Florida Amish (Pinecraft Community Guide)

Amish in Florida? Citrus trees and Amish people may seem an odd mix. But Plain people have lived on Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1920s. The Pinecraft neighborhood of Sarasota is home to a unique Amish and Mennonite community. Pinecraft is the only permanent Old Order Amish presence in Florida.

Amish-themed mural in Pinecraft (Sarasota, FL)
An Amish-themed mural in the Pinecraft district of Sarasota, FL

Amish in Pinecraft (Sarasota, Florida)

An Amish corner of Sarasota

Sarasota is a city of over 50,000 people lying on the Gulf of Mexico.

florida amish palm
Why Amish favor Florida

The Pinecraft village is just a small segment of this city, comprised of a couple dozen roads lying on a parcel of land about a half-square mile in area.

Pinecraft was originally laid out as a tourist camp, and gradually developed into a full-fledged residential neighborhood along with an adjacent camp known as Homecroft (The History of Pinecraft 1925-1960, Noah Gingerich, p. 1).

The community itself sits on the edge of city limits, but is essentially a part of Sarasota, making Pinecraft residents America’s only truly “city” Amish. In a sense, they’re also “beachy” Amish as well, with a number of shores lying a short bus ride or longer bike ride from the community.

The Amish who live in and visit Pinecraft hail from a wide variety of places, and make up one of the most atypical Amish communities in the country.

The Pinecraft neighborhood

The main thoroughfare of the Pinecraft neighborhood is known as Bahia Vista St., a four-lane road bisecting the community and serving as one of Sarasota’s main east-west arteries.

Amish at Pinecraft live in bungalows and trailers packed into the gridlike streets bearing traditional Amish and Mennonite names such as Yoder, Graber and Schrock. The residences are typically rented by the night, for short-term visitors, or for longer spells.

pinecraft sarasota map
A map of the Pinecraft neighborhood of Sarasota, featured in the Pinecraft Pauper newspaper.

The Pinecraft neighborhood is bounded on two sides by a historically flood-prone waterway known as Phillippi Creek. Pinecraft Park is a popular place for relaxation and a hotspot for birdwatchers (“Fifteen Nature Hotspots in the Sarasota Area”, Daniel Fisher and Captain Ahab, The Pinecraft Pauper vol. 2 ed. 2, Dec 29, 2010).

Unlike in the vast majority of other communities, Amish here hold church in a freestanding building – the Pinecraft Amish Church. The Mennonite Tourist Church is a long-established place of worship occupying a former bakery building. The Palm Grove Mennonite Church can be found on Beneva Road, a main avenue intersecting Bahia Vista.

As of 2021, there are two Amish church districts here. But the nature of the community means that the number of Amish “in town” at a given time of year can vary dramatically. Only a relative handful of Amish live here year-round. The area attracts thousands of Amish from other parts of the country during the colder months. This makes the Pinecraft neighborhood better-known as a unique vacation destination for Amish people, than it is for its permanent community.

The residents

The Pinecraft Amish community is unique in a number of ways. One reason is the mix of people in this community. The population in Pinecraft, particularly in those months when snow blankets home communities up north, is made up of a wide variety of Amish with roots in different settlements. This fact becomes obvious in the different styles of clothing worn by Pinecraft Amish.

amish florida pinecraft
Older Amish flock to Florida

The settlement is popular with a range of Amish demographic groups as well. Amish retirees and older folks appreciate the sunny climate. Vacationers from the Midwest make regular visits. Some Amish newlyweds on honeymoon consider Pinecraft the ideal destination. Amish youth come here for seasonal work. There is also a significant Beachy Amish and Mennonite presence.

However, Pinecraft visits are not accepted by all Old Order Amish. Some Amish see the Florida community as worldly. “This is not the norm,” explained Ohio Amish businessman Atlee Raber for a 2004 news piece on the community. “Not everybody goes to Florida. You are in contact with more of the entrepreneurial part of the Amish community by being down here.” (“Amish go to Vacation in Florida”, The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, Christopher Evans, March 14, 2004)

True to Raber’s comment, Amish from the larger and more business-oriented communities in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania make up a large proportion of Pinecraft’s plain population.

Electricity and no buggies

Part of the problem some Amish have with Florida is the lifestyle led by Amish residents and visitors to Pinecraft. Homes here come equipped with electricity. Amish generally permit electricity usage in such cases when living quarters are meant to be temporary. For instance, when staying in a hotel, Amish have no qualms about using the available facilities, though the TV might stay off.

Amish people riding adult tricycles in Pinecraft, Florida
Amish residents ride tricycles and bicycles on the neighborhood’s quiet streets

Of course, not all Amish approve of the wired-up side of Pinecraft life. As one New Order Amish bishop admits, “It’s a unique situation”, while at the same time noting that – at least in his church – “it’s nothing that’s forbidden. People don’t have to come and ask, May I go to Florida?’ We expect them to be loyal to their faith” (“Amish go to Vacation in Florida”).

Another interesting aspect of the Pinecraft community is the type of transportation used. Amish at Pinecraft do not use horses and carriages. In fact, as one Pinecraft native notes, “The only buggy in town sits in the courtyard at Yoder’s Restaurant, mostly for photo opportunities” (see “Taste of Pinecraft: Sherry Gore interview“, Amish America blog).

amish restaurant sarasota florida
Only buggy in town.  Outside Yoder’s Amish restaurant, Sarasota, Florida.

