You might have noticed that Amish settlements tend to cluster together on the map. Especially in high-Amish-population states, many communities lie within a short drive or even buggying distance.
In fact, most individual Amish settlements are going to be within a half-hour to an hour’s car drive from at least one other settlement.
Even when Amish settle multiple communities in a new distant state, they often end up planting roots relatively close to one another (see the clusters of Amish communities in Colorado and Maine, for two examples).
But sometimes Amish do settle in remote locations, distant from any other Amish people. Here are five of them.
Five Remote Amish Locations
1. Bee County, Texas – Lying just a couple hours from the Mexican border, the Amish of Bee County have been one of the most remote Amish communities since their founding 20 years ago.
It’s about a seven-and-a-half hour car drive to the nearest Amish community, in Clarita, Oklahoma. The Beeville community has its own character, quite different from your average Midwestern Amish settlement.
2. The Amish on Prince Edward Island – While there are actually two Amish communities lying just a handful of miles from one another on Prince Edward Island (in Kings County), they are the only ones in the province, and around six hours from the nearest Amish.
And they’re separated from the rest of the continent by water. Are these the only Amish living on an island?
3. Salmon, Idaho – The community of Salmon lies on the edge of the vast Salmon-Challis National Forest. This roughly 3,000 person town is in Lewis and Clark territory – the expedition passed through the site of the present-day town.
The small Amish settlement is the only Amish presence in the state, with the closest Amish neighbors living hours away in Montana. There is an apparently thriving Amish-run market store there.
4. Vita, Manitoba – While they technically have their closest Amish neighbors about a two-hour drive and one international border away (in Minnesota), the sole Amish settlement in Manitoba lies far from the bulk of Canada’s Amish in the populous regions of Ontario, were the pioneers of this community originated.
5. The South American Communities – Saving the remotest for last, these two communities – in Bolivia and Argentina – are not just far from any other Amish on the planet, they are also remote from one another.
Google tells me that it is about a 20-hour drive from Pailon, Bolivia to Catamarca Province, Argentina. It’s remarkable that Amish live so far from any others of their faith – and in another hemisphere to boot.
Image credits: Beeville house; Amish boy – Bob Rosier. Manitoba – Urs Christen
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Irish in Ireland?
Hi, with regard to your interesting piece on Amish in remote locations. I was wondering if you had considered the Amish group in Waterford, Ireland? Kind regards.
Dunmore East, County Waterford, Ireland community
Thanks for mentioning them Lurie. That is actually a Beachy Amish community, and we generally focus on horse-and-buggy (Old Order) Amish here.
That said, there are a lot of articles out there on that community and I’ve thought about posting something about them here. Thanks for reminding me.
Hi Erik, thank you for enlightening me, I had not read that they were Beachy Amish, it would be interesting to read more about them. While I’m commenting I’d just like to say a big thank you for your site, I really really enjoy reading the articles you put on. Kindest regards, Lurie.
Thanks Lurie, very kind of you!
Are there any in southern Illinois
Hi there is in Arthur/ Tuscola Illinois my Mother was raised there. Its southwest of Champaign IL. There is many Amish stores in the country that I’d give anything to have one of their Angle food Cakes!! Amish Restaurant, the town have maps of the Amish farms that sell items. Great town to visit!!
New settlement in Kansas
There is also a new settlement in Wakefield, Kansas. Don’t know anything about them but would love to. Has anyone heard of this settlement.
I have not heard of that one, but interesting to hear. Do you know when the community started, and how many families there might be there now?
