Are you visiting an Amish community this summer?

Summer is when people travel.  Many of those trips take in Amish areas.  Actually, in a lot of states it’s getting harder to drive anywhere without passing near an Amish spot on the map.

Amish Making Apple Butter
Making Apple Butter, Hardin Co. OH, Aug. 2011

I also know a lot of you live in or near Amish settlements.  So I thought I’d throw it out–are you visiting any Amish communities this summer? (or have you already?) Planning anything fun?

I’ll be in a few places, including Lancaster County, Holmes County, and quite possibly northern Indiana.  I usually visit a few new Amish communities on every such trip (last summer: NC; Ashland, OH; Adams County, IN, among others) but haven’t figured out which ones yet.  Any suggestions welcome.

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    1. Visit Big Valley!

      Eric, have you come to Big Valley yet? Remember, I’ll give you a free night at my bnb, just so you can get a “bird’s eye view” of our valley and the wonderful Amish groups that live here!

      1. Barbara

        Claudia, I was looking for a b&b. In June in mifflin county , and wound up in a nearby motel. I stayed with Sarah glick a while back, don’t recall how I found her.

        How do I find you? Barbara

        1. Barb, we’re on Front Mountain Rd between Belleville and Allensville. The Glick’s retired and sold their home, no longer bnb hosts. You can see me on the web at http://www.weilermansionbnb.comm or also on Facebook, just search for Weiler Mansion. We’d love to host you for your next visit. We have a lovely view of the valley.

      2. Judy

        Where is Big Valley?

        And does anyone plan to visit Minnesota Amish communities?
        How about YOU, Eric? Judy

        1. Lance

          The ‘Big Valley’ is the Kishacoquillas Valley in central Pennsylvania. Most of Bill Coleman’s pictures come from that area. Go to his website, it is a routine advertiser here on the blog.

        2. Erin Pluimer

          My family and I have visited quite a few of the Amish in MN. Most recently, we were in Harmony. The Amish there are very traditional. When I stopped to browse at their Farmers Market, they were very reserved until I told them I had met another Amish man in Central MN that had moved from their area many years ago. They seemed to open up then. The newest Amish district is near Mora, MN. The Kananbec times just did an article on their community recently. They are by far the friendliest and kind Amish I have met.

          1. Erin Pluimer


      3. Thanks Claudia, I’d love to. I’ve been a couple times and have always enjoyed it. Maybe I will show up on your doorstep at some point! 🙂

        1. Yes, yes, yes; we’ll be sure to give you the best bed in the house! And the views are terrific from each of the rooms, so you can pick! Come on a Weds when the big flea market is open at the local sale barn. It’s like a country fair every Wednesday.

        2. tiffany rangier

          erik when can i have that book?you can find me on face book tiffany rangier



      1. Lance

        For a period of time, last year, I thought Amish Acres was closed. The sign had been removed and all parking lots were empty. It normally closes in late fall over the winter, but this was well before then. A new sign has been installed, but the parking lots are still empty. The billboards are still up on area highways, so it may still be going, but it does not look like it. 12 years ago this place was packed every weekend, so something has drastically changed.

      2. Alice Mary


        This (blog) IS my “Amish Community” (OK, as close as I’ll come to one this year!)

        My pen pal from Ohio and her husband are making their annual trek (close to home for them—they’re in Bedford, OH) to Amish Country very soon, if not right now. (She bought my birthday present there last year.)

        Eli, somewhere down the line I heard similar complaints about Amish Acres. I’ve never been there and know next to nothing about it closing or changing hands. Maybe it’s another case of using the Amish name to sell non-Amish items.

        I hope those of you who ARE trekking through REAL Amish country will take and share lots of photos and pass along your anecdotes. I’ll sure be looking forward to them!

        Alice Mary

      3. tiffany rangier

        tourist trap

        thats to bad eli,if you should hed south just a little ways from their toward marion illinois their is a mill their.I found out about that by speaking to a minister from a 1st christen church!

      4. FriendofAmish

        I can assure you this is not true whatsoever, as a current employee of Amish Acres who wishes to remain anonymous, there are many amish workers at Amish Acres. There are three Miller sisters who are in charge of the restaurant, the historic district, and the meat and cheese store. The buggy and wagon rides are normally done by a local Amish man, he is one of the kindest folk you will ever meet. In addition the quilter is an Amish woman, many of the cooks are Amish, and their is an Amish maintenance man.

        Many are disappointed when they visit Amish Acres on Sundays because there are no Amish working, obviously due to them keeping holy the lords day. I encourage you to visit, because the house and farm tour is extremely informative…and how often does one get to go inside 3 old order amish homes in one sitting?

    3. Deb

      Shipshewana Indiana

      We live 100 miles from Shipshewana. This summer we’ve visited 3 times but not for the usual Shipshe tourist drawns. There is a brand new bike path called the “Pumpkinvine Nature Trail” from Shipshewana all the way to Goshen and beyond. Most of the route is on an old train line. The section from Shipshewana to Middlebury is level and mostly wooded with sprinkled Amish farms here and there. There is even one farmer that has a herd of camels! We usually bike around 12 miles total, so we do different sections each time we visit. Once our ride is done we shop at the Shipshe bulk food store then usually have lunch in Topeka at Tiffany’s.

      1. Deb that trail looks great. I crossed over it a couple of times last summer but didn’t bike it (have gotten into biking a bit more lately though).

      2. tiffany rangier

        tiffanys at topeka

        hey deb,im tiffany…from topeka (kansas)

    4. Richard from Amish Stories

      Im going for the gold !

