I was both surprised and unsurprised to come across an Amish home listing from the Enon Valley, Pennsylvania settlement. Surprised because it is a very small community. Unsurprised because it’s an unusual community, one that’s quite old but where Amish residents apparently don’t remain for very long on the whole.
We saw the Enon Valley community early last year in a post I did on my late-2018 visit to the settlement. Many of you contributed interesting comments, including some of you who know the area well. Despite being nearly 100 years old, Enon Valley’s Amish settlement is only one church district in size, with relatively few households, according to one Amishman in the know.
The community has not grown very large, for whatever reason or reasons. My Amish friend described the unusual nature of the community with hints at what those reasons might be:
An Amish person quite familiar with the community shared with me a few other things, some of which shed light on the above. He said it was something like a fusion of the Nebraska Amish and the New Wilmington Amish (I am assuming he meant Ordnung).
He also described it as a “stepping-stone” settlement to higher churches, noting that if that were not the case, it would be very large, while currently he guessed it has only about 15 households.
He also said that for some time they even had brown wheels on their carriages, creating an unusual look, though black was accepted now.
A “stepping-stone” community is by definition one which people would move in and out of on their way somewhere else (in this case, more progressive Amish churches).
So this may very well have been the home of someone who is in that boat – leaving the community for another settlement, and with few potential Amish home buyers within this treading-water community.
I saw some sign of this when I visited in late 2018. I came across a vacant Amish-looking home that was up for sale where I believe an Amish minister once lived:
In any case, the home which is the subject of this post doesn’t look immediately Amish from the outside. Looks like it might have first been English.
Inside is a different story. First, the living room:
As you can see, it does have a pretty plain appearance. The Nebraska Amish and the New Wilmington Amish, which my friend likened this community to, are among the plainer Amish groups.
Moving to the kitchen:
This home is 2,300 square feet in size, with three bedrooms, and listed as having three bathrooms. But do the Enon Valley Amish have indoor plumbing? A detail in the Zillow description below sheds further light on that.
Outside – those look like outhouses, but the placement in front of the outbuilding is odd. They also look pretty fresh – unpainted. So they might be newly-made and not yet in their permanent spots. I happened to see a plastic conventional outhouse oddly placed outside a home on my 2018 visit, which may have been for a church gathering or other event.
Here we catch a glimpse of the settlement’s characteristic “muddy yellow” buggies in this barn/garage shot. The side is rolled up so you don’t see much of the covering.
I can share some of my own photos. The material in these shots is not as bright as the reflective photo above. I called this a “muddy yellow” look:
One of our readers had this to say about the buggies:
Their buggies are a brighter yellow, especially compared to New Wilmington’s burnt orange. Not as bright as Byler Amish in Big Valley, however – in my opinion… I had one photo from the Benefit Auction last year that had an Enon Valley buggy next to New Wilmington buggies and you can really see the contrast.
Now the backyard. Looks like a family cow in the back to supply this home’s milk needs.
And the egg providers.
The outdoor photos you can see were taken in two different seasons.
The lot is 4.39 acres.
From the Zillow description:
Traditional Amish farm surrounded by lush green countryside and crisp fresh air! Wide open floor plan featuring an expansive great room accented by rustic hardwood flooring and ample kitchen storage. Three bedrooms on the main level, one of the bedrooms was formally a bath and could be easily converted back into it’s original floor plan. Walk out basement features a game room that is partially finished, additional room that could be converted into additional living space and an abundance of storage areas. 16’x16′ wood shed addition and bath house on rear of home. Hand crafted wrap around deck offers stunning views. Five stall 24’x40′ horse and hay barn will store up to 50 sq ft of hay.
In contrast to the Swartzentruber home we saw last week, which had both plumbing and electricity installed for a potential English buyer, this home has had the reverse happen to it:
Electric and hot water plumbing lines to the home have been removed to the interior only and are currently available on the exterior to be re-connected if desired.
That does seem to confirm that this was originally an “English” property whose fate it looks like was to return to “English” status. Note that it says hot water plumbing lines have been removed.
The home was last on the market in 2018, when it was sold for $120,000.
Update: Reader H. Hostetler adds this:
The Amish in Enon Valley all have some benches at their homes for church. When their is a larger gathering, they gather them all and bring them. They are considered Old Order Amish. They use outhouses and the only indoor plumbing would be in the kitchen with an old fashioned hand pump. They are now allowed telephones out by the road. They use porta potties for larger events, not church. It is a small community here. They are a mix of New Wilmington and Schwartzentruber. They are slowly allowing more things as the younger generations are growing up. My husband grew up in this community, we still live in Enon Valley. We still keep in contact with his Amish family members here.