In lieu of horse-drawn travel the Amish at Pinecraft mainly use large adult tricycles as well as bicycles, with some golf carts included in the mix. No other Amish community makes use of such a creative assortment of transportation, as the horse-and-buggy is generally considered an inseparable aspect of Amish life.

However, given the urban setting of the Pinecraft community – and the transient nature of the community – bikes, carts and trikes make a certain sense.

An Amish post office

Update: The Pinecraft post office unfortunately closed in 2016 after the operators Abe and Wilma Knepp passed away.

Another Pinecraft peculiarity: the world’s only Amish-operated post office. When the USPS decided to close their Pinecraft outpost, Amish offered to purchase the small, squat building. Postal service is particularly important for Amish, with the number of letters written and received by Plain people surely outpacing that of the average American.

amish florida post office
The Amish post office, Pinecraft, Florida (sadly, now defunct)

The Pinecraft post office also serves another important function.

The building’s east wall is adorned with a bulletin board that serves as a plain Craigslist of sorts.  Job postings, benefit events, and other business and general communications gets passed around the community thanks to the bulletin board.

On the post office, local author Sherry Gore adds, with a touch of humor: “What you won’t find are computers; not even a hand-held debit card machine. Postal clerk Magdalena Graber uses a small calculator. Receipts are hand-written and hand-stamped. Mark Shrock works the winter season. Expect to stay longer if you ask him a question regarding current politics. But never quote him” (see “Taste of Pinecraft: Sherry Gore interview”)

Arriving in Pinecraft

Amish, of course, do not drive. Due to the popularity of the destination, a number of coach companies have started up business serving the Pinecraft community. The first such line was created by entrepreneur David Swartzentruber, of Pioneer Trails.

This coach leaves from the Geauga County, Ohio Amish settlement, with stops in Holmes County and other Ohio locations. Due to the popularity of Florida among Amish, other lines have been started, with regular coaches ferrying Plain passengers from Indiana and Pennsylvania back-and-forth over the Pinecraft circuit.

Bus tour brochures in Pinecraft, FL
Brochures advertising a coach service for travel to and from this corner of Florida can be found by the message board in Pinecraft Park

Today, at least three lines make regular trips from traditional Amish destinations to Florida. “I would say we haul between 4,000 and 4,500 people in the wintertime,” noted Swartzentruber, adding that “It’d be about 75 percent Amish and the rest Mennonite, or English” (“Amish go to Vacation in Florida”). Passengers pay in the range of $250 for a round-trip ticket, with discount rates for children and seniors.

Depending on where you get on, the Florida-bound passenger travels in the range of 15-18 hours to make the trip, returning–in most cases tanned and well-rested–on buses operated by the same companies. Bus lines run primarily in the Pinecraft tourist season, from about November to April.

Vacation and relaxation

The name of the game for most Amish visitors to Florida is relaxation. The Pinecraft community features many attractions to help Amish and others pass the time.

Shuffleboard is a popular game in the Pinecraft Amish community. Hearty meals can be had at a range of restaurants. Concerts are performed by musical acts such as Gospel groups or Ohio native John Schmid. The annual Florida Haiti Auction, held in January, is one of a number of such events taking place in Amish communities around the country.

Shuffleboard court in Pinecraft Park (Sarasota area, FL)
Shuffleboard is a popular pastime in the neighborhood. Pinecraft Park offers eight courts for Amish and others to enjoy

A section on Pinecraft activities would be incomplete without mentioning the area’s beautiful beaches, which attract many Amish and Plain visitors. The shores of  Siesta Key and Lido Key, two small islands lying just off Sarasota, are highly popular among Amish sun-seekers.

florida amish tricycle
Characteristic adult tricycle used by Amish in Florida

Plain beachcombers scour these shores for sand dollars and shells. Making sand castles with children or just sitting and relaxing in the ocean breeze are popular, as is fishing. And what about sunbathing? Do Amish go swimming? While you probably won’t see many Amish women in bikinis, some men are known to wear swimming trunks. For those that can’t get past the breach of modesty, they may take to the seas in full plain attire.

For the more adventurous, other activities may tempt. One Amish couple took to the skies–literally–on a parasailing trip. Ohio natives Gerold and Becky Miller signed up for the excursion seeking a spot of adventure. It was an experience described by Becky as “awesome”. Gerold apparently enjoyed the trip as well. “Know what I did up there?” asked the Amishman. “I kissed her” (“Amish go to Vacation in Florida”).

Siesta Key Public Beach sign, Sarasota, Florida
Nearby Siesta Key offers Amish & Mennonite visitors beach access, lying just a 15-minute drive from Pinecraft

For those more inclined to keep their feet on the ground, a local publication catering to the Amish and Plain contingent provides much enjoyment. The Pinecraft Pauper is a newspaper produced twice a month during the tourist season. The Pauper features local interest stories, resident profiles, recreational tips for visitors, photos, cartoons, and a heavy dose of humor. Update: The Pinecraft Pauper is no longer publishing but you can read more on this unique paper here

Amish Restaurants in Sarasota

In the immediate vicinity of Pinecraft, there are at least four Amish/PA Dutch-style restaurants, meaning that per capita, Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish-style cooking is well-represented in Sarasota.

