The Amish of Munfordville, Kentucky
The Amish settlement near Munfordville and Horse Cave, Kentucky is the largest in the state, with 13 church districts as of 2010. Last week I had a chance to visit a number of Kentucky Amish communities, including the Munfordville settlement.
The Amish here live among the hills of Hart County, which lies about halfway between Lexington and Nashville. Munfordville and Horse Cave are both small towns. Horse Cave is known for a large cavern which once housed the world’s only “air-conditioned” tennis courts. Note: though “Munfordville” is used here to refer to this community, there are no Amish actually in the town; this simply refers to one of the most common mailing addresses for area Amish.
Hart County KY Amish
In some respects the area resembles the Holmes County, Ohio Amish settlement, due to the many hills, winding roads, and “hollers” you come across as you drive through the community. It’s easy to get lost as you drive about. On one occasion I followed a road that trailed off into a field. Others cut through back woods, with few inhabitants to be found.
As in Holmes County, the very hilly terrain can cause dangers for horse-and-buggy travelers. In addition to standard buggy warning signs, on some of the steeper and more dangerous hills and curves you find gravel pull-offs, where carriages can pull over out of traffic.
The Green River bisects the settlement, winding between the two towns. Apparently bridges are few and far between; an Amish woman explained to me that at one location you had to travel 13 miles around to get to the other side, though locals take boats across as well.
Amish society is traversed by an elaborate web of connections. Amish in distant communities may know each other through kinship, business dealings, correspondence in Amish publications such as the Budget, through circle letters, or meeting at support groups, such as those for teachers, or grieving persons, for example.
I found evidence of this at a local clothing store called the Clothes and Crafts Cottage. Right away I was able to make a connection with a friendly woman managing the store that day, whom we can call “Edna”.
I discovered that we shared a friend living in Holmes County, who wholesales plain clothing. The store in fact purchases clothing items from this individual (who appears in my Amish business book under the name “Ivan Miller”) and Edna’s family had been up to visit him at his home.
The Munfordville community originates primarily from the Geauga County Amish settlement. Amish began moving here in 1989. Edna was quick to point out that the Munfordville settlement, where she had lived for 17 years since moving in from Geauga, was considered the “fastest growing in America”. She seemed somewhat pleased with the title.
And “fastest-growing”, for that matter, is a reasonable claim, when you consider that some settlements need much more than the 21 years it has taken Munfordville to grow to 13 church districts.
Edna explained that people moved into the Munfordville and Horse Cave area often, with some moving away as well. Amish migration often follows patterns of kinship, with parent settlements providing daughter communities a steady supply of new settlers over the years.
Edna expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of life in Geauga County. She explained that in Geauga, the men worked out in manufacturing plants and that people “live on top of each other”. Munfordville does feel spacious in comparison to that community.
Offering further proof of the Geauga County ties, the shop displayed a number of Geauga church directories available for purchase for $30 by the cash register. Unfortunately, directories for the Munfordville community itself were unavailable, as Edna explained that the latest edition was quite outdated. Amish typically update these guides which feature addresses and church district maps every 5-7 years.
Edna encouraged me to visit the local produce auction, which is held on weekdays beginning at 1 pm.
Hart County produce auction
Edna had explained that it would be pumpkin day at the auction, and in fact, other than a few squashes, that was basically all you could see for sale.
I arrived to find a miked-up Amish auctioneer moving down a row of huge boxes of pumpkins up for bidding. The crowd followed along, as is typical at a produce sale, offering up bids and claiming lots of the seasonal vegetable. The auctioneer’s cadence was quick and he was clearly experienced at his trade, making swift work of the available pumpkins.
The produce auction at Munfordville, like the one at the Amish community at Ethridge, Tennessee, provides an outlet for Amish and others to sell their vegetables and fruits.
One way in which this community differs from Holmes County is in the quality of the soil. Standard dairying is apparently not as common here due to the poorer land quality, although small-scale produce apparently has been viable. You can find the produce auction at 6880 Cub Run Hwy, Munfordville, KY 42765.
