Indiana is home to the third-largest Amish population Indiana, with the world’s third greatest Amish population, also has the most settlements over 10 church districts in size. ‘Swiss’, Swartzentruber, New Order, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania-transplant Amish contribute to the diverse range of Amish groups found in the Hoosier State. Amish communities in Indiana From the youngest […]
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Love the article Erik, very informative!! Also love the pictures, they are awesome!!
Shutting down my computer today to do a complete hard drive reformat, should be back online later today or by tomorrow morning at the latest.
have a great day!!
Adams County Amish
Where in Adams County (IN) are the amish primarly located?
Indiana Amish Locations, Adams County
The Amish in Adams County live mostly just barely East of Portland Indiana, Bryant Indiana, and Bern Indiana. Most live just East of Bryant and Portland. Only about 10 Miles from the Indiana/Ohio boarder. They are VERY consertive compared to other Amish, and the church’s have split a few times over the past 30 years or so. Hope that helps:-)
Everywhere in adams county really. I live in northern Jay county close to the adams co line. From Bryant in Geneva to Decatur, Montpelier to the Ohio line, is where most Amish are located. I’ve been driving the same Amish construction crew for 5 years. So I’m pretty familiar with the families in our area. Good people
Enjoyed article/ I have something the Amish may want
Thank you for the article, I drove delivering to the Amish communities many years ago, now drive long haul.
I have an e-commerce retail store and have a product that they will want to buy once they have a chance to see and spread the word about it.
It is an eco-friendly, organic oil lamp & oil candle fuel that is 100% sustainable. It’s smokeless, burns odorless, is non-toxic and can be used indoors or outdoors. It’s clean burning and can be used in any wick powered device.
This is a must need product for the Amish and need help spreading the word. If you are interested in trying for yourself, I will send you a 32oz. bottle os Safe & Green to try out.
Get Fired Up!
I love reading about the Amish. I drove truck making deliveries in Middlebury, IN.
I now live in Indianapolis driving over the road. I started a small online business selling ultra pure, smokeless and odorless lamp oil for all kinds of lamps. Need a contact to sell this amazing oil to the Amish.
It is non-toxic, made from a palm tree in south Malaysia. Great stuff. I use it in my Hurricane lamps, tiki torches and regular oil lamps.
Indiana Amish businesses?
Thanks Alice, and I do wish you luck with the hard drive fun.
I’ve got plans for a return visit to Indiana this summer as it has been a few years.
If anyone has any particular Amish business recommendations–shops, etc. worth visiting in any of the Indiana settlements–I am all ears.
Going to Indiana?
Have you been to Indiana yet this summer? I would like to invite you to my home town and maybe we could meet. You had a very correct, in-depth story about the magazine The Connection. Can you let me know if you are coming to my neck-of-the-woods?
You can’t go wrong with Swarey’s Variety Store, Peachey’s Bulk Store on Mull Road, and the Nyesville Bakery and greenhouse in Rockville/Marshall area. They are such kind people and have authentic wares.
Is there any Amish “tourism” in Rockville? Restaurants etc for family visit? We are south of Indy. Are there any Amish settlements nearer to us?
The Troyer family run an Amish general store at their farm, located on SR 3 about 3 mi. or so south of Milroy, Indiana. There is also a new Amish restaurant that recently opened on the far east side of Milroy (north side of the highway). You have to look for it, it’s easy to miss. It is also located on an Amish farm.
The Amish also have a quite large general store just south-west of Nappannee. It’s a little difficult to locate. It’s about 2 mi south of Highway 6. Unfortunately, the last time we there there this summer, the sign along 6 was missing. The name of the store is RENTOWN.
Ren Town near Bremen is the best place to get your cheese! Much
of it comes from Walnut Creek across the Ohio border. Also get my
lamp oil, wicks and glass there.
Harley runs the Tri-County-Foods store just north of there, mostly
dry goods. Corner of St Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall county lines.
I’m sure they would love your patronage…..
I WAS THERE ON MAY 23 AND THE OWNER SAID THEY WERE GOING TO STOP SERVING FOOD AND CONCENTRATE ON THEIR BAKERY BUSINESS. HE WAS VERY TALKATIVE AND FRIENDLY.
Please Ask people to Cooperate by not using all Capitol Letters.
It’ll prove my point, that using all Caps is yelling @ people.
At lease, there wasn’t any Naughty Words that Kids would read.
I read in the Terre Haute Tribune of a restaurant or home that prepares a meal for a small group and serves it in a family atmosphere. I wrote the information down and cannot find it. This was located somewhere in or near Rockville. Our group would love to have this experience. Can you give me any information on this.
Come visit Dinkys in our part of the world!(;
It would be nice if you’d post the locaton. Impossible to visit if we don’t know where it is. Thanks.
Dinky's Auction Center address-Daviess County, Indiana
Jack, Peyton and Macin can probably tell you more, but here’s the address and info for Dinky’s:
4140 N 700 E
Montgomery, IN 47558
It’s right in the middle of the Daviess County Amish community. Typically packed with Amish on Friday evenings. They have a regular Friday night auction as well as other auction events, including horse and pony sales, carriage, tack, consignment auctions, livestock, antiques.
Here’s the website as well: http://dinkysauctioncenter.com/
wanted to know if I could get some names of amish people around there that does roofing thanks…..812-698-2777
Amish Roofers Indiana
Daviess County, IN
We have a good ole population round here. come visit us to see many amish stores and especially Dinky’s! They have good sales and it is cool to see how amish auction(:
looking for an amish (female as am i) e-mail pal re; your lifestyles and intrests. please respond asap! thank-you, God speed.
I am a nursing student at Galen college in Louisville Ky. I am doing a project on Amish people and their way of life. I am looking for a Amish community in salem Indiana, that I can drive to, to take a look at. I’m having trouble finding a address and wondered if you could help?
Natalie Case — I would suggest you go to the New Philadelphia area east of Salem, off Highway 56. You will find many Amish living in that area. I would suggest that when you get to the area, look for signs by driveways on the farms that say things like “Eggs for Sale” or “Maple Syrup” or “Handwoven Rugs”, etc. Best time to go would likely be on a Saturday morning. This is an Old Order Amish settlement.
