Graves County, Kentucky Amish
Reader Brett shares some photos of Amish in Western Kentucky. Graves County is home to a pair of settlements, one of which is a Swartzentruber Amish community.
Kentucky Amish settlements range from Swartzentruber to New Order communities. Amish have moved into the state in large numbers in recent decades. In fact, all present Kentucky Amish settlements (except one) have been founded over the past 40 years.
And if you missed it a few months back, check out this post on the Munfordville, Kentucky Amish, the largest settlement in the state. You can also view the Kentucky Amish state guide, outlining communities across the Bluegrass State, or a directory of Kentucky Amish furniture.
This is very interesting and I love it when there are pictures to look at, I love all of your articles
Thank you Lois, and thanks to Brett too.
Are the barns red because they still use traditional paints?
You know, in our area a lot of the barns I see aren’t painted, they are built with red metal. Even some of the houses are built using metal instead of wood or vinyl siding.
In Ohio the barns of the Swartzentruber people tend to be a darker shade of red. Their formula for mixing the paint is 2/3 red to 1/3 black.
Great pictures Brett!! Thanks for sharing!! I’d love to take a trip down to Kentucky to visit the Amish areas. Looks pretty. Do they run a lot of businesses in that area or are they more agricultural?
Thanks so much for the pictures! I love all photos of the Amish.
Barns are always of interest to me. I collect slides of old barns.
Amish barns are recent, but I still love them.
I like to see more photos of Amish kids. Some will let themselves be photographed, most don’t.
Hi Alice. Not too many businesses in my area. The two communities are pretty small. There is a horse shoeing business, a greenhouse and a tack shop/horse training business. Several sell produce from their gardens and I know of one who raises tobacco. There is a fairly large community about 70 miles north of here in Marion, KY where there are several more businesses and more families. There Amish are relatively new to my area.
Hi Brett, I am trying to picture your area, LOL. If they are relatively new, were they well recieved? Do you think the area will grow with more Amish? I appreciate your taking the time to respond to me. I am so interested in Amish everywhere. I never knew there were so many differences before I got into this blog. It has been wonderful!!
The word “new” may be a bit deceiving. They have been here for at least 7 or 8 years, and it is possible that they could have been here longer and I just didn’t notice 🙂 Not sure if the communities will grow. I’ve noticed at least 3 or 4 Amish homes have been sold to non-Amish in the last year, but I’ve also notice a couple of new Amish homes. I don’t have a lot of interaction, so my info just comes from what I see. As for being well-received…I don’t think there has been any trouble as far as people wanting them to leave, but I have heard several complaints about the horse droppings on the road or in parking lots. The Amish recently made news in our county because one of the groups has refused to use the orange reflective triangle that is supposed to be used on slow-moving vehicles. There were several tickets given out and several Amish men had to appear in court and were in danger of being imprisoned if they refused to pay the fines (they did refuse). Last I heard, the judge delayed any sentencing until more info could be gathered about the law regarding those who refuse to follow a law because of their religious beliefs. I’ll ask around and see if any decisions have been handed down. Take care, Alice
I am surprised that the Amish are against the orange reflective triangles on their buggies.
This is a safety issue, especially for the Amish.
Perhaps some one should suggest red lanterns on the back of their buggies, I don’t believe they would like that either…
The use lanterns with red lenses.
The landscape certainly is midwest-a very different feel from PA and OH.
From what I have learned on this site and books, the Swartzentruber Amish are one of the groups who oppose the reflective triangle. Perhaps it is not plain enough or maybe too worldly. Not sure. Poke around on here and you’ll find info on the Swartzentruber. There are probably a few posts.
Also, Joe Mackall’s book “Plain Secrets” is about a Swartzentruber Amish community in Ohio. It is good read.
Christina that is right on the Swartzentruber folks. Typically they would use lanterns, often just one, hung on the traffic side of the buggy. Also grey reflective tape. And would avoid going out at night unless really necessary.
