Reader Rebecca Rury recently took a visit to the only Texas Amish community, at Beeville in Bee County. She stopped in at the community’s best-known Amish business – Borntrager’s Combination Shop – but writes that she “didn’t get to chat with Mr. Borntrager as he was busy shoeing a horse.” Mr. Borntrager is the owner of the combination shop, and the bishop of this community. Rebecca does leave us with a few photos of the shop and scenes from the community:

In some states the buggy signs will indicate for how many miles you should expect to see buggy traffic, like in this example. Those tend to be attached to signs on main roads. So this gives us an idea of the range of the community. It doesn’t mean that Amish necessarily live across an eight mile stretch (this is quite a small community, not even a “full’ church district), but does indicate where they tend to travel on the roads.

Some Amish have the custom of placing the SMV triangle on the left side of the buggy, as we see is the case here. Is this better for visibility? It’s only a relatively small minority of Amish who do it this way.

Here we have a look inside the Combination Shop. Kind of a variety shop; I guess combination is something of a synonym for that more commonly-used word for describing these types of Amish shops (though this is not exactly a typical Amish variety store). We see an array of foods here (the sign on the register reads “Pastured Poultry Homegrown Chicken”). Also some horse tack items hanging from the rafters (the word that popped in my head is “hame”, but I’m not sure if that’s correct, not a horse person). Also hanging down in the middle here – is that a leather rifle case?

Looks like some more tack items here, canned goods, and some empty-looking bins that appear to have held some produce (sweet corn?).

Finally, a close-up on two items to make the sweet tooth happy. It seems it would be a real missed opportunity to not sell honey if you run a food business in Bee County. As it happens, Google gives the description of this business as “Honey farm in Bee County, Texas”.

For more on this unusual settlement, back in April we looked a video drive-thru of this community which revealed some views of the landscape and Amish homes in the area:

Each year when the Amish population estimates come out, you see smaller Amish states add new settlements. Texas is not one of those. It seems to just be Beeville in this state, year after year for over two decades (though there have been some smatterings of Amish in the state in the past). It doesn’t grow much; I guess not many Amish have found this an attractive place to live. But I’m happy that at least one Amish settlement continues on in the Lone Star State.
Amish-made cheese


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