      Erik since the Olympics are now going on and almost every type of category has been added except one, and that’s blogging. So right now I am preparing myself for when that day surly will comes by shamelessly and without any common sense on my part going on as many other blogs as I possibly can. I have been warmly welcomed and thrown out from someone’s blog all on the same day, and to me that says “hey we love you so much we cant stand you”, so Erik I’m going for the gold and I’m doing it for all the other bloggers out there. And that’s what I’ve been doing with my Summer so far folks, I’m doing it for the little people………. Richard from

      1. Richard, you deserve some kind of medal, even a bronze 🙂 never give up!

    5. Went to Jamesport, MO, for four days in June and go to Bowling Green, MO, every couple of months. Would love to take a trip to Ohio sometime, maybe in the fall.

    6. Forest

      We’ve visited in the Union Grove NC Settlement a few times this summer, and will probably make it up to Nathalie, in Halifax County, Va again before too long. Both are small communities, but if you’re in the neighborhood, they are worth stopping By. Shiloh General Store in Union Grove has a nice bakery, as well as bulk goods, snacks, some furniture and odds and ends.

      1. abby mcgilvray

        Amish communities in Va

        I am writing a cultural immersion paper for my masters program and I am very interested in the Amish. I live in Savannah, so I was thinking of driving to Va. Would appreciate any info about whether Giles County or Halifax & South Boston are the way to go. Thank you!

        1. Chris

          What exactly do you want to do there?


          What exactly are you hoping to do when you visit one of the Virginia Amish communities? I have been to all 3 of the ones you’ve asked about in the last month, so I have a pretty good sense of what’s there. I’ve also been to both Lancaster, PA and Holmes Co., OH this summer so I can definitely relate the differences between 2 very LARGE settlements and 3 very SMALL settlements.

          You might want to consider Ethridge, TN instead of the VA settlements. It looks like it’s probably about 2 hours longer drive from where you are, but while still smaller than the PA and OH settlements it is much larger and active than the VA settlements.

          Let me know what information you’d like about the VA settlements and I can try to help.

          1. tiffany rangier

            how do you mean ethreth tn is more active then the va settlements?

            1. Chris

              TN vs. VA

              A lot of it has to do with the size (Ethridge is considerably larger than any of the 3 VA settlements) and age (Ethridge is considerably older than the 3 VA settlements). Once you are in Ethridge it’s really hard to miss the Amish. In VA, they are really more hidden and/or spread out. In Ethridge you will know that you are in an Amish settlement once you get to that area. In VA, if you didn’t know that you were in an Amish area (and saw the one or 2 buggy signs) you might completely miss them.

              1. tiffany rangier

                to chris

                oh i see….you may foward photos if any to….of find me on face book tiffany rangier

    7. Anne

      I heard about the half marathon in Bird In Hand, PA, and will be participating in that in exactly one month (Sept. 8th). I’ll be joined by my daughter and two other running buddies. The 3 husbands are coming, and we look forward to making a little vacation out of it.

      The race is organized by the Amish (mostly) and many of them run it from what I hear. It’s a fund raiser for the local fire department, which has great responsibility for keeping all those Amish homes and barns from burning down. A great thing to support! And I look forward to some of that great Amish cuisine after the race.

      Then the BIG visit of the year happens a few weeks later when we go visit our son and his wife in the Minnesota community. Baby Hughes is expected by the end of August, so we hope and pray all goes well and we will be able to help out some around the farm while our daughter-in-law is recuperating. We will be there 5-6 days and will live with them which is a first for us, as we always stayed in a nearby motel before. And this is the first visit since Ed married, last November. So all in all, it will be a memorable summer with these two exciting events!

      1. Judy

        Are visiting an Amish community this summer?

        HI, Anne. Could I ask where your family is in Minnesota?
        And will you visit any Amish communities in MN?
        Anyway, welcome to God’s Country! (After the puny — but nice — winter we had, I don’t refer to our lovely state as MinneSNOWta any more.)
        Judy in Rochester MN

        1. Anne

          Hi Judy,
          Our “kids” are up in Fertile. I can give you more exact location if you need. And where are you? In Mn? Please tell me more!

          I hope the drought has not been too bad for you. We got a letter from Ed and Ruth this week that greatly concerned us. They’ve had serious drought and lost almost all of their produce, which means they will have little income for the year…very serious! But even worse, they said there has been a plague of grasshoppers that has eaten what the drought didn’t get.

          And yes! We will be staying with them in this Amish community and have our concerns about how it will go. I’m sure Ruth will need to show me how to do some things!

          1. Judy

            Hi, Ann, your “kids” are way north near the Dakkota line, we are far south. I would love to chat with you if you have the time and inclination. If you feel comfortable doing so, you could send Erik a private email address so I could contact you (if you are interested.) And, congrats on the coming baby. I’ll send prayers/positive thoughts/and “good energy” their way, and yours, too, during your visit. Judy

            1. Anne

              Feel free to write me, as I would love to know more about some things of interest to that area. I’ll have Erik connect us. Thx!

              1. Erin Pluimer

                Thinking of your son and his wife as their babys due date arrives. Does your daughter in law plan to have the baby at home or deliver in a hospital? From what I’ve read, many Amish have their first baby in a hospital but with deliver with a midwife at home for future babies.
                Is the Amish community in Fertile fairly large? I live in central MN and love to plan day trips near the Amish.
                Best wishes !

                1. Anne

                  We just got a call from our son and baby Hughes has arrived! Ruth went into labor late Tuesday afternoon. Ed ran 3/4 mile for a phone to call the midwife, who lives an hour away. There were some very frightening moments, but all went well. Our grandson was born before midnight. Everyone is fine. Thank the Lord for caring for them all! Thank you all for your prayers!

                  1. Chris



                    Wonderful news! Congratulations to Ed, Ruth and the new grandparents. We’ve had 3 of our 4 babies at home, but thankfully I’ve never had to run 3/4 of mile to call the midwife! Glad to hear that all are now safe and doing well.

                    We visited the settlement in White Gate last Thursday and it was absolutely beautiful. We stopped at the Mountain View Country Store (in the first floor of the family home) and chatted a little bit with the young girl a bit. We commented to her about all the homes for sale (I think there were 8-10 Amish homes for sales by the same realtor) and she said her family had previously had their home on the market for 3 years and were thinking about putting it back on soon. It was actually quite sad to see it. Do you know if any families are intending to stay?