Brett, thank you so much for your replies. That is very sweet of you. Please don’t go to any trouble though. Just drop me a line from time to time if you happen to come across something, but otherwise, don’t worry about it.
HI, I AM FROM KY AND JUST WHERE IS GRAVES COUNTY ? I WAS BORN & RAISED THERE AND I NEVER SAW AN AMISH PERSON !!!! SURE WEREN’T ANY WHERE I LIVED….I NEVER EVEN HEARD OF AMISH UNTIL I MOVED TO MICHIGAN….AND I REALLY NEVER SAW ANY THERE…..I NOW LIVE IN OHIO AND I SEE THEM ALL THE TIME AT WALMART, ETC.I GUESS THEY JUST FARM HERE AS I DON’T THINK THEY HAVE STORES, BAKERIES, ETC IN MY AREA.I USUALLY GO TO INDIANA OR TO OTHER PARTS OF OHIO TO THEIR STORES, THEY ARE ABOUT AN HR. FROM WHERE I LIVE, I LOVE TO VISIT THEIR STORES AND BAKERIES….
Don’t know how long you have been gone but there are several Amish in Graves County. Two different church districts. One uses the triangle the other don’t.
Mona, Graves County is just south of Paducah. I had to look it up, because I was wondering how that area related to an Amish community I once happened upon between Marion and the Ohio River.
It was on a bike ride 4.5 years ago. I crossed the Ohio River on the ferry at Cave-in-Rock just before dark. It was completely dark before I got very far on the Ohio side. At one point I was wondering what the strange, dimly-lit shape and odd mechanical sound was on the road ahead. The idea of some Amish contraption crossed my mind, but I didn’t think there were Amish in Kentucky. Turned out it was just an Amish buggy. On my way out of the Ohio bottomland I rode past houses lit by lanterns, so it was definitely Amish country.
This was in Crittenden County. I wonder if it’s much the same group as in Graves County.
As far as safety goes, reflective lights are not the only safety issue where Amish people run into trouble with the state. There are also food safety issues. I am hoping that the Food Safety Nazi legislation (or whatever it’s called) that was passed by the Senate a few days ago does not cause too much additional trouble for Amish people.
Because it was dark, I don’t have any photos of Amish country in Crittenden County. I have one of the ferry, though: Amish Hunters and Night-Time Bicycling Come
Hi George, I live one county over from Graves and noted, with interest that you collect pictures of old barns. I have a 1912, well-preserved livestock barn and a 1918 tobacco barn on my farm and would be glad to send you pictures of each.
To Alice: The Amish communities in Graves County are small and, for the most part, not as picturesque as most individuals imagine. Please understand, I’m not trying to sell them short; but they aren’t anything like the Amish communities one sees in Ohio, PA or IN.
You arr right Lora. The Amish in Graves County are kind of spread out a little it seems. I live in Mayfield which is in Graves County. I have some really good Amish friends. They are Swartzentruber Amish. They are the sweetest people I know. We get together with them every year on January 1st for “Christmas”. When we first started doing this we would take presents for all the children. There are 12 of them. Now five of them are married and two of them have children and one is about to have a baby. So needless to say the present buying is over! We just bring candy and treats for the younger ones now. We have been to one of the girl’s wedding supper. It was the first time we were around other Amish besides our friends. It was a great event to witness and our children really enjoyed it too. We were invited to the other two girl’s wedding supper but could not attend. They raise produce and sale it there at their home. One of their son in laws runs a saw mill. They are just great people once you get to know them. They are really shy until you. I consider Danny & Katie and all the children to be a great part of mine and my family’s lives!
