Inside A Converted Maine Swartzentruber Amish Home (14 Photos)
What makes this home particularly interesting is that it is another, originally English-built, home that a Swartzentruber family converted to their needs. This is actually the second home from this community at Whitefield, Maine (previously we had a look at the home I nicknamed “blue barn”).
You can tell instantly that it’s not built in the distinct Swartzentruber style, going by features you’ll see below such as floor tiling, kitchen island, and exposed wooden rafters, to name a few, giving it away. The description notes that the only plumbing in the home is the kitchen sink and I wonder if it wasn’t just left in when the home was purchased (though they took the trouble to remove the bathroom).
Here’s the full listing via Zillow:
Great for farmers and equestrian lovers! Property has many extras including: timber frame barn, large new barn built by Amish, cabin with extra living quarters above, two green houses, two garages, two wells (one at 100 GPM), established blueberry bushes. Only current plumbing is Kitchen sink, Bathroom removed.
The kitchen. Note what looks like a large coffee dispenser on the right. Other plain Amish elements like the oil lamp and single blue curtain pulled to one side.
Kitchen from another angle, with the island visible with its fancy countertop. Features like electric sockets and switches also indicate the English origin of this home.
These cabinets look pretty Amish to me. I’m not sure what I’m seeing just to the right of the chair though.
A heating stove in a living room. This home is relatively small by the way, at just 1,329 square feet. What other “Amish” features do you see?
Another angle. Inviting rocker.
Looks like the main bedroom, with crib. There is a fairly widespread myth that Amish homes don’t have curtains.
A portable building maker lives here.
You can see what looks like a couple of finished buildings here.
In this photo you can just make out a buggy which lacks an SMV triangle and the lantern hung on the side, typical of Swartzentruber Amish.
The timber frame barn.
The home is currently for sale (via Hoang Realty), on 30 acres of land. So how much?
The property is listed at $400,000.
Why are there no Amish in SC??
Have there ever been any Amish in South Carolina ??
Thank u ,
I need to double check but I don’t believe so, unless there was a short-lived one in recent decades (though, I don’t think so). There is a significant Beachy Amish church at Abbeville, SC however.
Myth that Amish homes don't have curtains
Interesting article as always, Erik. Thanks for sharing.
I’m aware of the myth that Amish homes don’t have curtains. In our region there are some areas of their homes that they don’t cover and some they have curtains on.
Oftentimes the curtains are very sheer and IMO don’t provide much privacy. Drapes would be far more private, but I’ve never seen an Amish home with drapes.
I guess I need to study up on the difference between curtains and drapes now 😀
Nice property. So much to like. Esp the 30 acres.
I’ve been in homes of several Swartzentruber Amish in Indiana and Tennessee and this one seemed so different. I think what makes the difference are the fancy countertops and island in the kitchen area.
It’s a good point – I haven’t seen many converted Swartzentruber homes. They seem to build fresh in their communities rather than buying English and making it “Amish”. Maybe most of them are averse because even when done, it might still seem too fancy. But this Maine community has given us two examples of them. Maybe this groups is a bit less stringent on that, if my assumption is in fact the case.
No rugs—my guess
On another of these house tours, a commenter wondered about the lack of rugs. My thought is: no vacuum cleaners make keeping rugs clean much harder! Back in the day before vacuums, I’ve read about families hauling all the rugs outside, hanging them on the line, and beating them off. It sounds like a lot of effort!
Additionally, I would think that at some point those rugs/carpets and the additional energy spent on them, were considered both impractical and unnecessary. They could be considered a vanity. I’ve noticed many homes lack other comfortable “extras” like fluffy pillows, bedskirts, lined curtains, and many finishings such as framed windows. Notably, many houses have unfinished plywood in areas like the laundry.
I am philosophically and (mostly) functionally minimalist. My house looks extremely cozy and fancy compared to an Amish home. I enjoy these house tours and gleaning new ideas from their practicality-focused homes. Upon reflection, I now plan to have all wood floors with no rugs in my next home! 😉
The item to the right of the chair
Erik, could that be a lateral file cabinet perhaps to keep track of buildings or shed orders? It almost looks like it would lock on the top center. Or since its in the kitchen maybe it’s just a two drawer cabinet that holds potatoes etc. Either way I love a mystery!
Roger it does kind of look like something for files! I like your idea(s), anyway. The location of it suggests something more to do with the kitchen, so maybe the potato theory is closer to the reality. Maybe a reader who happens to know this family somewhere will enlighten us.
Erik, Roger seems to be correct. The item is a file cabinet. The owner appears to build sheds, so he runs a business from the property and would probably need somewhere to keep files and papers. The odd thing, though, is that in my experience, an Amish businessman who works from his own property often has a small corner or room in his barn or shed for an office. Maybe this man does his paperwork in the house.
Inside a Converted Maine Swartzentruber Amish
Erik ~ This family moved back to Kentucky where they lived previously. Many Amish here have bought old homes on significant acreage and then convert the house, taking out electricity and plumbing. But in time some Amish demolish these houses and they then build their traditional homes. In this little community, we value historical homes and it has been painful to see old, classic New England structures destroyed rather than restore/ renovate as we have done.