The Amish in Montana: 2023 Guide (11 Communities)

Montana has had a continuous Amish presence since 1974. The state’s 11 communities range from the oldest at Rexford (Lincoln County) in the state’s mountainous northwest corner, to Rosebud County in the eastern Plains. The state’s Amish population as of 2023 is approximately 1,300 Amish people.

Rexford resident Andy Yoder discusses the Caribou wildfire which destroyed many buildings in the Amish community. MissoulianVideo/YouTube

Amish Communities in Montana

Amish first settled in Montana in 1903, though that pioneer community has since ceased to exist. The current group of Montana Amish settlements includes seven communities founded in the last ten years.

  • Rexford, Lincoln County (West Kootenai) – The West Kootenai area, lying a few miles from Canada, is home to the oldest Montana Amish settlement. The Rexford group holds a yearly school auction in late spring.
  • St. Ignatius, Lake County – The single-congregation St. Ignatius community also features an annual school auction.
  • Fergus County – Montana’s largest Amish settlement is found in Fergus County in the area of Moore and Lewistown
  • Other Montana settlements – Amish communities are also found in over a half-dozen other locations in the state.
  • Libby Community – This group emerged from a horse-and-buggy Amish background and maintains some similar practices but is not considered an Old Order Amish church today

Rexford (West Kootenai)

The oldest Montana Amish community is found near the town of Rexford in Lincoln County. Amish first settled here in 1974.  Despite its age, the community is small, at just a single congregation (approximately 180 Amish in this case). The area is commonly known and referred to as West Kootenai.

The West Kootenai community, lying a stone’s throw from the Canadian border, is known for its impressive vistas and scenic mountain views. Amish from Eastern settlements traveling in the West are known to stop and visit at Rexford among other communities.

amish montana
Amish girls making good use of mountain bikes. Rexford, Montana. All Montana Amish photos this page by James Anderson (unless otherwise noted)

The Rexford area is home to the annual West Kootenai Amish Community Auction, which helps to fund the local Amish school. The auction is held on the second Saturday in June each year. The location is 250 Whitetail Dr,  Rexford, MT 59930.

Items sold at the auction include log furniture, cedar furniture, machinery, log cabins, gazebos, wall hangings, wood carvings, handcrafted items, and hand-stitched quilts. Quilts are made by local Amish as well as by Amish from other settlements around the country. Amish provide lunch at the event, which includes barbecued chicken, pie, ice cream, and baked goods. See photos from the 2021 event.

Amish from Rexford achieved a degree of publishing fame with the 1988 release of a cookbook entitled  Amish Country Cooking by the Amish of the West Kootenai, Rexford, Montana. This guide to Plain cuisine was one of the first books translated into the Japanese language, in response to significant Eastern interest in the Amish people (“Japanese Interest in the Amish”, David Luthy, Family Life, Dec 1997). Amish at West Kootenai/Rexford also produce log and rustic style furniture (read more about Amish furniture in Montana).

montana amish
Amish near Rexford, Montana

Amish at Rexford were heavily hit by a 2017 wildfire in the area. Though no lives were lost in the community, the fire claimed 40 buildings, including ten homes. Amish resident Andy Yoder commented on the fire at the time: “It was something that most people don’t ever see in their lifetime,” Yoder said. “Your everything totally flattened, just a heap of metal. There were things there that just had me at awe. The heat and the fire and wind that was involved, you could see the evidence of it.”

He also noted the special nature of the community: “We’re kind of a unique community back there,” Yoder said. “There’s one road back in there and one road back out. Most people know everybody, not just the Amish. We’re helping each other all the time. So this is going to just help strengthen that relationship. Not just amongst the Amish, but through the whole community.” Read more on the Rexford Amish community.

St. Ignatius (Lake County)

The Amish community at St. Ignatius in Lake County lies within a three-hour drive of the Rexford community. The St. Ignatius group began settling the area in 1997, and like Rexford, is a single congregation in size as of 2023 (140 Amish).

montana amish school
Montana Amish school

Also like the Rexford Amish, the St. Ignatius group holds a well-attended auction. The Mission Valley Annual Amish Community Auction is held annually on the weekend after the July 4th weekend. The location is the local Amish school, at 13137 Foothills Road, St. Ignatius, MT 59865.

A listing of the items up for sale includes: quilts, furniture, log cabins, crafts, machinery, sheds and mini-barns, children’s playhouses, lawn furniture, log furniture, and a number of other items. Lunch is provided by the Amish, with past menus including barbecued chicken, cole slaw, potatoes and gravy, rolls, ice cream, and pie.

Like the Rexford Amish auction, a portion of the proceeds from the Lake County auction is used to benefit the Amish school. In a 2021 article, it was reported that it costs approximately $30,000 per year to run the school. That money goes towards things like teacher salaries, maintenance, and heating costs. Amish in this community have also used the auction to raise funds for the local emergency ambulance service.

Quilts up for sale during the annual St. Ignatius benefit auction. Photo: Karen Greene/valleyjournal.net

Some Amish at St. Ignatius take advantage of the recreational opportunities provided by the surrounding areas. As detailed in a 2020 article in Powder magazine, a number of Amish in this community enjoy backcountry skiing. Amish communities in Western states tend to be more progressive, and this type of activity might be taken as a sign of that disposition. Article author Clare Menzel, who accompanied a group of Amish on a ski trip, noted that “almost every Amish home down in St. Ignatius has a scope trained on these mountains—originally to observe wildlife and weather, and now to keep tabs on skiers.”

Other Montana Amish Communities

In addition to those Montana communities listed above, Amish can be found in the following locations:

  • Broadwater County (Toston/Townsend)
  • Carbon County (Roberts)
  • Cascade County (Cascade)
  • Fergus County (Moore/Lewistown)
  • Golden Valley County (Dean Creek)
  • Musselshell County (Roundup)
  • Ravalli County (Stevensville)
  • Rosebud County (Ashland/Forsyth)
  • Sanders County (Plains)

Of these, the community in Fergus County is currently the largest in the state, with about 215 Amish residents, and two church districts. The community at Roundup (Musselshell County) is also two churches in size, though not quite as populous. All of the other settlements are a single church district in size, some ranging from just two dozen residents, while others have close to 150.

