Inside An Abandoned Amish School

An Amish community was founded at Rector, Arkansas back in 2009. Though it managed to attract a number of families (including a minister), it never grew very large, and eventually went extinct about five years later. Despite their rapid growth and many new communities being founded yearly, this happens to some Amish settlements – for various reasons.

Don Burke paid a visit to the Rector area shortly after the last Amish settler had moved away, which led to the post “A Visit to an Amish Ghost Town“. I’ve taken Don’s photos and account of the community and put that into video form, adding some of my own observations.

When Amish communities fail, they inevitably leave behind signs and traces that Amish once lived in the area. We take a look at some of those in this video.

The most striking remnant left behind in this community is the school building, abandoned with desks still inside. Take a closer look in this video, and/or check the link above if you prefer to read about it (the video has some additional images not in the original post). Runtime: 5:03.

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    1. Interesting

      Eric, thanks for giving an example of a failed Amish experiment. It sure makes me recall many “English” settlements that failed in the frontier days. Sometimes it was due to the expected railroad bypassing their location or a drought. I can see why the Amish do their best to investigate how welcoming or unfriendly a new community may be to them. I’ll bet they’ve been surprised a time or two. Again, thanks for your coverage, Jim

    2. Paula

      Amish Renting

      When Amish move to a new place to settle…I’m assuming that the houses they rent temporarily … I am assuming…are English, right? So what do they do about the existing electricity on the property?

      1. Don Burke

        Paula, great question. From what I’ve heard and from limited observations, it seems that the Amish do at times rent or purchase “English” homes as they move into a new community. (I’ve seen other times when the Amish would start out with a mobile home, or would build a multipurpose building (barn, work area / shop, living quarters) to live in until they later started and completed the main house.) From what I’m told those moving into English-built homes will likely have a short amount of time (2-3 months?) to be actually removed from the grid…, although I’ve heard of some keeping it for longer and just hiding it from their ministers. Some are not required to remove wiring connections, etc., as that could affect the resale value of the home in the event that the community does not make or other reasons that the home is later sold. In fact, an Amish friend of mine recently had a new home built on their long-time family property, and the house was fully wired (although switches were not installed, but rather had solid plates put over the switch boxes in each room). This was done so that the house would be up to code in the event that it was sold to English in the future.

    3. Boyce Rensberger

      Amish moving IN near me

      Though some new settlements may wither and die, others are sprouting. Rrecent land sales records for properties within five miles of my house show that a few Amish families are planning to move in. Apparently from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

      I am in Frederick County, Maryland. Our state has Amish settlements in its westernmost and easternmost regions, but I live about halfway between those two. We’re looking forward to welcoming our new Amish neighbors.