There is a New Order Amish settlement in the Rosebud area southwest
of Salem. There is an Amish salvage grocery store at Rosebud
that may be helpful. It might be interesting for you to observe
differences between the Rosebud and the New Philadephia Amish
When at Salem, you won’t be too far from Paoli. There is a
settlement there east of Paoli in the Bromer area. Several farms
on Lynd School Road usually have things for sale.
buying from the Amish
I live in jay county bordering adams county and i drive out into the country and you can usually go right to an Amish home all over the county and find almost anything to buy from the Amish. I find that you get better deals buying at there homes than you can at Amish stores. I`ll give you an example, I but tomatos at $40. a lb and 5 cucumbers for a dollar etc. etc.
Hi Ronnie do you know Andy Yoder who is from Geneva and lives close to New Cordon.
OMG I KNOW ANDY YODER..
It’s Ethan here…he know’s me..wild!
Andy is my brother. His boy is also Andy Yoder, and lives in Geneva.
Emma Hiltys dry good store is right outside of Berne. I enjoyed going there when I was little it was still open last I was in Indiana. There is a place outside of Geneva that sales Buggy Blankets that are great for football games 🙂 I have several
If I can, I will try to add to the info about Indiana’s Amish.
When the Lancaster Co. Amish first came to Parke Co., they were treated very rudely and coldly by the locals, even the real estate agents and bankers were loathe to help them, until… The first Amish to commit went to the bank to open an account and the bankers thought it was only going to be a few thousand, so they rudely humored the man. They were floored when the Amishman pulled out a valid check of well over 7 figures! Things changed quickly with the Amish being asked where they wanted horse tie-ups put, how many they needed, how big, etc. and other welcoming gestures. This community has large farms and large Amish owned/ run factories because of the money generated by selling out in Lancaster and buying much cheaper property in Indiana.
The Amish of Elkhart/LaGrange/Nappanee are one fellowship, except for 5 districts that just could not go along. But they are not the only Indiana Amish that could not get along. In Davies Co, they might be friendly to other people, but in church business, they have lots of problems. There is a district that had so many problems that they had gone 8 YEARS without communion. I was told this by a horse trader from that community while I was Amish, and that it was not a isolated thing. When one looks at Raber’s Almanac, you notice that this community often does not have a full compliment of ministers in each district, and it was worse a few short years ago. In David Luthy’s book “Amish Settlements that Failed”, a lack of leadership is cited as a leading cause settlement failure. I wish Davies Co a quality, Godly leader that pulls the community together soon.
Adams and Allen Cos. have spawned several daughter communities in Branch and Hillsdale Cos. of Michigan. These communities tend to be more conservative. Indeed, the California Amish of Calif. township, Branch Co. are notably very conservative. They also are in a very small area, with smaller than usual properties for such a conservative way. I have a friend that joined the Amish and he also was much more interested in conservative Amish then the progressive main stream. So he visited Calif. to see if they were for him. He drove his buggy from Allen Co to CA (40+ miles) and when he got there, they searched him! I guess they wanted to make sure he had nothing that would violate the Ordnung and pollute their minds!?
There is also a New Order group near Salem (West Washington School Rd area). I believe this was the first New Order settlement outside of Ohio. They have had periods of growth and decline and are rather small today. For a long time, they had a lot of help from outsiders bringing them abandoned cocaine babies, most of which were adopted by members of the church. It was quite unusual to see so many black children speaking PA Deitsch.
Amish Doctors in Southern Indiana/Ohio Valley
A friend of mine who used to have a business specializing in Amish style herbology and medicine/healing, said he had training with an Amish doctor in Indiana.
I do not remember where in IN he went or how to contact that old friend anymore.
Would you be able to recommend any of the Southern IN Amish communities opened to a woman learning the Amish medicinal and healing ways?
in search of an old Amish friend
Howdy, im from the philippines..I really had a hard time searching for my very dear amish family who helped me all the way from grade school. They’ve been very special to us. Letters and correspondence lost us 1990. Could you please help me locate them.They are the LAMBRIGHT FAMILY..My grader friend is SUSAN LAMBRIGHT who marries MAHLON BONTRAGER…
I don’t have an address but i found a Susan Lambright born january 4 1980 that married Mahlon A. Bontrager born september 22 1978. He was Ordained Minister in 2004.Their last two children were born in Elkhart county, Indiana.Someone with an Amish directory for northern Indiana would be able to come up with an address.If this info does’nt match up let me know.
Indiana Amish Businesses
I enjoy going to E & S Sales, which is a bulk food and grocery store, and Eash Sales, which is an Amish hardware. They also sell outdoor furniture. They are located on State Road 5. There are many other Amish shops in Shipshewana.
I know the Elkhart/LaGrange settlement is a popular weekend getaway place for people from the Chicago area.
I’d love to hear the yodeling Amish! I’ll have to poke around online and see if there are any recordings.
Stephen and Rosetta Schmidt have some really awesome yodeling CD’s. I used to love taking Stephen’s grandmother to Berne, she would yodel the entire two hour drive ! Google “The Schmidts Yodeling By Request” for order information. You may also enjoy hearing John Schmid’s (slightly different spelling and they are not related). “In Dutch” and “In Dutch Again” CD’s…they aren’t yodeling songs, but they are songs sung in the Amish language. BTW..Stephen’s sister Laura Yoder sings back up and I believe it is his uncle who plays fiddle on the CD.
The part how they were rude and cold to them till they showed their money. Goes to show thats all alot of people think about, the money. Sad to say. Also the fact about the abandoned cocaine babies and them speaking PA Deitsch I never would have guessed that.
Indiana Amish addendum
Great addition Lance, thanks. I’ve heard other Amish talk about Daviess County in similar tones. I’ve also heard Indiana people talk about other IN communities in less-than-glowing tones. I guess it’s people being human, but probably not without basis in some cases.
Bizarre search story with the MI Swiss Amish. I remember reading about people in this community wanting to get away from the Allen Co settlement because of worldliness. Is California Amish what they call themselves? I’ve also been to the small Swiss South Whitley settlement, which has been there forever but only one congregation in size. They seemed a bit plainer than Allen Co.
I grew up in the Quincy Settlement and the Amish in southeastern Branch County near California Township refer to themselves as the Branch Settlement. Those in southwestern Branch County are in the Bronson Settlement. My family had 27 vans and we ran an Amish Taxi service taking the people to weddings, funerals, grocery shopping and to doctor appointments as well as to other settlements to visit relatives.
