We have a winner of the latest Name that Amish Community quiz, who got the right answers in yesterday evening just before the bell.  Well done to Linda, who wins a year’s subscription to Family Life magazine.

For those curious, I wanted to explain the thinking behind the quiz and how you could have solved it (with a bit of work! 🙂 ).

Since I suggested in the comments it would be better to figure out photos #1 and #3 first, then #2, I’ll explain them in that order.

And since I refer below to the original clues given, here they are again:


  1. The photos were taken in three different states.
  2. None of these communities is larger than 15 church districts in size (as of September 2013).
  3. You can drive from community #1 to #2 to #3 without having to go through any other states in-between.
  4. One of these communities was founded in the 1960s, and two were founded in the 1980s.

Photo #1


The clue here was in the sign. I intentionally cropped the photo so that only part of the number was showing. It is indeed a telephone number. I left the last 3 digits, “663”, and then just a bit of the fourth–a curve which should have indicated that this could be only one of 2 numbers, a “0” or a “9”.

The word was also truncated, but I assumed most of us would see that as “Shoppe”, as there are few other words (maybe none?) that have that ending.

If you Google “Shoppe 0663”, you probably won’t get anything suggesting an Amish community–I get a body shop in Roanoke VA, and a countertop shop in Naples, FL, among the results on the first page. But if you Google “Shoppe 9663”, you should get “J & J Country Shoppe – Munfordville KY” among the results near the top.

Google results can vary, but I also checked this in Bing, with similar results and Munfordville appearing right near the top.

Looking at the linked list of Amish settlements I included to help, we see the Munfordville/Horse Cave KY settlement has 14 churches and was founded in 1989, so it fulfills clues 2 and 4. The kapp style in the photo may have been an additional clue, not enough to figure it out alone, but enough to rule out say a Lancaster-related community (where the kapp has more of a heart shape). So given all this, it’s a reasonable bet this photo is from the Munfordville community.

This photo was taken by contributor Tom Geist (you may also have noticed the telltale curve in the photo, created by Tom’s dash cam, a bonus “clue” since we recently mentioned Tom has some Kentucky photos to share 😉 )

And so now we know more or less what part of the country we are in, but where to head next?

Photo #3


In addition to the 4 main clues given, I suggested in the comments section that you may want to work with #1 and #3 first, then go to #2.

There were two signage clues in photo #3–a license plate and a number (17) attached to the horse-drawn equipment. You can’t read the words, but you might have recognized the Michigan plate design or found it by Google image searching the license plate designs of states in the region (thick blue stripe at top, which is common to a number of Michigan’s plate designs; Google search “Michigan license plate” and you should see one just like this one right near the top).

We can see in the photo an Amishman driving some piece of horse-drawn farm equipment towards what looks like a tent and some other equipment in the distance. This, the number hanging off the equipment, and the presence of the truck suggest some kind of event–possibly an auction?

I would probably think auction myself first, but in this case it was something different. If you’ve read this blog for a while you might remember a post a couple years back (summer 2012) on Horse Progress Days in Clare, Michigan.

If you recalled something like that but couldn’t remember quite what it was, you might have searched for something like “amish michigan horse event” in the search box in the sidebar of this site, which should have given you the Horse Progress Days post among the first results.

In that post, you’ll see similar clues, including a red-and-white striped tent top and similar numbers on horses in the photos. Checking the settlements list we see Clare, Michigan has 4 church districts and was founded in 1981, fitting both clues #2 and #4.  This photo was among those I didn’t use on the original Clare Horse Progress Days post, and was taken by Michigan Mary.

So by the original clues I gave, what we have left is a community founded in the 1960s with no more than 15 church districts.

Clue number 3 also says we can drive from #1 to #2 to #3 without passing through any other states. Since we know #1 is in Kentucky and #3 is in Michigan, that means #2 can only be in either Ohio or Indiana.

Photo #2


This was probably the hardest to figure out, since you really had to figure out #1 and #3 to get here. Also, it has the fewest visual clues (no signs).

There was also a confusing bit here that I hadn’t anticipated–the fact that none of these vehicles has an SMV triangle. Since we know that Swartzentruber Amish don’t use the triangle, that and the plain appearance suggested these might be Swartzentruber vehicles. Looking at the settlements founded in the 1960s in Ohio and Indiana, one of them–Peoli, OH–is listed as a Swartzentruber community.

However, there is one key clue here pointing in a different direction, and that is the style of buggy. All of them are open, and most of these feature the “kid box”, which is characteristic of Swiss Amish settlements. You might remember seeing this post last year explaining what this feature is, basically a container for children to ride in offering protection from the elements.

If you figured that out, you had to know which communities of the handful founded in Ohio or Indiana in the 1960s are Swiss. If you didn’t know that Hamilton (Steuben County) was Swiss, maybe you had a really good memory and recalled that this community appeared, briefly, on this site before, in a post on Amish buggy styles, in reference to a photo of a Swiss Amish buggy (2nd one down from the jump-link), with kid box, in Steuben County, Indiana.  Interestingly, that photo also lacks an SMV triangle, and based on other photos I’ve seen, it appears that this plain community also does not use the triangle.

This photo was taken by contributor ShipshewanaIndiana at the Hamilton auction a couple of weeks ago (we’ll have more on that event soon).

So in summary, the answers:

1) Munfordville/Horse Cave, Kentucky (Grayson & Hart Counties). Founded 1989, 14 church districts.

2) Hamilton, Indiana (Steuben County; listed as Indiana community but also has households in Williams County, OH). Founded 1964, 1 church district.

3) Clare, Michigan (Clare & Isabella Counties). Founded 1981, 4 church districts.

Thanks to all who took a crack at it, and congratulations again to Linda for nailing down the right answers.

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