Previewing Amish Ohio

I’ll be hitting the road for Holmes County, Ohio this weekend.  I’ve got plans to attend Sunday School with friends in a New Order Amish congregation.

The rest of the week should be a lot of visiting and maybe even a side trip to an off-the-beaten-path community.  I have been on my “Rocky” diet, training hard and dropping weight this week in anticipation of putting it all back on (and then some).

I’ll be sure to have some posts and photos from the trip.  But I thought I’d post a few beforehand, courtesy of Mary Brandenburg, who shared an Amish basement and washer last week.  Mary passed on a load of shots taken in what looked like every season; I’ve picked out a few of the summery ones:

ohio amish valley view


amish farmer holmes county


kidron ohio auction


amish ohio valley


amish carriages holmes co


corn shocks ohio


amish school holmes county oh

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    1. Our cabin is just over the line from Holmes in Knox County. Are you going to visit the Mohawk Bent and Dent? the Haystack School? Weaver’s vegetable stand and bakery? (don’t miss the zucchini bars) Be sure to buy their corn. Can’t wait to hear all about your visit.

      1. Forsythia, I didn’t have plans to, but maybe I need to hit some of those spots. I’ll be sure to make it a point to stop in to a bent n dent of some sort, especially after our recent discussion on them 🙂

    2. Karen Miller

      Be sure to honk your horn as you drive down 62, we will be watching for you! Enjoy your weekend, it is blessedly cool here in Holmes County today. . . Hope the rain stays away. It is also the week of the Holmes County Fair!

      1. Karen I will be laying on the horn!

    3. Karen Pollard

      We’re planning a visit to the Amish area in northern Ohio in September. What’s on the list of NOT to be missed places to see? Eat? Shop? Quilting Shops??

      Are there any Amish owned bed and breakfasts in the area?

      1. TomK

        These might help, Karen…

      2. Michigan Mary


        Karen, check out this webiste:
        it is owned by relatives of our Amish friends. It’s a decent place on a true OO Amish dairy farm. Or, you can call Sunset View B&B at 303.893.7902 and leave a voicemail for Nelson/RuthAnn Beachy. It is also on an OO Amish farm/property. This first place is actually an apartment like area in their home; the second is an apartment like area that is attached to their main outbuilding that houses a bent & dent store. It is very popular in Holmes County for the Amish to have living quarters attached to a main shop building. I have been in both places and they are both suitable – but they don’t have electricity, phones, tv’s etc…. so be prepared.

      3. Michigan Mary


        Karen, and anyone else that goes to Holmes County, be sure to pick up a copy of the map titled, “AMISH HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS”. It’s $3.95 but worth every single penny of it. There are many FREE maps around the area, but the AHAB map is the ONLY ONE that has every single road, street, lane, dirt road, two-track and horse trail listed on it. You can’t get lost in HC with this map and it will take you to some really incredible places that you won’t find on other maps. That being said, be sure to have a breakfast at the Carpenter Cafe located inside of the Keim Lumber store in Charm, Ohio (south of Berlin). Be sure to have a lunch in the little restaurant that is in the basement of the Town & Country grocery store in Kidron. If you go there on a Thursday, the place will be packed as it is auction/flea market day at the Kidron Auction Barn (Kidron is where the famous Lehman’s is located). That’s all for right now… maybe more later.

        1. Holmes County map

          I second what Michigan Mary says. “Amish Highways and Byways” is the best Holmes County (and environs) map I’ve come across. And having been down most of the roads (and gotten lost more than once), let me tell you, you’ll appreciate having a map with all the nooks and crannies well-marked!

          But, for some people, getting lost is part of the fun. I guess I’m in that category. Unless I’ve got to be somewhere that is 🙂

          1. Purchasing Map

            I would like to purchase the Amish Map recommended. Where and how can I purchase map and have it sent to my home out west, for use when I next get to go to Holmes County. I have family in Wayne County:-).
            Thank you for sending me the requested information.
            BettyJean Fritts

            1. Looks like you can order it online here:

              There is also a free printable map which appears similar here:

        2. Lissa Holder

          Wow thanks for all the info! I would like to visit there myself. (0:

    4. Lois Klobucher

      I really enjoy your postings and especially all of the pictures. They are just beautiful.
      I really would love the recipe for the Zucchini bars :~))

      I do have a question for you I do remember awhile ago you did have a posting on this but I forgot.
      Do the Amish vote and what will they do now if they do, with everyone having to show a picture at the time of voting ?

      1. Amish voting, photo IDs

        Lois, good question, you might check this short article out:

        I have to admit I’m not up to speed on the current laws on showing picture ID at the ballot box.

        As you’ll see in the article, voting is not too common among Amish in the first place…some Amish do have picture IDs, and the ones that vote (who would generally be on the more progressive side) are probably more likely to have photo ID as well.

