Taken in the Berne, Indiana Amish settlement.

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    1. Forest

      I see a similar one to the story told in Cherokee, NC, where every business pretty much capitalizes on the Cherokee Indians in the area. Many of those are not owned by Cherokee, but are leased to non-Natives. Not to say the Cherokee don’t capitalize on the theme and take advantage of the tourists, but much of it is done by non-Cherokee. I would imagine the businesses pictured in Berne are not Amish owned.

      I passed through Berne a few years back and enjoyed the trip. Had a 80 year old neighbor with me who got a kick out of seeing folks working horses in the fields like he had done many years ago.

      1. Amish and Native Americans

        Interesting comparison Forest. Being a native NC-er myself I remember a childhood trip to Cherokee, but not much about it. About the same time I took my first visit to Amish in Lancaster (also a fuzzy memory, but I remember a bit more of that one).

        You see Amish capitalize on “Amish appeal” to different degrees (and in different ways). I’d have trouble faulting anyone for it though. In some communities you’ll see people doing the very touristy things like buggy guides or home meals. I don’t know how that would fly in Berne.

        1. ronnie nichols

          old order Amish.

          The Amish around Berne and Geneva Indiana are strictly old order Amish and pretty much stay to themselves and there are no modern conviences of anykind with them.I buy all of my produce off of the Amish in the summer and fall and to show you how honest they are William the Amish man I buy off of even deducts the weight of the box of the price of the produce. I go to a lot of auctions and I have made a lot of friends with the Amish. I have been invited into an Amish familys house and that is very rare indeed for them to invite english into there home. They are God fearing people and I wish there were more people like them in the world.

    2. Since the restuarant is open on Sundays, I am assuming it is not Amish own/run. Is there really a town named Amishville? That seems a bit silly.

      1. Amish kitsch

        Amishville is actually a camping resort outside Berne (the central town in this large Amish community).

        Judging by the photos on the website it’s probably a nice campground, though I’ve never been inside. There’s a former Amish home on the property.

        The name and everything is kind of kitschy, which is one reason I was drawn to the sign.

        It also reminds me of the assumption people make that Amish live in an “Amish village” (sounds kind of like a “Christmas village” full of elves or something 🙂 )

    3. Jessica

      I couldn’t help noticing the restaurant is open on Sundays!

      1. Jessica and Karen, you both noticed one of the things I did.

        I’ve been doing research for an Amish business resource lately, and have been coming across a number of businesses selling Amish goods or something connected to Amish in some way, but which are open on Sunday.

        In small towns in some heavily settled Amish areas (ie, Berlin, Ohio), the place is basically shut down on Sunday, even though the majority of the businesses are not owned by Amish.

        As for Amish ownership–for starters the name would really preclude that. It’s also a quite non-commercial community of conservative Amish. I don’t know to what degree Berne Amish are involved in tourist activities, maybe someone who knows the community better could comment. But I don’t think there’s much.

    4. Are the open buggies common in this area? I assume they are Swiss Amish, too.

      1. That’s right, large Swiss Amish community so only open buggies.

    5. buggies

      Am I the first to notice to two buggies passing in the background?

    6. Theresa

      I would have to say it is NOT owned by’s open on

    7. Matthew

      We were there many years ago, and enjoyed it, though it is a bit “touristy” – though not in a Lancaster or Holmes County sort of way.

    8. K.Becher

      I am from the Berne area and affiliated with the Beachy congregation there and just to speak on a couple of things that people are discussing:
      –Amishville has really no ties to the Amish in any way other than it’s name and being situated in a heavily populated Amish area. The people who own the camp grounds actually are from Ohio and are not Amish or Mennonite.
      –Amish in our area are not overly involved in tourism, mainly because tourism in Berne is more on the community being a “Swiss” community, which does include the Swiss Amish that largely live in the area, but they are only a small piece of this identity and thus, play a relatively small part in the tourism industry.
      Hope that clears up some of the confusion!

    9. Mr. Becher,

      I was going to send you a link to this post, but never got around to it. I am glad that you read it anyway.


      1. I am one of the new owners of Amishville USA Campground and was just checking out what would come up on yahoo if I would put in Amishville. As I was reading different comments that people have made on the campground I came across this post and found the picture and comments interesting. We (my husban and I, and his aunt and uncle) {which we are not Amish} bought this campground at auction. The previous owners seemed to have run down the name and legacy of the campground, restaurant, and anything that was associated with Amishville. We proudly took ownership and soon brought people back with alot of hard work and long days!!! We have a great relationship with many of the neighboring Amish. We are hoping to bring back alot of the classic traditions that have been associated with Amishville like the gift shop, tour house,and animals in the barn. Many Amish and Mennonites camped with us this past season, and we are looking forward to having them camp with us in the future! We allow the Amish families to drive thru the campground in their buggies and sell their baked goods. We have even had Amish men give buggy rides to families. People are intrigued with the Amish Simple Life, and we are so blessed that we can bring people that much closer to experiancing this. We have a great time at the Campground and if you came in the dark and didnt see the buggies, you wouldnt know you were in Amish Country. But it is so cool we are so close, but in a modern camping facility!!! If you are in the area you should stop in and see what everyone is smiling about at Amishville. And if you talked to the Amish in the surrounding community I am sure they would all say that they dont mind having the campground in their community!