The PA Dutch style restaurants are popular among English – both natives of Sarasota and tourists – as well as Pinecraft’s Plain population. Eateries such as Der Dutchman and Yoder’s Amish Village serve as a meeting point for Amish from different communities.

Amish restaurants in Sarasota - Yoder's sign
Yoder’s is one of several popular Amish-themed restaurants in the Sarasota area

Der Dutchman (formerly known as Troyer’s Dutch Heritage), for example, has been described as “a popular early morning hangout for Amish men with nothing but time on their hands.”  Describing the dynamic, one observer wrote: “The suspendered and sunburned snowbirds arrange themselves in casual geographic groupings. Holmes County, Ohio, over here. Elkhart County, Indiana, over there. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the booths along the far wall” (“Amish go to Vacation in Florida”).

Local restaurants are a place for Amish and Mennonites to kill time and chew the fat while sipping a cup of coffee or filling up on stick-to-your-ribs PA Dutch dishes. Dutch favorites such as fried mush, butter noodles, meatloaf, fried okra, and shoofly pie populate the menus of these cheery locales. Diners are certain not to leave hungry.

Addresses and opening hours of Amish restaurants in Sarasota

There are several Amish-style dining options in the area of Pinecraft. Be sure to confirm all hours listed here, especially before traveling long distances, as they are subject to change.

  • Der Dutchman – Formerly known as Troyer’s Dutch Heritage, this restaurant is a Pinecraft institution featuring a buffet, bakery, and banquet hall. Der Dutchman is located at 3713 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota. Regular hours are 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.
  • Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village – Just down the street from Der Dutchman, Yoder’s is another popular locale featuring hearty Amish-style cooking.  The Yoder’s restaurant is part of a complex known as “Yoder’s Amish Village”, housing a produce market, “Fresh market” with deli meats and cheeses, and a gift shop. Well-known for their pies. Yoder’s address is 3434 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota.  Business hours are from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday, closed Sundays.
  • Sommers Dutch Family Restaurant – Sommers Dutch Family Restaurant took over the building where the Sugar and Spice restaurant was once located. It features “Amish-style” cooking, is actually located a bit outside the Pinecraft neighborhood, at 4000 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon-Sat, closed Sundays.
Sommers Dutch Family Restaurant is now found in the building which once housed the Sugar & Spice restaurant

Florida Amish History

How did the Amish find themselves in Florida? Pinecraft was founded as a camping area and originally bore the name Sarasota National Tourist Camp. The area was first settled by Amishman Daniel Kurtz in the mid-to-late 1920s. Kurtz purchased land and ended up farming celery, which was a well-suited crop for the area’s drained muck land. Other Plain people followed, and also became involved in produce growing (The History of Pinecraft 1925-1960; pp. 27-42) .

Pinecraft gradually became popular for sun-seeking northern Plain people. Church records for the 1939-40 Winter season list Amish visitors from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, along with members of Mennonite and other faiths (The History of Pinecraft 1925-1960; pp. 147-150). As time passed homes began to be built, with campsites becoming permanent freestanding residences and the area developing into a full-fledged suburban neighborhood.

Pinecraft: Not your typical Amish community

The Pinecraft Amish are a unique community for a number of reasons.  These include the community’s transient nature, with the majority of residents being seasonal visitors.  The use of electricity, as well as alternative transportation rather than buggies, also makes this group stand out. Holding church services in a free-standing building rather than in a home – a practice that evolved at least in part due to space constraints in the small Pinecraft residences – is another deviation from the Amish norm (though not unique to this community).

Palm trees in front of an Amish church building in Florida
Amish church building in Pinecraft

For the Amish, Pinecraft is more a vacation destination than anything else. However, the settlement does have a number of year-round residents, particularly older retirees.

Their presence through the hot summer months – while their northern brethren are busy farming, running businesses, and enjoying warm weather in their home communities – means Florida maintains a permanent year-round Amish population, though one that shrinks and grows with the coming and going of the tourist season.

For more, see:

  • The History of Pinecraft 1925-1960: A Historical Album of the Amish and Mennonites in Pinecraft, Florida; Noah Gingerich.
  • “Amish go to Vacation in Florida”, The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, Christopher Evans, March 14, 2004.
  • The Pinecraft Pauper, local plain newspaper published bi-weekly in-season (now defunct).
  • Amish America: An interview with Sherry Gore, editor of the Pinecraft Pauper.
  • Florida Amish Furniture business directory.

Photo credits: Florida Amish wall mural-Richard Elzey; palm tree-Fabio-Miami; Amish couple-Saintbridge; Yoder’s Amish restaurant Sarasota (buggy only)-Richard Elzey; Pinecraft post office-Becky Mabry; Amish man on tricycle-Richard Elzey

 

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    79 Comments

    1. Maybe you could link to Katie Troyer’s blog on Pinecraft. Katie is a gifted photographer who documents life in the Pinecraft community.

