Chilly Minnesota is home to over a dozen Amish settlements. Amish first found their way to the state way back in the late 1800s.
But they did not really get a foothold in the North Star State until the 1970s, when communities were founded in Wadena and Todd Counties, and at Harmony in Fillmore County (today Minnesota’s largest Amish settlement).
I have never actually visited a Minnesota Amish community, despite spending a summer just over the border in Iowa. Any readers from Minnesota, or elsewhere, that have?
Read more in the new Amish State Guide entry on Minnesota Amish.
You can also find more info on Amish woodworking in the state here: Amish Furniture-Minnesota.
Photo credit: Alan Levine
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Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.
good morning……. ive never been to minnesota. but if i had the chance, id travel to all the amish communitys in the usa………… richard, lebanon,pa
Good morning Richard, Erik and everyone! I have been through Minnesota but never stopped anywhere. I would imagine life can get quite difficult up there in the winter for the Amish.
Hope everyone is well this morning. We are at 1 degree,, brrrrrr. So cold even the dog does not want to go out yet.
I just recently “discovered” the Amish America site (though I’ve been interested in the Amish for several years). I’ve never been to Minnesota, but like Richard, I’d love to see Amish settlements anywhere. So far, I’ve only been on a short day-trip to Arthur, IL, a few years back. I also agree with Alice that things must be pretty harsh for the Amish in Minnesota this time of year. My son-in-law’s Grandmother lives there…I’ll have to ask if she’s been to any Amish settlements there.
the “other” Alice
now with 2 alices on amish America, somebody’s going to have to change their name,lol. welcome alice Mary m to the site, and i think you will enjoy it. your not very far from alice aber i think, she’s about 1 and a 1/2 hrs from the amish settlement of Arthur, so maybe you guys are close to each other. im in lebanon,pa, the next county up from Lancaster. so we have some amish in Lebanon as well as the huge amish/Mennonite settlement in Lancaster. the good part is, im only a few miles from the Lancaster county line, so you can say im in amish paradise………………. richard,lebanon,pa
Welcome to the site Alice Mary!! My middle name is Marie, LOL. Yes, as Richard said I am about an hour and a half north of Arthur. Been wanting to get back down there but holding off due to the weather. You will find a lot of information on this blog. I have enjoyed it very much. 🙂
Feel free to jump in and comment any time. I think folks will be able to tell us apart,,, even Richard, LOL 😉 Just teasing you Richard!!
orig alice……… ive been having a slow computer of late, so i will be having a tech over here at some point, but i can go to web sites, just alittle slower. the snow has stopped over my way alice, only some winds and pretty cold. we might get alittle more flakes on sat. but overall i think we were lucky. looks like Erik is coming out with another book, i had asked him on weds if he was, i wonder if i made it into his book,lol. and im sure alot of his knowledge of the amish has come from staying with them, which he has, and i thought my week with the amish was impressive, Erik stays for like 2 mos. let me be the first one to say Erik “please put me in to win your book “,lol. you know im getting some extra points for asking this early. hey alice, is Arthur geared towards tourist like some of the other amish settlements?, im sure there is some commercialism there. the amish fellow that i knew at the time in Ohio told me his mom and sisters were robed while walking home on a country road in Millersburg Ohio. they were not hurt, but all their money was taken, and they were shaken-up, pretty scary stuff. they never went to the police, and ive heard this is fairly common among the amish of not going to the authorities. this would be a good topic, if you were to see someone who was amish being harassed, would you step-in to help. i know this applies to everyone not just the amish, but since this is a amish related blog, im only talking about the amish.
When is the last time you cleaned out your cache on the computer and did a defragmentation? That could be your problem. If you want to know how to do this you can email me and I will give you step by step directions. Just might save you some money.
Yes, Arthur has their tourist season and lots of tourists do come in. There is a place called Rockhome Gardens in Arcola which is basically the next town over, they are really big on tourists. One of the reasons I want to seel some of my crafts in a shop in Arthur is because of the tourists, as well as the locals.
I do think that would be a good topic Richard. I would help, and I have. I know the Amish are against using the authorities but sometimes I wish they would. People will take advantage of things like that.
Our high temperature for the day was just 15 degrees, but the wind chill is much colder. Stay warm Richard!!
Thank you, Richard AND Alice, for the warm welcome! I could suggest you call me what my cousins did when I was a child (“Baby Alice”), but my AARP card would only make me look foolish!
Alice, you’re lucky to live that close to Arthur. I live quite a ways further North, in Cary, IL. I don’t “vacation” much…just work full time & take an online class, read, putter in the house and (in warmer weather) garden…but I love learning about the Amish and other Plain people. I know I’ll enjoy this site a lot—already have!