Other Munfordville Amish businesses
As in other Amish communities where agriculture is less common, businesses abound here, with many manufacturers and retail shops among the hills.
Anna’s Kitchen, for instance, sells a variety of jams and jellies out of a small shop attached to an Amish home. Vinyl businesses, sawmills, and fabrics shops are among the other businesses found at Munfordville.
Another shop worth visiting is Detweiler’s Country Store, located at Cub Run, not far from the produce auction. Detweiler’s is a variety store with foods, dry goods, books, clothing, potted plants and a wide array of amenities.
Among the books for sale at Detweiler’s is one showcasing 100 “must-see” tourist destinations in Kentucky. Inside you’ll find an entry for Detweiler’s itself. The address for Detweiler’s is 12825 Priceville Rd, Cub Run, KY, 42729.
One of many Kentucky Amish settlements
The Munfordville, Kentucky Amish settlement is one of many in the state. Kentucky itself is home to the 8th-largest Amish population.
Reflecting their ties to Geauga County, Ohio, the Munfordville Amish are a fairly “mainstream” Amish group, active in businesses which cater to non-Amish markets, and accepting technologies such as solar panels.
In addition to the Munfordville Old Order Amish settlement, I visited a Swartzentruber Amish community about 40 minutes away at Sonora in Hardin County.
I also traveled through a New Order Amish settlement at Guthrie, where you are more likely to see an Amish person in a tractor than a buggy (tractors, unlike in most Amish settlements, are allowed for field work and road travel in the Guthrie community).
With over 30 Amish communities, Kentucky has a diverse and growing Amish population. Munfordville is not the oldest, but is by far the largest and perhaps best-known of those settlements.
Read more about Kentucky Amish communities across the state, or view a listing of Kentucky Amish furniture.
land in the amish country
Am making a trip to Munfordsville – Horse Cave area in May. Will be looking for land for family to buy and possibly relocate after retirement.We keep a couple horses and are looking for an area where we would be right among the Amish as I want to be able to hook up and drive horses to do the local stuff. Also where we live now we do some hauling for the Amish and thought there might be some oppurtunity for that in the right location. any body got ideas or suggestions for the location. Ps I have picked this area for its milder weather as I really dont the cold anymore
You might try SOnora Ky about an hour north of Munfordville. The Munfordville group use trucks and tractors some so might not have the hauling need the Sonora group might have as they are an old order I believe.
Looking for Land and cabin builders in the Munfordville area
Greetings: Am thinking about relocating north to the Munfordville area and would like to find a small parcel of land with some timber and some pasture available. Must also have a water source – preferably a fresh spring which would be above the cabin site. Would also like to contact Amish builders who might build a small real log cabin for me in the future. Have lots of good Mennonite friends here in the Scottsville community who have been great neighbors for the past ten years – so am respectful and thankful for their help in the past
ive got a elder friend who live’s in green co Ky im looking for some amish who hire out to build him a deck with a wheelchair ramp would need price’s so please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a horse
My horse was sold in May or June to an amish community in Kentukcy without my permission by a third party. I have had the horse for 13 years and he is a large quarter horse and has a blaze face and no socks or stockings. He is a sorrow. His name is Cash. He is a quilding and 14 years old. I would just like to see if he is okay and would like to buy him back if possible. Thank you so much. I have a picture. Thank you.
How’s the health of the Kentucky Amish tourism at this time? Well, just in case you haven’t been watching I’d suggest you take a look at a show on tv called Amish Mafia to see what some amish men from Kentucky are up to in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In tonights show they were filmed putting long handled axes, hatchets, knives and guns into a van before all of them piled into it. The show states that these are just reinactments but I’ve gotta tell you it isn’t doing anything to persuade me to visit “any” Amish community in Kentucky. I didn’t even know there were any in Kentucky before seeing them on this show. Clearly, even if this is a reinactment or dramatization it creates a picture of what one could expect from the Kentucky Amish. The picture it creates is one of watching the movie “Deliverance”, only this could be reality, the audience just dosen’t know. Good luck with that.