      1. Marlon

        Hi

        I love y’all is like Amish fun and know be Amish

    2. Susan

      I spent 2 months in Bradenton, Fl which is next to Sarasota last winter. We took several rides through Pinecraft. We visited Troyers, their pies are great, and a quilt store. We saw softball and volleyball being played at the park. You see all kinds of plain dress and loads of bikes. It is a surprise to anyone who happens upon it.

      1. Melanie

        Reminded me of home

        My husband and I are very familiar with Amish as we lived near Lancaster, Pennsylvania before moving to Florida and we attended their big auctions where they sell everything including beautiful quilts they make. As we drove closer to Pinecraft in Sarasota we saw Amish and we stopped at Yoders. It brought back sweet memories of home.

    3. Magdalena you are right Katie takes great photos, she has a gift for it. I think I am linked up to her on one or two of the other Pinecraft posts. I know she lost her blog for awhile and got a new one so I will make sure.

      Susan, sounds like you were there at the right time!

    4. Christina Gray

      Want to visit

      I am a mother of four boys and have been learning to live a simple life. With this we discovered that the amish live like my husband and I would love to live, and teach our kids that there is more in life than a tv, and video games. My question is to you is that is there a way we can visit the amish community for a day and learn there way of living, so we can educate our children? And just learn more about other ways to live simple.

    5. Dena

      Visit to Tourist Church

      I have just moved to Pinecraft and I would like to vist the Tourist church but I don’t know who I need to contact about it or if they even welcome visits from “outsiders”. I don’t want to just show up but I really want to start visiting because I am seriously interested in seeing if I could join sometime in the future. Thanks!

    6. Charlene

      visit

      I would like to know if outsiders are welcome to come and visit & if interested to join the community? If so, what are the requirements of joining?

      Thanks for this website 🙂

      1. Thanks Charlene, this comment thread in general addresses questions on Joining the Amish: https://amishamerica.com/so_you_want_to_/comment-page-7/#comment-23388

        1. Ivan

          Amish farm in Miami

          We are very interested my family and I in the products that sell Amish there is in Miami some place or farm where we can go and buy them and if so could they provide me with an exact address and place … thanks

    7. Elder Donald E. Martin, Sr.

      Central Florida Amish meeting houses?

      Dear Friend(s),
      Are there any Amish meeting houses of worship in North Central Florida? Near Ocala, Leesburg, Gainesville ?? I am an Old Baptist (Primitive) minister and have Ana-Baptist historical roots as the Amish……….I am interested in corresponding with some Amish folks which may have e-mail capabilities….

      Respectfully,

      D.E. Martin, Sr.

    8. Yoder

      The closest churches I know are not Amish, but similar. In Zephyrhills, FL, is a Beachy Amish church. In Lake Butler, FL, is a Bethel Fellowship church.

    9. Salvatore Micheal

      pastor looking for flock

      dear readers, i have some background with Mennonites as you know are sometimes confused with Amish.. the two groups and i have some common values. these can be investigated in my consistent articles.. there are two things my ministry focuses on: true love and awareness via the Holy Spirit. i have offered my services to Mennonites, L’Arche Daybreak, and now here. i’m very selective about whom i offer my ministry. i don’t use the ‘shotgun approach’ asking everyone to listen to me. i only approach groups who have some connection to my ministry .. i currently live in Florida. Sarasota is not far from where i currently reside. sure economic times are tough.. but that does not mean we can abandon our values nor our faith .. my values originate in life-lessons learned ‘the hard way’. there is no stronger Christian than someone who has found Christ in the depths of despair. there is something i’ve written about i call ‘the Christ heart’ which i loosely relabel ‘the power of 1000 blazing suns residing in your heart’. this gives a glimpse of the power of Christ. so if you are intrigued by my perspective and have a connection to a flock that needs a pastor, please contact me directly. my direct email is micheals(at)msu.edu in True Love and Awareness, sam

    10. GREAT WEB SITE

      IS IT EXPENSIVE TO RENT A HOUSE FOR THE WINTER?

    11. MaryAnn Pepe

      Would love to visit!

      I live in Jacksonville, Fl. I need to take a ride there! LOL

    12. Elder Donald E. Martin, Sr.

      Winter Housing rental cost..........

      Greetings Folks,

      During this economic crisis of which we find ourselves in, the Real Estate market whether buying or renting has greatly dropped. Therefore, it is likely to rent a place for the winter months much cheaper now than a few years back…..I am about 30 miles South of Ocala , Florida at a large Lake community which has many mobile homes for rent very reasonable ($350-$600 monthly) and lot’s of Bluegill, Brim and Bass to catch as well. Would be a fine place for our Amish and Mennonite brethren and families to migrate for the winter months…..

      1. Rachel Weaver

        Renting a house close to Pinecraft

        My health is poor this winter and we are honking about coming to FL.
        Most rental properties are classy and pricey. We want a simple cottage or trailer like is available in Pinecraft.
        But we have no idea who to contact. Do you have contact phone numbers?
        We are a plain couple with two olde teen agers.
        Thank you,
        Rachel

        1. Linda

          Rachel, if you have access to THE BUDGET, sometimes the Classified Ads list a place for rent.