        1. Slightly-handled-Order-man

          I know Emily replied in January 2012, but I was curious, generally how was the 2012 season and how is the 2013 season shaping up?
          Thank you, Emily, for coming onto the discussion and sharing some notes on Amishville.

    10. Jud


      I was doing some research this evening and came across this article, and thought I could shed a little light on Amishville’s history (or at least what I recall). My grandparents, along with my parents, managed the Amishville Campground throughout its relative hey-day in the 70’s. Those of you who have been there have seen the bridges by the campground entrance; those were bult by my grandpa. I pretty much lived there all season from age 3 through 10.

      At that time, the “front” of Amishville, the cheesy touristy stuff, was run by separate people than the campground. The original owner of Amishville was not Amish, but was Mennonite from Berne. To me, it always seemed that we had a decent relationship with the local Amish, but, with hindsight now, it seemed like they merely tolerated us. I do distinctly remember the first time I heard “the f-word” was from an Amish work crew.

      In 78 or 79, my grandpa had a heart attack and had to quit work, and eventually, the place fell into disrepair and was sold several times, with each new owner letting things get worse and worse. I have heard that the newest owners are turnng things around and have the place back up to snuff, but I haven’t been back for probably 10 years.

      In the end, I cannot say if Amishville is there to take advantage of the Amish or expose people to their culture. I do hope it is the latter.

      1. Jud, very interesting backdrop to the Amishville story. Thanks to you and Emily for sharing on the past and present of this business.

    11. Ted Martin

      Amish in Geneva, Indiana

      In 1961 I graduated High School and in the fall of 1961 I traveled about 500 miles to work in a Tomato canning factory in Geneva Indiana. This was my first exposure to the Amish. I found them fascinating. At that time in Geneva, Indiana almost every Store had a hitching rail. Quiet a few Amish men worked at the canning factory (NASS Foods), it may be Red Gold now. My memory is pretty rusty because I was only there for about 3 months. I wonder if anyone else remembers The Nass Foods Canning Factory

      1. Marcus Yoder

        I remember it. I have a brother who lives in Geneva, who did some construction work for them.It is Red Gold now
        Marcus Yoder

        1. Ted Martin

          Marcus, are you Amish or X-Amish. I remember when I worked for Nass Foods, one young Married Amish men had his beard cut off by some of the non Amish men in town and he was apparently shunned out of the Amish community. I was only 18 at the time and didn’t understand most of the Amish customs or reasons for shunning. I don’t know if it was because those non Amish cut his beard or for something leading up to that. Anyway I felt bad for the him.
          I live in Missouri and there is a big Amish Community at Bowling Green, Missouri. My wife and I drive up there a couple of times a year to buy bulk food (Beans, Corn, etc) at one of their stores.

    12. Marcus Yoder

      My parents grew up Amish but later left the Amish and joined the Mennonite Faith. I live close to Plain City, Ohio where there used to be an Amish settlement. My brother moved to Geneva Indiana in the 60s. Some of the Amish that left Plain City, Ohio moved to Jamesport Missouri.
      Marcus Yoder

    13. Ted Martin

      Yes, Missouri has (2) rather large Amish Settlements One is Old Order Amish at Bowling Green which I am somewhat familiar with, the other settlement is at Jamesport. I don’t know their affiliation. I have never been to Jamesport but I understand it is a rather large Community.
      Back in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s my family was not Amish at all, but we lived similar to the Amish way of life, that is, we farmed with Horses and Mules
      We always had a very big garden, and we grew about everything we ate came out of the garden. We took our Hickory King Corn to a farmer that has a grist mill hooked up to a tractor and had it ground up into Corn Meal.
      We usually cured our Potatoes and root crops then my dad would take a road slip and a pair of mules and dig a waste deep trench then buried them in the ground covering them with layer after layer of straw to keep them from freezing.
      Electricity didn’t come to our part of the country until the mid to late 50’s so our lighting was kerosene lamps, and our source for heat in the winter time was a wood stove. My mother had a gasoline Washing machine etc, so when I worked in Geneva and was exposed to Amish, they fascinated me, but didn’t surprise me.
      A lot of the Old Order Amish at Bowling Green, Mo depend a lot I think, on the tourist trade in addition their farming.
      When I drive by the Amish Farms and see them plowing with a team of horses, makes me want to get behind a breaking plow and go for a few rounds.
      That was a simple, self sufficient way of life that has almost disappeared from America except for the Amish and sometimes for the Mennonites.

      1. Marcus Yoder

        The Amish that moved to Jamesport were Old Order Amish.
        Marcus Yoder

    14. Ted Martin

      What difference are the religious beliefs of the Amish and the Mennonites?

      1. Linda

        Difference between Amish and Mennonites

        Hi Ted, thought you might be interested in this link:

    15. Ted Martin

      thank you for the information. My wife loves reading Novels about the Amish (Bevery Lewis) and many other writers. I have read some of those books also but, there seems to be a lot of ambiguity among writers as to what is fact or fiction about both Amish and Mennonites.
      It is my understanding that every Amish District has their own set of rules of life they live by, but I don’t actually know for a fact that is true or not. I know even less about the Mennonites.
      I do see a number Mennonite families at our local Stores (Wall-Mart, Target etc) they usually dress something similar to Amish but, the men and women and children of the families usually dress in much colorful clothing than the Amish.
      I do have the utmost respect for both Amish and Mennonites.