Looking for info on Amish and Mennonite Communities in Madison County
Hi! I am looking for information on the Amish and Mennonite communities in Madison County or surrounding counties. I am doing research on different cultures in our community and have always been very interested in finding out more about the Amish and Mennonite communities in my area. Any info that you could provide me with would be greatly appreciated.
Ann, I agree that it is sad that the Parke Co were treated that way. They are growing very fast and the shops are more like factories. I like them and would be glad to have friends there. The cocaine babies came to the Amish as infants, so as they grew up, they learned PA Deitsch first, like any other Amish child.
Erik, to the best of my knowledge, they call themselves the CA Amish. There are at least 6 different communities in Branch and Hillsdale Cos. From east to west: Pittsford/Osseo, Reading/Camden, Montgomery, California, Kinderhook, Bronson/Orland. The first and last in the list are not Swiss Amish, the others are. Since I discovered the South Whitley settlement, they have changed quite a bit and now resemble Allen Co, except some are farmers.
Here is a youtube video about either Adams or Allen Co. The video is by a foreign news service. I think it is Allen county, but cannot be sure. The Amishman has a very low opinion of the future of the Amish there.
I believe the “California” title comes from the name of the township.
Steuben County also has a settlement from Allen/Adams counties. It is located near Hamilton, which is where I grew up.
Erik, my family and I love to go to Swarey’s Variety Store, Peachy’s Bulk Foods, and Country Corner Greenhouse. They are all near Marshall, Indiana, in Parke County.
Same here! The young single woman proprietor of Swarey’s Variety Store is a delight! Ironically, although the Amish in the Rockville area were not well received at first, we have found them to be the kindest, most welcoming people…
Her name is Lydia, and she is one of the reasons we keep going back. I have become friends with two of her brothers also.
I was really looking forward to reading the entry about the Indiana Amish in the Amish State Guide and enjoyed all of it.
I liked the picture of the “store run by conservative Amish in
southern Indiana” and think it’s Petershiem’s store in Orange
County; have been there many times. They sell books, baked goods,
housewares, toys, etc., and it’s always amazing to me how many
different types of things small Amish stores like Petershiems sell, and usually the stores are so neat and orderly. Petershiems
have great persimmon cookies in the fall — many people in southern
Indiana love anything made with persimmons. For being a small settlement, it’s interesting how many Amish grow and sell produce
at their farms — one day I counted at least nineteen farms that
were selling produce. Also, several produce maple syrup — very
good and very reasonably priced. My friends in the settlement now
talk about the “Shetler District” as well as the North District and
South District, so I think there may now be three districts. I’m
not sure if the new district was begun due to population growth or
differences in ordnung.
I always enjoy reading about Amish in Daviess County. There is an interesting book “The Amish Community in Daviess County, Indiana,”
by Bill Whorall, 2003, that I’ve learned much from. It’s a long
book, 358 pages, but has many, many pictures. Daviess County
has a very successful produce auction which is in a building completed in 2010 and is across the road from Dinky’s Auction. If anyone is planning a trip to Dinky’s on a Friday evening, I encourage them to try to also attend the produce auction on Fridy morning during produce season (May through Oct). I’ve found that it’s easier to find Amish people to visit with at the produce auction rather than Dinky’s, but both auctions are great!
Al, the “Shetler” district is due to a split. 🙁 The curse of the Swartzentrubers is multiple splits that rarely ever get reconciled.
In addition to the Wakarusa area, there are buggy Old Order Mennonites between Rochester, Mentone and Argos. This community is growing and they are primarily dairy farmers.
There is a dwindling group of buggy Old Order River Brethren or German Baptists of some kind between Camden and Flora. These are some very nice, but also very poor people that look like mid-low Amish. They speak English only and insist that being dunked in a river is the ONLY baptism of any value. I really let the air out of one of them when I disagreed. He must have had me married to someone already in just 20 minutes of talking! I last heard there are only 18 families left and another 1 was moving to MO.
Fascinating information about the Old Order Mennonites. My father’s family is from there and, in fact, goes back to an ancestor in Switzerland who in the early 1600’s was martyred for his faith. He was an Anabaptist. I am partial to “dunking” myself because of that.
Fascinating information! I grew up near the Elkhart/LaGrange Amish, and you presented some facts here that were new to me. And great additions in the comments as well. I’m definitely bookmarking this site!
Thanks everyone for your contributions here, which have added a lot to the entry. And Sarah, thanks for visiting!
Eric, this was a fabulous article! I’m very familiar with the area since I’m only 2 hours from northern Indiana. For about 25 years we have been traveling the area, backroads, etc., and we love the peaceful atmosphere and the countryside. It’s probably one of my favorite places in the country.
Thanks for sharing all of the information and pictures. Now I need to plan a few days in Indiana very soon!
need some help to find a store
I live in Chicago area and i,m traveling to amish family to byu eggs butter,honey,milk and cheese.it takes me 4 hours traveling one way,i hear that there is an amish store in Indiana 2 hours away from Chicago could you help me to get an adress please.Thank you.
You might find some information here on Amish America on the Indiana Amish Markets post.
Erik, was there a bulk food store post with answers to Diva’s question?
Looking for Camden family
So glad to have found this. My great-grandmother was born into the Deer Creek (Camden), Indiana OGBB congregation around 1890. Her maiden name was Lydia Cripe. My geneological research on her dead-ends with her parents; not sure how much truck that community had with county registrars. (They’re horse-and-buggy to this day.)
She left the church and never looked back when she married a Methodist man from Logansport. But she did retain a lot of the medicine and other folkways throughout her life, and left me a gorgeous pile of quilts.
Anybody have thoughts on where I should dig next? Thanks.
Interresting, some of my family comes from Deer Creek and Sharon area. They were the Todd and Shanks family. Don’t know of any Cripes.
Would Lydias’ parents name be Henry and Anna?
I think that might be correct. I know they own Swarey’s Variety Store just north of Rockville in Marshall.
Salvage grocery Southern IN?
Are there any salvage stores in the Southern Indiana area? I currently go to several located in Western KY but thought I would see what was nearby. Also what about furniture stores? We are building a house and need some sturdy pieces.