      2. Don Aldinger

        ISO Wanted Room for Rent in Sarasota

        My name is Don Aldinger and I am a member of the West Swamp Mennonite Church here in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. I am looking to RENT a room/one bedroom apartment in the Sarasota/Bradenton area from March 1 to March 31, 2014. While in Sarasota, I would like to continue my study of the Mennonite and Amish communities. I have visited the hometown of Jakob Ammon in Switzerland and have visited the Wittenburg church in Germany where Martin Luther nailed his 90 thesis on the church door in 1517. I am a retired 65 year-old retired high school history teacher who will be visiting Florida for the first time. I am very dependable, honest, and trustworthy with a credit score of 834 (out of a possible perfect 850). Should you know of a room for RENT in March of 2014, please e-mail me at…donnie7@comcast.net OR telephone me at 267-373-9875. THANK YOU mit Gruessen!!

        1. Rebecca Bontrager

          cottage to rent

          we own a small cottage in Sarasota that we rent out. Can be rented by the day, week or month. email me for availability. rb.health4life@gmail.com

          1. Broy and Isobel Wyatt

            Please let us know if there are any small places to rent for a non-Amish/Mennonite couple that want to spend more time near Pinecraft, FL. We would appreciate your reply.

    13. Help

      My life is collapsing around me. I have been an I.T. tech specialist for years. I was a chef, one of 8 voted best in CT. I have lost my way in life. I am tired of the demands that are needed to just live a good life. I need guidance. Can you help? I would sell everything I own for help.

      I have a strong back and skills, plus a cat. She’s been with me 18 years.

      1. Hi Bob, I sent you an email a few days ago. I’m not exactly sure what you are seeking here, but regarding getting help, please see what I wrote you in the email.

      2. Adam Weaver

        Did you find your way?

        You email “connected” partly because of your plea and partly because w spent 2 1/2 years living in Hartford CT and distributing Gospel Literature via counter displays and street handout through-out New England. I am not Amish, I am Mennonite and we still have an out reach, in CT. If you wish I can connect you with them. Who are “we”? See http://churchofgodinchristmennonite.net/

        Adam Weaver
        Fleetwood, PA 19522

    14. We need your help Please

      We are working very hard to get our ranch ready to have a summer camp. The ponies are coming in 10 days. The fences have all been repaired and are ready. My wife and I have worked feverishly to get the repairs done to this place but we are tired and running out of funds. We need help with the roof and carpentry work. The less fortunate, disabled and blind children are coming and God is going to bless them so very much. Please pray and see if you can assist us. Thank you for your kind hearts and generous spirits.
      Bless you all. Pastor Michael 3410 Youngway Drive Lakeland, FL 33810 863-815-9620

    15. Es

      Amish made Furnitures

      Lived in Ohio several years & came to admire Amish, furnitures, food among others. Now I’m residing in Fort Walton Beach Fl. Furnishing & looking for Amish furnitures locally … Anybody in the area or nearby places carry Amish made furnitures?
      Thanks for directions.

      1. Amish furniture Pensacola/ Ft. Walton/ Panama City?

        Someone from your area recently made a similar request…in the FL Amish furniture listings most places we have listed seem to be at least 3 hours from you. https://amishamerica.com/amish-furniture-florida/

        However there seems to be a place nearer you in Alabama, looks like about 90 min drive (see below). I’d call to check that they carry what you want first. If anyone knows of a closer source for Amish furniture in this Florida panhandle area please share:

        https://amishamerica.com/amish-furniture-alabama/

        Furniture Haus‎
        26800 US Highway 98
        Elberta, AL 36530
        (251) 986-8480

    16. Julia

      I had no idea there was such a large group of Amish in Florida- mainly I thought they were in the New England area, but you learn new things everyday! I’ve always found their culture so interesting and it is something I have always wanted to study more about. Florida is a great place to travel and even live depending on the area. I’ve always loved Palm Bay and the Palm Bay Hotel (www.palmbay-hotel.com) is affordable for all and the hotel is accommodating for all!

    17. Susan Howell

      Amish Built Homebuilders Near Panama City, FL

      Widow for 12 years, everyone comes with their hand out but when you have finally reached the point of needing a hand up, everyone scatters to the wind. For over 2 years I have been working to get myself back to the simple life only to find out I have been a victim of an unethical mortgage lender & now they are attempting to take my home that I put on the market to downsize & lead that simple life I love so much. These 12 years have been filled with tragedy & heartbreak but no one will ever take my faith, hope, love & compassion. I am looking for Amish built small homes that can be placed in my sister’s backyard but the only sites I have found are in Pennsylvania or Virginia. Are there any Amish made small homes or builders near Panama City, FL? I need to break these binders that exacerbate my disability, I need to be productive again.

    18. Debbie

      I live in the Daytona Beach area and am striving to get back to a simple, community oriented way of living. I would like to meet some like minded people in the area and/or find a Pinecraft friend to communicate with via e-mail or snail mail.

    19. Charlene Frost

      Amish Store

      Moved to Florida 7 weeks ago from Ohio. We really enjoyed going to the Amish Store for meats, cheese balls, sugar free candies, cheese and the wheat square crackers. Is there such a store near Spring Hill, Florida???

      1. Jeff Baker

        Amish Country Store in Largo, Florida

        There is a store in Largo – just south of Clear Water.