That TV show is a joke. You can ask any knowledgeable Amish person and find out what they think about these stupid shows that have been on television.
All of it is fake and no one even knows those people. Surely you don’t believe everything you see on Television??? Good Grief!
That’s like saying anything you find on the internet is accurate. The more shocking these shows are, the more money the producers make. It’s all scripted. Putting someone in Amish clothing does not make them Amish anymore than me sitting in a garage makes me a car!
Think about it-what sells???? Drama! And that’s what you get on those ridiculous programs. The Kentucky Amish are farmers and agricultural people. Kentucky has a very small community of Amish compared to southern and northern Indiana communities and the Ohio community. The people are good family people who love God. To behave this way is not realistic. Don’t fall for the gimmicks!
You presume that I believe it. Presuming things will get you into a lot of trouble. I was speaking to what it’s got to be doing to tourism in all states where the Amish sell their wares. This is bad publicity whether it’s believed or not. Lets just consider that people have been begging the producers and participants in this show to tell us all what’s real and what is not. To say something is a reinactment or a dramatization means they are claiming it happened but just not on camera. Yes, they are acting but it’s from actual events according to what the show states in the beginning of each show. People have been trying to get them to fess up and tell the truth because no one can believe that much of what’s on that show is true. Even so this has to be affecting the bottom line of those who make a living through Amish tourism which includes the english. Of course I’m sure the residents of Holmes County, Ohio might be glad to be able to spend little time driving through their own town to get anywhere. It’s almost impossible even on days of bad weather. It’s gridlock. Some people have gone as far as to check on the police records of the individuals in the show. They’ve all got a record. That much is true and their pics with their records match up. That’s information that’s public. They are real people using their real names. I am concerned by the things I’ve seen on the show which involves the parties where drugs and alcohol freely flow. Ohio Amish communities have had their problems with this and some have been busted and put in prison for pushing those drugs. So, before you blurt out that something is fake do more reading. I like my state and do not like police corruption or……Amish corruption. Obviously the Ohio police are well versed in what goes on but the rest of us are not. The Amish have been in our newspapers and on the tv news quite a bit in the past few decades due to crime. I’d like to see it cleaned up and out of the Amish community not to mention the english. This is my sandbox so I’m interested in what goes on in it.
That show is ridiculous. I grew up seeing Amish people during my childhood in Ohio. These are hard-working, well-mannered, lovely people who contribute fine quality workmanship and products to many local communities. They keep to themselves and are Bible- believing Christians. There are ample opportunities for those who want to leave those communities to do so if they want as they become adults. This show is nothing more than a “smear” on their good reputation in my opinion.
I live in Kentucky and am surrounded by many good hard working Amish folks. They do have ways of doing things that do not sit right with a lot of English folks, but there is a good, bad and ugly side to any race or religion, known to man. I have seen the program you speak of regarding the Amish Mafia and it does seem to show a lot of the ugly side of some Amish folks, but that is what the author was seeking to do. It is not good to believe what is shown in any televised program today. The media is filled with deceit and corruption, as is every other aspect of our lives. I prefer to judge the Amish folks or anyone else, for that matter, by the way they have treated me and my family. They do have dishonest members of their group just like any other group,but we try not to get involved with them, once we have learned that fact.
Amish are human.....
I agree with you Sue. I too live in Kentucky with many Amish neighbors who are also friends. But, they are human and as humans they are not perfect. I think the misconception comes from putting all Amish in the same category. To judge the whole Amish community by the same standard would be a terrible mistake. There are many who are hard working, kind and generous. And as Sue stated, some who aren’t. Just like every other group of people.
Here's your kind, gentle, religious people you call the Amish
Read both of these and tell me how you feel about them after you’ve done so! I have paid attention to them when in Amish country and I have interacted with some of them and let me tell you I read facial expressions and body language quite well. As a young victim of sexual abuse myself I can say this infuriates me to no end! There is absolutely no way I will ever darken the doorstep of even one of their establishments again! As far as I’m concerned if it weren’t for corruption of the law in their favor our prisons would be overflowing with them! Read it before you tell me again how gentle and good these people are!