You can try writing to Paul Royer at 2577 N 175 W Camden, IN 46917 for info on the Cripe family. Good luck.
Hello from Goshen! Enjoying Elkhart/Lagrange and the people who live here. Holy cow, the biggest eye-opener is the roving gangs of Amish cyclists! Young, old, large and small they rule the roads! My favorite siting of the day was an Amishman on a sweet Cannondale road bike with aero bars! I suppose you have to work off the pie somehow….
Hmm Question about Adams County Amish area
Hey folks, Ethan here, raised with Sam & Lydianne Schwartz from Adams County, (Old Reuben Graber’s Amish) Are there any forums for folks like me from more southern Indiana? Trying to get in touch with family and everyone that we USED to call there, who had a phone near an Amish farm has passed. I was with Reuben Graber, Eli Cobelentz’s church, I think Reuben has passed on and daughter Hilda has taken over his farm. Also looking for “Blind” Amos Graber there..any ideas? I’m currently (Now) An Actor here in Los Angeles. -Ethan Tudor W.
Another memory/story from when I joined the Amish In Adams County Indiana
I just thought I would take a moment and relate to you all a short story from when I joined the Amish (Ruben Grabers Split/Jay County/ Adams County Line/Cobelentz:-) Around the early 1980’s.
This is ALL true, and happened to me.
-Ethan Tudor W.
God, how I remember Sammy & Lydianne’s chicken house. A 5,000 Pullet WONDER that also served Turkey’s pretty well if you could keep the buggers from drowning themselves!
Sam & Lydiann live on old, Rt 1, Bryant Indiana..(The road now has a NEW Modern name, and was PAVED a few years back:-) It’s a modest farm, and at the time housed Sammy, Lydianne, Lydianne’s Blind Brother, Amos Graber, (He also sold Seed for Cargill for a while:-), and Me, “Ethan”. Sam & Lydianne could NOT have kids and not ONLY needed help on the farm, but help with “Blind Amos” as well. It was a PERFECT match! And one of my FIRST jobs as a “Community Member” with The Amish was about to begin.
All Amish family’s help the OTHER local family’s..down the road, just the next farm REALLY was the John Hilty’s Family, John had passed some time before I got there leaving “Liddy Hilty” to raise a FULL Amish family with a son, Amos, as young as 5. She did WELL! And her family not only did WELL as AMISH go, they HELPED OTHERS..well….
That and they also had a lot of labor….
On the OTHER side of the Schwartz Farm where I lived was, “The Rubin Grabers”…the “Big Codswollop” Amish of the group, LOUD and a family that was even LOUDER, but they worked HARD!! Hardest in the church, yet still remained one of the poorest. (A badge of HONOR, in a way, among Amish:-)
And Lastly, The “John C. Schwartz’s” “Honsley Hibili”..John The HillBilly, Considered YOUNG “John C.”, This guy looked like “Johnny Appleseed” with a personality like “Johnny Carson”! He LOVED chatting with me about “The English”, but was a devote Amish.
And those made up the folk’s that would embark on “The Late Nite Amish Chicken Take Out”…. NEXT TO COME if you folks say you like this TRUE story THUR FAR!
-Ethan Tudor W.
Hello, I just wanted to let you know that Blind Amos passed away. Today was the funeral. Also note that Sam and Lydiann don’t live where you remember. They moved around 21 years ago. You should look them up again.
Maybe try the MAP Ministry forums. Good luck, that seems hard search for using the internet.
Here is just a BIT of the beginning of my book I'm writing about living with the Amish.
Please forgive the spelling errors and whatnot, this is just a TINY bit from my book about living with the Amish of Adams County Indiana. Let me know if this is something YOU would be willing to read, shoot me a note. After 20 years, I’m thinking of telling my story.
I had always known that I had a spirit of adventure that was born and bred in my soul. Call it karma, instinct, or just a plain curious nature, I always had the urge to experience every aspect of life to the fullest. I had a wanderlust that could not be contained, and this adventure was no different.
It was slightly cold and still dark as Sammy shook me awake. While I had been living with the Amish for a few days now, it was still strange to be awoken by a tall thin man carrying a kerosene lantern, his long beard and plain John Denver glasses casting shadows on the walls in the early dawn. I was surprised at how well I had slept. The sound of Sammy tramping down the stairs telling me he would meet me in the barn was enough to remind me that the days among the Amish started early.
I crawled out of my warm bed, a corn husk matteress with two down comforters, one to sleep on and one to pull over you, and quickly got dressed. Amish clothes, while plain in fashion, can be a little hard to put on in the dark. The broadfall pants had more buttons then I was used to, but at least the shirt was easy to pull on and there were only three sets of hook’s and eyes to connect. I pulled on my shoes and watched out the second story window as Sammy made his way across the yard tword the barn, milking bucket in one hand and kerosene lantern in the other. I could hear an Amish buggy making it’s way down the gravel road that ran in front of the house. We were not the only ones getting an early start on the day. I tied up my boots, pulled up my suspenders and headed flashlight in hand down the stairs.
I had chosen the Amish of Adam’s County Indiana after almost two years of research. No small feat for a young teenager. After first hitchhiking from Portland Oregon to Lancaster Pennsylvania to meet with some Amish friends I had come to know there, I had decided to head back west to Indiana, to a more remote and consertive Amish group that had not been so touched on by the outside world and the tourist industry. The Amish of Adams County had been much more responsive to me, as an “Outsider” or “English” joining their group. Over the years both community’s had seen their fair share of folks with interest in their culture, but only two or three had ever stayed for any amount of time. I think my young age and respectiful nature had put them at ease. It was as simple as walking up to an Amish farm not far from Portland Indiana and knocking on the door that had got me where I was. Call it luck, but it just happened to be the home of Eli Cobelentz, one of the deacons of the district, and after a few meetings and attending church at several Amish homes over a couple of months, it had been decided that I was sinscear, and I moved out of my rented room on East North St. in Portland Indiana to move in with Sam and Lydianne Schwartz. They were a middle aged couple with a small farm that they shared with Lydianne’s brother, Amos Graber. Amos was blind and Sam and Lydianne who could not have children of their own, could use the help on the farm.
