realistic. Unity is an interesting choice for the Amish. It is very quiet, undeveloped – and a chunk of the Amish in the area are strategically located near the office of Maine Organic Farmer’s Association and the central farmer’s market in the ara – so they have followed the classic strategy in choosingnwhere to establish farms. Anyone who moves there with the goal of farming (like my family and the Amish) will most likely be hacking farms out of land that hasnt been farmed in 50-70 years. There is real evidence of grinding rural poverty as well as enduring Yankee, Maine spirit. That is the area’s real beauty (besides the views).

      If intense, back breaking farm work and subsistence farming off-grid is heaven on earth then unity may be a good choice. ;)

      Personally, I would

      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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        reader/contributor
        Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 8th, 2013 at 22:27)

        …continuing my above comment:

        Personally, I would be impressed by the fact that the basic, “simple” level that these folks were living at (the store proprietor uses his stove to heat his family’s hot water needs – without the luxury of the hot water element option that can be ordered for these stoves) did not in any way “weigh” on him or his children. That is a very powerful lesson into and unto itself.

        We were truly impressed and humbled….and also knew that we would have the luxury of a battalion of solar panels to power my nuclear hot bubble baths.

        ….just encouraging people to keep it realistic. It’s not cute like Lancaster up there…it has a very stripped, rugged New England beauty. Very pioneering.

        Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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    SharonR
    Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 10:46)

    Unity, Maine Amish settlement

    YES, indeed — a very good place to visit….agree with Liz – it’s all in the way children are raised, that effects how they are, in public or at home; Unity does sound like a small piece of Heaven on earth, just like Annmarie said! Maine is a place I’ve always wanted to see, and it’s on our ‘List’ to do, very soon.
    SharonR

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    mark
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 12:08)

    I thought these folks were Swartzentrubers but they don’t sound like such. Was Not sure why I thought that, though. Was I wrong?

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      Valerie
      Not Swartzentrubers (February 5th, 2013 at 12:55)

      Not Swartzentrubers

      There are Swartzentrubers not too far from either the Smyrna or Unity Amish (I can’t remember which) that have been there a few years too, but Smyrna & Unity consider themselves Old Order.

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    Morinne
    Unity Maine (February 5th, 2013 at 12:19)

    Unity Maine

    I was so happy to read the information about Unity Maine. I live in MA which is not too far away and have often thought of taking a ride to Unity to see the Amish. I had attended services at a conservative Mennonite church and one of the Mennonite families from there moved to Smyrna to join the Amish community. I often wonder how they are doing.

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    MarkFitzGerald
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 16:53)

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before, but the group in Unity has connections to the old Christian Community in Cookeville,TN , connected with Elmo Stoll. Elmo’s widow and sons are part of the group in Unity. Elmo was a foreward thinking Amish bishop – much concerned with a witness to the outside world. Anyone researching Elmo’s beliefs would get a good idea about what makes Unity so unique.

    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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    Carolyn B
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 18:21)

    After reading this and the comments, I feel very happy for your contributing reader, Erik. This settlement sounds like an ideal community to move into, whether you’re English or Amish.

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    Susan Fryman
    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 5th, 2013 at 20:44)

    I read this post daily and don’t comment often. Really enjoyed this post today. My husband and I live in Southern New Mexico in a mid sized town. We’re country folk at heart and have decided to sell and move. Unity sounds like a wonderful place. I wonder if the author would be willing to exchange emails with me about this? Also if anyone else knows of an Amish community that would welcome us, I would love to hear about it. We have similar views, values and beliefs as the Amish. We cherish peace and quiet and clean air and living. We just can’t be Amish due to medical disabilities at this point in our lives. We need a climately controlled home and electric to power our medical machines. Blessings and thank you. Susan Fryman susanngarrylee at yahoo dot com

    Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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      Ex Maine Boy
      Reality (February 10th, 2013 at 11:29)

      Reality

      I think a little more reality is in order. Rural life in central or northern Maine is far from the ideal picture you folks are discussing. And not every resident is as welcoming as you all may think. You would be considered “from away”. It’s like having a scarlet letter on your forehead. The poverty and the cold, and the darkness and length of the winters followed by the flood and mud season will defeat most newbies.

      I would suggest reconsidering.
      God bless.

      Reality

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      Jason Laws of Amity, Maine
      About Amish Home Builders (June 10th, 2014 at 17:44)

      About Amish Home Builders

      While we were members of the Amish in Smyrna, Maine, we did not allow for jobs away from home either, but sometimes, on a temp. basis. So, I don’t know if anyone would do that or not, in Unity. People would always ask us at Sturdi-bilt {in Smyrna)if we did on-site work or not, and we would aways reply with a curt “no” But between myself and others in Maine, I am sure you can find a carpenter, even if they aren’t “Amish”….I am still a Christian :-)

      About Amish Home Builders

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    Chris
    A nice article on Unity.... (February 5th, 2013 at 21:27)

    A nice article on Unity....

