Tennessee is home to one of the largest Amish communities in the South
When you mention “Amish”, most people don’t think of the South. Yet for over 60 years, a flourishing Amish settlement has existed just an hour-and-a-half outside of Nashville.
Ethridge, Tennessee Amish settlement
The Amish settlement at Ethridge, Tennessee is home to a population of roughly 1,500 Amish. This community was founded in 1944 by Amish from an extinct settlement at Lumberton, Mississippi, as well as Amish from Wayne County in Ohio.
The Amish in this settlement are very conservative, belonging to a Swartzentruber affiliation. The Swartzentruber Amish are among the most conservative in Amish society.
Like other Swartzentruber Amish, the Amish at Ethridge do not use the Slow-Moving Vehicle triangle, meaning extra caution is required while on the road. Homes are extremely plain, as is the clothing worn by individuals in this settlement.
Dairy and produce farming are common ways of making a living for Amish in the Ethridge settlement. Amish run numerous businesses in the area too, often selling products direct from home.
Low levels of technology are used in general, restricting the businesses Ethridge Amish operate. Despite technological limitations, Ethridge Amish run at least 50 businesses in this corner of Tennessee. Amish businesses include furniture makers, produce growers, candle makers, clock repair, and rugs.
Ethridge Amish produce auction
An important part of the local economy is the produce auction which takes place 3 times a week in the growing season (April-October). Local Amish produce growers bring their goods for sale. Among others, Amish sell peppers, tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, strawberries, and many other vegetables and fruits.
Produce auctions have become an increasingly popular way for Amish to make a living. Produce requires less capital and land than traditional dairy farming.
Additionally, public interest in “all-natural” and organic products help drive this market. Amish may run a produce business on the side, or even make a full-time living at it.
Tourism in the Ethridge TN settlement
As one of the oldest and largest Amish settlements in the South, Ethridge features a fairly well-developed tourist industry. An “Amish Welcome Center” provides visitors with a map of the area, with Amish businesses and the products they sell clearly marked.
Numerous outlets sell Amish furniture, books, and other Amish memorabilia (read more on Amish furniture in Tennessee). Restaurants, stores, and a number of wagon-ride operations provide visitors with opportunities to experience Amish culture.
Amish indirectly participate in the tourist industry as well. Some Amish sell products directly from locations at the English-run tourist-themed businesses. Others receive tour visitors who buy their products direct from home or from an adjacent shop on the property.
Small Tennessee Amish settlements
In addition to the community at Ethridge TN, Amish have also settled in other parts of Tennessee. Small Amish settlements can be found at five locations in Tennessee, including at Huntington and Bruceton in Carroll County (founded 1975), McKenzie (1998), and Summertown (2000). As of 2010, all of these settlements are comprised of no more than one or two church districts.
Tennessee Amish communities that failed
In addition to the present-day communities, Tennessee has a history of settlements that failed as well. Before the landmark Supreme Court decision of Wisconsin vs. Yoder granted Amish the right to remove their children from school after grade 8, Amish often came into conflict with state authorities over the issue of schooling.
Frequently, Amish would move to states where authorities were more accommodating. Such was the case with the community that once existed at Hohenwald, in Lewis County.
The Hohenwald settlement was founded by Amish from the Swiss Amish settlement at Adams County in Indiana (Swiss Amish are a different ethnic group within Amish society).
Amish from this community chose land in Lewis County, near to the young settlement at Ethridge, which had also recently been established by Amish motivated for reasons of schooling.
Amish began moving to Hohenwald in 1947, but the settlement failed to attract many settlers, and never grew larger than eleven families. However, at least one interesting story emerged from this little-known TN settlement, when one Amish immigrant, Rudy Wickey, chose a particularly unusual means of making the 550-mile trip to Tennessee.
Rudy Wickey goes by covered wagon from Ohio to Tennessee
Rudy Wickey was an Amishman living in Wayne County, Ohio. Wickey decided to make the trek to join the settlers in Tennessee by covered wagon pulled by two work horses and a pony. Accompanying him were his wife and five children. Wickey left for Tennessee in late 1947. “Little did they realize,” writes Amish historian David Luthy, “that their pictures would be in newspapers across America” (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, p450).
Wickey was stopped by authorities before leaving Holmes County, due to the overloaded condition of the Amishman’s wagon. Wickey’s wife and children continued on to Tennessee by train, but the Amishman was determined to make the journey by covered wagon.
Luthy reports that Wickey’s picture was taken by newspaper photographers, and that “The Associated Press wire service picked up his story and announced to all America when he had reached his destination, quoting Wickey as having said that he was “happy to be in Tennessee where the people are more lenient toward those of our faith” (Settlements that Failed, Luthy, p 451).