As I opened the door at bottom of the stairs the scene was surreal. Two rocking chairs on each side of a plain table, a bench along one wall and a writing desk with a shelf and a daybed along the other wall were all the furnature that decorated the main sitting room. To the left a coal burning stove radited a warm and much welcome heat in the mostly empity room. It was not a large house even by Amish standards, but large enough to accomidate the entire church when the Sunday’s came around that we were hosting. It was plain and suited the small family well.
I wandered out to the kitchen and was greeted by Lydianne who was loading wood and a chunk of coal into the kitchen stove. After a quick ladle of water out of the stainless steel bucket that sat near the sink, I headed out tword the barn but not before Lydianne had reminded me to take my straw broad brimmed hat off the peg by the door. Not only was this my working and everyday hat that I would wear during my entire stay with the Amish, but it was part of the Ordnung, the rules of keeping ones head covered. Hats for the men and bonnets for the woman. It was rare to see an Amishman without his hat, and now I had two. This straw everyday hat, and a black broad brimmed beaver felt hat that I wore on Sunday’s.
I had not been living with the Schwartz’s more than 24 hours before Sammy had taken me by buggy to Bern to purchase my hat’s and black Redwing boots, and upon returning home, Lydianne had already made 3 full sets of clothes for me by hand on the treadle sewing machine that sat descreetly by a window in their small bedroom. It also doubled as a table, as most everything in an Amsh home does. It was a memorable day for a couple of reasons. It was my first time ever wearing “Plain” clothes, and the first time I had ever driven a horse and buggy. I was rather proud of myself but I dared not show it.
Donning my hat, I picked up my flashlight and headed out into the darkness tword the barn.
My interest in the Amish had started about a year earlier. Having been in the film business I had worked on the Paramount feature film “Witness” both as an Actor and as an Asstient locations manager in Pennsylvania. I had come to know the Amish in Lancaster well, and while I was never an overly religious person, I admired their Christian faith and simple lifestyle. I read every book on the subject, knew the entire history of the Anabaptist movement and had even learned a good deal of “Hoch-Deutech”, the “High-German” spoken by the Amish. I was sad to discover that the Amish of Lancaster had been abused by the tourist industry over the years and were very wary of outsiders. The Indiana Amish had not suffered this fate and were more consertive even by Amish standards, still that did not stop me from teaching in an Amish one room school out side of Intercourse Pennsylvania many years later. But the Amish of Adams County had accepted me, at least on trial. I was young and I was off to a good start.
The Schwartz farm, like the house, was not as large as some of the other Amish farms in the district. There was about 35 acres of farmable land where seed corn and soybeans were raised. There was a 2000 pullet chicken house, a good sized pigpen, and a barn that housed not only the 6 milking cows who’s milk we sold to a local dairy for grade B cheese, but also provided shelter for the two massive Belgin’s, “Mack” & “Maude”, that pulled all the farm tools and equipment, but also housed our driving horse and a number of cats that ran wild and seemed to always be having kittens.
I read in your Paragraph about growing up and joining the Amish you stayed with a Sam and Lydianne Schwartz? Did she become a Mid-Wife for her Area?? The names sound so Familiar
RE: Sam & Lydiann Schwartz, Midwife
Yes, Lydiann was a Midwife for some years. (RR #1 Bryant Indiana) As far as I KNOW, my Mom is now Retired. She still lives there with her adopted Daughter, Anna, Her Blind Brother Amos, and Sam N. Schwartz, her Husband. The Lydia Hilty’s Farm (‘Ole John Hilty’s Place) Is the NEXT farm Over, he passed MANY MANY years ago, and I think the youngest, Amos Hilty, has taken over that farm now. And that’s all I can tell you. If you see ’em Tell ’em Ethan said HI!
If not Mistaken she is still a Midwife if it’s the same one.. Do you know if she had a Sister Rachael Married to a John P.Schwartz?
Rachael, Lydiann..Hmmm Maybe
Lydiann had a LOT of relations in Canada, and MO. as well. She MAY still be working, but she had some medical issues a while back, at least that’s what I heard.
Ethan if this is who I am thinking of then Several of her Nieces/Nephews are my Neighbors which I also Drive for here in Kentucky..Reading more about her sounds like the same… Rachael would have been a Sister who sinced passed away several years back.. Blind Amos comes here one’s in awhile and is a Heck of Checkers Player..
Tell Leah I said Hello
Joy When you see Leah John P dgt she is married to Sam Z next will you tell her Elizabeth said Hello and I plan to come surprise her again one summer. Also tell the rest of the family Please How is John doing?
Tell Leah I said hello
Hi Elizabeth… I would be glad to tell her.. In fact I spoke to her Sister Mary and Jonas Z last evening… Mary wasn’t sure who you were so is there a last name I could tell her??..
Sorry Joy I had posted the same day doesn’t look like it wen t thru. Mary would have been to young to remember me. The older one from Elizabeth up would remember me. Josephine would know as Leah took me there when she had her first baby the summer I came to visit. I don’t want to put my last name on here as I have upset someone already. Leah had my number at one time thou you can call if you would like 🙂
searching for an amish female pen pal or e-mail pal.( i am a female.)my address 1807 s. olive street , bloomington, ind. 47401 hopefully in southern indiana area close to me. God speed.
We are traveling to visit relatives in tennesee and then Kentucky, and plan to go back to Michigan
through Indiana. As lovers of all things Amish, we go to Berlin Ohio area yearly..and would like
to see or do things in South Indiana. Where, what can you suggest? Restaruants, motels,
sites of interest, in perhaps two stop overs for two days. We have done North Indianna, SHipshewana
several times and would like something new. Many thanks…Sherrie. (4 adults )
In Daviess County, Indiana, the social event of the week is Dinky’s auction on Friday nights. Gasthof in Montgomery, IN, has a motel, restaurant, shops, and a weekly flea market. One store is Amish Kountry Korner, 3516 Hwy 50 East, Washington, IN, phone 812-254-3284. Ask for a map of Amish shops. The Visitors Bureau in Washington, IN has brochures, phone 812-254-5262.
www.daviesscounty.net/amish has tour, food, and shopping information, and a calendar of events.
Amish Tools in Southern Indiana
Where in Southern Indiana (New Albany, specifically) would one be able to find good high quality Amish forged steel tools for cheap? Thanks in advance!