        The Amish Country Store, 206 13th Street SW, Largo FL 33770, (727)587-9657 or 1-877-787-9657 theamishcountrystore.com
        “Bringing you the biggest & best selection of Pennsylvania Dutch and Ohio Amish Foods.”

        They carry a lot of Amish products.

        It is a small store just south of downtown Largo right next to a large Hospital, but they do carry a good variety of things.

        It is half the distance for you than to Sarasota.

        I was just there on Saturday on the way to the Beach with the kids.

      2. Robert Clinefelter

        Amish Store

        There is a very good Amish store in Largo, which is in Pinellas Co. The store is South of Clearwater and North of St. Pete. It’s off Westbay Ave. at 206 13th St. In Largo. The Phone is 727-587-9657.

      3. Isobel Wyatt

        Best to go to Pinecraft, FL and visit Yoder’s market and Detwiler’s Market..lots of stuff from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

    20. Golf Shop in Pinecraft

      There’s a great new golf shop in Pinecraft called Pinecraft Golf Shop. They do golf club rental for $15 a day or $65 a week. Also have a great selection of golf clubs, accessories and memorabilia.

    21. Sadie

      Sarasota Pinecraft

      My parents met in Sarasota. Not in Pinecraft, mind you, but still Sarasota. This is yet another coincidence that marks my family’s life as we have nearly always — or my parents, grandparents, etc. — lived near large groups of various Amish denominations.

      I believe my dad, who once worked as a carpenter in that oppressive, tiring, Sarasota heat, told me he once worked alongside several Amish or Mennonite carpenters on the crews. “Good guys,” he told me.

    22. Andrew Stitt

      Seeking Non-covetous Christian Community To Be Part Of

      I was raised Texan/American and it ruined my life and destroyed my soul. At age 50 a “spirit” of Truth has been alight in me for years and I can no longer agree or covet as a Capitalist. Though I disagree with some of the clothing and demands and reluctance of the Amish people to be EQUAL IN ALL ABILITIES as GOD’s people to others whom choose not to be, I desire to be accepted among them and offer the rest of this life’s efforts and labors to any community of souls that shall accept me and assist me in relocation unto their fold so that i may gain Peace in my Heart and Joy of a better human gathering than the abnormality of normal Americanism had offered to devour of my good. Whom among the Hemisphere West earth will be brotherly, sisterly, and make my time blossom in happiness among Good people I have yet not met in 50 years? I have never seen Florida, but have considered abandoning my pets and possessions to be homeless and vagrant under a bridge there do to the climate– and beach to bathe freely.

    23. Alex

      I would like to go a Amish Town but a do not know where it is. Can somebody tell me the address?.

      Thanks so mucho

    24. Kristen

      I discovered my background on ancestry.com I have family all over Pennsylvania and most of them are Dutch and from Rotterdam/ Netherlands. I’ve eaten at Yoder’s a couple of times and shopped in the market, but I’ve never been in Pine Craft. I know some Amish people view non Amish people as “English cause we don’t do things like the Amish cause I’m not Amish of course…. I just wanna know if I were to visit if I look different and drive a car if I would still be welcomed to come visit. When I went to Yoder’s in Sarasota it was a mix of Amish/English. I would love to visit to find out more about my Dutch/ Netherland culture.

    25. Stephan

      Visiting

      I live in Europe, The Netherlands and have been travelling to Florida on multiple occasions. What I would like to know is if it is possible to visit the community as tourist.

      Can the restaurants be visited as tourist?
      Can I visit any store and be able to buy any cookbooks, with Amish recipes and learn more about the history and culture?

    26. Northdale Owls tour Pinecraft

      Dear Friends: I am the Director of Trips for a very large and active senior club in Tampa. We are called the Northdale Owls (Older, Wiser, Lively Seniors). I have been hosting monthly day trips with the Owls for 8 years and I would love to do a trip to Pinecraft. Would we be welcomed? I would love to go sometime in March 2014 and would love to take in a gospel sing or a concert. Would there be plenty to do in Pinecraft to spend a day there? Please tell me some of the things to see and do and if everything is within walking distance. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Best wishes, Ruth Zeigler

      1. Linda

        Ruth, the Der Dutchman Restaurant is able to accommodate bus-load groups of people.

    27. joe zuber

      scrapple

      Where can I get good scrapple

      1. Linda

        Scrapple in Florida

        Joe, in Florida, one place where scrapple may be purchased is at Detwiler’s Farm Market, 6000 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34232. Phone 941-378-2727. Closed on Sunday.

        http://detwilermarket.com/

        1. joe zuber

          tthan

          thankyou Linda was in Sarasota today and forgot that all the amish commuity business are closed on Sundays But will chheck it out. Once shin thankyou.

        2. Isobel Wyatt

          Scrapple

          Detwiler’s scrapple is fresh in the deli. They slice it the thickness you want. Der Dutchman also has scrapple, vacuum sealed. We purchased some last week when Detwiler’s sold out of their’s.

