Inside A Former English Amish Home (25 Photos)

We go to Michigan for this week’s Amish home and you can immediately see that this one has had a previous life as an English home. That’s evident by the light switches, bare electrical connections where light fixtures would be, and overall design of the place. You can even tell just by looking at the exterior that this home was not originally built for an Amish family:

The county is Van Buren and the Lawrence area is where you’ll find this home, one of the county’s two small Amish settlements. It’s not uncommon that Amish will buy and live in homes first built to be non-Amish homes, making the requisite adjustments to “Amishize” them. In some cases that “Amishization” goes further than in others, in terms of how much stuff gets taken out (on the flipside, some Amish will build homes that can more easily be “Englishized” for example by making it easier for them to be connected to public power).

On to the home description via Zillow:

Very large 5 bedroom 3 bath home with a mother-in-law suite, a 2 bedroom with bath that is connected to the main house. This house is perfect for large family or someone just wanting ALOT of space. Hardwood flooring, newer furnace and plumbing. The main house has a large indoor wrap around porch. So many options or endless possibilities that this property could be used for. The three outbuildings are: 32×64 barn that is currently housing horses and chickens. a work shop and greenhouse. The property is located on the Paw Paw River and has a beautiful view, very large pond and fenced in area for horses. Great School District for kids. Call today to take a look!

This home’s location in a small settlement also brings to mind the fact that we tend to see these Amish homes for sale online in the smaller communities (we don’t really see Lancaster County or Holmes County Amish homes up for sale online). That’s because the potential Amish market is much more limited in those small Amish settlements. In a place like Lancaster County there are many willing buyers among the Amish so that properties when they become available are snapped up.

Back to the home itself. In this kitchen area you can see where lights once went in the ceiling. The corded device on the table, not completely sure but might be a charger of some sort.

Same thing here with the pressure lamp hanging nearby. Other interesting things here are the very nice-looking grandfather clock and what appears to be a heat lamp?

Here’s a second kitchen. One of these must be in the “mother-in-law suite” (hadn’t heard that term before). That Amish lamp glow.

Here we see the lighting fixture still present in this living room area. Also note the English-style bay window.

Another living room area. It might be that the mother-in-law suite has been functioning as a dawdihaus (small grandparents’ house traditionally built attached to a main farmhouse) for this family. I just can’t quite tell which pictures go with which.

Baby swing with the family’s valuables safe in a corner in this bright room.

Plop down and take it easy.


Another very spartan sleeping area. Looks like a garage-type concrete floor.

Is that a wall outlet in the ceiling? Some different electrical things going on up there. Looks like someone in this family makes candles as a side hustle.

I think I see three different types of lighting on the filing cabinet – pressure lamp, oil lamp, and a little battery lantern?

Closer look.

Stove and little housedog.

This looks like the aforementioned large pond though the home is also said to be on a river.

Well that was an interesting set of photos. One final note – I do wonder if for Amish people it feels odd or not completely comfortable to be living in a home that has light switches and other implements and unAmish design features all over the place, constantly reminding that the place is at least originally an English home. I’d never thought to ask anyone that. I guess people get used to it, and don’t give it too much thought, but I’ll try to ask next time I’m in a home like that.

The asking price for this 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3,980-square-foot home?

It’s on the market for $399,000. The agent is Lissa Carter at Carmac Realty (269-782-2400).

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    1. Rozy

      Common term

      Mother-in-law suite is another name for a small self-contained apartment within a larger home. They are usually built to accommodate a parent who is unable to live completely alone but wants to have some autonomy while being close enough for immediate help if needed. When I was a young adult I lived in a MIL suite a family had built for the wife’s mother. The grandmother had lived there for six weeks before passing. So they rented the small apartment out for extra income. There was a living/kitchen, bedroom and 3/4 bath. It was a pleasant place to live as well as being very inexpensive.

      Friends of mine are currently buying a house with a large basement where they plan to build a “mother-in-law suite” for her parents.

      I’m surprise you aren’t familiar with the term. I’ve heard it all my life.

      1. Yea I figured it is a common term but I don’t deal a lot with homes and real estate outside of putting these posts together, so, not on my radar. It’s the first time I’d seen it in one of these listings as well (though most of the homes I post are originally Amish built, so I guess they wouldn’t use that term).

        I found it a sort of humorous term and by implication could figure out what it is. I say humorous because it’s called a “mother-in-law” suite rather than a “mother” suite or other family member, and the stereotypical in-law jokes come to mind. I assumed it is a separate living unit where a mother-in-law can live providing a certain degree of distance from the family, having her own private quarters.

    2. Bert


      hi erik when i wisconsin i usually get the corner of the canning room that has a bed there the floor is concrete since its part of the basement

    3. Frank Comstock

      Erik, the electrical receptacle on the ceiling is next to part of the support structure for a garage door opener. The low voltage wiring running along the ceiling right there is another giveaway. The outlet is there for the power for the door opener. This room must be converted from a former garage.

      Keep these stories coming. Very interesting.

    4. Jerry

      Lighting on the file cabinet

      The room with the file cabinet has a sink and ceiling exhaust fan. That must a bathroom.

    5. John Gorentz

      A new community?

      Isn’t that a rather new community? Wouldn’t that explain why Amish people are adapting English homes to their needs more than building new ones?

      I can’t seem to find it in my records and photos just now, but I was riding my bicycle in that area a few years ago, and ran into an Amish community that I hadn’t known was there. At one point not far away from it a man out by his mailbox asked me about my bicycle destination, so I stopped to talk. I asked him about the new Amish community. To my surprise, he seemed hostile towards it. He did mention Amish who had bought or tried to buy some of the existing homes, including his own. It didn’t sound like these Amish and the English had gotten off to a good start as neighbors, or maybe it was just this one man who had problems. I hope they’ve gotten more used to living around each other by now. If I could find my route record and photos, I could probably figure out if it was this same community pictured here, but I don’t know of any other Amish communities in that area.