Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center Re-Opens (Holmes County)

In another sign of things heading in the direction of “normal”, the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio (Holmes County) re-opened this week. The center says in a Facebook post that they have made a few upgrades in the past months.

This is the place where you’ll find the giant “cyclorama” painting of Anabaptist history called Behalt (the word means “to keep” or “to remember”). You literally walk into a circular room – and the painting taking you through hundreds of years of Christian/Anabaptist history completely encircles you. So in some sense you are “in” the painting. It is pretty impressive. You get a tour explaining the scenes in the painting. Worth experiencing.

I checked with a friend at the center, who shares that “We are open 9:00 – 5:00, our tours run every hour on the top of the hour, first one at 9:00, last one at 4:00. Last school & barn tour is at 3:30 PM.”

The center as a whole makes a nice visit while visiting the Holmes County Amish community. Some of the things you can see there include Amish church clothing, many examples of women’s head coverings, and some important old books like old Bibles and copies of the Ausbund. It’s got a good gift shop and book shop too.

One of the upgrades was to the lighting used in the painting room. My friend explains: “Did you know we have new lighting in the mural hall? It’s now lit up so a spotlight shines where the guide is going while everything else is dimmed.”

Sounds like a nice effect. Check out the center website for more.

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    1. When visiting Holmes County for the first time

      I always tell people who are visiting Holmes County for the first time that the first thing they should do is visit the Mennonite Heritage Center where they will learn the true heritage of the Amish/Mennonite/Hutterite Culture.

      Also, you might think about re-visiting Raber’s Charm Bookstore. This is their 110th year anniversary. Lots has changed around there in 110 years.

    2. Amos

      I know this is probably silly to say, but I bet the Amish will have a baby boom with the lockdown. I think this will have some impact in those communities, where families spend a lot more time outside the home in factories and English settings. The lockdown may strengthen the family unit in some Amish communities where there has been a slow, but obvious focus on careers outside the home. May make some of them think about family again, and may have a long-term social impact of the Amish thinking.

    3. Amos

      Good article on how this may effect languages spoken in the U.S.

      The lockdown may reinforce Pennsylvania Dutch among PA Dutch speakers. Half a year of lockdown where Pa Dutch speakers are basically speaking with only Pa Dutch speakers and having less contact with English speakers, could make those who speak Pa Dutch use it more in the future.