Umm..as far as I KNOW Even the BEST Amish that are Blacksmiths make very few “Tools”..Amish buy their tools at Sears..(Craftsman’s Life time Guart. if they break keeps them coming back.) Like everyone else. They may REPAIR a LOT of large and small farm tools, but I have yet to find an “Amish Toolmaker”, or let alone an “Amish Cobbler” (As this seems to be the OTHER question I get a lot..”Who Makes The Shoes??” (It’s Red Wing for the adults, Doc Martins for the kids…..go fig!)
I haven’t read all the posts, so maybe someone already past this along.
Mahlon Bontrager with wife Susan
18568 County Road 126
Goshen, IN 46528
Not sure…but worth a post card
Is that the family that adopeted the retared English kid?
Can’t remember what the Retarded english kid’s name was…danny?? Anyway, they owned a store, she could not have kids, so they adopeted this retarded kid, wonder if he stayed with the Amish?
Amish Builders (Pole Barn) Salem, Indiana
I am looking for an Amish building crew from Salem Indiana. I live in Greenville, Indiana just a few miles Southeast of Salem. I am looking to build a pole barn but am having a hard time finding a crew in this area. Any help would be appreciated.
I’m interested in talking to an Amish Doctor in Indiana about traditional medicinal therapies. Could anyone point me in the right direction?? email@example.com
Hmm Maybe 'Ole "Solly Wickey"??? He still around?
Hey folks, maybe old Soloman Wickey can help..is he still in Adams County or did he retire to Amish Paradise? (Florida:-)
Friend in Muncie,IN
A good friend of mine from high school and New Concord,OH(on weekends,due to parents divorce)has either moved to Muncie,IN or was thinking about it due to her boyfriend/fiancee going to a college there(no clue as to where)and them living together.If we ever speak to each other again(I changed my number without telling her),where could I visit(that’s either Amish or Mennonite)while we are there? P.S. Ethan,I’d read your book in a minute,it sounds that good with all the right details,Good Work!!!
Thank you so much for the kind comment. I have YET to hear from any CONFIRMED AMISH from Indiana..Yet..:-)
Ethan,I live East of Geneva between Bryant and Berne (not to pick but it is spelled Berne) in Adams Co just north of the Jay/Adams line near Amishville and the In/Oh state line and am also an Amish Taxi driver.
Just an FYI but Soloman Wickey passed away a short while back. BTW I also know Andy and Andy Jr. Yoder quite well. In fact I worked for Andy and Betty in his construction business many years ago.
If I can help with anything here in Southern Adams Co just ask.
What a pleasure to meet you..you MIGHT know my MOM!
My Mom is Lydianne Schwartz (The midwife of the area, now retired) She lives with Sammny N. Schwartz, and her blind brother Amos. (Lydianne’s last name was Graber) And she’s orig. from Canada…ever run into her? Love to get a message to my folks that all is well out here in L.A.
Ethan, pleasure is all mine and I truly enjoyed your excerpt above.:)
Sorry for the delay been very very busy driving this time of year. Many are using “taxi’s” due to the cold and poor weather for shopping funerals,weddings,etc..
That name (Lydianne Schwartz) seems VERY familiar but Im not sure why LOL Im gonna ask around though,my neighbors are originally from northern Jay co. and ill bet would know of them or where they are. When (and Im sure ill find someone who knows them) I find out Ill sure get with ya and well pass along all the messages you like and get you an addy too! 🙂
Ethan, Ive found your Mom!! 🙂 Turns out Ive hauled her many times and she lives only about 2 miles from me! I KNEW that she sounded familiar duh!LOL.I guess the “retired” and Jay Co.Location threw me off.
I haul a lady (Mrs.Pete Eicher) that knows her quite well and she confirmed she is the right one (formerly in Jay Co., Blind brother, etc.) and even remembers YOU!She is still a midwife AND she now lives in Southern Adams Co..If you’d like I can get you her address or pass along your info or anything else.I’m sure theyd be happy to hear from you Let me know.
This is AWESOME News!
The last ADDRESS I have for them was Rt 1. Box 170, Bryant, Indiana. Contact me via Direct E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll shoot my mailing address over. As a celebrity, now on a TV show, posting it public would NOT be a great idea, but would LOVE to reach out to them if you can help, and thanks for the help and time. Keep in touch! -Ethan
Randy and Ethan
I also grew up with the Amish in that area. The Sammy and Lydiann must be different from the ones Ethan is speaking of all thou very similar backgrounds. The ones I know had a David Ethan dont know the last name stay with them for a while but he never joined the Amish and found out later he was wanted by the law and had several Alias. I ll have to ask them when i visit next.
Not The story
That last poster did NOT post a TRUE story. Just so the TRUTH is known. I was INDEED the “David” Ethan…but there was no LAW problem involved. That’s untrue. This poster found a “Write Up” MAYBE in an old “Budget” Newspaper….this guy is full of crap. Get your facts together before you post or I will REMOVE myself from this group POSTE HASTE. Remove this user. -Ethan “David”.
Remove this user. I am NOT at all happy about this. It’s me or her. Your choice. I will not stand for LIES on this site as I am in the public eye. Remove this user please. Otherwise you have seen my last and final post on this site. -Ethan
I wasn't trying to make you mad
I wasn’t tring to make you mad Ethan. I love Sammy Lydiann and Amos with all my heart they are wonderful people. I thought your last name was Platteborze or Platt? Please forgive me for upsetting you I meant no ill feelings Matthew 5:44-45
Hopefully ONE day I get it DONE!
Rush Country Indiana
My Dad up untip 40 years ago ran the Rushville National Bank, he died a year later.
My Parents were divorce, I was raise here in the Twin Cities. but, always had but one month of Vacation in Rushville, that;s Indiana.
I don’t recall anything mentioning about hte Amish living not that fair from Rushville.
Now there are Armish People living in Milroy which is part of the ways from New Castle and Rushville.
Therefore, are their any relasionships between these families?
Frank that should be the same community which you are referring to, it is in Rush County and typically referred to as Milroy. There are about 100 or so Amish families there.
There are Also abunch of Amish in SE Minnesota in Houston Country. and in Tomah, Wisconsin. cause they have been spoted on the Amtrak Empire Builder.
I got word that like in Rushville, or you confirm Milroy. have been sported. and strangly enough, both are on US Highway 52.
