There are three Amish communities with a presence in Clare County. I believe the businesses here are from the more progressive of the two larger ones. That settlement has families both in Clare County, and neighboring Isabella County. It is seven church districts in size.
Clare County buggy in winter. Photo by Christian Collins
There is a second sizeable settlement (6 churches), of Swartzentruber Amish, also partially in Clare County (info via Joe Donnermeyer). Some types of businesses listed here aren’t typical to Swartzentruber settlements. I suppose there could be a mix of both, but I’d lean to the idea that all businesses in this directory are from the more progressive of the two settlements.
The Horse Progress Days event has been held at Clare on multiple occasions. Photo by Michigan Mary
A third, one-district community is found near Harrison.
Among the businesses listed in the directory you’ll find:
- Country store
- Bike shop
- Butcher shop
- Discount foods
- Repair shop
- Harness shop
- Buggy shop
- Quilt shop
The directory does not include a date. So keep that in mind if you choose to visit; some details may have changed. Also, there are likely more businesses that have sprung up in the meantime. View the full-sized version here.
If you’re already in the county, I’d also consider venturing into the Swartzentruber settlement (lying in both Clare and Gladwin County) to see what kinds of places might be there.
Swartzentruber businesses tend to be simpler, and might just be a family selling what the garden has produced that week or what extras they’ve managed to can, right off the front porch.
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