10 Unusual Amish Communities (Video)

I did a video looking at ten unusual Amish communities. Across 600 different communities and dozens of affiliations, you can notice quite a number of differences in the ways Amish people live and manifest their faith.

So what makes these communities unusual or atypical? It could be something about how they worship, or get around, or other aspects of how they live. I drew on settlements in multiple countries for this list.

One common type of comment I come across is when someone comes to know the Amish in his or her community – and then assumes that what they’ve seen or experienced is the way Amish do things everywhere.

Another variation of this is when people claim one group of Amish are “the true Amish” or the “real Old Order”, for instance when comparing a plainer group to a more progressive one which allows more technology.

This video I hope illustrates the wide variety of ways of being Amish today.

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12 Comments

  1. clara carsey'colter

    I loved it, thank you for sharing. I read a lot of Amish books (stories) really. The one thing I have not found and would really like to hear are common words pronounced. In my mind I hear them the way they are spelled, I think it would be wonderful to hear them true. I looked quickly for the word wonderful in Amish but realized it would take to long to Finnish this note. {smile} I really want to hear many words and common fraise’s

    1. Glad you liked it Clara. And that’s a nice idea for a video. I’m not a native speaker so I personally wouldn’t be able to provide that. But I did do some recordings with some Amish friends a while back that might fit the bill. I’ll put your idea on the burner (back or front burner, I’m not sure right now :)). Thanks for watching.

  2. 10 unusual Amish community

    Loved this and thank you for sharing learned alot.

    1. Glad you liked it Diane, this was a fun one to do.

  3. Terry from Wisconsin

    What about Wisconsin?

    Hi Erik,
    One of these times you’ll be reporting on our Wisc Amish after you visit! We have plenty of settlements to visit and just to get me off your back you’ll check them out in person! 😉

    Waiting for your call…

    1. Keep at me! You know I appreciate that Terry 🙂

  4. Al in Ky

    Another part of the Pinecraft Amish settlement I find unusual is that the number of Amish church services varies in the settlement depending on the time of year. In the wintertime when many Amish visit Pinecraft for anywhere from a few days to several months, there can be as many as four locations where Amish services are held, but in the summertime I think there are only two regular locations for Amish services. (The source of my information is from reading The Budget newspaper yearround. Maybe another Amish America reader has additional information regarding this).

    Another Amish community I consider somewhat unusual is Ethridge, Tenn. Even though it is a very plain, low technology community, it seems to welcome visitors, there are over one hundred homesteads which have one or more products for sale, and there are two horse and wagon tours a visitor can take of the community (though they are conducted by non-Amish).

    The last paragraphs of your post are well-taken, Erik. If a person has visited an Amish community, they have visited one Amish community and the next community they visit might have several differences (some subtle, some more major). I’ve found that there can be differences (in use of technology, dress, housing style, etc.) even in the same community of the same Amish affiliation.

    1. Al, I knew there was more than one location but did not know it could be up to four. Thanks for sharing that interesting detail.

      I agree with you about Ethridge – it’s a good counter-example of the “Amish are a closed people” trope. Of course there are still boundaries but the people there I’ve found pretty friendly and open all things considered. There is obviously some business motivation at play, but leaving that aside
      my impression is that they are pretty friendly folk or at least pretty “open” to outsiders on the whole.

      I imagine I could do a part 2 of this video pretty easily.

  5. Kathy Rowe

    Thanks for sharing this, Erik. I so enjoy your videos and your column. I appreciate all the info you share so we can all learn more about the Amish lifestyle.

    1. Gladly Kathy, it’s great to hear that you are enjoying it. I still get a kick out of knowing people like the posts, and the videos as a new thing have been a lot of fun for me too.

  6. Yoder in Ohio

    Well Done!

    Great job, Erik! I really like this post.