Charlotte County, Virginia Amish

A few quick photos from the Amish settlement in Charlotte County, Virginia.  This is a small community of just one church district.  Amish here drive Lancaster County grey buggies.

Have been having a great visit (am currently in Lancaster County, and visiting PA Dutch markets around Philadelphia today), though internet is pretty scarce!

amish virginia sign

A Virginia Amish buggy sign. No word if “Rudolph” is a popular name for horses in this community.

virginia amish mailbox
Snail mail.

amish greenhouse virginia
In the winter months Amish produce farmers start their plants off in greenhouses like this one.

virginia amish farm
Dairy farming and sawmills are common among Amish in Charlotte County, VA.

virginia amish phone shanty
An Amish phone shanty at the end of a lane.

I haven’t found a phone shanty with wi-fi yet, so had to use Barnes and Noble’s to be able to post this–although I should say I did just charge my cell phone on my host’s sons’ “clandestine” cell phone charging station in a tiny basement closet!

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    39 Comments

    1. Alice Aber

      Greetings Erik!!

      Looks like you are enjoying your trip. 🙂

      Wow, a “clandestine” cell phone charging station hid in the basement closet!! Is this signs that perhaps the Amish are wanting to modernize a bit more and going against the ordnung? I wonder what the church would do if he were to get caught with that?

      Love the pictures!!

      I am heading off to Arthur soon, just waiting on Frank to get ready. Taking the camera with me of course, LOL. Hope to get a few pictures while out and about. 😀

      Have a good day and be safe on your travels!!

      Blessings, Alice

    2. Mark Biernat

      Some thoughts connected to your post and photos of the VA Amish.

      This Amish Virginia greenhouse photo is nice. Would be curious what type of things the Amish start there and when they plant them.

      I know in my wife’s family farm they have talked about using a greenhouse, but where we are the weather is a bit colder and not as optimal as VA.

      If you look close enough at the Amish buggy photo you have, I almost think I see a low wi-fi zone sign in the background.

      I wonder since the Amish use so little technology including wi-fi and cell phones, if in ten years there will be a low noted difference in health problems caused by less EMF?

      Anyway sorry for rambling, I hope you have a nice trip among the Virgina Amish.

    3. Robin Miller

      I didn’t realize that there were Amish in Virginia though aware of many Mennonites in the Harrisonburg area (Eastern Mennonite University)as well as here in the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake area. When did the Amish settle in Charlotte County? And by the way, you are in and near one of my favorite parts of the country today … Lancaster County … heaven on earth!

    4. Mary Ann from PA

      Hi Eric,

      Be sure to pick up a soft pretzel at Miller’s Twist and say “Hi” to Roger. Roger is the owner and has the best soft pretzels. If you tell him you know his Mom he will very likely give you a free pretzel. He is at the Reading Terminal Market. Enjoy your day!

    5. I had no idea about Amish in Charlotte County. My 93 year old mother in law was from there. She a middle child of 11 is the last of the surviving children. We go there occasionally for funerals. I’ll have to contact a few of the cousins who still live there. I knew there were a lot of Mennonites around Stuarts Draft and also here on the eat cost where I live but none here are Buggy Mennonites.

    6. Robin Miller

      Elaine, you must live in my areas, Va. Beach/Chesapeake? I’d say our Mennonites are rather “progressive” … miss Yoder and Bergey Dairies though love going out to Bergey’s Bread Basket on Mt. Pleasant Rd. So glad I can get my “Amish” noodles and pancake mixes from them. We took home delivery from Yoder’s for years.

    7. Karen Pollard

      Sometimes the Amish are allowed to have cell phones; especially if they use them through their businesses.

      Too funny; a clandestine cell phone charger. What was the electricity source for it?

    8. Kathy Rowe

      Looks like you are having a good time, Erik. Enjoy and be safe! Great pictures.

    9. Damon Hickey

      Didn’t know Barnes & Noble had phone shanties, with or without wi-fi 🙂

    10. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I love the houses some Amish live in, ever so, well, traditional and modest looking. I would guess that the one pictured this time is multi-use, aside from a residence.