Amish buggy in the community at Roundup (Musselshell County). Image: KTVQ

Roundup made the news in 2023 following flash flooding in the area. Amish helped their non-Amish neighbors in building a new road for access in and out of the very remote community. “The Amish community here…they have been amazing,” said one resident. “They have the construction knowledge and have put this road in so people can get out, and we are very very thankful for their expertise, and their willing[ness] to help everybody that is not in their family and community.”

Libby Community: Is it Amish?

The Libby community (Libby, Lincoln County) emerged from a horse-and-buggy Amish background, comprised of members who previously lived in the West Kootenai settlement. The Libby group maintains ties with similarly-minded communities in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and others in Eastern states including Pennsylvania.

Though they have experienced a shift away from the Old Order including a change in theological emphasis and the adoption of vehicles, they maintain some cultural similarities with horse-and-buggy Amish churches. However with these changes, in particular acceptance of motor vehicles, this would mean that the community is not an Old Order Amish group today.

Like other plain Montana communities, the Libby group holds an annual auction known as the Eagle Valley Community Auction, occurring every third Saturday in May. Items for sale in previous editions have included log homes and cabins, pavilions, quilts, crafts and handmade furniture.  The auction takes consignments and has booths available for vendors. The auction also benefits the community’s school. Quilts, furniture, crafts and other items can be donated to this end.

The Amish-style meal served includes charcoal-roasted barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, and dessert. The address for the auction is 50 Meadowlark Lane, Libby, MT 59923.

Historic Montana Amish settlements

Throughout their history, relatively few Amish have settled in Montana. Besides the current communities, the state has also seen a handful of Amish communities arise and then eventually “go extinct”.

One Amish community existed in the Treasure State in the early-to-mid 1900s, in Dawson County. Historian David Luthy explains that Amish from North Dakota came to the area of the future town of Bloomfield, lured by inexpensive land sold by the railroad, as well as free plots offered through the Homestead Act.

Over the years, other Amish joined them from communities such as Garnett, Kansas, Nappanee, Indiana, Dover, Delaware, Salinas, California, Fayette County, Illinois, and Coleman, Michigan (The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed 1840-1960, pp. 261-266).

amish horseback montana
Horseback riding is not common among Amish

The community was isolated, with the nearest trading post a thirty-mile ride by wagon. An unusual situation arose at Dawson County, with one of the Amishmen handling postal duties for the fledgling community, beginning in 1906.  The post office was soon relocated to a larger town, however. David Luthy notes that “Less than three years later it no longer existed, bringing to an end a rarity in Amish history – the occupation of postmaster” (Settlements that Failed, p. 264).

Amish in Dawson County raised wheat, oats, alfalfa, flax and barley. They also mined free coal from the abundant veins in the region. The settlement had a resident minister for nearly all of its existence, but eventually failed.

One reason for its failure was the drying up of free land. With most available homesteads claimed, the enticement of land was no longer there to draw settlers to the remote region. The Dawson County community ceased to exist in 1935 (Settlements that Failed, pp. 264-267).

The Dawson County community is not the only extinct Amish settlement. During the 1990s and 2000s, at least two more Montana Amish communities came and went. The community at Libby, in Lincoln County, was founded in 1992, going “extinct” as an Amish settlement in 2004. Another short-lived settlement was found at Gold Creek (Powell County) from 2004-2006 (Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, David Luthy). The Whitehall settlement (Jefferson County), founded in 2001, can also be included on this list.

Montana continues to draw Amish Westward

Outside of their original homeland of Pennsylvania, Amish have also settled heavily in the Midwestern corn belt. But with rising land prices in these traditional areas, a number of Amish have headed west.

Amish interest in the West is not new, however. Pioneer Amish attempted to settle in Western states in earlier eras. In addition to the Dawson County settlement described above, the late 1800s and early 1900s saw Amish forming new communities in California, Arizona, and Oregon, among others.

amish rexford montana
Western states such as Montana and Colorado have proven attractive to Amish

In the present day, Montana, like Colorado, South Dakota, and other states, has attracted Amish with an adventurous spirit and willingness to travel in search of greener pastures. Looking back over the past decade-plus, Amish interest in the Treasure State has by all indications continued to grow.

Since 2010, Amish have added a net total of a half-dozen new settlements across the state (at least one community, that at Whitehall, ceased to exist in that time span). While life in Montana communities may in some ways be unconventional for Amish residents, as in other circumstances Amish people have proven adaptable. They have been able to make a living far from the traditional Midwestern heartland, while maintaining their Old Order Amish identity.

For further information, see:

  • The New American Almanac, Raber’s Bookstore (Baltic, Ohio), Ben J. Raber
  • The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960, David Luthy
  • “Japanese Interest in the Amish”, David Luthy, Family Life,Dec 1997
  • Amish Population, 2023 Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College 
  • Amish Population in the United States by State, County, and Settlement, 2023” – compiled by Edsel Burdge, Joseph F. Donnermeyer, and Adam Hershberger
  • Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, David Luthy
  • Amish Country Cooking by the Amish of the West Kootenai, Rexford, Montana

Photo credit: all Montana Amish photos by James Anderson unless otherwise noted

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    109 Comments

    1. Beth

      Love these pictures! Did you take them?

      1. Mary Sale

        I would like some info about amish communites

        I like the Amish lifestyle, and I would like to move to and live with and like the Amish. Can anybody help me with finding family’s who will help us get settled in an Amish community in either Idaho or Montana? Thank you very much, I will impatiently await a response. I am a widow, and I take care of my widowed mother.