Amish in this corner of Tennessee made a living by raising a variety of crops, including strawberries and tomatoes, and also cut and sold lumber. Eventually, church ministry moved away from the community. The last families at the Hohenwald TN settlement relocated in 1955.
The extinct Dickson County, Tennessee Amish settlement
A settlement of Amish once existed in the Volunteer State at Dickson County. This settlement was founded by Amish from Daviess County, Indiana, who settled here in 1890.
David Luthy reports that Amish settlers to the area encountered “rough locals”, with an affinity for moonshine and fighting. One such fight resulted in a gun and knife battle which left two dead. Shortly thereafter, some people attempted to set the county seat of Dickson ablaze, destroying 28 buildings.
Other challenges included the climate, which alternated from very wet to very dry. Farming was difficult as a result. Farmers raised corn, oats, wheat and hay, and also fruit. One family operated a sawmill. Eventually, the challenges of farming, combined with the Panic of 1893 financial depression caused the Dickson County settlers to migrate to more favorable Amish communities, with the last family likely leaving in 1899.
Tennessee Amish today
Amish are currently found in a total of four settlements in the Volunteer State. Ethridge is by far the largest and best-known. Ethridge has also spawned daughter settlements in both Tennessee and Kentucky. The total population of Amish in Tennessee is approximately 2,100 as of 2010, spread over 6 settlements and 17 church districts.
For further information, see:
Amish Settlements Across America: 2008, David Luthy
The Amish in America: Settlements that Failed, 1840-1960, David Luthy
“Amish Population by State (2010)”, Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College (http://www2.etown.edu/amishstudies/Population_by_State_2010.asp)
The New American Almanac 2010, Raber’s Bookstore (Baltic, Ohio), Ben J. Raber
Tennessee Amish on the Amish America blog
The Amish of Tennessee have appeared on the Amish America blog a number of times. The Ethridge Amish community was featured in a post from summer 2010, as was the Ethridge produce auction. The ‘Para-Amish’ church at Lobelville, Tennessee was mentioned in a post on Amish diversity.
Tennessee Amish were discussed in a much-commented post on Amish communities in the South. Karen Johnson-Weiner discussed Tennessee Amish communities in the context of the Swartzentruber Amish church divisions.
Here you can also see all posts tagged “Tennessee Amish“.
Photo Credit: Amish field-Laura Bell on Flickr
Can any one tell me which place is best to buy fresh milk or buy any kinda of stuff/ food? And to ride horses or buggies? Thank You So much
Amish Rockers made out of the Tree Limb
I am looking to buy the Amish Rockers made that are made from the tree limb look. If someone could email me at the above email and tell me where the closest store would be to Kingsport, TN. I would greatly appreciate it.
go to stantonville teen. 9 miles from selmer,tn. an amish man have a porch full of them for 70.00 bucks they look really good
Amish rockers, swings and other furniture
Susan I don’t know of any over yer way but Wayne Yoder here Huntingdon, TN makes some very nice ones like you describe.
I was just at his house last night and saw a truck with a trailer load of “porch swings” pull out as we pulled in.
And he was building one as we walked in the garage.
He had several chairs and a “glider” sitting there finished.
I didn’t pay attention if any were rockers or not, but I know he makes them.
But here lately I think he has been building more “gliders” per requests than the rockers.
I could always ask for you and get back to you.
I’m pretty sure the # listed below by Bev is his #.
But I’m not positive since I never call him I just stop in or see him out an about the community.
Do you knoe what the Yoder’s address is in Huntingdon Tn?
Wayne Yoder’s address is 1902 Hwy 219, Huntingdon, TN 38344
His phone shack # is 731-986-7503 best time to catch him at the phone is 7 AM. Or leave a msg and he will call you back.
Also his next door neighbor Cornealous Borntrager just started selling the “poly wood” outdoor furniture and has some displayed out beside his pond that you can see from Hwy 219.
The address for Wayne Yoder is 1902 Hwy 219, Huntingdon, TN 38344
the # for his phone shack is 731-986-7503. If you call his phone shack leave a message, he will call back. (best time to catch him AT THE PHONE IS 7 AM!)
Also Wayne’s next door neighbor Cornealius Borntrager just started selling the “Poly wood” furniture. He has a nice display of samples set up next to his pond that can be seen from the road @ 1830 HIGHWAY 219, HUNTINGDON, TN 38344
Go to the muddy pond general store for rocking chairs. Its neat Monterey Tn off of i 40. I bought a real nice one there. Menonite made reasonable price, you can call them to find out. God bless
Finding rough rocking chairs
Now would be the time to go to Etheridge because with less for the males to do as far as farming, they have more time to build excellent furniture. I’ve bought all kinds of furniture from the Amish in Etheridge and still have all of it. Outside swing was 100.00, the gliding rockers I bought were like $300.00 and so well worth every cent. I don’t think they over charge for anything, I’ve bought their goods since 1998 and enjoy everything I bought from them.