    5. Amish Stories

      Well done with the pictures Mary......

      Very nice work with those pictures Mary Brandenburg, and i enjoyed my stay in Ohio even though it was only one time. My favorite spot in Holmes county was the Berlin area because it was so hilly. Richard from

    6. Lee Ann

      Erik, wish I could go with you in visiting the different Amish communities. I also would love to attend a Sunday meeting with the Amish church.

      Pictures are beautiful! I miss the rolling hills of the midwest,and farm country as well. Thanks for posting the pictures.

      Anyone know if the Amish in CO. have a B&B? Im planning to go there next year.

      1. Patty Miller

        reviewing Amish Ohio

        Lee Ann,

        I just got back from the Amish community(ies) in Colorado. I didn’t hear of any B & B there. But it is a beautiful setting, one that grows on you. I had the treat of going in horse and buggy to their Sunday evening singing. A real highlight of the trip. Hope you have a great trip.

      2. Patty Miller

        reviewing Amish Ohio

        Lee Ann,

        I just got back from the Amish community(ies) in Colorado. I didn’t hear of any B & B there. But it is a beautiful setting, one that grows on you. I had the treat of going in horse and buggy to their Sunday evening singing. A real highlight of the trip. Hope you have a great trip.


    7. BethR

      GREAT pictures!! I love the countryside but the pic with all the buggies is my favorite. Thanks for sharing!

    8. Candis

      Was just there 2 weeks ago. What a beautiful, serene place. I have been to Lancaster, Shipsewanna and southern Michigan, and while all these Amish areas are lovely, none compare to Holmes Co. for its rolling, hilly terrain and charming, small towns. Going there is like a spiritual retreat for me. If you have time take the 40 minute drive south to Roscoe Village, a restored early 19th century canal town. Not very “touristy”, and lots of interesting history and architecture. Can’t wait for your blog when you return!

      1. Roscoe Village Ohio

        Thanks Candis! Funny I was just looking at the cover of an old Ohio Amish Country guide, and they have Roscoe Village on the cover. I keep hearing about it but have never gotten down there. If the Amish weren’t so close by, I probably would have by now, as I enjoy historical towns.

        I’m going to do my best to keep the blog going while I’m gone, though I won’t be online as much as you can understand 🙂 I do have a Kindle which if it gets coverage will give me a chance to check in now and then. Also I try to duck into a public library in the area to use the internet when I can.

    9. Is that a small lawnmower engine I see in the field picture? It is hard to tell what is happened there – I think he may be sowing, or tilling. I’ve wondered about modifying field equipment that requires a power take-off.

      I thought stooking corn was a lost skill.

      1. jodie

        I spent a week in Kalona, IA last month. Saw several fields of the corn shocks. I’m not quite sure of what they are called. Ussed to see them often when I went to PA.

      2. Stook–you taught me a new word Magdalena.

      3. Matt from CT

        >Is that a small lawnmower engine I see in
        >the field picture? It is hard to tell what
        >is happened there

        Yes, it’s a small engine.

        In the picture he is “tedding” the hay (that’s what we call it in New England anyways). This fluffs up and turns over the hay to speed up it’s drying.

        The tedder he is pulling is normally driven by a tractor PTO (Power Take Off) shaft, but in this case he has what’s known as a “Motorized Forecart” which has the engine on it which is powering the tedder.

        I’ve never seen this style of tedder be purely animal-powered. There are older “side delivery rakes” which derived their power solely from their wheels (gears on the wheels work the mechanism).

        Most side delivery rakes can do a similar job, but not as well as a tedder. Likewise, most tedders have can also be setup to rake the hay into a row but don’t do as good of a job as a side delivery rake for that function.

        Going back many years ago, hay was cut once a year in July. The grass was very mature and often nearly dead. It didn’t take much to cure it (dry it enough for storage). Very labor intensive with cutting by scythes!

        Today most farmers in most of the U.S. try to get in three cuttings a year. The hay is cut when it has a much higher nutritional value, but it’s trickier to cure — if you leave it out too long, you lose nutrition (either from sun or rain leaching it); if you don’t leave it out long enough you risk it heating up and either molding inside or actually catching fire!

        In my area, while there’s some variation, most farmers try to:

        Day 1 Mid-morning (after dew is burned off): Cut the hay with a “mower conditioner” — this feeds the plants through a set of rollers that crush the stems so they’ll let out the moisture sooner

        Day 1 Late Afternoon: Ted

        Day 2 Mid Morning: Ted again

        Day 2 Mid Afternoon: Rake into rows

        Day 2 Late Afternoon: Bale

        Not unusual to stretch into three days, especially if you don’t have a mower-conditioner but instead just a plain mower. Part of the challenge too is each time you ted the hay, you lose more of the fine leaves and seed heads and this stuff is the most palatable and nutritious parts.