                    1. Anne

                      thanks for the kind thoughts….and Ed ran the 3/4 miles twice, because the first time they were not sure she was really in labor! He got back the first time just in time for her water to break, and so had to turn around and fly back. He said he was frightened that he was going to have to deliver the baby himself!

                      Yes, the White Gate community is sad. Last I heard some were staying who were modernizing. Most of those lived further in, up towards Walker Mt. Did you drive back that way? And btw, I think the listing you sent me of the home for sale, was the one my son was once part owner of. The Kings bought him out and had a huge acreage there, with a home perched up on a knoll and gorgeous views. Maybe they are trying to sell now? Theirs would be easy to convert back to English living.

                      Ed keeps in touch with many there and I need to get caught up with what’s going on!

                  2. Erin

                    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your grandson! I hope your stay with them goes smoothly.

                    1. Anne

                      Hi Erin, thanks for your kindness. You’d asked about this community, and it’s very small. Quite new, maybe 5-6 years old. It is made up of some families from the community where Ed lived in VA, and also others from Hillsboro, WI. This group has struggled as they are so new, with new businesses, etc. that it’s hard to make a go of it. I think it’s now around 12 homes, and has been growing well, as land becomes available.

                      Ed wrote last week (before baby arrived) that drought and grasshoppers had destroyed most of the crop. This is very serious for these families as you can imagine. The Gov’t is not going to bail them out! But it’s their main source of income. when he called today he’d just gone into Fertile to sell some of his crop that survived. He said today is the first day he’s not in shock! Baby was born late Tuesday…

                      1. Erin

                        Thanks for the info Anne. There is a new Amish settlement near Mora in central MN. Many of them came from Hillsboro, WI as well. The local newspaper did an article about them requesting hitching posts when they first moved to town and they recently did another one that explained a little bit about their background and what they had to offer. They didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, yet want their community to know what’s available. When I spoke with Jonathan Bontrager he said the community has been very welcoming. I wonder what the likelihood for a district of relocate to another area? Mora has 10 families living there. I have several addresses if your son would be interested in contacting him. It’s possible he knows some of them. Their Bishop is Elmer Lambright and Menno Lambright has taken on the role of spokesmen.
                        I wish your son and his family the very best. What is the baby’s name?

                      2. Erin

                        Here is the recent article about the Amish settlement near Mora, MN:

                  3. Alice Mary

                    Such good news!

                    Congratulations, Anne, on your new grandchild!

                    It seems it was just yesterday when you told us (here) that your son was marrying & becoming Amish. I certainly wish him, his wife, and baby son, much health, peace, happiness.

                    This drought is hard on so many, and we’ll all “pay” for it in some ways for years to come. Things happen for reasons we mere mortals can’t understand, much of the time. I hope things get better and changes occur for the better, for the sake of your son’s new family, and everyone else’s.

                    God bless you all!

                    Alice Mary

                    1. Loved hearing this too. Congrats Anne!

                      1. Anne

                        I really appreciate all the well wishes for Baby Hughes. We are so relieved baby is here and healthy! We are going to see them in about 6 weeks, and can’t wait.

                        Erin, the community in Mora is where (I think) our daughter-in-law’s family just moved. They came from Hillsboro, maybe because they now have two married daughters in MN and wanted to be closer. I need to write Caroline to find out the latest.

                        Erik, I know you are having a wonderful time. Eat lots of potato chips! And then tell us all about it 🙂

    8. Kathy Rowe

      I will be visiting the Lancaster area in October for a few days. Looking forward to that. Also going, soon, to Shipshewanna, IN area and Holmes County, OH area.

    9. Doug

      We just got back Sunday from 4 days in Lancaster County and will be back there in October

    10. Galen

      Hi Erik,

      I know this is sort of off topic but as you know I was down in Lancaster (Intercourse) for a week or so. I stumbled across a rather large deer farm which appeared to be Amish owned. Are you familiar with where I’m talking about and if so maybe you’ve discussed this previously on your site. The size of the farm took me by surprise as there were large fenced fields which appeared to contain the deer by age. I was told that the deer are raised and then set out to be hunted. Is this true? I know the Amish are hunters but didn’t realize they were in this type of sporting business. Is there money to be made here? I thought it might be a farm for venison, but then told otherwise. Thanks in advance for your comments. (Maybe this is a topic for a later discussion)


      Newburyport, MA

      1. Amish deer farms

        Galen, good question, I’m not very well keyed into the deer farms, but I understand they are sold for both trophy hunting purposes, and that the antlers are also sold and are ground down and used as some sort of health supplement. There is some controversy around this business as you’d imagine. I’m not sure how much of it goes for other purposes (venison meat, etc). But yes, you do see them among Amish, in other places besides Lancaster as well. I’m sure someone here can comment more knowledgeably on this industry.

        1. OldKat

          Deer farms

          When I first read this I was wondering if possibly the deer farm raised Red Deer rather than White Tail Deer. The significance being that since Red Deer are a non-native species you can (in most states) legally sell their meat, whereas in most states in is not legal to sell venison from White Tail deer.

          I was telling a friend of mine, who owns a hunting resort, about this post this morning and he told me that when the breeding of White Tail deer started the Amish were among the first to start breeding operations. He said the largest White Tail ever raised in captivity was raised by an Amish man in Pennsylvania. He said they are still among the largest breeders for that market.

          The market he was talking about is for breeding bucks; it is not for venison or even to hunt the animal itself. These deer are purchased for their genetic capability to increase the body size and antler size of native White Tail in the south and southwestern states. The way this works is a breeding age buck will be turned out into a “small” pasture (which may be only 20 to 40 acres in size, but may be 200 to 1,000 acres, or more, on some larger places)along with native does and no native bucks. These are in what is called a “High fence” operation, meaning the fences are 8 to 10′ high. After the rut (breeding season) the buck is brought in to a holding pen, the does are turned back onto the larger portion of the ranch. Ideally after several years of this the supposedly superior genetics will be dispersed throughout the wild population.

