Inside an Amish home: Three rockers

Over the past few weeks we’ve tried to show the diverse interiors of Amish homes, from the plainer to the more progressive. I hope you enjoy this shot today from a more conservative Swartzentruber Amish home:

amish home rockers

What do you spy on that dresser?

amish home dresser

Hanging around:

amish hanging clothingSpecial thanks to Karen Johnson-Weiner (author of New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State) for sharing this photo.

You might also enjoy:

Blue Amish front porch rockers

Swartzentruber Amish kitchen

Inside a Swiss Amish home

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    1. Magdalena

      Wine glasses? I find people are surprised to learn that not all Amish districts forbid the consumption of alcohol – there is an expectation in the US particularly that all religiously conservative people don’t drink alcohol. We were traveling across Canada a few years ago, stopped in a shopping complex to pick up some beer and wine ourselves, and one of the other customers was a Hutterite man, picking up cases of beer, wine and even whisky for a wedding celebration. Anabaptists aren’t Baptists! I often hear when I am buying a bottle of wine, “I thought you people didn’t drink.” (I’m a Plain Anglican.)

    2. Magdalena

      This room looks very much like the parlours in Shaker communities.

    3. Greg Miller

      Tennis Balls!

      You got me- I looked past the wine glasses and saw that yellow and black cannister in the back. The only thing I could come up with would be a can of tennis balls! I wasn’t sure the can was the right size. It looked too small.

      What was that about the forest and the trees? 🙂

    4. Alice Aber


      Magdalena, those look to be too big to be wine glasses to me. They look more like the big water goblets from back in the 60s and 70s,,,, you used to win gold fish in them at a carnival.

      I see a tootsie roll can. You get tootsie rolls in them and when they are gone you have a slot in the top for a bank. The white bowl in the center of the dresser is “Milk Glass”. Looks like a few collectibles from the 60s or possibly earlier. The goblet on the right has a candy cane in it, LOL. Both seem to be a place to put change and little treasures. There is a glass on the right side between the bowl and the goblet that might be carnival glass but I am not sure.

      Just might thoughts, LOL.

      Blessings, Alice

    5. Magdalena

      Maybe it’s an Anglican thing – we use those for wine glasses.

    6. Robin Miller

      Three Rockers

      I think Alice is right. That’s a Tootsie-Roll canister and a couple of large goblets. That milk glass “bowl” looks like a globe for a ceiling light fixture, upside down? Back to the rockers … I absolutely love them, have seen them several places for sale when we visit Lancaster Co. I have an Amish-made coffee table of similar style, larger “branches” of course for the legs. The top is shaped like a fish. The dealer here in Virginia told me it came from an Amish craftsman in Indiana. Still kicking myself for not buying the matching end table. When I went back the next week, it was gone … and no more to be had.

    7. Faye

      Re:milk glass

      Yes, the white bowl is a milk glass fruit bowl with the grape pattern. It was made in the ’60’s, I think, and produced by Anchor Hocking. I have 2 like it; I collect milk glass.
      I would be disappointed to know that the goblets were used for alcoholic drink.

    8. Amish and alcohol

      Hi Faye, and others who have brought up the question of alcohol. I know people have different feelings on alcohol, but it is the case that some Amish do drink alcohol. Homemade wine (blackberry, dandelion, beet, etc) is pretty common.

      Health reasons may be given as a justification and there is probably a social element to it in some cases. Additionally, wine will be used in the Communion services which happen twice per year.

      However some Amish, for instance New Order Amish, are very much against alcohol. In some communities you simply wouldn’t see it. In other cases, it is much more common. For instance I’ve had Amish in community A describe, disapprovingly, how Amish in community B are too liberal towards alcohol.

      I do not know what the glasses in these photos are used for. Generally, and perhaps contrary to what you’d expect, the otherwise plainer (more conservative on dress and tech) Amish groups have been known to be more lenient on alcohol and tobacco use.

      I wrote a bit on the subject a few years ago:

    9. Robin Miller

      So Eric, when the more conservative communities have communion, do they use grape juice instead of wine like us Methodists and Presbyterians?

    10. Grape juice

      That’s right Robin, grape juice. And it is tasty (as an outsider I’ve never been to a Communion service, but Alvin Hershberger and I share a cup of homemade grape juice at the beginning of chapter 3 of my book 😉 )

    11. I should add that even though we use ‘conservative’ typically to talk about plain groups like Swartzentruber Amish, the conservative-progressive idea kind of goes topsy-turvy.

      It would in fact be the otherwise ‘progressive’ New Order Amish who are strict on alcohol. With the Amish the word doesn’t always fit the situation.

    12. Faye

      Robin, we Baptists use only pure grape juice for communion services. No fermented juice/wine. Just saying. 🙂

    13. Magdalena

      Anglican here, always wine; some bishops prohibit the use of unfermented grape juice. I think the Amish, being European rather than English Baptist in origin, saw wine and beer as food products rather than just intoxicants. My own Calvinist family went to a church that prohibited alcohol (Baptist) but my husband’s very British, very Cockney, Anglican family have always considered Guiness as a necessary part of the daily diet.

    14. Katie Troyer

      Most Amish people don’t know what a wine glass is. To them these goblets are just fancy treasured dishes handed down from one generation to the next.

    15. Shawn

      Now this is more like it!

      Thank you for posting these photos. These are definitely what I had in mind as far as genuine Amish interiors. Thanks for posting! 😀

    16. Shawn


      As for the alcohol, I don’t see a problem with it since it is recommended in the Bible for health purposes. Not to the point of oblivion, obviously, but I myself treasure my blackberry and dandelion wine recipes. Remember…it’s not about “legalism,” it’s about following the Bible! And remember, Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, the first miracle he displayed, so criticizing the Amish for drinking wine is absurd!

    17. Dena

      It is my understanding that it has been proven that the wine in Biblical times wasn’t as high in alcohol content as today’s offerings. However, I do agree that at times a small glass of wine is good for those with stomach problems although not so much if you have ulcers!
      Love the rockers!

    18. Christina

      I saw goblets, a Tootsie Roll can/bank, a bowl and a candy cane (in one of the goblets).

      The room itself is sort of an odd set-up with the single bed and the three rocking chairs right in front of the bed. What are the chairs facing? When I look at the picture, I actually get a very masculine vibe, but I think most of the clothing hanging on the hooks are dresses. Very interesting picture!


    19. Greg Miller


      I would think that in a progressive sect, during rumspringa, there would be brushes with alchohol. If excessive they would have drunk their way out of the community. But if just sampled, then that experience is there beflore they’ve sett;ed down. Might it lead to evenual moderate usage?

    20. Elin

      I love the rockers too, I can see mom, dad and one of the children sitting there, perhaps with a younger child in the arms of one of the parents.

      My church (the Swedish church) uses both alcoholic and non-alcoholic wine but never just plain grape juice. My congregation has taken the decision to use the non-alcoholic stuff but I have been in churches where it is ‘proper’ wine. Most of the time it is gluten-free bread too although I have never heard of any controversy regarding that. A couple of times a year my church uses a regular sour-dough bread for communion and then the ones who are gluten-intolerant are asked to signal this by putting their hand up when stepping in front of the altar and then they get our regular communion bread.