        Mary Sale

    2. Mary

      Interesting, since I live in Montana myself. The communities in Gold Creek and Libby which you say are extinct are actually still very intact, although they switched from horse and buggy to vehicles, and aren’t considered Amish anymore.
      Also, the Amish from Whitehall and Ashland have all relocated to other communities either within Montana or some other state. To my knowledge only 3 communities of Amish exist in Montana anymore. St. Ignatius now has 2 church districts instead of one like was stated. They are considered New Order Amish.
      Horse back riding among the Amish not common?? In Montana they do it more often then what they use their buggys. One has to be adventurous to be Amish and live in Montana at the same time!

      1. Mary Brammer

        In response to Mary’s comment on May 2011 regarding the Ashland Amish, the community is still here and growing. They have a store, a trading post opened December 2012, and several new houses have been built. They are located on the Tongue River Road North of Ashland just past where the pavement ends … look for the signs.

      2. Amish in Lewistown

        There is an Amish community in Lewistown now. We lived with the amish community in Libby for 7 years and then left from there. They are no longer amish there, altho some of them still dress that way. And yes there are still amish in Ashland as far as I know.

        Great article!

      3. Joan

        MT Amish

        I live in Libby MT and love going to the Amish Store and we had our retirement cabin built by the Amish here. The Amish here are considered Amish (not like you said they aren’t) even though they use vehicles, electric, and dress how they want, etc. They still live in a Community lifestyle. This Community said they allow people to make their own choices now instead of forcing everyone to live ‘off the grid,’ and/or w/o vehicles, and have the option to wear Amish clothes, or not. I respect their spiritual and daily living beliefs and community ways. Happy Trails, 😉

        1. :)

          Yes I know – we love the Libby community and are still friends with them. But no, once you own a car, you are no longer Amish. 🙂 Our families are still all Amish and to them it is a huge disrespect that the Libby people still call themselves ‘amish’. I don’t expect you to understand that as it’s a complicated deal, but it’s just the way it is. In the real world of the amish, you simply can’t have a foot on both sides. You are either in or out. lol

          1. Roy Yoder

            Libby Amish

            So someone is amish because they look like one,we in Libby are amish in culture, that is our heritage, not because we look like amish.

            1. Debbie

              Yoder relative?

              Roy,
              My dad’s maternal grandmother was Zelma Emma Yoder. Daughter of Rufus,son of Steven,son of Stephan from Thun… wondered if we’re related.

          2. Non-Amish are not qualified to say whether an Amish person is Amish

            A person who is born and raised Amish is Amish whether or not they live the Amish lifestyle. Just like other religions have traditional and non-traditional practices, the Amish do, too.

            A lifestyle does not determine a person’s religious beliefs.

            Will

          3. Edwin Hawkins

            How is it you have a computer or cell phone to comment if you are Amish?

            1. Ann Smith

              You are Incorrect. Driving a car does Not make a person Non Amish. You can drive a car and be Amish. The Beachy Amish have driven cars for decades. Just cause Some Amish dislike the fact that some Amish drive cars, does Not mean the car drivers are no longer Amish. Many Amish have changed their way of lifestyle since the Amish first started but that does not mean that unless you live like All the original Amish lived back centuries ago that they are no longer Amish. If that were the case, No One would be Amish anymore cause No One lives exactly as Amish did back when Jakob Ammon first established the community. Even the most conservative, the Swartzentrubers, are still a touch different from the original Amish. Yes, we Do understand the Amish. Please don’t say we would not understand what being Amish is and what it is not. Thank you.

              Many Amish use cell phones and computers. It shows you don’t know much about Amish. Just go to the biggest Amish settlement in the world, Ohio’s Amish country, and you will see !!

        2. Ann Smith

          Joan

          Joan. We’re you happy with the cabin the Amish built for you?

    3. Alice Aber

      Dawson County, MT

      Greetings!!

      Love the pictures and the stories. I actually lived in Dawson County, MT for a brief while. Dawson county is know for the “Montana Bad Lands”. I lived in a town called Glendive. There is a state park there called “Makoshika”. It is in a sense the opening to the bad lands.

      Out beyond the town are grain fields and a little further south and west of Glendive a lot of beets are grown. It is a beautiful area. I can certainly understand anyone wanting to live there and would even consider going back myself one day.

      I never knew there had been Amish in that area but did know of the Amish in the western part of the state. This has been quite interesting, thanks for posting it!!

      Blessings, Alice

    4. Hi Beth, they’re nice, aren’t they? No these are all James Anderson’s photos (see the credit at the bottom). I thought they were great as well. Thanks again to James for sharing.

      Mary that is correct, from what I know. But for the purposes of these guides they are extinct as Old Order Amish. If you search on Youtube you can find an interesting revival video with the Libby group, done in the last few years, I believe. Still wearing Plain clothing and beards.

      That is interesting about the Whitehall move and the St. Ignatius group dividing to 2 districts. That all must have occurred in the last few months (or, they didn’t get their info in to Raber’s in time).

      I had the impression that they might ride horses more in Montana, but that would definitely make them a bit different than your typical Amish. Western style, I guess. Or adventurous as you say!

      And Alice, that is neat. Apparently Glendive was the town that the first Amish settler stopped in to spend the night on the way to founding the Dawson County community. He met a land agent there who took him to see the land they eventually settled on.

    5. Lowell

      Great post

      Great information
      I have visited the Amish in Rexford and found that to be the all time prettiest Amish settlement. I felt sorry for the Rexford Amish as they are far enough north and a high enough elevation that they have difficulty raising garden produce. In addition every Amishman that travels west stops into visit them draining the already limited resources (they are close to the White Fish train depot). They appear to have developed special skills in logging with horses and building log cabins. Kootenai Lake close to the settlement has some of the best freshwater salmon fishing in the state and they often go on fishing trips. One of the original founders of the area John Miller was drawn to the area because of the fishing. He first learned of trout fishing while in CPS in South Dakota. St. Ignatius works better for growing produce and dairy farming and my impression is that the Amish their are able to live a more traditional Amish life.