          As for costs of this type of deer; he said he has two such breeding bucks that he purchased as one year olds for $2,100.0 each. He also has a massive 4 year old that he purchased as a two year old for $4,000.0 If he were to sell that buck today he would ask for somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000.0 for it. Not how I would choose to spend my money, but to each his own I guess.

    11. Knox County, Ohio

      Around Labor Day, we will drive through Berlin and Walnut Creek, OH (Holmes County) on our way to our Amish-built cabin in Knox County. We’ll have to warch out for buggies. More Amish are moving to Knox these days. Twenty or thirty years ago, you could find them only in neighboring counties. We always get eggs from an Amish farm and also stop at an Amish produce stand, which has a bake shop next door.

      1. tiffany rangier


        whats wrong with farm eggs?their the best.

    12. Adair

      I am heading up to Nashville later this month for a wedding and will spend a night near Ethridge. I’ve been there before, and love to drive around in the area, but would welcome any suggestions for places to spend the night or eat. Thanks!Also – I know how the Amish feel about photographs, but how about artists? A friend is coming with me who would love to do some sketches, which are harder to do discretely than photos with a small camera. She would sketch landscapes rather than people.

      1. Eugenia

        Trip to Ethridge, TN, planned

        My husband and I plan a trip to Ethridge next month. Adair, if you find anything noteworthy for us since you are going first, I’d love to hear about it. You said you were going “up” to Nashville, so I must ask where you live. We are in Jefferson, GA, so we are going “up” there, as well. At any rate, would love to hear about Amish people in that area who are open to new friendships or any places to stay or eat from anyone who can help.

        1. Adair

          Eugenia – I’m from New Orleans and currently live on family property in central Louisiana. After being quite smitten by Amish landscapes in Pennsylvania, i was delighted to discover the much closer but still not just-around-the-corner thriving Ethridge community a few years ago. I know there’s one in north Mississippi now, and also another in Tennessee, and hope to find myself in those vicinities someday. I will let you know if we discover any super special places. On prior trips I have stayed at a convenient and very reasonable motel right by the WalMart in northern Lawrenceburgbon the main north-south highway, but would love to find something a little more charming! I would recommend picking up a map of back roads; I got one several years ago in a gas station and I think you can get one online. I would also recommend stopping at roadside stands or homes with signs and buying soaps or pies or baskets or whatever; I was shy about that at first but then found the folks to be very friendly and really fun tobtalk with.And one more thing – be very very careful driving at night. These Amish do not use the orange triangle and it’s amazing how hard it is to see buggies at night, especially from behind. All of a sudden there’s one right in front of you or right beside you! I can see how those terrible accidents happen.

          1. Eugenia

            Thanks, Adair. Thanks for tip about the lack of buggy markings. If you do find something special while up there, please e-mail me: Have a good trip.

        2. Adair

          Hi Eugenia – Just back from visit to Etheridge. We stayed in the cheap motel, but the next morning saw the Amish Homestead Bed and Breakfast, which looked quite nice and quite reasonable. Not hokey and tourist-trappy (at least it didn’t look that way – we saw it from the outside and perused an album of interior photos). It’s an Amish house, very close to the big highway (43), that has had electricity and running water put in. It’s right near a cluster of “Country Stores” etc, some of which are very nice and some of which are just flea markets. We didn’t eat at any restaurants, just picknicked on fresh bread and fruit and jam and “pink maters” (pink tomatoes) bought from various Amish farms. You can go into the flea market and get a small map of various Amish sellers on the back roads, which is helpful for orienting yourself, but best of all is to just head for the back roads and watch the signs. And the Shell station on the highway has a county map for about 4.00 that has all the back roads. I recommend Mr and Mrs Gingerich on McDowell Road (they have a stand out in front of their house with all sorts of stuff – canned goods and baskets and toys etc) and their whole family is very gregarious and friendly and interested in talking to us “English”. Ask them how many grandchildren they have. Their son Chris lives on East Edan Road and his family makes lovely baskets and furniture. Chris sent us to his friend Mr. Zook on the Denson Road – rather far west from the main settlement and well worth it; he makes BEAUTIFUL wooden bowls and spoons and furniture and has seemingly zillions of cute little boys. We were fortunate to find some of his bowls unsold, as usually they are all spoken for. I was looking for a wedding present and found it!! Not cheap, but really beautiful, and perhaps in a rather daring dash of self-promotion for the Amish, he has his initials carved in the bottoms of his bowls. The big produce auction takes place Mon Wed Fri at 1:00. We could not stay until 1:00 on Friday, but went by and watched them setting up. Very cool, and I will time my next trip to be there for the auction. School has started for the children. If you’re out and about early, all the children will be at home helping on the farms; then about 9 or 9:30 they’ll all be headed for school with their lunch pails There’s one store – I forget it’s name exactly – the Amish Country Store or something like that – anyway, it’s on the west side of Highway 43 and sits perpendicular to the highway….I thought it might be very tourist trappy but it’s not; the couple who run it have lovely local crafts for sale (including some of Mr. Zook’s wooden bowls) and seem very knowledgeable. And if you need to run into WalMart, be sure to notice the “horse=drawn parking only” section!HAve fun!

          1. Eugenia

            Thanks, Adair!

            Thank you SO MUCH for such good information. We aren’t staying at the Amish Homestead B&B but at the “It’s a Treat” Farm, but good to know about this place, as well. It is wonderful to hear all you shared. VERY helpful!

    13. Betsy Thompson

      Most of my vacations and getaways center around visiting Amish communities. We were in Daviess County, IN in June, and plan to make it up to Shipshewana/Nappanee/Middlebury this month. I hope to get to Holmes County (my favorite Amish community is Charm, OH) in October for a longer stay. I’ve never been to Lancaster, but hope to one of these days.