The Point here is, there maybe families connection to Rush Country, near Tomah, WI, and Hoston Counry, south of Rochester, I’m not keeping track of every small communiy, as to some people are not known, however, such as Rochester, the Amish are in the Tourist Book, and thanks to Mayo, they get alot of Loyal Visiter. thank goodness, not a ugly Bus full of Tourist.
I’ve seen people whom visit Amish Communities outside of Lancaster that are more lay back, and Typically don’t take that many pictues, and it’s rather limited, simimar to on this sight.
from Twin Cities, Minnesota.
Trying to find my Holly/Holley relatives in Indiana
My ancestors were Amish and came to Indiana through Ohio after arriving in Baltimore in 1832. Names of the Family heads were Johannes, Wilhelm, and Daniel Holly (each came with large families). My great grandfather Daniel left the Amish community but I would like to reconnect with my Amish relatives, who were in southwest Ohio and eastern Indiana. Not sure where to find directories or trace from. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated (name changed on the Yankee side to Holley).
Holly/Holley surname among Amish/Mennonites
Hi Craig, truth be told I’ve never heard of Holly/Holley as a last name among current Amish and I don’t think there are any Old Order Amish today of that last name. Here’s some info on what looks like your surname:
It sounds like there may have been Amish of this surname at one time but that may have mostly or totally ended up in higher Mennonite churches. You might check the resources or churches listed at that link for more.
in response to Craig Holley "Trying to find my Holly/Holley relatives in Indiana"
Craig, I am a descendant of one of the Hessian Amish Mennonite Holly families that immigrated to Butler County, Ohio in 1832. My 3rd Great Grandfather was Johannes Holly (1789-1835). My 2nd Great Grandfather was Daniel Holly (1816-1886). He became a leader in the Hessian Amish Mennonite congregation in Butler County, then in 1848 moved to Putnam County, Illinois, and was a leader in the church at Hennepin, IL. This Daniel Holly eventually broke with Amish Mennonites and became a “Free Thinker.”
There were three Holly families in the 1832 migration through Baltimore to Butler County. These families were all related.
Craig, if you would like to contact me to determine if we are distant cousins I would be glad to hear from you. Email briley(at)gcfn.org.
Bryant Holly Riley
Mount Sterling, Ohio
Looking for a childhood sweatheart, Sarah Troyer. She had attended elementary school in White Pigeon, MI in my 4th-5th grade class while living on a farm in northern Indiana. Should be about 58-59 years of age today. Just wanted to touch base and catch up in life. Thanks
we have the non electric water conditioner that all amish people love..called kinetico so if u want to learn more please call me at812 657-3003 or send me an email to email@example.com…would love to find some amish communities in the southern area Bloomington ,Rushville ect.how would one get a directory for just amish people in these areas?
Erik ,Im with you there as ive never heard of Holly or Holley as an Amish name around here either.
Just had a look at the most recently released American Community Survey statistics on the Factfinder website from up to 2012, and they show interesting results.
If you study the language statistics it becomes incredibly easy to decipher the general trend of the Amish population in counties they inhabit due to the addition of the ‘Other Indo-European Languages’ box on the forms, these are overwhelmingly it can be deduced as Amish individuals due to the fact that Spanish and Asian languages are calculated separately. Under this premise, doing a bit of maths, you can work out the trends.
In Lagrange, IN the 18-64 Amish population is somewhere around 34.5% whereas the under 18 population stands at 51.2% which shows the high birth rates prevalent in the communities, and astonishingly shows that the youth of Lagrange have a majority Amish population already. Just thought I’d share this with you all. Also Elkhart, IN had roughly 5.5% 18-64 year olds Amish and 9.5% of Under 18’s.
Clearly theres a margin of error in these assumptions I’m making, but it would be hard to argue that these figures are far off as they match with the general trends from the 2010 Census and what we already know from Elizabethan College website publication on Amish Population statistics, however it is fascinating how you can further breakdown the trends by age.
Lagrange Co. Amish population trends
Interesting Jack, thanks for sharing. Did you mean the total under 18 population is 51.2% or what’s deduced as the under-18 Amish population? If you haven’t yet seen it you might also find interesting the recent studies by Donnermeyer, Anderson and Cooksey including data on the “most Amish” counties in America. Here’s a bit from a post on the data:
4. “Most Amish” counties The two “most Amish” counties are Holmes County, Ohio, and Lagrange County, Indiana, with around 42% and 38% of their populations being Amish, respectively. The authors suggest that Holmes County could become a majority-Amish county within the next 15-20 years.
The original article:
I was referring to the deduced U18 Amish population, but its actually measuring 5-18 year olds, presumably due to children only speaking at 2-3 years old sometimes later.
Thanks for that article, its an interesting read however I suspect we could see Holmes tipping before that point, did the same calculations with Holmes and it had 57% 5-18 year olds as probably Amish, although the margins of error are larger with that estimate as it was taken from data collected only over 1 year rather 3 years with the Indiana cases.
looking for birthmother
I was born to an amish woman maiden name Hershberger married name swartzentruber and given up for adoption 2/13/1969 looking for her or information she was sent to holmes county ohio.(dont know if I was a product of rape just did not think amish gave the children up for adoption.
Happens ALL the time
As a former Amishman, I can tell you, we have the VERY same problems YOU have.
Looking for Norman, Marlene, Dennis and Rosa Mae
We recently met an amish taxi driver named Randy. He drove an amish group from Indiana to Cocoa Beach, FL.
We enjoyed our visit with them, but missed the last night and were not able to get their address or say goodbye.
Randy if you see this message could you please help Josh and Buz from Rochester, NY get in touch with them.
PS. the website entered is Betsy’s blog which could be used for contact as well.
My late Dad was from Rushville, Indiana. and don’t recal as a kid now over 40 years ago. yes, they are Amish near Rushville.
They are also Amish in Southern Minnesota near Rochester, MN and the Mayo Clinic.
As they rearly get to the City. I have seen them take a break off the Train while the Amtrak was in St Paul, Minnesota. where I have a House.
I have chatted with Amish at a Hotel in Colorado. yet, they have Credit Cards just to go with the flow. Thye are groups that have Photo ID as reqired by Law. Cell Phones. where do they charge them up? and at their Restaurant. they have Electrictly and yes. their own Website.
Yes, they are very old fashion. but in the business world, they are reauird to be modern.