      Worth a visit

      Lowell

      1. Billy

        where?

        Where can I find the Amish in Rexford? We spent quite some time looking for them last week but came up empty.
        Thanks

    6. visiting Rexford Amish

      Lowell super to hear from someone else that knows these communities firsthand. I found it interesting what you said about every western-traveling Amishman stopping in at the Rexford Amish settlement.

      I had understood that they get a lot of visitors, and your comment makes me wonder how they feel about it. Probably nice on the one hand to have so many different folks coming to see you way out West, but on the other, “draining resources” as you said.

      I guess the lesson is, if you visit Rexford, it’s okay to bring some eats to share along with your fishing pole 🙂

    7. Larry

      Montana Amish

      After a visit to Glendive last week, I returned home to Missoula through Lewistown. Traffic at Eddie’s Corner was slow and then I saw it – an Amish horse and buggy! It was the first time I was aware the Amish had settled in Fergus County. I stop at the Amish run General Store every time I go through St. Ignatius. Gives me opportunity to buy Sweet Lebanon Balogna and enquire about the possibility of Shoefly Pie.

      1. Fergus County

        I am from Canada. Have visited the Amish community west of Lewistown 3 times, and also been in their school. . The (teachers) were very accomodating, friendly and welcomed us in. Bishop Troyer is a nice gentleman to talk to. Also been in Eddy’s Corner Store.

    8. Susan Harper

      Question about the Montana Amish

      My husband and I were in a Walmart store in Great Falls, Montana and we saw so many women dressed like the Amish we’ve seen in PA but their head scarfs were black with white polka-dots. What is the significance of these such scarfs? Is this a local community of Amish?

      Thanks,
      Susan

      1. Rita wicker

        GF sighting

        There is a large Hutterite colony near Great Falls. They follow the teachings of Jacob Hutter. Unlike Old Order Amish, they use many modern conveniences.

    9. Lowell

      Susan
      I think you were observing Hutterite women. They look Amish but often will wear plaids and polka dots. They are a number of large groups in that part of the state. Very interesting Anabaptist group who live communally. I think Eric has featured them in the past.

      Lowell

    10. Janet tronstad

      I was in St. Ignatius recently and also stopped at the Mission store with their Amish good. Bought some wonderful Black Raspberry Jam. I understand some of the Amish there lease land on the Blackfeet Indian reservation.

      1. Alan G.

        Lease land on Indian Reservation

        It is possible that the Amish lease land on the Flathead Indian Reservation but they would not have a preference over tribal members. Im personally acquainted with most of the amish that live in St. Ignatius and they own their land like everyone else who is not tribal. Since the Dawes Act of 1887, which allowed homesteading on reservations, their has been private land ownership in the area.

    11. Trina

      Amish to Build a Horse Barn - Wanted

      Hello!

      We are looking for Amish to build a horse barn for our draft horses in the Drummond, Montana area. We would like 4-6 stalls on both sides of the barn with 10 foot overhangs, and a 16 foot breezeway down the center. Stalls would be 12′ x 12′.

      Do you know of any Amish communities that would like to do this?

      Please let us know,
      God Bless,
      Doug & Trina

      1. Alan G.

        Response to comments and a correction on St. Ignatius Amish Community

        Trina if your still looking for a horse barn look up Miller Storage barns in the St. Ignatius area. They are Amish and have years of experience. They are known to build exactly what you would like and stand behind it with a satisfaction guarantee. Their number is (406)745-3207.

        I would also second the comment about seeing the women dressed up in Great Falls. They were most likely Hutterites from the local communities found in that part of the state.

        Also an update on the St. ignatius community they are as of last year two congregations. The recent increase of families to the community called for a split to accommodate all the members in the area.

        If you would like to see some of the businesses in the St. Ignatius Amish community these are a few of their websites.

        http://www.ronstools.com/
        http://www.kilmercreek.com/missionvalleyauction.html
        http://www.kilmercreek.com/
        http://www.mission-general-store.com/
        http://www.tamaracktimberworks.com/

    12. Robin L. Felz

      Montana amish craft and fairs

      I am wondering what the closest community to Sheridan or Buffalo ,Wyoming would be.I am in the process of planning a vacation for June or July. I would love to attend a craft,fair ,farmers market or flea market or community .Thank you!

      1. Alan G.

        If your headed to montana for vacation...

        The St. Ignatius community has their annual amish auction July 7th and it is about 3hrs closer than the Rexford community. This is a website that gives more details.
        http://www.kilmercreek.com/missionvalleyauction.html

      2. Mary Brammer

        Ashland would be the closes community to Sheridan … about 2 hour drive. They have their annual Amish Auction on June 8th this year in case you want to attend.

    13. Mary

      This might not be the closest Amish community to Sheridan or Buffalo, but there is an annual Amish Auction that happens in June every year in Rexford, Montana. It happens every year for years already and attracts hundreds of people. You may look it up online to when exactly the date is. (I think its usually the second Saturday of June.)Besides attending an interesting and unusual auction, you would also be driving through the most beautiful part of the Montana Rockies!

    14. Robin L. Felz

      Thank you mary.I will be doing some more research

    15. Rebecca C.

      I’ve been interested in the Amish for a very long time now. I beleive they have a right in the way they do and belief in things as the rest of use do.

      I have been wanting to visit an Amish settlement. Like the one in Penn. state. But u all know, its hard to save the money to be able to go do something like that.

      When I found tonight that there is a settlement there in Montana (with me living in the Magic Valley of Idaho), it makes me even more wantig to be able to visit a Amish settlement.

      I know its closer and everything. That makes it hard, knowing how much I want to go there to visit, buy a real actuall Amish quilt (maybe buying a few other things as well), ride in a buggy for a few moments, and meet some of the Amish, I would be really happy. Being able to achieve one of my dreams.

