Do the plainest Amish shun tourists, as you might suppose? Not in the case of the Amish at Ethridge, Tennessee.
Mary Hance details her visit to the comunity at Ethridge in a recent article for the Tennessean.
This is an interesting community as it is one of the most traditional, but also rather tourist-friendly.
This Swartzentruber Amish settlement has many farms and a lot of them also have small businesses attached and/or sell their produce, baked goods and other food items.
Here are 5 things you can do if you visit this community:
1. Visit Amish businesses – There are over 50 which you can find on the map given out at the Amish Welcome Center. This is everything from furniture to baskets to caskets to all variety of foods. Or, just drive around the area and stop in at farms. The characteristic white board signs make it easy to know what’s up for sale at each place.
2. Take a wagon tour – I have not done this, but recall seeing these massive wagons on my visit to the community, pulled by a pair of draft horses. The Amish Welcome Center is one place to find out about these tours. The cost is $10/person, cheaper for kids. There are apparently other tour businesses as well.
3. Try some Amish food – As with other places, your mileage may vary. Mary really liked the fried pies but not the breads bought at one Amish farm.
4. Lunch options – Get a bite at one of the local places. The article recommends a BBQ place and burgers and sandwiches from a local gas station.
5. Plowboy Produce Auction – This Amish-heavy auction runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It “starts at 1pm and ends when the produce is gone.” Auctions are fun opportunities to mingle with Amish sellers and attendees in a lively atmosphere. The address is:
Plowboy Produce Auction
469 S Brace Rd
Ethridge, TN 38456
For more on this community, you can read my 2010 post on my visit to Ethridge, or Don Burke’s photo tour of the settlement.
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Thanks for this interesting post. I hope to visit the Ethridge community later this year and this information was very helpful.
Have visited the Lancaster County Amish in Reedsville, Pennsylvania. Had a wonderful time. Attended and Amish wedding feast. Visited with a family for 3 days. Went to an Amish auction. Please send info on Etridge, Tn Amish.
I love to visit in Ethridge, TN! However, some of my friends have moved to a new community and another one has passed away. Plus my husband passed away, too. It is not as much fun without him. We always got invited into three of our Amish friends houses. They were very hospitable and we had popcorn and water with one set of friends. The wagon tour is good, but I could have told as much as the driver as we had been going there for years. Be very respectful of their ways ie: don’t take pictures of them or their houses. I saw some pictures of one of my friend’s house, barn, sorghum mill, horses, etc. I asked him about it as it was on a website and did he give the photographer get permission to take the pictures and he was upset to know that pictures had been taken. He said anything of his, not just a picture of him, but any of his things were not to be photographed. He has passed since then, but I loved to visit with his wife and him. He asked me questions about our way of life, too.
Work with Amish thru the mid-west.
Heading for Ethridge in two weeks. I sell treated round post and fence materials to Amish. Any contacts you would know, Amish Fence builders and