If you're looking for Corruption......
If you’re looking for corruption and degradation, you don’t have to look far. It’s in every aspect of human life, regardless of race,religion,etc. If it’s evidence of corruption you’re seeking, you can find it. Look at the many cases in the media. Even folks who have made a positive difference in the lives of millions of others, have been singled out, and drug through the mud over a bad choice they may have made in their lifetime.As a dear friend said to me, many years ago, as I moved into this community,”You can only judge a man by the way he has treated you and your family.” That has become my motto for life. The Amish folks with whom we have dealt with, have treated me and my family with the utmost respect and honesty, as we have them.
Posted urls to website informaton
@ Sue Nugent re: If you’re looking for corruption. Sue did you go to the urls I provided and read the material you find there or are you only concerned with how you “see” the amish around you treating your personal family? No one else matters and if you don’t see the harm then it dosen’t exist? I’ve provided evidence of what’s going on but you people aren’t even reading it. I didn’t write these things at those urls. Nothing of what’s on them is from the show Amish Mafia either. What I have been trying to point out in all of this is that from the reputable reports online from professionals, pedophelia is rampant in the amish communities! If you live close to the amish there’s a high percentage that they may violate one of the children in or near your own home. Look up Mary Byler, read what happened to her and what it took to get anything at all done to help her. Read why they don’t talk and what happens if they do. But most of all read what their own sect expects of them and why the police only give the offenders a smack on the wrist while the non-amish go away for a very long time into prisons. The amish pedophiles, of which the reports say are many, are still walking the roads, living amongst you, interacting with your children and those of other people. I know for a fact that there was a genealogical study which is still ongoing in PA for one Amish sect there. Because they intermarry so much within that sect they have developed at least 27 genetic abnormalities, 27! Read the material on this and then come back and see if you still want to chew my butt for what you deem to be nonsense or calculated meanness of the amish.
My husband and I owned a tree farm near the Amish community in Hart county and they were not friendly. We had an airplane that we flew from on our 82 acres. The Amish Mafia burned our barn to the ground and we sold out and left. They do not like any kind of progress!!!!
Good response, Sue. I live in an area with a big Amish population. Hey, guess what! They are HUMAN. I know Amish people who are very decent and admirable people and some who are definitely bad apples. I’ve been around them for 30 years and I’ll tell you that they are just like the rest of us — human. And Amish mafia? What a crock… Those of us living around here, Amish & not, will tell you it’s 100% TV trash. If you believe it, you’re just gullible.
If you survived sexual abuse and you wander around through Amish communities seeing monsters in people’s faces, you really should get help. I’m NOT saying this unkindly, but as one survivor to another. That outlook is going to make you very unhappy. I got help and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Trust me — seek professional help.
I do Amish hauling or taxi work and I’m around Amish people all the time. I’m just astounded that you see such a big group of people as monsters! Do they have monsters among them? Oh yeah… and I’ve personally talked with Amish families who have had to deal with sexual abuse but it ain’t just limited to the Amish, honey. And to suggest that Amish are any better or worse then the rest of us is just bigoted. They are human like the rest of us.
Seriously… please consider talking to someone who can help.
Everythings Not Real On TV!!!!!
You are very, very gullible. I lived in Munfordville and Horse Cave for all of my life. I have even worked with some of the Amish when I used to do farm work. There is NO SUCH THING as amish mafia!!!!! It is a fictional show on tv to get gullible people like you to believe and watch. Do you really think that in this day and age the police would allow the stuff you see on the show to happen??? Lastly, the Amish do not allow their members to drive around in vehicles, and definitely do not allow fighting or violence. It is stricly prohibed by the amish community. If you ever hear of an amish breaking the churchs rules, they are shunned. The amish are so against violence that they will not even allow their people to join the military, and in case of war, refuse to fight!!!!
Not about Amish Mafia!