      I know it sounds real corny. But, for the ones who dont understand, its like wanting something really bad. For the ones who actually do live in, near, around settlements like the Amish, you probably dont know what your missing.

      Maybe one day I could go visit. But for now, I at least can dream what it would be like to visit. I know I would LOVE to have an Amish quilt and any thing else that they make that I may be iterested in!

    16. Donald M. Scott

      Any contact info for the Gold Creek Amish Mennonites?

      I’m trying to contact the former Amish in Gold Creek, who are reputed to be excellent craftsmen and workers. I think the name is Hochsteder? Anyone have that info?

      Thanks,

      DMS

      1. BWW

        For Donald M. Scott

        Donald M. Scott
        Comment on Montana Amish (May 22nd, 2012 at 11:36)
        Any contact info for the Gold Creek Amish Mennonites?

        I’m trying to contact the former Amish in Gold Creek, who are reputed to be excellent craftsmen and workers. I think the name is Hochsteder? Anyone have that info?

        Thanks,

        DMS
        ————
        Donald there is a Matt & Anthony Hochstelter, working for Sustainable Lumber Co. In Gold Creek. Don’t know if this is who you are looking for but, maybe they can point in the right direction

    17. Yoder

      Donald, one person you could check with is John Hochstetler, Hochstetler Custom Kitchens, 406-288-2298 in Gold Creek, Montana.

      1. Donald M. Scott

        Thanks

        Many thanks. I’ll do that.

        Don Scott

    18. Ranch Hand/Wrangler position offered to Amish Community

      We have an immediate opening for a ranch hand/wrangler position on our ranch that we would like to offer to the Montana Amish Communities. We are searching for a specific contact to the Montana Community, or a means to place our ad for this position before them. Please advise? Thank you.

      http://www.lonesomedoveguestranch.com/

      LonesomeDoveGR@aol.com

    19. Mary

      Where in Montana are you located?

      1. Reply to Comment on Montana Amish

        Mary,
        We are located in the Kalispell region. If you happen to know of anyone who might be a contact for passing along this opportunity for a job as a wrangler/ranch hand to the Amish Community, please let me know.
        Thanks!

    20. MThrslover

      Ashland, MT communicty still there

      The Ashland community must still exist because they are fleeing the fire along with the rest of the residents:

      http://youtu.be/Mx6PjuUGFFo

    21. Missionizing Amish

      Glad to see an informative website on MT Amish.

      After stopping by the St Ignatius store yesterday I looked on the web and found a website for the St. Ignatius Amish community that sounded like an evangelical Christian site.

      While at the store I had a chance to chat with the individual at the register who invited me to attend Sunday services. I was somewhat surprised as I understand the Amish as not seeking English visitors. I’d like sometime to be able to unobtrusively listen to the service and hear the hymns, some of which are available on CD’s.

      Is it possible that this congregation is drifting somewhat from the Amish tradition as described in Hoestedler? As noted on this site other Montana Amish have ceased being traditional Amish. Outside the store I observed one of the Baptist Ten Commandments billboards which adorn the Flathead Valley.

      The gentleman with whom I spoke was occupied with working and that, combined with my reticence to ask personal questions kept me from finding out more. I did, however, get to practice dialect German.

      I am interested in American religous history from a sociological perspectie, rather than, say, that of a participant-observer. The Amish and Mennonites are particularly interesting to me as one branch of my grandmother’s family (Ludy) were German-speaking anabaptists who came to North America in the 18th Century.

      Thank you for providing an opportunity tolearn about Montana Amish..
      Gurdon

    22. Di

      Wow

      I never knew we had colonies in MT. First time I saw any were yesterday. There were 3 ladies and a little tiny girl. I was standing looking at what I wanted to puchase and the little girl tugged on my dress. She wanted me to say “HI” to her. Have to love little kids, so cute.

    23. Rosie

      I live in Fortine Montana just south of Eureka and I went to the Rexford Amish on Saturday Aug 25 2012 and wanted some doughnuts at the Kootnaie Store. The last I was in there was 1999 and it has changed. It’s lind of sad. I was thinking to myself ….. where are all the AMISH!!!! kinda like a ghost town. The store has new folks running it but the food is still good!!! 🙂 bought some bread, cookies, doughnuts and some pop I just love it over there and the Amish People! 🙂

    24. Rosie

      Oh and we tried finding Roy Yoder’s but was not sure which rd was which? we pulled into a drive way had a garage on the left, another straight back looks like it was for sale? then a driveway to the left so we turned around and left

      1. Mary

        If you ever come back here to The West Kootenai again you would be welcome at my house! We live less then a mile from the store.

    25. Helen Oliver

      Amish restaurants near Ronan or St Ignatius?

      We’re going to the National Bison Range this month and we’ve heard about a wonderful Amish restaurant nearby, but I’ve looked and can’t find any information. Does anyone know of it?

      Thank you for this informative article (and all the interesting comments!)

      1. Mary

        Can you tell me where the Bison Ranch is located? I know of an Amish restaurant in MT. but don’t know whether its close to the Bison Ranch.

    26. Lowell

      There used to be an Amish restaurant in St. Ignatius but I understand the family that ran it moved to central America. You could check with one of the Amish families in St Ignatius.

      There is an Amish restaurant in Rexford
      http://www.kilmercreek.com/kootenaistore.html

      There are some links to the Montana Amish on this site

      http://www.kilmercreek.com/auction.html

      Lowell

    27. Helen Oliver

      Thank you Mary and Lowell for responding. The National Bison Range is an 18 mile driving loop located north of St. Ignatius and south of Ronan. It’s only accessible by car. We like it so much that we go at least once every summer. Montana is such a beautiful state. This is our ninth summer and we love it here, but we scurry back to Florida before the snow 🙂

      1. Mary

        Oh yes, we have gone past the bison ranch many times on our way to Missouli but I had forgotten where it was. If its worth going there each summer, (like you do) then we should stop in ourselves some time! The restaurant I was referring to is in Rexford. In fact, its located in The West Kootenai to be exact. Probably 150 miles from St. Ignatius.