Just one more thing (which Alice probably knows): the name “Alice” means “truth” (and “Mary” means “bitter”). I just thought I’d throw that out there!
I think if we stick with calling you Alice Mary and me Alice everyone could keep it straight, LOL. Actually I did not know the meaning of our names, but I like it. 🙂 I wonder if Marie has a meaning similar to Mary? I don’t think my AARP card would like me being called baby either, LOL.
I love to garden too and do a lot of reading. As for puttering in the house, there is ALWAYS something that needs taken care of, LOL. I work from home as I have a small ceramics and crafts business. I sell finished wares. Working on setting up a web site and hope to sell some of my wares in a shop in Arthur later this year.
I am trying to picture where Cary is. I am about half way between Bloomington and Decatur.
We visited Harmony in September 2010. When compared to a place like Berlin Ohio, Harmony is a sleepy little town with just a couple of stores. Its a very quaint town with very friendly people. Most of the Amish families we spoke with follow the Swartzentruber teachings. Overall its a great place to stop as you make your way east or west.
I would like to go see the Amish in New York State. Right now I am reading the book: New York Amish by Karen M. Johnson-Weiner. I know there are some in Clyde and Waterloo. It’s kind of funny because the Englisher people say that Waterloo is owned by the Mennonites and the Amish. I have been there and I wouldn’t go that far-but they do own a lot of businesses there. What isn’t in the book, or at least as far as I read, is that some Amish have moved to Gorham, New York,which is near the city of Canandaigua.
Hi both Alice,
My Mom was named Mary. Being Catholic she was taught she ws named after the Blessed Virgin Mary. I remember the George M. Cohan song my Mom use to sing sometimes called Mary. There is a section in the song. ” It is Mary, Mary, as proud as any name can be. But Society, Priority may say Marie.”
Hi Marilyn in NY!! There are Amish in Heuvelton, NY too. Been reading a lot of that area. Often think about moving back to NY state someday as that is where I am from originally. But then I also think about heading south and getting out of the winters, LOL. Actually won’t be going any where for a while, not enough money.
That song sounds interesting, I will have to see if I can find the lyrics online.
How is the weather out your way? The snow stopped here but it is bitterly cold. Oh well, this too shall pass,,,,,, eventually, LOL.
I will have to check out Heuvelton. Actually according to the book there are lots of Amish in different places in New York State. I was surprised. I have been thinking of moving south to get out of the winters, too. I guess we have to go to Florida as the rest of the states have snow. I can’t move right now, either for the same reason you can’t-money.
That song was also in the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy staring James Cagney.
Right now the snow stopped here-but it is suppose to start up again in a few hours. Our tempature is something like 8 outside. Yes, there shall pass, too-I hope. LOL
Blessings to you,
I was just looking up the song. The title of the song is: Mary’s a Grand Old Name and is by George M. Cohan. I found the words when I looked around on the computer.
Wow Marilyn,,, now I think I remember that song by the name, “Mary’s a grand old name”. I think my dad would sing that song. He loved to sing. I learned a lot of the big band era songs by singing with my daddy.
Well, if we move to Florida it will have to be near Pinecraft, LOL. But if I stay in the northern states I am definitely going to have to get a snow blower or snow plow, LOL. I run my business from home so could actually stay in just about the entire winter. I am good at stocking up supplies so would not worry about running out of food or other supplies. 🙂
At the very least I would love to get back to NY this year for a visit. My 35th high school reunion is this year and I have not been to a reunion yet. My 4 older brothers still live in my hometown in NY and I have not seen any of them in about 12 years. I am the baby of the family and the only girl. (my parents saved the best for last, LOL) Both my parents are gone now and so are most of my aunts and uncles. Just a couple left on my dad’s side of the family.
To Marilyn in New York and others. I should note that the list of settlements in NEW YORK AMISH was (I’m afraid) already out of date when the book came out. It’s one of the problems of publishing is the time gap between submitting the completed manuscript and the appearance of the book on bookstore shelves. Since I wrote NY AMISH, there have been at least three new settlements. Today I drove the school teacher from the Norfolk (Swiss) Amish settlement over to visit schools in the new Bombay, NY settlement, a daughter of the Ft. Plains, NY (Byler) Amish settlement. This new Bombay community is young in every sense of the word. There are now 20 families and three schools–but only 4 “young folk”.
The three “prospective” teachers, all members of the Norfolk “young folk,” got a real kick out of the brown Byler buggies and brown bonnets.
We visit Arthur at least twice a year and have found the Amish very nice and friendly.
One of our friends, that goes at the same time as we do, is superintendent of schools. He was able to go inside one of the schools about two yrs ago. He was accompanied by two school board member (or whatever their title is).Of course this was at the end of the day so the children were’t present.