      Does anyone ever see outhouses in Amish country?
      Since I’ve been reading Amish America, it makes sense what I remember from one of my last visits to Ontario Amish/Mennonite country, I remember little shacks by the side of the road in some places, it makes sense now that they were “phone shanties”, I maybe though they were places to go and do one’s business while on the road while riding one’s horse and buggy.

    11. Robin Miller

      From what I’ve heard most Amish now have indoor plumbing in their homes, including running water in their kitchens and yes, bathrooms. You’d probably find some old timers still using backhouses. I’m guessing it would all depend on what their individual communities allow. Most also allow propane stoves and refrigerators. Cell phones can be allowed as long as the user needs it for their business or for health emergency issues.

    12. Mona

      Sounds to me like it won’t be too long before the Amish will have phones in their houses…..just because you have a phone in your house doesn’t mean you have to answer it……and you can turn the ringer down so you don’t have to hear it ring….and you can call people when you want to….when someone calls me and it says UNLISTED NUMBER…. I just ignore that call….and all 800 numbers are ignored too…….if you call me it better say your name and your phone number…..otherwise it will not get answered…..nothing says I have to answer that call…..I pay the phone bill, I will answer when I want to…..it’s just that easy………………….

    13. Alice Aber

      Oh my goodness Mona it is not just that easy when a person puts God and church beliefs before everything else in life, including phones/cell phones. Which by the way, is what the bible says ALL Christians are to do.

      The Amish in particular, albeit not perfect, do strive to put God and church first. In such, if the church does not believe phones in the home of any type are good then the Amish are going to adhere to that, or at least try very hard to adhere to it. There will be some exceptions as in any community, however in general terms, they will do what they are suppose to.

      Now I am sure you do not see why owning a phone would be a problem or how it could lead to problems. You are not Amish nor do you follow their faith so you probably would not understand it. I’m not going to take the time to explain it here, but the bottom line is just because YOU think something is OK and should be no problem with the Amish doesn’t make it so.

      Blessings, Alice

      1. Michael Dean Brancolini

        agree

        Agreed I am an ordained Reverend and MOST will never understand we need to put GOD FIRST and all these modern conveniences distract us from God and living a TRULY CHRISTIAN life. Moat put bills first they even tell me “God doesn’t pay the bills” and I tell them you are only alive because of God much less have that job or family you say you work for. WE SHOULD ALL TAKE A LESSON FROM THE AMISH AGREED!!!

        God bless and I love you all,
        Reverend Michael Brancolini

    14. Lindsay

      I wonder where the phone charger gets its power from? Is it one of the solar ones perhaps?

      What’s interesting is one of my co-workers noted that today 20-somethings (my age bracket) don’t tend to have landlines anymore. Which is true…of my friend group I can only think of one person who does (I certainly don’t). I suppose I see it as an unneccesary expense. Also I like my cell phone as only certain people have my number, and I hardly ever get calls from solicitors. To be honest I hardly ever talk to anyone as well…my friends and I tend to text each other, and the only people I talk to on the phone would be my parents and grandma.

      So that leads me to think that perhaps in some Amish groups that allow cell phones they likely have the pre-paid phones that only have X amount of minutes to be used a month…kind of like the phone booth, in which you use it only when you absolutely have to?

    15. Robin Miller

      They only use their phones (cell or shanties) when deemed necessary … it’s about community, connecting face to face or through the written word without the intrusion from the outside world. Maybe this is something we could all learn a bit from. We forget peoples’ faces and voices all because of technology that takes us farther away in many respects. Many of us can’t remember the last time we sat down and wrote a letter to a family member or dear friend. Just some food for thought …

    16. Alice Mary

      I love the photos! And Alice (Aber), I’m looking forward to see some photos from Arthur. I think we “English” (or Yankees) should go back to having phone booths to use with our cell phones–I am so tired of listening to one-sided “conversations”, and usually LOUD! Actually, phone shanties would certainly be more “folksy” and “rustic” and I think they’d help limit one’s use of minutes—how long would you like to stay in that shanty!?