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2009/11/29/maine_town_quickly_embraces_new_amish_neighbors/?page=full

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    Joan Sheldon
    Amish in Unity (February 5th, 2013 at 21:27)

    Amish in Unity

    I am very glad to see such glowing reports of this wonderful Community that I spend a fair amount of time in. I was there just today, and I know all the people spoken of here, especially the Stolls and Copps. I agree with Mark about Elmo. I have read his book and some of his writings. John, since your visit in 2009, the Community has built a combination Meeting House and school so they don’t meet at people’s houses anymore except for evening singings. This area is indeed a piece of heaven on earth.

    Amish in Unity

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    Nelson
    Unity Amish (February 7th, 2013 at 17:34)

    Unity Amish

    Morrine, was the last name of that Mennonite family,Salisbury, who moved from Mass to Maine.
    They are still living up there in that area, but were not treated in a Christian way by the Amish in Smyrna, Maine and therefore left the group there…
    It is sad but true, and their daughter was even baptized into the Amish Church there,,, and is now studying to be in law enforcement..
    e-mail me if you want more info,, followjesusonly@gmail.com

    Yes, looking in from the outside is nice, in both Smyrna, and Unity, Maine..but if you ever try to become a member and see how the wheels of the Amish Church operates,,, you will someday learn that it does not operate its gears out of the Bible,,,
    Read Ernie Yoders comments on ,,,”So you want to Join the Amish”

    Unity Amish

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    Nelson
    Check out www.irawagler.com (February 7th, 2013 at 17:41)

    Check out www.irawagler.com

    Check out Ira Wagler’s website and read all of his interesting archives,,,
    He was a nephew of Elmo Stoll, and in one of his archives he has all, about Elmo’s life…

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    Tara
    Unity Amish (February 7th, 2013 at 18:52)

    Unity Amish

    Unity is only about 3.5 hours from me and the closest Amish community. I plan to visit when the weather is warmer and I cannot wait. So glad I saw this article. I suspect I might have been Amish in a former life. :)

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      reader/contributor
      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (February 8th, 2013 at 20:31)

      @Tara
      I am the reader who is purchasing a farm in unity as our weekend home and visited the settlement in unity in this post. Our principal residence is in massachusetts. We are 3 hours from unity (which is exactly why we chose this area because it is a reasonable travel time for us to a 2nd home.

      Fyi For when u go up there….gps/navigation may try to direct u into thorndike. You want to be on route 220. Gps/navigation gets a bit wonky up there.

      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement

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        ShipshewanaIndiana
        Best wishes (February 27th, 2014 at 17:48)

        Best wishes

        Thank you for sharing with us! We moved into an Amish community six years ago and our lives have never been the same! Although we left and moved to another Amish area, we cannot imagine living away from the Amish. We wish you the best in your adventure!

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    Janet Lance
    Question on Maine Amish home builders (June 7th, 2014 at 18:03)

    Question on Maine Amish home builders

    I love and miss Maine, my question is are there any Amish home builders.
    My husband and I own land in Cooper, Maine and would love to build a very small, one story home to move back home now that we are retired.
    Is there any contacts that would do work in the Washington County area?
    Any reply will be welcomed.
    Please feel free to contact us at janetlance007@yahoo.com

    Thank you and God Bless : }

    Question on Maine Amish home builders

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      PLS
      Amish Home Builders (June 7th, 2014 at 21:25)

      Amish Home Builders

      @Janet Lance

      Hi Janet,
      My family is the one that purchased the weekend farm near the Unity settlement and we have lots of business interactions with them.

      While one of the businesses has done work on our house, the Unity Settlement does NOT have a construction crew as they do not like to engage in jobs off of their farms.

      I have no idea about the Amish in Aroostook.

  • more from non plain backgrounds,joining or living with Amish in Maine than have been for a long time

    Interestingly,,some more and more families from non plain backgrounds are moving into and among the Amish of Hodgdon,Maine,,,some of which have driven horse and buggy before,went to cars ,and now back to horse and buggy…
    The bishop of all three communities,Crist Hilty,lives in Smyrna Mills ,Maine, and he pea and runs the store,on U.S. Highway 2…
    Their three communities are Smyrna Mills,Unity,and Hodgdon,Maine.

    more from non plain backgrounds,joining or living with Amish in Maine than have been for a long time

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      Jason Laws of Amity, Maine
      Visiting the Unity, Maine Amish settlement (June 12th, 2014 at 16:29)

      Hello Pilgrim. I guess we will have to see how long they stay. When we left the Smyrna Amish, many others left, too. The one family moving in from Plain Christian in Corinna, was New Order at one point, left and is now going Old Order, but I think he is going to find them Out of Order; Hodgdon is a daugther settlement of Smyrna. Who art thou, Pilgrim? :-)

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