    14. In September we’re headed out to Shipshewana, Indiana and then onward to Loudonville, Ohio.
      Next year, hopefully we are planning a trip to Lancaster, PA.
      In Lancaster next year to gather more information on Mennonite genealogy than anything.

      1. tiffany rangier

        linda from northern illinois.

        I was in southern illinois.their is only 1 faimly of omish mennonite by carbondale illinois.I came back to kansas febuary.where the kansas’s congregate in lynden lynden omish/mennonite contact the paster contact the bakery in oskalooska kansas…ask for the overholdts.

    15. John Lueders

      Amish Auction Circuit

      Every summer, my girlfriend and I plan out mini-vacations around the many Amish auctions that occur
      in Wisconsin. We ususally go to 6 or 7 auctions that start in early May and end on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. We’ve made many new friends and see some areas of our state we may not had seen if not for visiting these auctions, which include Medford, Amherst, Bonduel, Wautoma, Athens, Brodhead, Kingston and LaValle.

      1. OldKat

        Sounds like fun

        I wish I was close to more Amish communities; I would do EXACTLY what you are doing.

    16. Margaret

      We visited the Amish settlements near Monte Vista and Westcliffe, Colorado. We met some wonderful people while we were there and had several great conversations.

    17. tiffany rangier


      probably not

    18. Lance

      That kettle is making me hungry. Hungry for fresh apple butter spread on still warm from the oven homemade wheat bread. I feel a road trip coming on. Could I get lucky and also get fresh sweet potatoes fries? Mercy!

    19. Debbie W

      I just got back from Lancaster. It was beautiful as always. My Amish friend had a baby and so I spent a few days helping her out. I also spent some time trying to find some land to purchase. It’s not that easy. They have a lot of these high towers with high voltage wires. They are erected all over and especially on or near Amish farms. It’s really sad. When I was there I was able to eat the best chicken pie. You can buy them at Zook’s on Harvest Drive. They sell them fresh or frozen. Beef and sausage pies are also available but chicken’s my favorite.

      BTW does anyone know about the Amish community in Gonzales Texas? My friend reads an Amish newspaper where scribes from all over write in and every week there is an entry from Gonzales. There is also one from Chihuahua Mexico.

      1. OldKat

        Amish in Gonzales, Tx?

        I have heard rumors of one there for years and years, but have never heard anyone say EXACTLY where to find them. There is a reference to a community that existed there some years ago in this article;

        Perhaps this a remnant of that old community, or hopefully, a new one being formed.

    20. Carolyn B

      Erik, if you ever visit in the Seymour MO area of the Amish, please send me an email. I would love a few seconds of your time just to meet you in person.


      1. I’d enjoy that Carolyn, I hope to get to Missouri soon.

        1. Ada Car

          To Eric if you visit MO

          If you get down to south western MO area come and visit as there are new amish here north of Bolivar and I have heard some south or west of Bolivar but have not found those. Just those in Dunnegan, and Humansville / Flemmington areas. Those on the west side of HWY 13 on HWY 123 have wonderful stores and they sell at the swap meets and farmers markets also. Please come and visit. When I get this place my parents bought in shape I will have time to take buggy rides with the halflinger and buggy I have (right now she is fat and in need of some work). Then I can go over there shopping and leasure driving. It has just been hard here with the drought Dad & Mom have a beautiful place here but I have had to really cut back the trees to save them and the 2-acre pond is an acre now and I have had to take care to keep it areated and ballanced yet clean.
          Part of this small acreage is cut for hay but no one may get a second cutting now without rain. You know how to contact me if you come out and are welcome as a guest here if you feel comfortable doing so.

          1. Thank you Ada, that is really kind. I was last in Missouri about ten years ago, but didn’t know much about the Amish then 🙂 At this point Missouri is among the states I’d most look forward to visiting along with NY and Wisconsin.

    21. Judy J

      Not able to go far this summer but will make a trip to the Amish bakery in St. Anna, WI – can you tell me what some other Amish businesses are in that area – Kiel, WI – Campbellsport, WI – and any more in the St. Anna area?



      1. tiffany rangier

        to jarmila

        well what i learned is when your a woman you need to be calm,detachted,and talk softly and stick to one subject around them.

    23. Chris

      An Amish Summer...

      My wife and I have been joking that this is our Amish summer. We spent a long weekend in Lancaster, PA back in May. We spent a week in June camping near Holmes County, OH. We have been down to check out the Charlotte County and Halifax County settlements in VA twice (we live near Richmond, VA) — the last time just this past weekend and enjoyed buying some goodies from homes in both settlements. This coming weekend we are heading toward the western part of VA and just for fun (knowing that the settlements are gone or going) we are going to pass through Pearisburg, VA and Burkes Garden, VA. We even found one of the formerly Amish homes in Pearisburg listed for sale on so we are going to take a drive by to check it out. The house is beautiful and it sits on an unbelievable beautiful piece of land. I believe, if I’m correct, that this the settlement that Anne’s son Ed was part of before moving to MN.

      1. Anne

        Hi Chris, Yes! that would be the community Ed was a part of. I wonder who’s home it is/was? I know that group as gone through a split over technology as many wanted to modernize. It has to be one of the most beautiful Amish communities anywhere, with the Blue Ridge Mts for a backdrop. My husband is an artist and used to set up there to do sketches for his paintings. When I left the house today for work, he had just started on a large piece, depicting Amish fields with an Amish farmer and plow in the foreground. This is right there with Walker Mt. in the distance. I know it will be a gorgeous painting!

        1. Chris


          The house is at 451 Mountain View Lane in Pearisburg. It’s small, by Amish standards, at just 1440 square feet (4 br/ 1 ba) but has good acreage (15 acres). Even with the cost to “modernize” it, someone is going to get a great deal on a fabulous mountain retreat.