    28. Judy

      Comment on Montana Amish

      Helen, I’m not aware of an Amish restaurant near the Bison Range but there is a Mennonite Restaurant in Ronan called the Ronan Cafe. They make wonderful bread and pies and serve breakfast and lunch. It’s right on Main Street in downtown Ronan.

      1. Helen

        Thank you, Judy!

        I’m pretty sure that’s the one our neighbor was telling us about but didn’t know the name! We’ll definitely go next year (and we’ll go this year if we get a chance.)

        BTW The Bison Range was beautiful last weekend (except for the smoke, of course.) We saw lots of muledeer, whitetail deer, pronghorns, partridges and raptors. We didn’t see elk or bear, but a photographer said we’d passed close to six bears, eight feet up in the trees over the berry bushes! We got to see a couple old bull bison up close since they weren’t with the herd, and we saw lots of bison from a distance. This is such a beautiful time of the year in Montana.

        1. Linda

          Amish restaurants near Ronan or St Ignatius

          Helen, The Amish-owned Mission General Store in St. Ignatius sells deli sandwiches, phone 406-745-7200. Ronan Cafe is run by Holdeman Mennonites, also known as Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.

          1. Holdeman Mennonites, also known as Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.

            Linda
            Thank you for mentioning the Holdeman Mennonites. I’d read about this branch of the anabaptists previously but did not see the (obvious) connection to the St Ignatius congregation untill you pointed it out.
            Oh, and the sandwiches are very good, and certainly worth stopping in for.

    29. debi daniels

      the amish way of life may be the future

      i live in palmer, alaska, and for several years now have been watching the boreal forest stress, most likely because of the ozone hole. for every 1% decrease in ozone, there is a 2% increase in uv light. there is so much now that our trees on the farm are dying, and we will sell next year and move farther south. the cfc’s which destroy it are still being manufactured and take 50 yrs to migrate to the stratoshere, where they act as a catalyst in destroying ozone, which means one molecule of cfc, does its damage over and over and over. if the entire boreal forest dies, the carbon in the atmoshere will double to 800 ppm or so. we do not even have a quality of life now, we have to walk away from our farm, 450 trees, and climate sci. say a 2-3 degree is the max. so, in the very near future, much sooner than anyone ever suspected we may all be living, like the amish. that is where i will place my family anyway. near an amish community with as little city folk as possible. if anyone wanted to see the boreal forest dying, get on a plane and fly to anchorage before the leaves drop. the birch are mostly brown with crispy edges. its the beginning of the end for our planet as we know it, and human civilization with it.

    30. Richard Walker

      Looking for Amish family who moved from Maquota Iowa to Ashland area approx. 7 years ago.

      1. Mary Brammer

        Which Ashland family are you looking for? We live close and could relay a message for you.

        1. menno eicher

          many oaks

          Do you know if the amish in asland mt. are
          new or old order.

            1. many oaks

              Do you know how many families are there?

              1. Mary

                Reply to how many families are in Ashland Community -

                My husband and I were trying to figure out an answer to your question on how many families were currently in the Ashland, MT community – we can think of about 20 family units of the ones we know, but there are some on the West side (in the foothills) that we have not met yet and there are constantly visitors from back East that stay for long periods of time (hard to tell if they are staying or not … until they are gone or a new home goes up). Hope this answers your question.

                1. many oaks

                  Thank you

                  That answered my question Thank you Mary.

    31. Melinda Tollie

      Are there many places to rent for an older person near the Amish Communities? I love the Amish & their dedication to God, Family & Community. I have been thinking of relocating. I have lived in Washington State all my life.

    32. Mary Brammer

      Rentals

      Hi Melinda,
      Ashland is a very small community and the Amish community is about 5 miles North of town. There are some vacant homes in Ashland but none that I know of in the Amish community unless you are one of the communities family members or are from another Amish community. There is a retirement apartment complex on the hill overlooking town but I do not know much about it. If you need information on it let me know.
      Mary

    33. Carla Huitt

      Need Shed Built

      Does anyone know if any of the Amish Community in White Hall, MT build sheds such as Loafing Sheds for horses? I just moved from York, PA and would always go to Lancaster PA to the Amish there for everything building and everything for driving horses.

      I need a Loafting shed 10 X 16 or 12 X 16 on skids or sled to be portable to be built.

      Is there a shop that I could go drive to and speak to an Amish Shed Builder in Montana, near East Helena, MT?

      1. My bro in law ( this is an amish mennonite community) lives in Gold Creek and build sheds. It’s not Whitehall but close than PA. 🙂

        You can get ahold of them ( Hochstetlers) at 406-288-7654 – just tell them that Viola gave you their number.

        Good luck!

        1. Carla Huitt

          Amish Log Furniture

          Thank-you regarding the information for Gold Creek

          1. You are welcome! If you need any log furniture, we can help you with that. 🙂 The website has shipping included but if you are anywhere close to the West Kootenai Amish, you can pick up the furniture at a discounted price from what is shown on the site. ( I am no longer Amish so I manage one of the websites ( http://www.amishlogfurniture.com ) 🙂

            There is also a big Amish Auction at the West Kootenai every year on the second Sat in June where you can buy loads of rustic furniture.

        2. Donald Scott

          Great -- thanks -- I may be looking for someone in Deer Lodge area

          This is pretty timely — I’m heading up in August to begin to get my poor little neglected Deer Lodge house fixed up. I’d heard of the Gold Creek Amish folks, so will keep them as a resource.

          Thanks,

          Donald M. Scott

          1. Bobbi Vaughn

            Montana Amish and Deer Lodge visit

            I see you said in this post that you have a place in Deer Lodge. We will be visiting NW Montana in late September and Deer Lodge is a possible side trip. We love Amish, having visited them in 4 different states. Also, we are interested in visiting the historic ranch there.