New settlement in Kansas
Erik, all I have heard is English gossip. They came hear a year ago & are from New York. They have now built 3 houses & 1 wood working shop. My area is very recreational, with lots of campers in the summer & hunters in the winter, because it’s located near Milford Lake. My biggest concern is the buggies & the crazy seasonal drivers. This summer wasn’t too bad because Green Algae covered Milford Lake & severely slowed down the tourists. Plus we had a lot of flooding here, due to heavy rains. I am located 6 miles South of the town of Wakefield, Kansas. I would appreciate it if you would share any information you find out about my new neighbors. Thank you
small Amish groups
We love our Amish group in Burkes Garden, [Tazewell] VA. They still hold fast to their beliefs, but they sell at Farmer’s Market, have a store, and have suppers inviting the community. They also help with building houses in this community. My daughter is a driver for them.
Hi Pat, I grew up in Tannersville and now live in PA Dutch country. I first discovered The Burke’s Garden Amish three or four years ago. I visit them about four times a year. They are quite remarkable indeed. With the two stores they really add to the community. Mattie recently told me that one family had moved back to NY and now there are only 12 families with about 20 students in the old school building. The amazing thing is the 12 families moved there from KY, NY, PA, OH, WY and MT. I hope the community continues to welcome them, appreciate their contribution and way of life.
My family lives in Maine and Massachusetts. We were invited to the Amish home for lunch in NY as we travelled through. Wonderful experience and wonderful hospitality. My daughter had visited with them several times in Burkes Garden for meals. .My husband does business with birds with the Amish at White Gate. I have been there, too. Wonderful people here.
Post on Burke's Garden Amish
For anyone interested, Jerry had a great guest post for us several years ago on the Amish at Burke’s Garden: https://amishamerica.com/amish-burkes-garden-virginia/
I think there is an Amish settlement a few miles southeast of Ste. Saint Marie Michigan. I have seen their horse and Buggies up there.
Yes there is one in the Sault Ste. Marie area, started in 2015, just one church district in size.
real estate searching
Erik, How about a piece some time on how the Amish search for new places to settle? Do they subscribe to United Country or find out from other methods? How do they check out the potential locale?
How do Amish find new places to live?
Good question, Boyce, and sorry for the slow reply here. I can’t tell you if there is a predominant method, from what I’ve observed this happens in a variety of ways – sometimes it’s the “Amish grapevine” at work, it might be happenstance – a road trip to family in another part of the country or to an auction or other event may take someone through an area that looks like a nice place to live; there are real estate agents who help Amish (see the recent article on the Lancaster County Amish agent who is promoting leaving the county); there is some promotion from local areas who wish to attract Amish and help them to find properties, or might house them as they are checking out land, and otherwise helping them move in and “rolling out the red carpet” so to speak (see the Prince Edward Island experience for one example). I wasn’t aware of the United Country publication/platform until you pointed it out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was one channel being used by some as well. A more substantial piece on this would be a nice idea, and I’ll keep it on the burner for if/when the opportunity presents.
The south American Communities
The Amish in South America, are they part of the education project in conjunction with the old colony Mennonites down there?
Good question Terry, I do not know – I’m assuming you mean the project which has volunteer Amish teachers teaching in Old Colony Mennonite schools in Mexico. To my knowledge that is just confined to the Mexican communities, but perhaps there is activity elsewhere. If anyone reading this knows, would be glad to hear about it.
The two communities in Bolivia and Argentina apparently have ties to the New Order Amish in Holmes County, who are among the few Amish who permit flying, which would be about the only realistic way to make regular trips to that part of the world to support those groups.
I knew there were Old Colony Mennonites in South America as well as Mexico and from what I know those countries seem to be where their current migration is taking them. There is quite a large community of ethnic Germans in those countries, immigrations that started in the mid 1800’s.
Amish outside of the U.S.
Not to forget the Amish in Paraguay. For example The Sommerfield colony, about 130 Miles east of Asuncion and the Bergthal Colony 12 miles north of Sommerfield. I am in the process of writing a book on the visit of a Pennsysylvania , Chester county Amish women’s visit about 50 years ago to Amish and Mennonites in Paraguay.
Anyone interested in getting a copy of the book when it is finished can contact me:
mobile: 609 384 1154
This book relates the story of her trip, from Honey Brook, PA to Paraguay and back.