        2. Adair

          Would this be within sight of Interstate 81? A few years ago, I was on I-81 and was surprised and delighted to lspot some Amish children playing somewwhere within nearby.

          1. Chris

            No, this settlement is a ways from I-81. There is an Old Order Mennonite settlement near Harrisonburg, VA so maybe that’s the group you saw.

    24. Darlene

      A few weeks ago we travelled to Stone Arabia in eastern New York state. It’s only a couple of hours from where we live. It was quite beautiful. I believe the Amish in the area belong to the Andy Weaver Amish. The countryside was quite beautiful and it’s so out of the way that there are pretty much no tourists to speak of (well, except us!!).

      I e-mailed you some pictures of this area, Erik. Did you ever receive them? They were iPhone shots, but I did my best!

      1. Got them Darlene–went back and checked, I had completely missed your email but was happy to find it. Just posted today, I really enjoyed your thoughtful comments.

    25. Marcus Yoder

      Traveled to Arthur,Illinois for a family reunion a couple of weeks ago. They had the reunion where my grandfather lived at.They had minature horses pulling little wagons, a barrel train, and hay rides with horses. Had a great time. Plan on going to Holmes county august 17th. In september have a reunion in Shipshewana Indiana.
      Marcus Yoder

    26. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Me and Mary Alice

      I echo what Mary Alice says in her post about Amish America being my Amish hideaway, at least mentally. It is a bit of a distraction from the rest of my day, a mini-vacation from my real life.

    27. Aunt Ruth

      My sister and I stop in Holmes County on our way home from Florida in March each year. Since we live only one hour from there, we also take several day trips to go to Walnut Creek Cheese, the very best bulk food store in the area. This October we will be spending our usual three days at Mel and Mary’s Cottages in Charm, and we will load up on baking supplies for the upcoming holidays. We LOVE Amish Country!

    28. Joan Sheldon

      visiting Amish

      I already had my big visit for this year. In June I took 5 members of the Unity, Me Amish up to see the new community in Hodgdon, Me where one of the families from here moved to, and we all also visited in Smyrna while up there.
      I am in the Unity community usually at least every week and attend their Sunday services once a month. I have been taking 2 families to sell at a Farmer’s Market in Bangor several Wednesdays this summer.

      1. Valerie

        Hi Joan

        Is the Hodgon community a new one started FROM Unity which started FROM Smyrna?
        And are there still outsiders joining and remaining in these relatively newer communities?
        Haven’t heard anything lately of the Maine Amish.
        Interesting that they are going to Bangor to sell-that’s quite a trip-hopefully it is beneficial to them.

    29. Tammy Richards

      We visit many places

      We visit Dixon MO twice a week and end up all over the place often for our friends in Dixon. My husband has been to Humansville MO recently as well as Vienna IL to pick up family members of our Amish friends. We were in Clark MO earlier this year for an auction. We enjoy visiting different communities anytime we can.

    30. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I saw plain people

      I should add that I got my Old Order fix in about June. I was doing what I do and in the process of things I met these two modestly dressed women, either Amish or Mennonite, and I helped them as best I could, or as much as they wanted to be assisted by me. None of us where on vacation I think, they weren’t on a leisurely visit and I was “working” (can you call it working when you enjoy it?).

    31. marie b

      I can hardly wait to visit Holmes county Ohio, probably the American Thanksgiving weekend (I’m Canadian and our Thanksgiving is your Columbus Day (oct 8).) I was supposed to go to the Haiti benefit/auction, but will have to pass. I plan most of my mini vacations, weekend get aways around the amish heartlands. I was just in Michigan/Indiana this past weekend. I noticed more and more Amish are in Branch county Michigan. I didn’t get over to Shipshewana, but probably will cross over, at Thanksgiving. I too was disappointed with Amish Acres, Nappennee Indianan, on visit, last September. It really has changed in the last 10+ years, I even went over to Borkholders, and wasn’t as happy as in the past, either. I will continue to stay around Shipshewana and Middlebury. I enjoy visiting Clare Michigan, for their flea market/auctions. Of course I’m only 3 hours from the amish/menonnite community in Ontario, and that is always a treasure to visit. Happy trails..marie b, windsor ontario, canada

      1. Valerie

        To marie b.

        Hi marie,
        I saw that you are planning a trip to Holmes our Thanksgiving weekend. If you do, the Friday after Thanksgiving is really special in Berlin. At dusk, there is a Nativity parade with live Animals from the Amish tourists farms and the streets of downtown Berlin are lined with luminaries. The end of the parade, all the crowd gathers, Amish and English together get a candle and there’s the Christmas message read from the Bible, and we all sing Christmas Carols-it ends with the Amish singing Silent Night in German, and the shops are open in Berlin that evening for shopping.
        It’s been a tradition for us to attend that the past several years.
        So hope you get in on this because it makes for a special memory. Hopefully weather will cooperate, it always seems to.

    32. Kevin L.

      We will be visiting the Shipshewana/Middlebury region.

    33. Valerie

      I'm blessed or spoiled-

      We live a little over an hour, from Holmes COunty so frequently go for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it’s a tranquil visit from my hectic existance in a job in the real estate office.

      Tonight, hopefully will be going to my own county’s Amish produce auction, in Homerville (Medina County OH) which is huge blessing of fresh and inexpensive food & plants.
      Love it!

    34. Melissa H


      I’m hoping to get to one of the two Amish settlements in Oklahoma this fall. Both are within 2 hours of me–one NE the other SE. It’s been so hot here, that I’m waiting to visit. I know one of the settlements has a big Auction for their school every September…maybe I can talk my hubby into going for my birthday. ; )

    35. Mary Beth

      Hello from Romney, WV

      Yes, my husband and I are going last Sept and first of Oct, we’ll stay a week and visit all around.
      We have gone every year for last five years and we love spending time visiting around Ronks,Paradise,Intercourse, Bird In Hand and
      Lancaster, Pa.
      We love to eat at Dienners restaurant and Bird In Hand restaurant can’t wait to get the goodies and all, there all sooooo good!
      Know any other good places we should try and eat at?

