Swartzentruber homes in Holmes

The homes of the Swartzentruber Amish and similar groups tend to be among the plainest.  Metal roofs and dirt lanes are characteristic.

Usually Swartzentruber yards are a bit scrabbly-looking compared to the typical meticulously-cared-for Old Order front lawn.  This may reflect a difference in concern for the material world.


While many Old Order Amish will work out on construction crews and in factories, Swartzentrubers tend to try to stick to agriculture a bit moreso.  But they are not averse to working in shops.  Yesterday I talked to a Swartzentruber guy who works in an Amish-owned foundry.  Swartzentruber Amish often find employment in furniture businesses as well.

Read more on the Swartzentruber Amish.

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    1. sure natalya, glad to answer, they usually build them to the size that they want them–a family starting up might expect 6 to 8 kids so build accordingly. They also may build a house which is attached to a smaller one, called a ‘dawdihaus’ and which is where the grandparents live.

    2. Natalya (talj)

      These houses, to me, seem so grand. Here in the UK a house of this size would be one with only very wealthy occupants. They are really beautiful.

      As you are aware, I am only just getting to know a little about the Amish ‘world’ and read that families build on to their house so that loved ones can continue to live close. If that’s correct, do these houses start out fairly small?

      Sorry for the questions, I’m just trying to learn and get a better understanding of everything!

    3. Natalya (talj)

      Thank you for your answer. I am still amazed at the granduer of these houses!

      I have also just noticed the houses on the hills in the distance…it’s wonderful to see so much countryside between homes!

    4. emmanuelle

      thanks a lot for your news. Do you have lot of contacts with Swartzentrubers?

    5. Bill Hundley

      Do Amish who build homes for a living travel outside their community to work? And if so, how would I contact them?

    6. hey Emmanuelle

      I have a lot less contact with Swartzentrubers than Old Order/New Order/Andy Weaver in Holmes. I am going to be in Lancaster for two months now and will be back in Holmes in September and will probably go have a chat with some Swartzentruber families.

    7. How far do Amish travel for work?

      Hey Bill, many Amish travel outside of their communities for work, particularly on serious contracting jobs–I have met Geauga County Amish in Ohio who go over to suburbs south of Cleveland to build, Daviess County Amish who travel up to 2 hours to the job site,and one of my customers in Holmes used to go for a week, overnight, even to PA.

      Some may go even farther for special jobs.

      But Swartzentrubers are apparently restricted to jobs within buggying distance.

      Probably the best way to contact them would be just to approach one of them if you live near a community–but I’m just assuming you maybe don’t?

      Many Amish contractors will have phone numbers however, and I’m not sure but good chance they might be listed in an Amish business directory.

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