Read this and let me know what you’ve learned. Note: It dosen’t come from the show, Amish Mafia. The link says “American Edu.”
That show is just that! B.S.
I’ve lived around Amish and done business with them all my life. That show is so far off base. I’m amazed anyone would watch it and believe it! I’ve personally heard an Amish man talk about the differences in various kinds of Amish and I’ve experienced it firsthand. There ARE kinds of Amish I’d think of as being shady or less trustworthy, but lumping all Amish together is like lumping all Americans together in one pile. I’ll stand behind the fact the Amish mafia is BS and many of these other so-called reality shows, whether Amish-themed or not, are not far behind.
Check out the Stop Amish Exploitation website.
I live in Kentucky. And the Amish that live near me is some of the greatest people I have ever know. I think someone has been feeding that poor girl some koolade
What looks good on the outside isn’t always a good indication of what’s rotten on the inside.
Once again, if you are judging people according to what you saw on “Amish Mafia”, then you are very goofy. There are some bad amish, just like any other religious group has bad apples, but for you to judge people according to what you see on the show is just silly. The people on that show are actors. They are not ACTIVE IN THE AMISH CHURCH!!!! Look at their hair styles, their clothing, the vehicles they drive, etc, etc, etc!!!! The producers of such shows love people like you, lol!
I agree totally with what you have said. Any intelligent/educated person would know this. I can’t believe people are so easily duped.
The Amish in Munfordville
Discovery would never have taken this on if there were no foundation. I have lived all over the world, and my husband and I contributed a lot to the community. I have never been as vocal about this place until now. We settled there because it was quiet and a beautiful place to grow things. So I agree with you!
I am looking for an amish farm around Evansville IN, who has milk cows. I would like to have access to fresh milk for my family.
There is a large Amish community in southern IN about 45 minutes north of Evansville in the Montgomery community. You might try contacting some of the folks in that area to see if they will sell to you. I may be wrong, but I’m thinking I was told it was illegal to sell raw milk.
We are looking to by farm land to farm for a living. we want a simpler life for our three precious children. We believe the Lord is leading us to Kentucky He has already placed farming in all of our hearts. is there anyone who can help us find land, get started, any help would be so appreciative. thank you in advance.
Kate and Jim,
Couldn’t you call the real estate people in the area you would like to move and talk to them? They usually are on top of what is for sale. That’s what I would do anyway.
want to give it a try
without stating my reasons……I am 43 years old and was wondering how I can visit a community and “try it out”.
I used to live in a community where Amish families lived. One family sat for my children while I went to work. I just want to get “simple”
I am not sure what part you want to try out or that you like about the Amish, their throw back clothing, the principles of the Amish religion? The slow pace? Speaking in German/Dutch or such?
If you mean you want to live a more simple life you can do that where ever you are at now, though I think it would help to be around others that are doing the same.
Can you tell us more what you would hope to accomplish by “trying it out”?
Tom in Lincoln
I was on here looking to see if i could order jams from Anna’s kitchen.my in laws live in Tennessee.when we go to visit we always stop at the iron skillet in Glendale. and ran across these wonderful jams.Hands down the best cheery jam i have had and we live in Michigan,were cherry’s come in abundance.I will be stopping in on my way down next trip to stock up 🙂
I haven’t been to Anna’s in a couple of years,but I think this is the correct address and phone number:
1985 Logsdon Valley Road
Munfordville, Ky. 42765
In the January 21, 2015 issue of The Budget, one of the scribes from the Munfordville area gave the population statistics for that settlement (recap for 2014. “Statistics for Hart Co. are 358 families, 60 babies, 38 baptisms, 20 marriages, one death, 3 families moved in and 5 moved out, 14 church districts, and 10 schools including the special needs school and workshop.”
I have an old quilt top that I’d like to have hand quilted and know many Amish communities have a family or someone who does this. I live in Kentucky but in an urban area. Does anyone know of or have personal experience of a place to contact? Thank you.
Can you say where you live? That would help narrow it down some.
Thanks… Tom in Lincoln, Ne
Yes, I live in Louisville, but I am out and about all over the place, especially Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.