I am not sure. I thnik that the younger guys that I saw on the Amtrak was having fun phlling my legs about having Driver’s Licrece.
Frank, just like the Baptists and Pentecostals, there are many different groups of Amish and Mennonite. Old Orders, New Orders, Beachy Amish, and there are different rules and ordinances within their church districts.
Wanting travel info
I’m doing this without having time yet to read through all the comments but would like any additional input any of you have. My husband Don and I are looking at the possibility of traveling to Shipshewana, IN, maybe somewhere in Daviess County, IN, and any other Amish places along the way very soon.
What are the must-sees? We especially enjoy the backroads, “non-touristy” kinds of things. We have stayed in B&B/guest houses in Amish homes in a couple of states and would really love to find something like that in Indiana. Do you know of anything? Also, we’ve had the opportunity to attend church services in Pennsylvania and have been told of another are where guests are welcome. Do you know of any areas in Indiana where such visits would be welcome?
Thanks for any help!
Places to visit in shipshewana
We’d love to have you come to Shipshewana! We have lived here since 2010. The Farmstead Bed and Breakfast at 1300 N 1000 W, Shipshewana, IN 46565 (260) 768-8086 is the only Amish owned and operated bed and breakfast in the area. It’s located on an Amish farm and the accommodations do not have electricity (A/c), but it is a true Amish experience. The owners can probably point you to a district with church services. The fact you can say you have attended Amish church in PA, will go a long ways in making the Amish feel comfortable directing you to a church service. I’d have no problems walking into any church service in the community and not feel welcomed. We have attended Amish church over a dozen times in Illinois and Indiana and have never felt unwelcome. Pick up a copy of Die Blatt from 1735 N 500 W, shipshewana, Indiana; as it’s the local Amish news paper. Also get a copy of the peoples exchange. Both can give you information on any benefit auctions that might be occurring in the community during your stay. A small Amish school benefit auction is always an intimate experience. I’d recommend a stop at silver star leather 6875 N 800 W Shipshewana, IN 46565. Loren Yoder the owner has never met a stranger and he creates some incredible leather goods. Lehmans Variety Store 2795 W 350 S, Lagrange, In is worth stopping at ; although I prefer millers coleman and variety at 6220 S 300 W, Topeka, IN, 46571 because it is a much more “authentic” out of the way, small scale enterprise. The area is loaded with small shops and reading the ads in Die Blatt will give you their addresses. do you know what dates you are considering?
Thanks so much for your information. We are looking at the possibility of the week of June 9 — not sure which days yet. The possibility of attending a church service could make a difference in whether we would wait until later in the week and stay over on a Sunday.
Please see my post below regarding the farmstead and events during your visit. You mention the possibility of visiting Daviess and any Amish points in between. If you have time you could also visit the Amish community of Berne, Indiana. It’s the 5th largest Amish community and is the largest of the swiss Amish settlements. The clocktower inn in Berne offers a nice clean room with breakfast for 80.25 per night. The website for the clocktower inn has a business listing of over 70 Amish businesses. Be sure to visit John Schwartz at Schwartzs Shoe Store. John is a 73 year old deacon and loves to visit with people. John is special! From there you could go south on 27 and visit the Amish in the Wayne County community. Be sure to stop at Fountain City and visit the Amish owned Fountain Acres Foods. You could swing through the Amish settlements near Salem, in and Paoli on your way to Daviess county. Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful trip! The books “An Amish Patchwork” and “Plain Diversity” both discuss the Indiana Amish in depth, should you wish to do an in-depth study before your trip. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.
Looking at the tax data online ( http://beacon.schneidercorp.com/Application.aspx?AppID=185&LayerID=2435&PageTypeID=4&PageID=1273&Q=592806000&KeyValue=44-05-17-400-009.000-014 ) Kenneth and Colleen Yoder own the Farmstead B&B. According to the directory they are in district 52 which would have church in the district on June 8th. I don’t know the owners, but I can’t imagine they would turn down your request to attend church with them on Sunday. As long as you are bold enough to ask you should always find a service to attend. Upcoming benefits… 1. June 3rd (supper at 4, auction at 5) Railside School 68100 CR 43, Millersburg, IN. 2. June 6 a huge benefit for a long term care facility for Amish women http://www.auctionzip.com/Listings/2113413.html in shipshewana. 3. June 4 West edge school benefit fish fry 15153 CR 26, middlebury, in 4-8pm (ask for Delbert’s Danny of A&R machine shop. Danny lives right across the street from the school. If you tell him you wanted to attend Amish church and someone told you he would be willing to help, I’m sure he’d help you find a service to attend). 4. June 11 south millwood school benefit in Nappanee, In 5. May 28, Ontario Acres School benefit 2800 n 200 e, lagrange, in supper starts at 4 pm, auction at 5 pm.
Thank you, ____, (sorry, but I don’t know your name). This is exactly the kind of “insider” information we were looking for. Most of the dates you mentioned are before we would be in Indiana. We probably wouldn’t be coming until mid-to-late week of June 9.
I contacted the Farmstead B&B and found out that, unfortunately, they closed last year.
You could try the Meadows http://www.meadowsinnb-b.com just east of middlebury. I was told by an Amishman that it was owned by a couple who live in the caribean, but managed by an Amish family who live on site. I do not know if that information is correct, but that is what I was told.
Amish area maps?
Does anyone know of online Amish area maps for any of the communities in IN?
Indiana Amish maps
Hi Don, here’s a start:
(Daviess County, IN, List of stores for shopping.)
(Welcome Center, Nappanee Chamber of Commerce, click to get a map)
(2013 Nappanee Area Countryside Shoppes, 2 pages)
http://www.shipshewana.com/map.php (Shipshewana, IN)
(Northern Indiana Audio Driving Tour, download the Heritage Trail/Quilt Gardens map)
http://www.goshen.org/page/45/Interactive-Tourism-Map (Tourism map has Heritage Trail)
(If you scroll down a little bit, you will come to a section on Amish Farms, listing about 49 businesses in Parke County, Indiana.)
Wow! Thanks a lot. Will check ’em out.
you still on here??? email me followjesusonly@gmail com
EtHan Amish here
I’m still around
Erik, thought I’d let you know that I spoke with an Amish lady at Swarey’s Variety Store in Parke Co. IN, and she said that the Amish there currently number at near 200 families, and have 7 church districts.