        While we use tractors here, in pictures I’ve seen Amish using all those tools pulled by horses but powered by motorized forecarts. Not all Amish; I’ve seen others using much more traditional tools like a ground-driven sickle bar mower in lieu of a mower-conditioner.

        1. Thanks – we use side rakes around here, but since we are planning to work with horses once we have good hay started, this was new to me.

          1. OldKat

            Magdalena: If you are going to be, or already are farming with horses, try a website called Draft Animal Power. Plenty of discussion about working animals; horses, mules, oxen, even camels and elephants sometimes! There are also forums on equipment, sources of equipment, fabricating equipment, etc. Should be worth a look if you are even remotely interested in that sort of thing. Just Google those words and a DAP link should pop up.

    10. I’m envious! That’s the area I visit in Ohio. My friends live out there and we always go to the Amish auctions, etc.

    11. Loblied

      Will you get to hear the congregation sing “Loblied?”

      1. If I make it to church the following weekend, I am sure I will hear Loblied Forsythia. The singing is somewhat different in Sunday School, different songs and a bit faster pace.

    12. Cindy Elliott

      Have a great trip!

      Sounds great Erik! Have a great trip! We’re hoping to visit Holmes County this fall. Please let us know your fav places for some great inside travel info. 🙂 Thanks! Beautiful pictures, Mary. Thanks for sharing!

    13. Alice Mary

      Lucky Erik, & Thank You, Mary!

      Sigh! I guess I’ll have to keep enjoying Amish “vacations” through the eyes, recollections, and photos of others!

      Have a wonderful time, Erik! (My pen pal lives near the Geauga area. In 45 years of corresponding, I’ve never met her in person, but have heard some accounts of her visiting the Amish community. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet her and be able to tour the Amish countryside.) I’ll be looking for your posts/pictures when you get back. With school starting up around here (and as the mother of an elementary school teacher), I’d be especially interested in schools and school-related events/photos/observations.

      Thank you SO MUCH, Mary, for sharing those gorgeous photos! They’re much appreciated!

      Alice Mary

      1. Michigan Mary


        Alice Mary – the last of the pictures above is an Amish Parochial School located between Berlin and Mt. Hope, Ohio. I will try to remember to take more school photos while I am there this fall. What’s really neat is when they have the benefit events at one of the schools. They’ll have an auction and a donation meal right at the school property and you can tour the building. We haven’t been to one yet, but hope to make it this year.

    14. Lois Morgan


      We had a neighbor from Alberta, Canada who talked about “stooks,” but she spelled it “stukes” I had never heard it called either one and I was raised in farming country in New York, not far from the Amish counties in Pennsylvania..

      1. Stook is the only word I know for it. I believe it is archaic English, but it is how corn and wheat were harvested here up to a generation ago. It may be similar to a Danish word, so it got used longer here.

    15. Mona

      Have fun Erik, and do be careful if you’re driving….are you going alone or with a group ?

      Take lots of pictures….can’t wait to see them all and hear all about your trip…..

      Enjoy your delicious food you will be getting…..I’m jealous LOL…

      Take care, stay safe and take lots and lots of pictures….hey you can get some recipes and post them too of things that you eat and you like….that would be interesting……

    16. The Miller Haus

      Hey Erik- We live right here near Walnut Creek and my hubby was raised Amish. We have a B&B nestled in the hills here.

      Our love story is pretty crazy and would love to meet you and hear more of your story. I included my email if you have time for a visit!

      Have joined Suzanne a couple times as well and LOVE her. If you haven’t met her in person yet I hope you get to!!

    17. Chelsea

      The Farmstead Inn B&B is a nice place. The family is very nice and open with their guests. I stayed there two years ago for a weekend. I would stay there again in the future.

      Magdalena — The stooks are give-aways for the Swartzentruber Amish homes in the area. To my knowledge, they are the only group that still uses that process for gathering their hay and corn stalks. Never knew what it was called before though 🙂


    18. Linda Smith

      Visiting Holmes County

      Just made reservations for Sept. 12-14 to visit beautiful Ohio Amish Country in Holmes Co. This will be the 2nd time this year. Love the scenery while driving the back roads, our favorite thing to do while there. Greatest food in the world!

    19. Theresa

      This map you talked about, Amish Highways and Byways” does it cove Mi too? Or is it only for Ohio? Is there one for Mi?
      Thanks in advance Theresa

    20. Sharon

      Would love to stay at some of the Bed and Breakfasts and other places, but they are too expensive for me. Why do things have to be so expensive? If one could afford to get there which is quite an expense at it is, I wouldn’t have the money for a B&B. Are there any inexpensive places?

    21. Linda

      Sharon, maybe it would be cheaper to go in the off season. One possibility for a free night of lodging is the giveaway contest, until Dec. 15, 2012, at