He was so impressed at the cleanliness of the school. Very immaculant.
He observes the children when they are in public with their parents and he said he wishes all of his parents and students could take lessens from the Amish.
The children are quiet, well-mannered and smile readily. Of course a parent sets the rules and adheres to them so this would be the difference in them and the English. I’m not saying the English are all disruptive,etc, but there is a great difference in them.
We have visited many of the Amish Communities and the least progressive one to me is in Mississippi, not far from Oxford.
I enjoy this website and learn something new,frequently. Everyone, stay warm and safe. Burr-r–
Karen,, don’t you find it amazing sometimes how fast the Amish can relocate? Before coming here to Amish America I never thought the Amish would relocate. I find all the information fascinating.
I have not gotten your book yet, am hoping to work it into my budget next month. I am sure, even though a bit outdated due to those who have relocated, it is filled with a lot of good information.
I grew up in NY state about 90 miles north of the big city and did not even know there were Amish in the state until last year. Down where I grew up all you heard about were the Amish in Lancaster. Actually as a child I thought every Amish person lived in Lancaster, PA or they were not Amish, LOL.
Thanks for popping in and sharing with us!!
I am so pleased that you answered. I really enjoy the book. I got it from the library. Want to buy a copy of this book. A friend of mine is a Englisher Minister. He knows many of the Amish in our area. He said one of the Bishop’s told him that some of them were buying farms in Gorham that are coming up for sale and moving into them. There is a big family farm being sold where I live and I heard that the Amish were looking at that one to divide it into several smaller farms. Now that I don’t know if it is true or not. It could just be gossip.
Alice A., I once read a quote somewhere that suggested that all an Amish (actually, a Mennonite, if I remember correctly) needed is a pair of boots and his bible, and he can live and work anywhere. Of course too, they might chalk it up to the biblical line about leaving one’s parents to follow Jesus.
Alice A. My uncle Elvan Yoder used to own rockhome gardens.The big house they have as an Amish home used to be where they used to live. I remember playing in this house. His children sold rockhome gardens, but still own A resturant,and gift shop in Arcola.Marcus Yoder London,Ohio
SHOM, I do believe I could live anywhere,,, its a matter of whether I want to or not, LOL. And I guess you could say in a way, I left my parents to follow Christ a long time ago. I was the only one in my family until recent years, that was a Christian. I started going to church at the tender age of 4 years old. Used to walk to and from church myself as it was just down the street where I would start kindergarten a couple of months after I started going to church. I guess my mother figured that would give me good practice walking to school.
Marcus,, that is really interesting. I have been to Rockhome Gardens several times, especially to the restaurant and gift shop. I do know the house you are talking about. I love the area down there, can’t wait to get back. 🙂
Good morning everyone! We are warming up today,, up to a whopping 20 F, LOL. But sure beats yesterday at this hour, only 1 F then. Hope everyone has a great day and stay warm!!
Richard and Alice (and everyone) it’s fine with me if you call me Alice Mary, or even just AMM, if that’s easier.
Alice, you are so lucky to work from home. I work at the local library (just 2.2 mi. from home), but I am a homebody and truth be told, my blood pressure is lower at home (I had 2 surgeries this year, with lots of recovery time at home, and it really helped my BP stay down!). Good luck with selling your wares at Amish shops. I hope I get to see some of them!
My 40th H.S. reunion was last year—I didn’t go. The school (once Catholic) closed and I belileve is now a charter school (in Chicago). In grade school there, we always had 2 or 3 grades in one room–somewhat similar to Amish one-room schools.
Cary is located roughly 45 mi. southwest of Chicago. We’re across the Fox River from Fox River Grove, and boardered by Crystal Lake and Algonquin, too. When our library was located in the old building (about 12 years ago) it had its’ entrance through a silo—it’s now Village Hall.
I am already learning a lot from this site. I’m glad to hear from you, Marilyn. I can’t say that I knew of an Amish presence in NY! I only wish I had more time to spend on this site!
Hi Alice M, Due to health I have no choice but to work from home but I must say I do prefer it. I am pretty much a homebody too. There’s no place like home, LOL.
When you have time you should check out Erik’s Amish State Guide on this site, it has a lot of really great information I am sure you will find interesting.
Fox River, is that the river that St. Charles, IL sits on? I have gone there for ceramic trade shows years ago. Maybe that is why Cary sounds familiar to me? Sorry, with the meds I am on now my brain feels like it is in a fog all the time and I can’t think clearly.
Perhaps you can find some work you can do from home. I know there are a lot of opportunities out there, its just finding them that can be hard.