    28. Bonnie Wilson

      need house repairs in Pensacola

      Hello I have a house in Pensacola. It is in need of repairs, needs new roof and various indoor repairs. I live in Pennsylvania, I am a widow and my son died Dec 24 2013, he was 31. It took almost all my savings for the funeral and burial, he had no insurance. I would like to hire some Amish construction workers since they work for less then regular contractors. If I could get the repairs done I could possibly rent the house for income. If you or you know of anyone (Amish) that could do the job, please email mail me at catdog1x@yahoo.com or call me at 724- 974- 8577. If you cannot reach me by phone please leave a message and give me your contact information I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank You Bonnie Wilson

    29. T Stoltzfus

      Rental houses in Pinecraft area

      Hello Eric,

      I stumbled across your website while looking for a list of rental houses/apartments which may be available in the Pinecraft area. Do you know where I can find such a list? I’d like to take my family to Pinecraft later this month and am looking for a place to rent for a few weeks.

      Thank you.

      1. Lodging in Pinecraft

        Hi T, I checked with a local about your question, and was told that classified ads in the Budget newspaper is one source, and if you are in town, the Pinecraft bulletin board. However, depending on when you’re going, there is a lack of room in Pinecraft itself–apparently over Christmas, 3 busloads stayed on Siesta Key, while for the Haiti Benefit auction, 2 busloads stayed at the Best Western close to Bahia Vista and 41.

        1. T Stoltzfus

          Thank you, Eric. You are kind to go after that information.

      2. Jeff Baker

        Lodging hard to find right now - at a decent price

        So far this year there are near record amounts of people coming down to the southern coasts of Florida. When the temperatures dip below zero and the snow is relentless in the northern US, more people look to escape it. If you can find lodging, be prepared to pay top dollar for it.

    30. Elder Donald E. Martin, Sr.

      Amish welcome to Old School Baptist worship

      Dear one’s, I am a Pastor among the Old School Primitive Baptist which meets on the first Sunday of the month at FELLOWSHIP Church’s meeting house located 10 miles East of I-75 on Hwy 674, Address 10232 HWY 674, Wimauma, Florida. We gather at 10:00 A.M. in preparation for divine worship. We sing strictly Acapella from a no note hymnal. We love the Old Paths and history of our Amish brethren where much of our heritage had it’s beginnings. All are welcome to come and visit us and dine with us following the worship meeting….We open our hearts in Christian love to any and all that love the old ways of simplicity in worship.

      By Christ merits alone I remain,

      Bro. Donald E. Martin, Sr. 352-793-1721 dmartinsr@nealitybrand.net

    31. Meredith

      Need a special blanket made for a child

      I have a. 4 year old son with special needs.
      His doctors have recommended a weighted
      Blanket. They are suppose to calm and make
      Him feel secure. They are very expensive
      And I don’t sew. I’m looking for a women
      Who could make one. I can pay her. Up to a certain
      Amount or barter. I’m a hairstylist ..
      Thanks

      1. Donna wilkinson

        Meredith /needed blanket info.

        Has the need been filled. I am widow who has been knitting and crochet since 8 years old. Now much much older. Live in Putnam county but tell me particulars and may be able to help. Thank you. Donna

    32. Jason

      Hi are there any vintage Amish made examples of these simple lodgings in pinecraft? I would love to see a photograph or even get my hands on a cabin or an Amish made replica, I have an extra lot in sarasota and would like to offer lodging to the good Amish people.

    33. Deborah

      Amish in Kissimmee?

      I was wondering if there are any Amish stores that sell their food such as jams, pies extra? If not how can someone get a hold of an Amish person and possibly sell some of their items.

      We miss our Amish friends from Tennessee. They would make us pies and breads.

    34. The settlement is popular with a range of Amish demographic groups as well.Amish retirees and older folks appreciate the sunny climate.

    35. Denise

      Home builders

      We are looking for Amish home builders in FL. We live in a small town near Gainesville, FL do you have any information you could guide us to? Thanks for your time.

      1. Amish builders in Florida?

        Denise, unfortunately you’re going to have a hard time of it. The only Amish in Florida are in Sarasota, and that is a very atypical community with few year-round residents (in fact most Amish who are in Florida are there to get away from work! 🙂 ). There aren’t many Amish within reasonable driving distance in other states either.

        If it was a huge project, or possibly if you could arrange something with an Amish crew to come and stay (youth and younger men in particular may be attracted to this; they sometimes do these kinds of jobs, and also go for weeks at a time for disaster relief), it might work.

        1. Denise

          Thanks

          I see, we might look into buying a ready made home such as a manufactured/modular built by the Amish. Thanks for your quick response. Sincerely, Denise

    36. Chihuahuadog

      A camper garden wagon

      Hi!
      I have this crazy idea to turn my garden wagon into a teeny, tiny camper van that I can pull to the park. I would like it to be very lightweight using maybe styrofoam and fiberglass. Maybe the frame could be made out of plastic, garden edging. I’d also like to install a solar panel to run a kettle so I can make a cup of coffee. Can anyone offer advice so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel? Also if I cut my garden wagon in half, how can I make my wagon retractable? THANKS

    37. Christopher Jansen

      Pinecraft in Sarasota,Florida

      Hey guys,
      my name is Christopher Jansen,i’m 22 years old and i come from Düsseldorf,Germany.In March 2016,me and my family visit Florida for the 3rd time.We live on Marco Island (Collier County).I’m very interested about the Amish People.I searched on Google and found Pinecraft (and also this Page right here) 🙂

      Please don’t punish or attack me when i’m wrong,but i think the Pinecraft community is a fake.I’ve seen a lot of documentaries about Amish People in the United States.All communities are a little bit out of the city.But Pinecraft is in the middle of a city with a population of circa 50,000 citizens.Why? I hope someone can respond my questions 🙂

      Best regards from Düsseldorf,Germany
      Christopher Jansen

      1. Sarasota

        Just saw your comment… I am Mennonite rather than Amish but I think I can explain but don’t have time at this moment. You might look at the website I listed and reply if interested in more communication…
        FYI I am a decedent of Swiss/German migrants
        Allus gutes… Adam

      2. Marcus Yoder

        Pinecraft Fl.