      We also visit Quarryvill,Pa.
      Gotta go to shop at BB’S Groceries its great place to visit and shop and save.

      I wanted to say, I sure like the Amish America articles and recipes keep up the good work.
      Mary Beth
      Romney, WV

    36. Debbie W

      Mary Beth

      Would you like to eat dinner at an Amish home? I can give you the phone number if you would like. You would have a great time. They are a wonderful family and Mrs. Stoltzfus is an excellent cook. After the meal you would give her a donation. You would need to call a few days in advance and leave a message. She will call you back in a day or so.

    37. Loretta

      Union Grove and Etheridge


      Please post whatever information that you uncover about Etheridge, TN. I want to visit there and Union Grove and appreciate all little tidbits that everyone can share as I understand these are small settlements and I want to see all that I can while there. Where did you stay? Is there a B&B nearby?

      DEBBIE W.

      I would like the phone # for the amish meal.


      A good place to eat is Hometown Kitchen near Quarryville. On friday nights they serve their Amish Wedding Meal. It is across from the Bart Fire Dept. Then a block or so down the street is an amish-run dry goods store.

      Also, I’d like more information on the settlements in Virginia as I may pass through there one day. Do you remember the names of the towns? I know there was a mennonite settlement, are these also amish settlements?

      1. Chris

        VA Settlements


        If you want to give me your e-mail address I can send you details on the settlements in Halifax and Charlotte Counties. They are about 45 minutes from each other. We were just down there last Saturday. At a bulk foods store in Halifax they gave us a flier listing the Amish businesses, so I can e-mail that to you as well as I’ve scanned a copy to my computer.

      2. ramblinjodie


        I am visting Etheridge in Sept. First time visit, from there going to Roxboro NC.
        Would appreciate info on Etheridge, where to shop, also any idea of motels in the area.
        Roxboro isn’t far from Halifax or Union Grove.

      3. Debbie W


        Her name is Mrs. Stoltzfus and they are located in Paradise PA. Their phone number is 717.687.3905. I’ sure you will have a wonderful time.

        1. Mary Beth

          Debbie W

          Debbie W.
          Thanks i got the phone number for Mrs Stoltzfus
          I will give her a call.
          If you have any info on any other stores around like BB’S groceries if there close to Lancaster please send it to me.
          Have a great day!
          Mary Beth

          1. Debbie W

            Mary Beth

            You will certainly have a great time at the Stoltzfus’ home. Let me know how you liked it!
            There are two other grocery stores that are Amish owned but not as big as BB’s. One is on Paradise Lane and the other is called Creekside in Gap. If you drive from where Paradise Lane splits off from Route 30, its less than a mile on the left. They just opened last year. It’s located on a farm. Creekside is a bit farther from from the one on Paradise Lane. These two stores are very popular and if you ask any of the local Amish, they could give you better directions. You can ask Mrs. Stoltzfus about other places that you might be interested in visiting. She would be more than happy to help yu.

            1. Mary Beth

              Debbie W.
              Thanks so much for the info.
              I will check these out and if ya think of any other sighting or shopping i might like send it to me.
              Have a great day!
              Mary Beth

              1. Debbie W

                Mary Beth
                If you are interested in quilts and things, there are a few nice places. There is one on Witmer of 340.Witmer Rd. is located by Target on 30. Go all the way down on Witmer until you almost get to 340 and its the farm on the left. There is a sign out. Its run by a very nice older lady who is a relative of Mrs. Stoltzfus. Her pot holders are very nice and less expensive than other places. She also does custom work. There is also another place on 340. If you go toward Bird-in-Hand it will be on your right. They hang quilts near the road so you can easily spot it. They are very friendly and will explain and show you all the patterns of the quilts that they have for sale. I learned lot from them. There is also a shop called Riehl’s Quilts. They are located on the yellow map that is available all over Lancaster. They have a big assortment of things. These are many favorite places to go if I need to buy gifts. Also there is Fisher’s soaps on 340 between Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse. They make really great home-made soaps. Have fun!

      4. Mary Beth

        Thanks for a new place to eat at.
        I will try Hometown Kitchen near Quarryvill,Pa
        and the Goods Store.

        Do you or anyone know of any other Discount or
        Bent and Dent Grocery stores that are close to Ronks, Paradise,Intercourse, Bird In Hand and Lancaster, Pa.
        I know the one BB’S In Quarryville and its a great store to shop at.
        Just send it to me mark it Amish info.
        Thanks for your help.
        Mary Beth

    38. Loretta


      Thank you so much, Chris!

      I’m hoping to drive to Pa. one day and will come through Va.
      On earlier trips, when I overnighted in Staunton, I learned that the small towns around Newport had some mennonite settlements and always wanted to spend some time looking around. Does anyone have any info on that?

      Many thanks. And anybody who wants to send me some info, please feel free to. Just mark it “amish info”.

      1. Chris

        Halifax and Charlotte Court House (Virginia) Settlements


        I just e-mailed you the flier for the businesses in Halifax. I thought I’d post the information on where to actually find some Amish homes in both Halifax and Charlotte Court House here for others who might be interested as well.

        The homes north of Charlotte Court House seemed to be more spread out (and more hidden) than those in Halifax. There is a home on the corner of VA-47/Thomas Jefferson Hwy and Germantown Road that has a nice stand (Esh’s Variety) that is open on weekends and sells produce plus a smattering of other Amish goods. The lady (presumably Mrs. Esh) was super friendly. If you are coming from the town of Charlotte Court House, you would go north on VA-47 (about 7 miles) and turn left onto Germantown Road. There are a couple of other homes that you can see from that intersection. You can also continue north on VA-47 a little bit and turn left on to Vincent Store Road and there are a few homes down there as well.

