Back to Holmes County


My two-month excursion in Lancaster County is over.  I’m back in Ohio now.

Lancaster was a fantastic experience but now that I’m back here, I’m reminding myself why Holmes County is perhaps my favorite of all Amish settlements.

Holmes County is more diverse, (much) more rural, arguably a smidgen more beautiful, and I guess I just have known more people here for longer so that personally gives it an edge.  I just attended church service again this past weekend, this time near Berlin, and have been catching up with friends.

On Sunday I was reminded again of how the ever-resourceful Amish get things done.  I found my truck’s battery completely dead upon returning by buggy with ‘John’ and family, who were bringing me back from church.

After both John’s and the neighbor’s deep-cycle batteries failed to start my car, he called upon one ‘resource’ we had overlooked–his unbaptized sister.  She helpfully drove her sedan up from her parents’ next door and got me going.

Spiritual questions aside, I’m not the only one that has found an unbaptized family member to come in handy–business owners sometimes have sons that drive the work truck to the job site.

Cars parked in front of Amish homes are a common sight in Holmes County–the youth who own them may even transport parents on errands, though there are many who would find that arrangement disagreeable.

I did notice that John chose to walk up the dusty monster-sized hill after fetching his sister, rather than simply ride back from his parents’ place with her.

In any case, John hopes she chooses to be baptized soon, as all his other siblings have.  I guess I do too.

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    1. Holmes County is less congested than Lancaster County. I was terrified the whole time we were visiting Lancaster due to the number of Amish children on these sort-of pedal-scooters(?) on the roads and self-centered SUV drivers flying around them over blind rises in the road. By comparison biking the off-road dual-use trail from Danville to Brinkhaven near the Holmes County is much more serene. Danville was my first first-hand encounter with Rumspringa youth though I had heard of it previously.

    2. I love that part of Ohio, too. Hoped to get out there this summer and perhaps even meet you, but it didn’t come to pass. How long are you there?

    3. Emma

      Ahhh! Holmes county! I’m jealous! Three years I didn’t go and I just feel homesick!

    4. So you’re back in Holmes. If you get on down to Maple Valley Fence south of Charm within a week’s time, we could meet. I am moving to Quaker City before the 15th. Be interesting to chat with you. If you want a job, I could set you up to take over my Amish taxi service that I am leaving. 🙂 Mike Atnip

    5. G’s you are right. I plan to get out and enjoy the Holmes County trail which I’d always heard about but never had the chance to bike.

      Rhea, I am here for a few more weeks. Every day is a treasure.

      Emma you should still come, it’s as good as you remember.

      Mike that is cool. You are leaving pretty soon! Here’s my email: , maybe I will be able to pop in to MVF when I’m down that way!

    6. Marie

      Love all the pictures and information!
      Thank you!