I am glad to see that some people are standing up and telling people what awesome people the Amish in Graves County are.Myself and a few other people will be at the court house when they have to return.Would you please come out in support of them.I will do what I can to help them but I am only one person.The more people that will stand with me the bigger the statement will be.I am willing to go to jail with them or what ever it takes to help them.I am not asking anyone to go to jail.I am just saying that I would do whatever I could to help them even if it means a night in jail.I am sure it would never come to that for me.My point is to at least try to let these Amish families know that some people will stand beside them in their fight against injustice and that people want them here.I would hate to see our friends move away because of this.My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks for the great pictures! I love barns! I collect 35 mm slides and am always happy to find slides of barns.
Wow, that would be awesome if you could send me pictures of your barns! I certainly would like and appreciate that very much, how nice of you!
My email address is:
Glad to make your acquaintance. It sounds as if you have struck up and wonderful and lasting friendship with the Amish family. As you live in Mayfield, I wondered if you might help me out with something. About five years ago I went to Mayfield for farm parts and, upon leaving Falder’s, I think I must have been daydreaming and took the wrong road. In an effort to get back to Hwy 45 I made a right turn and then was forced to make a left turn off that road because of some roadwork in progress on the main road I was traveling. As a result, I found myself on a dead-end road which was predominately populated by Amish. I don’t recall a lot about it other than there were several newer Amish dwellings on the road. Most of them were small but, one in particular, caught my attention. It sat some distance off the road and was quite a large two-story, with a big porch across the front. As I recall, the house was white colored metal with a green roof and the porch may have been wrap around. Do you have any idea where I was?
Oh yes, you mentioned the sawmill one of the son-in-laws operates. Is that the sawmill at Wingo?
Again, glad to make your acquaintance.
Mona, the Amish mentioned above is in around Dublin on why 339. Me and my kids went there this past weekend, it is where the buggy toppled over in a flash flood. We were invited to view the bodies of the children”kinner”. The picture of the house on top of these posting, i have been there i took an Amish woman who lived there home to get stove wicks, so they could finish preparing the eve meal. Eric Thank u for the web site.. i look forward to looking at it. i would love to become Amish and so would my son even though it is a lot of work. Could he give up his X-BOX? probably not. LOL. I can not wait to go back, i am looking forward to making friends, which i have address for a few to keep in touch.
The third picture above is where the viewing of the children were held, i met the family who owns it. That is where the funeral was going to take place then the burial right down the road from that. i remember seeieng all those pictures above.. The message before this one about the picture is about the last photo. that one by the way is for sale..
I am not at all sure where you were! lol I do know Falder’s very well but I am not sure where you went. Sorry! And yes that is the sawmill I am talking about. He has a brother that makes furniture. He made my in laws a beautiful Dinning Room Table! It is awesome! We eat around it every Sunday.
Thanks Tammy and the Spokeswriter for your info…..I have been away from Kentucky for over 40 yrs, a lot can happen in that length of time…..last time I was there for a visit was about a year ago….things really have changed…..I’m not too far from Lexington and that is a beautiful place …lots of beautiful horses in Lexington…….
Sorry I meant to say Spokesrider instead of Spokeswriter…….
Tammie, I am glad you enjoy the site, thank you very much for coming to visit. And thanks to everyone else who’s shared on this comment thread. I know Graves County has gotten a lot of attention after the recent tragedy. I have not visited but sounds like quite a nice corner of Kentucky.
There was an article in the June 4 edition of the Louisville
Courier Journal newspaper regarding the Graves County Swartzentruber Amish settlement. It said that on June 3,2011 a group of Amish men lost an appeal of their convictions in 2008 in
Graves District Court for refusing to display the bright orange-red safety triangles on the backs of their buggies. A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals dismissed the men’s claims that “the law amounts to religious discrimination because their consciences don’t allow them to display the triangles”. Their attorney, William Sharp, with the ACLU of Kentucky, said he is going to consult with the Amish men to see whether they want to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see what develops. Will the Amish decide to appeal to the higher court? Will they modify their church rules (ordnung) and decide to begin using the safety triangles? Will they decide to move to an area where they don’t have to display the triangles?
