I like drawing attention to these Amish business maps, and it seems more and more communities are creating them. Other recent examples we’ve seen include maps for communities in Buchanan County, Iowa, Livingston County, New York, and Crittenden County, Kentucky. It makes sense as a good way to attract visitors and of course supports the local Amish community.
The map we look at today features 17 Amish businesses in Kentucky’s largest community, in Hart County (aka the Munfordville/Horse Cave settlement). You can view it here below, or at the Hart County Tourism Facebook page.
I found this via a story at wbko.com on the Dutch Country Safari Park, one of the Amish-owned businesses listed on the map. There is something like this in the Holmes County settlement (The Farm at Walnut Creek). You drive through to experience the safari part, and there is also a petting zoo.
The country tourism director in the WBKO video says that there are over 100 Amish businesses in this settlement, and that they selected the ones they felt were potentially most appealing to visitors. She adds that they were getting “overwhelming requests for information about our Amish businesses” thus the idea for the map.
Tourism in general benefits Amish. Overall I would call it a net-positive. Now the hyper-visited places like Intercourse, PA are of course examples were tourist traffic brings some negatives as well. But in the less-frequently visited places in particular, the negatives are minimal if they exist at all.
Other businesses on the map include bakeries, greenhouses, a country store, fabrics shop, and a variety store. I visited this community over 10 years ago and it’s certainly grown a good bit since then. I stopped in at at least one of these Amish places (Detweiler Country Store). Two others I visited, which are not on this list, are Clothes and Crafts Cottage, and Anna’s Kitchen, which sells/sold jams and jellies. I don’t know if those two are not in business any longer, or simply didn’t make the cut to get on the map.
As for the community, here’s a sample of what I wrote about the settlement at the time:
In some respects the area resembles the Holmes County, Ohio Amish settlement, due to the many hills, winding roads, and “hollers” you come across as you drive through the community. It’s easy to get lost as you drive about. On one occasion I followed a road that trailed off into a field. Others cut through back woods, with few inhabitants to be found.
As in Holmes County, the very hilly terrain can cause dangers for horse-and-buggy travelers. In addition to standard buggy warning signs, on some of the steeper and more dangerous hills and curves you find gravel pull-offs, where carriages can pull over out of traffic.
The Green River bisects the settlement, winding between the two towns. Apparently bridges are few and far between; an Amish woman explained to me that at one location you had to travel 13 miles around to get to the other side, though locals take boats across as well.
You can read the rest of that post here. Hart County has 19 Amish church districts and well over 2,000 Amish residents. This Amish community is one of the largest in the South. I expect it will continue to grow as an attractive tourist destination, especially as word gets out about this anchor showcase safari park business.