    34. Constance Chauvel-Gomez

      visiting

      We would love to come visit you and your colony!!
      A gal working at the Apple Cellar here in Kalispell knows you and recommends we come meet you!
      Of special interest is your gardening expertise!!!

      Would you so us the honor of letting us come out??

      Sincere Blessings, and God’s Blessing,

      Dennis and Connie

      1. Mary Brammer

        Visit request to Ashland Amish

        Constance Chauvel-Gomez – who are you sending out your request of a visit to?

        1. Constance Chauvel-Gomez

          Visiting

          We would be honored to visit any of the Colonies; we live in Kalispell, so believe Kingsbury, Pondera or West Kootenai are closest???

          1. West Kootenai

            I am thinking you are probably closest to the ones on the West Kootenai plus that’s such a beautiful drive up there. Their is a small Mennonite store up there that does dinners every Friday evening. The food is amazing! ( the store owners are ex-amish)

        2. Constance Chauvel-Gomez
    35. Trinity

      Contact info for Amish in Ashland

      Does anyone know how I can contact the Amish in Ashland MT?? I know some people who purchased some horses from them and I would like to see if they have anymore available! Thank you!

    36. Kelsey

      Outreach to St. Ignatius Communities

      I am an outreach worker for a non-profit, primary and preventive health care clinic that provides services to all agricultural workers and their dependents at little or no cost. For decades, different religious communities have attended our walk-in clinic sites in Billings and around the state.

      Now that we have a clinic just south of Missoula, we are looking to reach out to those in St. Ignatius who are primarily employed in agriculture. Does anyone on this page have any ideas for how to reach out to ranchers and farmers in Lake County? Any stores or centers that would be a good place to leave information.

      If there are any ideas out there, I would be very interested!

      Thank you for reading,
      Kelsey

    37. MIchael Curtin (Myke)

      WIsh to join a traditinal working Amih Community

      I wish to be fully involved in all asspects (beleifs) of a very traditional Amish family / community and hopefuly pray and work and live with an Amish family.
      There are no Amish here in Australia.
      It has been my desire to be Amish for many many years and finally I’m at a stage in life that I don’t want to just dream and talk , but accutally do somethinfg about joining!!! I am fully prepared to be an active member and intime be considered worthy.
      If there a no fully traditional Amish communites in Montana perhaps you can puy me in touch with one eslewhre in the USA / Canada. Pray and hope you can guide me in my future life in the Amish.

    38. Rick Barber

      I would be interested in talking about marketing outbuilding, barns and sheds manufactured by the Amish. Since freight is a very competitive factor, the manufacturing location would be integral to where they could be marketed. Please contact me with manufacturing in any or all of these three western states: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana

    39. Fenny Folmer

      stay in Montana

      we are in Montana in the period end of may 2015. I have read about the Amish a lot. I am very interested to learn your community better .
      We are passing the town of St Ignatius.
      Is their a way to have bed and breakfast place within Amish community, or other way to visit

    40. Bret Getty

      Looking for wagon hoops

      I have a historic sheepherder wagon I am restoring to use as a guest room. I am in the need of a couple hoops to replace ones that are broken. I heard by word of mouth the Amish might be a good place to check and see if I could get a couple (3) made. I could get exact measurements but they are approximately 13 feet from one end of hoop to the other, 2.5 inches wide, 3/4 inches thick (I think).

      Can you help me with my quest to find some hoops and finish my “guest room”?

      Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.
      Bret

      1. Linda

        Wagon repair

        Hi, Bret, here’s a start.

        M&M Buggy Works
        Buggy Wheel Repairs, Buggy Restoration
        Neal Borntrager
        N375 Meyer Road
        New Holstein, WI 53061
        920-894-2198 Outside phone. Let it ring. No Sunday sales.

        Vehicles, Wheelwrights. Rural Heritage – Online Evener Directory:
        http://ruralheritage.com/Evener/index.htm#vehicles

        Carriage Association of America, Directory of services and suppliers, Wheelwrights:
        http://www.caaonline.com/caa_content.asp?PageType=Dept&Key=6&MType=WH&MTypeDesc=Wheelwrights

      2. Linda

        Amish Wagons

        Amish Wagons – Pennsylvania. This may have children’s toy wagons mixed with large horse wagons.
        https://amishamerica.com/amish-wagons-pennsylvania/

      3. MKJ

        re: needing hoops for sheepherder wagon

        you might also see if there is a Basque community around that could help with this. Basque did most of the sheep herding in the west such as Montana, Wyoming, etc.

      4. DM Scott

        Wagon hoops

        There’s a Carriage museum in Cardston, Alberta, which has an extensive restoration shop. They should know. http://www.history.alberta.ca/remington/

    41. Theresa Johnston

      I would like to join an Amish Community

      How would I go about doing this?

    42. mtnmom5

      Are you close to one?

      Are you close to an amish community now? It is very hard to join most amish communities. First of all there is the language barrier. They speak mostly in PA Dutch. They will speak english to you directly but all their conversations are held in dutch so you will feel like an outsider for the most part. It’s just a fact of life in ‘amish world’. 🙂

      There are some amish communities where it’s easier to join where they use more english, but you will just need to start searching once and see where it leads you.

    43. Hebrew

      Community Living

      My family and I would like to learn about your community living. What guidelines you have? How you go about enforcing them? How do you purchase land; as a community or individuals? How do you problem solve? Do you trade services or use money?

      This is just a short list of things we’re curious about. It would be awesome to experience a community for a few months.

      I hope I will get the response in my email too.

      1. Mary Brammer

        Response to Hebrew's question on Community Living

        There are many books available for you to do research and get answers to some of your questions – I suggest you read “The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World: by Kaybill, Nolt, Weaver, etal. Before you decide to try and join a community you need to be sure you can live their lifestyle (the main reason many ‘Englisher’ (non-Amish) do not stay … you must be able to live without electricity (no computer, no cell phone, no electronics at all) no cars, no running water, no forced air furnace or a/c unit, etc), so if you are not already living “off the grid” see if you can survive by just turning off the electricity and water service (hand haul your water in jugs) where you are currently living … how long can you go without??? If you didn’t have a vehicle could you walk to work every day??