Wow! How sad. I believe the Swartzentrubers will all move out of the state. It would be very rare for them to change a church position because of the ‘english’ law. There are at least 3 Swartzentruber settlements in Ky, and all are at risk. It may be that a civil liberties or religious tolerance group may fight their battle for them as they already did here, but if they lose, I think it will be the end of low Amish in Ky. I am extremely disappointed in Ky today!
In the last 20 yrs I have had two encounters with the buggies. The first with a buggy on a curve with children. I locked up my breaks a slid sideways to miss to buggy. I stoped and yes I did cuss out the driver.
2nd encounter I was driving a SUV pulling a trailer and of course at night around a curve came up a buggy. Lock the Breaks and the trailer jacked knifed. The Dumb ass kept going, Keep up the good work law enforcement!!!!!
What if this “dumb ass” as you stated had have been children walking at night or a dead cow in the road? Maybe you need to slow down on hills and curves, cause the SMV triangle won’t help on either. What if it were your kids walking home at night? Not necessarily a buggy.
I live in Benton Ky,But I go to Graves County at least twice a week.I also know some of the Amish families there.They are great people and are being targeted and harassed in my opinion.Myself and a few other people are going to be at the court house when they have to return for court.I am in full support of the Amish they should be able to compromise!The problem is the court will not even try to compromise.If any of you could come out and make a stand with us it would be great.As we all know there is strength in numbers.I have a petition trying to get the law changed and some of the men are going to Lexington to meet with someone over trying to settle this matter.Still the more support they have the better the outcome will be.If anyone wants to help please let me know.I am willing to do what ever I can to help even if that is to go to jail with them.We all have freedom and rights,But if we do not stand up for them we may not have them long.My email is email@example.com please email me or comment on here and let me know if you may can help by being at the court house to support our Amish friends.Thank you
Hi. My name is Tom. With due respect in reply about the orange triangles on buggies. In 1 Peter God’s Word says, “submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme: 14 or to governors…”. I know you want to trust God, but we must be careful that we are not doing things as a unknowing motive of pride thinking we are obeying God when in truth we are not. If God says to obey man’s laws then i believe we should obey God in doing this. I know we would not want to offend our Creator by sinning in ignorance. We must also remember that God is teaching us about His Authority. Thank you, Tom
enjoying this site
Thank you for providing this site. My mom and I visited the new little store on 45 just outside Mayfield. Right now I can’t remember the name of it, but we bought some wonderful jam and chocolate covered peanuts there. I would have bought some of the “handcrafted” items, but on closer inspection, found some were “made in China.” Apparently, that’s becoming an all too common occurrence even in Amish stores. Still, it was a nice experience.
Just found out there are 10 families who live close to me,less than 1/2 hr. drive 🙂 from Kevin…….who he mentioned on his site last week I think….they were having a wedding dinner opened to the public for donations to help fund a new school….didn’t get to go as I had other plans and it was too late in the evening…..would have love to met Kevin as he said he was going to be there 🙂 Maybe next time…..
LOOKING FOR PUMPKINS!!
I am enjoying your posts, and questions. I have visited the Amish in Ethridge many times, and purchased several different items from them. Last year my sister and I bought a lot of pumpkins. When I saw this about the Amish in Kentucky, I was interested in visiting there. I love to see the way the Amish live.. I wish I had what it takes to live that way!! I was wondering if anyone here knows of places to buy pumpkins from the Amish in Kentucky… Thank you so much for all of this information..
how do i get in contact with someone about putting on a metal roof in fulton,ky
Amish community in Mayfield Kentucky
A while ago maybe 20 years or so there was a Amish family in mayfield that was located down the road from the old Hotel that used to have a Chinese restaurant in it. I’m sorry but it’s been years but they had a chicken Farm I believe but I bought 2 rat terrier’s from them and we had the best life with them. I’ve since moved to Florida but my mother in Paducah is ready to adopt another one. If anyone knows if they still sell their puppies please let me know. I’ll come home to get her one of theirs. Thanks