      Mona, I do pretty much the same as you—screen which calls I want to answer and ignore the rest. Although I do understand the Amish rule against them. It wouldn’t take much for me to give up phones, period (although I obviously still use the ‘net!)There’s a LOT to be said for the “simple” life.

      Alice Mary

    17. Alice Aber

      Alice Mary, I have pictures of Arthur posted on my blog at http://ceramicslady.blogspot.com

      Blessings, Alice

    18. Lindsay, I think it is true that most of us young folks do not have landlines. It is the same for me and my friends here in Sweden, I do not know a single person whom I am close to who is under 30 and has a landline. All have cell phones and some have skype or other internet solutions for phoning. I have just a cell phone though.

    19. Amish charging cell phone with car battery

      Alice on the cell phone charge, I am not sure what the protocol is on that, but I think it is okay–it is actually run off a car battery through an inverter which has a regular socket outlet, which you can plug a standard charger into. Probably won’t run a big screen TV off of it but gives a little juice 🙂

      Mark that is a good question on EMF. I do not know. On greenhouses, I can say all sorts of things. My friend is doing his tomatoes and lettuce right now.

      Mary Ann, on pretzels at Reading Terminal, I think we were by there and talked to the girl working–but alas did not read your comment til after. Looks like Roger dodged a couple of moochers here 🙂

    20. Robin, Elaine, Amish settled Charlotte Co fairly recently, in 1997.

      Karen, Lindsay the power source was a standard car-type battery run through an inverter (see above comment). Lindsay and that’s a good question on pre-paid, I don’t know how prevalent that would be. Kind of seems to make sense though.

      Kathy, it was a great trip!

      Damon, the Barnes and Noble phone shanties are around back, you must have missed them 🙂

      Alice Mary–true, I don’t know what else you can do in phone shanty but talk and doodle–no recliner is going to fit in there, anyway.

      Elin, I’ve found that to be the case too in Poland. Many have cell phones, no land lines.

    21. Wendy Ward

      Physical Address of Charlotte Amish

      Hi! I will be driving through this area in a few days and would love to be able to drive through their community. Could you give me a physical address that I could put into mapoquest?

    22. Wendy these folks are scattered about, but Wards Fork Mill Rd has a few homes. This is also a small community.

      1. How would I go about visiting them?

        Hi Eric,

        Greater article. I am in the Farmville va area and I’m starting a self sustainable community nearby. I am going to model a large part of it on the Amish community. I am interested in spending time with them and learning from them as well as selling their products.

        I am just not exactly sure what the best way to contact them would be.

        Thank you so much!

    23. Frank

      Looking

      I have spent all day looking for some contact to the Amish community in the area of Blacksburg. I have been told that they do amazing woodwork and would like to see if they can help me in my current endeavor. If anyone can aide me in my mission, either by contact with a local group or local craftsman, please feel free to email me. Thank you very much for your time.
      FrankLakeman@yahoo.com

      1. Anne

        Frank, I’m sorry that I only saw this comment now, probably too late to help you. My son joined the Amish in that community and then moved after the church split, but there are some still there and I have a number for the King family you could try.
        Emanuel King: 540-921-1605
        If you need more info let me know. Hope this helps!
        Anne

    24. Sandy

      Local

      I live about 15 miles from part of the Charlotte County settlement. I frequently follow their buggies on Highway 47 or Thomas Jefferson Highway. Unlike the impatient englisher, I love to open my window just to hear the ‘clippety-clop’ of the horses. I do worry for their safety as this highway is very busy with logging trucks and is only two lanes. Each year during late February or early March, they have a “Mud Sale”, or Auction which we call it. This is a great time time mingle with the Amish, although most prefer to not ‘mingle’. It a great opportunity to get your fill of Amish food, baked Goods, canned goods, etc. As stated above, it is difficult to single out the Amish farms as most of them are off the road, down long dirt driveways and are scattered throughout the county. Occasionally you can catch a glimpse of the children walking or men working the fields with their horse drawn farm machinery.

