This Amish home for sale got my attention, first and foremost, for it being in South Dakota. This is in the state’s only Amish community, founded in 2010. You don’t hear much on Amish in the state, for reasons I’ll explain below.
There is a second property that was listed at the same time, so it could be that two families are moving away. Here’s the other; it’s a sizeable farm which sounds like this includes a home as well, though that listing has only one photo of the property.
Here’s the brief description of the main property we’re looking at:
Amish property near Tripp SD. 20 acres for sale but can purchase up to 60 acres with tillable land. Home do not have electricity, but does have rural water. Property has many out buildings including 2 large barns, and calving area. Addition to home was built in 2017.
You can see the original home which sits closer in this photo (built 1967) and then the more Amish-looking 2017 addition behind it. It’s described as having 1,465 square feet of livable space. But I think that must be an error, especially taking the two-story addition into account.
Amish exiting South Dakota?
This is a classic example of why Amish use online realtor sites to reach a non-Amish market. Tripp, South Dakota is not being flooded with potential Amish homebuyers. The community (sole settlement in SD) has not grown much in the 12+ years since its founding.
Hopefully this selling activity doesn’t mean that the community is dwindling. However at an estimated 55 people, if two homes have gone up for sale that could conceivably represent even around half the settlement’s total population. So that is not a great sign.
Despite its small size and well-off-the-beaten-path location, we got a closer look at this settlement in 2014 in a pair of posts by reader Tom Geist. One covered his visit to the community plus a follow-up post with more photos.
Inside the Home
There aren’t a ton of photos of this small home, but enough to get an idea. The above is the only exterior shot.
Looking inside, we can see a homey and rustic-looking kitchen, light streaming in the windows. There is no refrigerator visible here which would fit with the description of this community as a rather conservative one. They would probably use some sort of ice-based cooling.
The Amish here originated from Tomah, Wisconsin. They were described in a 2010 article as using neighbors’ telephones when needed, which is another sign of a plain group.
Zooming in a bit we see dishes drying on the long table which is probably the family’s main table for meals.
Looks like there is a standard sink with running water here.
Another angle of the kitchen showing one of the tables as well as the cook stove, no doubt also an important source of heat in this home.
Traces of flour and what looks like milk or cream in jars suggest someone was doing some baking or food prep.
Next, a look at the other side of the room and entryway.
Here we can see a dish of some sort of baked treat, I would guess. Also what looks like a metal grate stand (for baked goods?). In the background, evidence that someone’s been washing socks. Looks like about 50 pairs.
Finally, a look inside one of the bedrooms. The window has an unfinished look, lacking interior molding. Note also the ironing board in the right corner.
Many Amish use the sad iron, a piece of metal heated on the stove with an attachable handle, to iron their clothing. Why “sad”? The word at one time had the meaning “heavy”, “solid” or “compact”.
Large aloe vera plant probably for health purposes. You can also see two hats and two alarm clocks. Why two clocks? Maybe that’s for an extra kick on those cold dark mornings when it’s hard to get out of bed. Or maybe they just like to have clocks around, not uncommon for an Amish home.
This property listing doesn’t say how many bedrooms or bathrooms the place contains. It does sit on a sizable piece of land, 20 acres total, with the barns and other buildings. So what is the price?
It’s currently up for sale at $250,000. The listing agent is Bob Jarding of Mitchell Realty.
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I’m interested in more information on this Amish community, why they settled and why they might leave.
I’m no expert on the subject Jim but my guess is that they are leaving for better economic opportunities somewhere else, because of isolation from other Amish communities or a lack of new families joining their settlement. More than likely there are multiple reasons, possibly a combination of my guesses, but I could be completely wrong. There is always the possibility that families are leaving because of church disagreements.
Only the Bishop is left of original 8 founding families. Seven families moved out 7 years ago due to didisareements with the Bishop. They lost their milking ccontract about six years ago and have been raising dairy calves – don’t know if they lost that contract.
Very hard to make a living here with such small tracts.
Families have come and gone sometimes in the same year.
They have alienated the locals over the years who not that welcoming unless they are making money off you.
They could never hold on to families !
All the Amish farms are up for sale with some already sold – I know the Bishop and he is hard to get along with as were his son’s. All the houses except three are owned by the Bishop or his son’s !
I just read a 2010 newspaper article from the Mitchell Republic about the Amish arriving in ND. The reporter said the Amish wanted cheaper land and a similar climate from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Sounds like they were welcomed and viewed as friendly, honest, and hard working. Article mentioned they were all related.
more amish homes for sale
there are three additional Amish homes listed for sale on Zillow in Tipp, SD. Wonder if the community is starting to suffer in that location.
It appears that Lena is right. There are 3 properties, that appear to be adjacent to each other that are all for sale. None of them are described as Amish but 2 of them do say ‘no electricity’ and the appearance of a horse drawn buggy of some sort in one of the pictures definitely gives it away. Tom’s post from 2014 says that at the time the community had 9 families. If that is still true then this means more than half of the families have moved out. One of the property listings says that the house has been vacant for some time, maybe the Amish started moving out of this community awhile ago.
In the book “Amish & Mennonite Settlements of America” (2022), on page 291 it states that the settlement was started in the summer of 2010, and “By 2015 eighteen families had lived here, but today only eight families remain”.
That is interesting Al…where can I get a copy of that book?
Guy in Ohio — The book is available directly from the compiler, Jacob Stoltzfus. The price is $24.95 plus $5.00 for shipping. In the introduction to the book, Stoltzfus says it is also available from some scribes of Die Botschaft, or some local bookstores (likely Amish or Old Order Mennonite stores). I learned about it from The Budget newspaper.
I have found the book very helpful and interesting, over 450 pages long.
It contains an introduction, brief history, affiliation, and statistics of over 700 Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities in the U. S. and Canada.
Here is the address on where to send for the book, “Amish & Mennonite Settlements of America”:
Jacob F. Stoltzfus
955 Strawberry Ridge Rd.
Danville, Pa. 17821