The 23rd Annual Amish Consignment Auction will be held April 11, 2015, at the Hart County Fairgrounds, 2184 S. Dixie Hwy, Munfordville, Ky. Auction begins at 9 a.m., breakfast begins at 7 a.m. with lunch following. There will be six sales rings with many different types of items to be auctioned — small animals, machinery, quilts, crafts, furniture, crafts, plants, etc.
If you attend and have a little extra time, I’d suggest you go on down Hwy 31 W. south of Munfordville a few miles and stop by the J and J County Shoppe and R and S Grocery and Bakery. I think that by going to the auction and those two stores, you’d have an enjoyable day amongst the Hart County Amish.
Are there any Amish butcher in Munfordville that cure ham and bacon? Thanks
i have a huge amount of fabric and sewing accessories i want to donate. i live in louisville. i have a truck load. please let me know you are interested. i might be able to help with transportation.
my mom recently passed. she was a seamstress with a large inventory of supplies. i do not sew.
please email me at email@example.com. looking forward to hearing from you
We live in Kentucky and we had 200 ac. of land for sale. A van of Amish came to our place, and to cut it short, they were absolutely rude. I still would like an apology from the Amish lady, who I saw, take a handful of seeds from my plant I had in the yard that day. I did not nor will I ever do business with the Amish.
Well, of course you won’t, Laura! It would be crazy to think that just because one bunch of those people were rude there might be others who are not! I mean, seriously, if you have one bad experience with people of any given culture, race, or religion, they must ALL be bad! Sheesh…. Come on!
I’ve had a few bad experiences with Amish people, many neutral, and many great experiences. The sign of a reasonable person is to be able to recognize that ANY group of people are going to have their bad apples.
Looking for a quilter
I live in Bowling Green and I am looking for an Amish Quilter in the Horse Cave/ Munfordville who would be willing to quilt several smaller
quilts in wool fabric. I have a quilter in the Auburn area, but due to her hands, she is unable to work with wool. She will only work with 100% cotton.
Please contact me by email.
Grace and Peace to you.
John- I didn’t see an email listed in your posting, so am responding this way.
I don’t know any Amish quilters in that area, but I do have two suggestions of places to contact to see if they would have any such information.
1)Abe’s Place (Amish consignment shop) — 2915 S. Dixie Hwy, Munfordville. Phone: 270-524-9663
2)R & S Grocery & Bakery (Amish) — 235 Irvin Cemetery Road, Horse Cave. Phone: 270-786-3005
Both of these Amish businesses are in the Rowletts area, between Munfordville and Horse Cave.
Current info on Munfordville, KY
We are hoping to visit the Munfordville, KY are in October 2019 and would be interested in any current information on Amish businesses, places to visit, farmers markets, places to eat and stay. We will probably visit the Guthrie area also. Thank you!
I live back near the end of a country road . Amish road, since ive lived here, my stuff gets moved around, car broken into more then once,. Amish before me and after me. My kids stuff has been messed with , someone has thrown my
Stuff off my porch onto yard. I bother no one! I drive slow on the road out to the hwy. but since day3 here at 2am when i saw flashlights in my back yard. Nothing but woods, i have
Been stalked or wacthed. The amish house past mine, has cars in and out all hours of the night. So from my outlook on hart county amish , they think they own this county .
Sorry to hear all that’s been happening Twila. Since you mention cars, it could be that the cause is some badly-behaving Amish youth. Have you notified authorities?
need some barn work done
I need to get some work done on some barns near Lebanon Junction close to the Clarmont exit on 65. I think that is not too far north on 65 from Mundfordsville. Some have told me I should contact Amish in Munfordsville but I have no idea how to do that short of drive to Mundfordsville and just start asking people in Amish style attire if they know any barn contractors. Any ideas on how to get with barn repair guys?
Amish community in Ky. affected by Tornado 2021
Does anyone know how the Amish community in Kentucky was affected by the tornado in December2021?If so what is the community needing? How can non Amish help?