      1. mud sale

        Do you have dates or info on the mud sale in Stuarts Draft? I live very nearby and we drive through there frequently. I would love to attend it. Also I really want to attend an Amish church service and would like to know how to contact someone to do so. Thanks for any help. nashhall@aol.com

    25. Sandy

      Forgot to mention in earlier post, there is a Amish Furniture Store in nearby Farmville, Va. ‘Amish Originals’ is run by a local Mennonite family but the furniture is made in Pennsylvania and Ohio. If you’re in the area, this is a great place to shop! There is also an Amish general store on 3rd Street in Farmville; “Miller’s Store” features baked goods and staples needed in every kitchen, as well as fabrics. If you are looking to ‘run into’ the Amish, this is the place to go.

      1. Cathy

        Sandy- We have a quiet but fairly large Amish / Mennonite population here between several counties that surround Farmville. I have been to both of these stores… in addition to the furniture you mentioned, they sell / sold outdoor buildings, fabric, and a variety of food and other products. The people are very nice and helpful, but the products are a bit expensive…

    26. Any Amish or Mennonites near Abingdon or Elizabethton,VA?

      Does anyone know of any Amish or Mennonites near Elizabethton or Abingdon,VA? My uncle lives in Mountain City,TN near the TN/VA state lines and we stay in either Elizabethton or Abingdon,VA when we visit him. It’s about a half hour’s drive from Mountain City,TN with beautiful scenery all year round. Although,winter’s kind of rough on the roads we take. If you do visit there check to see if there are any NASCAR races in Bristol,TN. There will not be an open decently priced hotel within a hundred miles on those weeks or weekends that the races are going on there.

    27. Anthony Goodwin
    28. Amish

      Amish

      2514 Bugle Drive West
      Chesapeake, Virginia 23321

    29. Amish in Charlotte County

      I just discovered this post and had to laugh- the Rudolph sign is on the road where we keep our horse! The Amish community here is larger than you think, over 50 families, spread between County Line Road, 47/Germantown and Charlotte Court House.

      They are very much connected and a part of our community; dear friends and neighbors. There is now a large produce auction created and run by the Amish right at Vincent Store Road and 47- they are open on Tuesdays & Fridays, seasonally.

      The greenhouses are to start vegetables and flowers, everyone is selling at the produce auction now…

      And you can’t visit without stopping by the Esh’s store! Open Friday at 11, Saturday at 10:30, you can find it as the first drive off 47 onto Germantown.

      Here, the Amish sell milk to large milk trucks, have saw mills, and the new produce auction is drawing people from all over to buy in large quantities. Our Amish neighbors do not use phones, except in the shed to place a call to a trucker for work on the mill or similar use; they do use solar but only to recharge a tractor battery. Their homes usually have air compression to run the washers, etc.

      They have zero desire to “be” us, but are great, great friends with people who are not Amish too.

    30. Bill Rushby

      Mennonites near Charlotte Court House

      The last I heard (a few years ago), there is also a small group of Horning Mennonites (from PA) in the Charlotte Court House area. They had no resident minister and “pipe in” church services from Pennsylvania.

      1. Interesting to hear that Bill. Sounds like putting technology to good use. I almost stopped in again at the Charlotte County Amish on my way back from PA/OH last month, but decided to go to Halifax County instead. I’ll keep this on the radar as I plan to go back to Virginia soon as well. Made some nice acquaintances at one Amish place in Halifax Co. this time.

    31. bill rowland

      Buggy signs

      Did VDOT ever install enough signs and are they felt to be effective ?

    32. Nora Fothergill

      Mud Sales

      When is the 2020 Mud Sale in Charlotte co. Va.?

    33. Ralph F Sutich

      Join The Amish

      I Want To Join The Amish And Become An Amish