        For Halifax, there are a small handful of homes located right in a bit of a cluster together and they are all visible from the road. A good central place to start is at the Hill Top Store & New Hickory Furniture at 3090 Hunting Creek Road, Nathalie, VA 24577. This is where we stopped and picked up the flier mentioned above. Mr. Coblentz was very friendly as well.

        Hope this is helpful! Happy Amishing (as my little ones like to call it!).

    39. Al in Ky.

      I visited the Amish communities near Riceville, Iowa and Arthur,
      Illinois a couple of months ago. Riceville is a very conservative
      Old Order Amish community and Arthur is a progressive OOA community
      and I enjoy visting such communities in the same trip. It helps
      give me a broader perspective of the similarities, yet many
      differences amongst the Amish. In Arthur I had a very interesting
      conversation with an Amish man who was staffing the Amish Visitor
      Center that day. He talked about the several Amish settlements there are now in different parts of Illinois in addition to Arthur. Another good place to experience contrasts in Amish life
      is in the settlements in Daviess,Orange, and Washington Counties in southern Indiana. Before the year is over, I hope to visit two new Amish communities in Kentucky at Gravel Switch and Hawesville.

    40. 2whls3spds

      I have already been back to Lancaster, PA a couple of times this year and should have another project up there in September. So the answer would be yes. On my days off I take a bicycle and head off to the areas around Strasburg, and along the Old Philadelphia Pike.


    41. Loretta

      Debbie W. and Chris

      Debbie, I appreciate the phone number. My friend that lived in Leola took me to her amish friends home for a dinner one night and I enjoyed it. Also three amish sisters had my mom and me for supper one night (the only time that my mom went with me to PA.)

      Chris, I have not recieved an e-mail from you yet. Just
      hoping that I haven’t deleted it by accident.

      I am hoping to get to PA soon. One of my friends that drives for the amish and also takes their children to school told me that she will take me to a school during class. She would have took me when I went last May but school had just ended as I got there. I am looking forward to this.

    42. Linda W. Gifford


      My husband and I went on a tour of the Amish and Mennonite areas near Kalona, Iowa, last Saturday! The driver was Mennonite and had been Amish growing up. He was informative, and we enjoyed our visit.

    43. Debbie Welsh

      Since springtime my husband and I have been to Lancaster, PA just about every other week, alternating taking my mom and cousin or a co-worker or two with us, and we never tire of the place or the scenery, and are still hoping to retire there someday.

      Mary Beth, we always start our day at The Hometown Kitchen too, followed by a trip to BB’s discount grocery store in Quarryville. You might also want to try a place called Glenwood Foods at 1614 Division Hwy ( Rt 322 ), Ephrata, and Hornings Market at 905 S. College St., Myerstown, for discounted groceries. Also, just a little further down the road from Glenwood Foods is a wonderful place called The Village Market where the Mennonites make alot of the baked goods, desserts, soups, salads, etc..

      If you are looking for some neat little stores where the Amish shop for groceries, try Creekside Food Outlet, 339 Spring Garden Rd, Kinzers ; Centerville Bulk Foods, 3501 Scenic Rd, Gordonville ; Eby’s General Store, 1009 Martindale Rd, Martindale ; and Pleasant Valley Country Store, 429 Sproul Rd, Kirkwood.

      As for Amish-type buffets, our favorite is Yoder’s on Rt 23 in New Holland, followed by the Bird-In-Hand Family Restaurant, and then the Dutch-Way Restaurants/Markets where there is one in Myerstown and one on Rt 41 in Gap. We like Dienner’s but find it’s very small and always too crowded. And don’t forget for great ice cream and a walk around the farm or sitting on the porch while eating it, there’s Lapp Valley Farm at 244 Mentzer Rd in New Holland.

      Hope you enjoy!

      1. Mary Beth

        Debbie Welsh,
        Thank you for the all the info and i will ck these out.
        I’m sure to enjoy and think of you my friend.
        Mary Beth

    44. Just arrived at Amish friends in Lancaster late tonight. Good to see old friends again (and they are getting to be old friends by now)…lot in store tomorrow, including potato chip making…for the time being getting used to bumping around with flashlights again.

    45. Joanne C.

      Visiting Amish communities

      We spent 3 busy days in Arthur/Arcola recently. So much to see & do there. I esp. liked the Health Food store, Beachy’s (if you want something and Beachy’s don’t carry it, you don’t need it), Yoder’s weekend buffet, the Red Wing shoe store with a very intelligent young man who owns it, a dinner with an Amish couple, buggy ride afterwards, a short time at the Mennonite Relief Auction (we were exhausted from our long day & didn’t stay long, darn it). I want to revisit Shipshewana, go back to Kalona, and visit Holmes Co. sometime in the remaining time I have left. We enjoyed Lancaster, Pa., also. The folks in Arthur were very open and friendly and it was a pleasure to visit there.

    46. Jack G.

      Visiting Amish communities

      We have been down to the Milroy, In. area several times this summer. Some Amish friends of ours run a store just south of Milroy in In. 3. Also took a drive up to Berne, In. about a month ago. Haven’t been up to Nappannee this summer. We were up there is spring, visited the Amish general store, Rentown, which is just south west of Nappannee.

    47. Linda

      Washington, Indiana

      My granddaughter and I went to Washington in on Saturday last week. We ate at the gasthof Amish village and then just roamed the area. I was pleasantly surprised to see so much new construction and so many younger Amish families. The last time I was there it was a totally different community. At that time it appeared to be an ecomonically depressed area. Last week it looked totally different. Was a great trip and got some great photos.

    48. Eugenia

      Seymour, MO

      We are planning to visit Seymour, MO, in July. Any suggestions from anyone about that area?

    49. Jack G.

      South central Indiana

      South of Rushville, In. along state road 3 is a nice small Amish area. Several farms and a medium Amish general store ran by the Norman Troyer family. Go south on State Rd. 3 past Milroy about a mile or so.