        Amish from all over the United States come to Pinecraft for winter vacations. They will have church in a building here because most houses are small. There are some videos on UTUBE OF THE BIG BUS’S That bring the Amish to Pinecraft.

      3. Not fake.

        The community is NOT fake, it may just seem fake because most of these people all come down to relax, they are on vacation. They are not working on large farms, so you won’t see their normal everyday life. You can, however, see how they work and sell some of their crafts to get a small taste.

    38. John Little

      Small barn construction

      I was wondering if I could get a small barn construction?
      Something with a loft.
      Approximately the cost too ?
      Thank you
      John Little

    39. Roger

      Pleasant View Mennonite Church

      Does the Pleasant View Mennonite Church in Zephyrhills, FL (Beachy Amish Church) have services during the summer months? If so what time? Thank you, Roger

    40. Kathy Baumbusch

      Irma and Pinecraft

      Wondering if Hurricane Irma caused damage to Pinecraft, and hoping that it did not!

      1. Kathy I have been getting this question from readers, haven’t heard anything specific yet but I put in a question to someone local who would know. If and when I hear back I’ll let you know here.

      2. Pinecraft has some damage but generally okay

        Kathy, belatedly, I have heard that Pinecraft damage was minimal. Al in KY tipped me off to Katie Troyer’s FB/blog which has photos and reports. Here are a couple of them. The first link has the most photos and commentary. I included an excerpt of Katie’s comments from it:

        http://pinecraft-sarasota.blogspot.com/2017/09/pinecraft-after-irma.html

        Here are some of the photos I took last evening as I biked around. I am not aware that Pinecraft lost its power. Plus no major damage. I did notice this morning that three mailboxes got hit on Graber Ave between Bahia Vista and Fry. The one sitting in a bucket of cement rolled over without damage. Carl & Gertie McClure got broken off and also one in that neighborhood is down on the ground.

        http://pinecraft-sarasota.blogspot.com/2017/09/storm-damage.html

    41. Taxi

      I am an Amish taxi driver who lives in Lancaster, PA. I bought a place in Ruskin Florida, and will be moving there in November 1917. Is there any need for my driving services this winter down that way.

    42. Tim Caig

      Horse Barn Builder in Sarasota

      I am looking for an Amish builder who can build a horse barn (two stall with tack room) in Sarasota Florida.

    43. Joseph Barile

      quilts

      Is there anyplace in Sarasota that sells Amish pillows and/or quilts? (coming down from The Northeast soon. Thank You

    44. Katherine

      Author

      I am researching Amish communities and I was wondering who the author is to this article on the Pinecraft community? Would it just be Amish America? I just want to make sure I am giving the credit to the correct author. Wonderful information about the community! Very holistic and in-depth, and a great source for research!

    45. Grant Wade

      shed builder

      Looking for a true Amish shed builder (not reseller) on an ongoing basis to build custom and stock sheds and outdoor buildings for our retail locations in FL. If interested please contact me.
      Thank you,
      Grant Wade
      843-608-9087

    46. Chris B

      Amish are more than welcome in Sarasota

      I am born and raised in Sarasota.Sarasota is and will always be my home. For as long as I can remember, the Amish and Mennonite community has been an integral part of the patina that is Sarasota. Pinecraft isn’t just some oddity. We English locals have cherished the food and culture they bring. I’m sure some of the 20 pounds I have overweight are from the restaurants in Pinecraft. There are other residue ants and stores to visit. Detwielers is a local favorite for the freshest of meat, seafood and home made everything. We visit at least 3 times a week to make dinner preparations. Please don’t think of that community as a tourist attraction. It and it’s people are beloved and another facet that makes Sarasota one of the most attractive places to live.

    47. Shannon

      Any Mennonite is Sebring Fl area?

      Any Mennonite in Sebring Fl area? I’d love to connect. Thx

    48. Sherralynn Moschella

      Amish builder for a Barndeminum

      I live in Yulee Florida around the Jacksonville area and I’m looking for an Amish builder to put together a bardominium for me on my property approximately 1600 ft.². If you know of such builder could you please contact me via email and if you need my phone number I can provide that as well thank you so much for your help in this matter.

    49. Deborah Riley

      Animal cruelty by Amish

      Are the Amish in Florida as cruel to animals as the other Amish. Are any of the Amish beginning to realize that sentient beings feel pain when cruelly hurt by Amish?
      What the Amish do to the horses is enough to make you vomit. You cannot morbidly horrors invoked by the Amish.