Hello to all,
I have a question for you Alice A. I’m wondering if you have a stringent time plan you stick to for working at home. Due to my health the past 6 yrs. I believe I will have to seriously consider working from home. Before I became ill, my home became destroyed in a series of unfortunate circumstances. The house needs to be put back together, one area at a time, just as it was damaged. If my health would cooperate, I could start with the repairs, get a cleared place to work, and begin in earnest. There is nothing stopping me from forming a time plan for working for home though. How long have you been doing this? Any pointers you could send my way?
On the days topic, my family visited the Harmony, MN. settlement almost 18 yrs. ago. We took a tour with a tour guide and visited a few homes. I have nothing to compare it to. I would love to visit the Lancaster area and the Ohio communities. Then I believe I would have some comparison and could comment on what I saw.
Yes, very definitely I would try to help if I saw an Amish person, or any sentient being, treated unjustly. The “how” would depend on the situation. Without the knowledge to
be specific, I believe the Bible says people who stand by watching unjust behavior are as guilty as the perpetrator.
Two days ago we had beautiful gentle snow falling most of the day. It was again like that yesterday, but I had slept though too much of the day (meds) to have had the chance to enjoy it all. Living one day at a time, learning to be patient and tolerant with myself if it is a down day health wise, I believe I’m enjoying life much more than ever before in my life. And, I am proud to say my years of reading about the Amish have helped me gain and retain those perspective.
Blessings to all and a special welcome to our new Alice.
My own quick welcome to Alice Mary–we do like Alices around here!
And thank you Karen J-W for keeping us up to speed on the New York Amish. No doubt you’ll have more new communities to keep track of in a couple of months or so.
Loretta, thanks for sharing on the Arthur schools. You mentioned the Oxford, MS community, there was actually a post on Mississippi Amish last month which you may have seen already: https://amishamerica.com/mississippi-amish/
Rockome Gardens at Arthur Illinois Amish settlement
Marcus I have never visited Rockome gardens (but have driven by many times!) This must be your uncle:
They sold Rockome to Elvan and Irene Yoder in 1958. Mr. Yoder’s first instinct was to start farming, because that is what he had been doing his whole life. People still came to Rockome to picnic and sight see and soon Mr. Yoder had to hire someone to clean and keep up the park area. He started charging a small admission to offset the cost. He soon realized the potential of this land and started opening it to the public. The first attractions the Yoders added to the park were buggy rides, tours of the Amish home, and a small gift shop.
High levels of Amish harrassment
Richard it’s funny you mention both in your post b/c the harrassment issue is actually one covered in the new book. I learned a lot that I didn’t know about how much harrassment some Amish experience. I knew that it happened, and had seen some evidence myself, but didn’t imagine it went to the degree that it did. Hey and on your question maybe we can squeeze you in there somehow…and there will definitely be a giveaway (:
I would agree with Alice A., Arthur gets a good bit of tourist interest, not to the degree of settlements further east, but it is really the only large Amish settlement within about a 3 hour driving radius.
I also have health problems that keep me from working outside the home. The thing I find that benefits me the most is, I can take a break when I need to. I try to maintain some sort of a routine but that does not always happen due to health. Remember not to beat yourself up if one day you can not do what you had planned to because you are not feeling well.
When working from home due to health you are constantly adjusting your work time. But it can be done. I suffer from insomnia really bad so it is not uncommon for me to get up in the middle of the night and work on some ceramics or crafts until I get tired enough to sleep for an hour or two.
Other people that can work an “normal” 8 hour day will set regular hours they work and stick with that. If you are able that is actually the better way to do it. It is easier in the long run to stick to a regular schedule.
Also a lot will depend on the type of work you do. For example if you are an in home contractor for someone else you will have to adhere to the schedule your employer wants you on. Like those who take incoming calls for companies. Often they want you available during prime time advertising hours on TV to take the phone calls. Which means you need to be prepared to work during the evenings.
If you do crafts to sell at shows or in consignment type shops, the only times you really have to set are you show dates and delivery dates to shops. The hours you make the items is up to you.
I am an early morning person typically and get the best work done between 4 and 8am. Those evening jobs would not work well for me.
I would suggest you first decide what you want to do, then research it and find out what all you will need to do to accomplish your work. From there you can decide what type of work schedule you will need. For example what I do is very flexible and that is what I need due to the fibromyalgia. I never know if I am going to have a bad pain day ahead of time, so I need to be flexible in that regard. Bad pain day means little or no work that day.
I hope this has helped some. But if you would like to email me with any more questions feel free to do so. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes Erik this was my dads brother. Elvan and his wife are deceased. His children sold rockhome gardens about ten years ago. If you google oats threshing in arthur Illinios, you will see some Amish threshing. The one you tube shows the side of A barn with the name Hershberger custom fenceing. This is is my first cousin and her husband’s farm. Marcus Yoder London,Ohio