        If by chance you have already done this, and done your research, then you need to learn the Amish language – there are several free online sites where you will get basic instruction, but it is up to you to really learn and understand (i.e. USE the language yourself).

        After that, go and visit the different communities – each one is a bit different from the other. If you want to really be accepted by the Amish I would discourage you from just arriving at their doorstep and announcing that you want to be a new resident … you should find your own house (ask if something is available to rent … you may find something that needs some repairs), visit the Amish community store and businesses and introduce yourself once you find a place to rent, then the next step will be to find employment (many Amish men do work outside the community, and this is how they save money to purchase their own properties and horses/cows/etc). It is important for you to keep in mind that you must live like the Amish and travel like the Amish (no more cars!), and be able to communicate with the Amish (their language) before the Amish will even consider being friendly enough to possibly invite you to attend one of their Sunday services (you don’t ask unless you know their language – the service is not in english).

        After being accepted by the Amish community (not as one of them mind you, but just accepted as you being yourself) you can volunteer to help with haying season or for general labor in the community garden (you must help to grow, harvest and put it up to be able to share in the crop … the more you do the more you get to share). As an outsider you will still be able to purchase items at the community store, and many times the dry food items may be purchased at a very low price (be sure to ask when their supply trucks arrive (such as Friday at 6am) and be sure to lend a hand with the other community members to unload the truck as many times it will be a semi truck full of boxes that must each be physically picked up and carried into the store).

        Should you consider coming to the Ashland area be sure to let us know – we take in single males and/or females, and in exchange for them assisting in the work at our ranch we will introduce you to the Ashland Amish community (much like a sponsorship) – you would begin as a non-paid apprentice, and then eventually move up if you decide to stick around.

        1. Brock Jackson

          I would like to be "taken in" for ranch work

          Hello,

          It’s a long story, the Lord has carried me this far.

          I would like to know a simpler, detached way of living. I am willing to work (slave away) on the ranch for the opportunity to have a place to stay and focus on God.

          Thank you and may God continue to bless you all,

          Brock
          661-585-9977

    44. MKJ

      do the Montana Amish associate with the Montana Hutterites?

      Do the Montana Amish associate with the Montana Hutterites?

      I am 1/4 Hutterite from Central Washington state, and was aware the Hutterites were basically the “Amish of the West” living in Montana, the Dakotas, etc. I wasn’t aware until reading this article that there were any Amish communities as far west as Montana.

      Do the Hutterites and Amish associate with each other in Montana and other states where they both reside?
      I would assume so unless there had been some sort of falling-out. They both speak their own dialects of German, and of course there is English if the Hutterisch and PA Deutch dialects are too different to be easily mutually intelligible.

      1. Joe Wirz

        Hutterites

        The Amish near Lewistown are constantly in contact with the Hutterites nearby. King Colony is one of them. I am from Canada and have been to that amish settlement several times. Plus visited the school house there. Bishop Troyer is a nice gentleman

    45. Paul Van Tricht

      Amish Community in Tongue River Valley , MT almost destroyed by proposed Railroad.

      The Amish Community in the Otter Creek valley was almost destroyed
      by a proposed railroad line by the Tongue River Railroad.
      The proposed line would have run right through the middle of the community.
      The Coal Company whose coal would have been shipped on the line went bankrupt so the line is currently dead.

    46. Andrea

      West Kootenai fire Aug/Sept 2017

      I was just in the West Kootenai/Rexford community last week while visiting my sister in NW Montana. It was so beautiful! Unfortunately, there was a large fire just west of the community, and it looks like last night it spread east and affected some homes. Hope all are safe and praying for rain ASAP!
      More details here:
      http://flatheadbeacon.com/2017/09/03/fire-west-eureka-doubles-sizes-destroys-structures/

      1. Fire in Rexford, MT Amish area

        Thanks for the note Andrea, I saw that news this morning. From what I read it was reported that the Amish are “OK”.

        http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/wildfires/several-structures-lost-near-west-kootenai-as-caribou-fire-doubles-in-size/616067382

    47. Andrea

      Thanks for the reply and update, Erik! Keeping my fingers crossed that the fire line holds at bay and the winds blow in a favorable direction! It was extremely dry there– I can see how a fire could easily get out of control, as it is in much of the NW right now. I’m sure most other Amish communities don’t have the threat of wildfire that they do in Montana. I’d never visited the Rexford community before but was inspired to do so after inspiration from your website! Which, I must say, is some of the most interesting, informative, and pleasant reading on the internet these days! Now, if there were just an Amish community nearby to me in Alaska for me to visit– I’d be set!

      Andrea

      1. Wow Andrea, you made quite a journey if you came from Alaska…neat to hear you were able to visit. I’ve always thought it would be one of the most interesting communities to travel to. I hope you enjoyed the trip.

        Growing up in the east, wildfires were never on my radar, but must be a scary thing if you’re in the vicinity of one. Hopefully it gets under control soon.

    48. Howard R Duvall

      Amish Builders

      I am considering building s cabin on my property in the Miles City area, I was wondering if there is any Amish in the Forsyth MT area that would consider building this cabin for me.

      Thanks
      Howard

    49. Looking for Information about the Rexford Montana Amish Community

      Hi, I’m writing a fictional book about the Rexford Montana Amish Community and I would love to get speak with someone who has been there and can tell me more about it. Thanks in advance for your help.

    50. Stevensonville

      My son and wife just purchased a farm in Stevensville, Montana. (they won’t move until spring). They were told the farms on their boundaries are Amish owned. Also that the previous owner was doing the phone calls and owned the community well. I don’t see Stevensville mentioned. We may join them out there but would like to know more about this community.