Illinois Amish

5 signs of spring in Amish America

Today is the first day of spring (also known as the furthest day possible from next winter). Depending on your latitude, you may need the calendar to tell you that.  But even if your weather this morning doesn’t seem so springy, it will be here soon enough. With spring, plants know the wait is over.  They may now officially begin to sprout and grow. Of…

Roselen’s, An Amish-run Coffee Shop (Arthur, Illinois)

Roselen’s Coffee & Delights 1045 E Columbia St Arthur, IL 61911 (217) 543-3106 In last Friday’s brain dump I mentioned Roselen’s Coffees and Delights, a drive-thru coffee shop in the Arthur, Illinois Amish community. Roselen’s is operated by Amish sisters Rose Plank and Lena Otto.  I guess we can figure out where the shop’s name comes from (but why did poor Lena have to lose…

The Top 10 Amish Settlements

The ten largest Amish settlements, by number of church districts, as of 2009: 10. Allen County, Indiana (Founded 1852; 19 church districts).  This Amish settlement located to the north of Fort Wayne is a Swiss-ethnicity community.  Open buggies are driven here;  the construction trade is popular.  Allen County Amish homes are often built of red brick, unlike those of most other Amish.  The three most…

Arthur, Illinois Amish

Outside of a childhood trip to Lancaster County and a brief day in a southern Michigan Amish community, Arthur,  Illinois was the place where I first came to know Amish, while selling books there in 2004.  Arthur is in fact the sixth largest Amish settlement, with a population of about 4,000. Arthur is a community about 3 hours south of Chicago in the flat farmland…

An Amish Suicide

‘No motive for the deed is known, as he was wealthy and popular.’ Reporting of long ago can seem…a bit, well, simplistic, can’t it?  As in, what was the reporter’s thought process?  Wealth? Check. Popularity? Check. So what was this Shrock fellow’s problem?  What else could there have been to life? This is from a 1903 New York Times article.  Shrock, whatever his troubles may…

Where Amish Scooters Come From

Where Amish Scooters Come From

‘Sylvan’, one of my Amish friends in Lancaster County, runs a scooter workshop in addition to milking cows. In Lancaster County and related settlements, you rarely see bicycles–in Lancaster, for instance, there are only a few church districts I’m aware of that seem to allow them. I’ve also seen scooters in use among the Amish of Allen County, Indiana, and I’d imagine they’d be found…

|

The sporting Amishman, part 2

Amish also enjoy competitive team sports. This photo, taken by Holly in Mount Hope, Ohio, illustrates one of the most popular. Amish typically play sports as children and as members of the youth. On marriage and having kids, participation in sports tends to drop off markedly. It’s also worth remembering that different groups of Amish may have differing opinions on the matter of sports. Generally…

The Amish and hunting with guns

The Amish and hunting with guns

Being a well-known non-resistant group, people sometimes wonder if the Amish use guns for hunting. John at the Spokesrider has posted a few questions on this topic, which I’ve been meaning to get to for a while (thanks John!). I remember while in the Arthur, Illinois settlement a few years ago being surprised to learn that the Amish do use guns for hunting.  Since that…

My top five Amish settlements

Who loves rankings? (everyone loves rankings)–today I offer my personal top-five favorite Amish settlements.  I hope you’ll indulge my self-indulgence for this one day (I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long time!).  I haven’t been everywhere, but of the 17-or-so communities I’ve visited, these are the ones I would most readily revisit (and do when I can), and why. 1.Daviess County, Indiana–I…