Brewer’s in Camden sells Amish goods. foodstuffs, soaps, swings, chairs…
Leaving for Erwin Tennessee tomorrow just wanting to know if any Amish community was close by wanting foods and soap etc
More Amish in Tennessee.
There are Amish Communities in Ellington, Delano, Tellico Plains, In East Tennessee.
We are looking for barn builders for a 70 x 50 sq ft wedding venue barn, 6 cabins with horse stalls for overnight and 3 treehouses. We have sawmill and ready to begin
are there any who would be willing to work in union city tn? the closest i know of are in wingo and mayfield but no clue how to contact them.. any help would be great ty
Yoder Brothers Construction
I am interested in getting a metal shop built on my property. A 20 ft by 24 foot shop with one roll up door and one man door. I live south of Paris, Tn
I am interested in getting a metal shop built on my property. A 20 ft by 24 foot shop with one roll up door and one man door. I live south of Paris, Tn. My number is +16015720360
Amish carpenter crew
I work for Mast Home Builders as their driver and we can build that shop for you. We are from Huntingdon, TN and actively work any area with-in 1 hr from Huntingdon,TN.
Call Milo @ 731-418-1325 and leave a message or you can call me @ 270-705-1139 and I will pass the info along.
I too am looking for an Amish pen pal. I would absolutely love it! If anyone has any info on that please let me know.
Still no word on an Amish pen pal. Katie maybe since you and both have a keen interest n the Amish at least WE could perhaps be pen pals. Let me know 🙂
The produce auction is up and running..with auction every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 1 p.m.
The Annual Consignment Auction this year will be on Oct 11 starting at 9 a.m.
There will be animals again this year..and there will be NO BUYERS premium…Please spread the word!
Thanks in advance =)
I have a home in Beechview (near Clifton, TN) that I would like to be selectively cleared of 60-80 trees. I would like to exchange the cut trees in exchange for labor.
I am looking for Andy Bowyer in Lobelville TN. I had a phone number but it has been disconnet.
He was refer to me by someone else here in McEwen. Looking for someone to do roofs.
Would like to buy some 'ROMA BEANS'
If you raise and sell Roma Beans, I would very much like to buy about 3 bushels. This is my families favorite. We have always had a garden, but due to declining health, we are no longer able. Please contact me.
summertown horse training
I’ve heard of a horse trainer in summertown amish community.would like to discuss about training a horse for a child. I have no idea where this community is, but iv’e heard they are the best..can anyone help me on directions?
Amish Contractors/Barn Builders
We had a barn that we were told was Amish built. We would love to have the same barn built again on our new property when we move, and are wondering the how to find/contact Amish builders in Middle Tennessee to discuss the barn and riding arena and get a quote for construction. We are in the Nashville area (Wilson County).
Looking for Amish chair makers
I am a woodworker that just relocated to TN. I am looking for a source for chairs that would we can offer with our farm tables.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can point me in the right direction….
Amish Chairs in Tennessee
Kevin one of our readers emailed me “Check out the Athens and Delano,Tennessee Amish.” I don’t know so much about those communities, but may be worth a look.
The Ethridge community is by far the biggest one in the state. They are among the most conservative of all Amish, but they are quite active in business with a lot of small shops throughout their community of around 1500 people. You can see more at this post on Amish businesses in that area: https://amishamerica.com/ethridge-tennessee-amish-map/
or see all of our Tennessee Amish posts here: https://amishamerica.com/category/amish-tennessee/
Hope it helps!
Amish Chairs in Tennessee
731.986.4434 is a good number to call. The man checks the numbers that are on the caller ID and returns them around noon central time. He makes what we refer to as Amish rockers (they call them hickory rockers) as well as foot stools, tables, double swings. I’ve bought some of all of them and love them.
wondering what the meat prices are if the Amish has better meat and poultry prices would like to buy in small – medium amounts I live in Florence Alabama somewhere close to there please thank you
looking for a master carpenter
I am in need of a master carpenter to make me a head board for a bed. does anyone know of a good shop that will work outside of the community.
Would you happen to know who the Amish Bishop is for the community of Huntingdon, TN & his address? Also what is the date in April for the Amish auction in Huntingdon, TN.?
Huntingdon TN Amish
Sam Mask I think preacher brown rd. I don’t remember the date of the sale they have a sign up now
Looking for Amish helpers or buyers
I have timber I want sold and was told the Amish in Huntingdon Tn were very helpful and were very honest I’m moving there and want to be able to get the most help and to help someone too and I also need help on several things since it’s undeveloped land
Amish built and Amish made products in tn
I noticed that the Stantonville Amish weren’t mentioned. Do you know anything about them? I have a friend who buys milk from them but haven’t met any myself, just see them at the Selmer Walmart.
I was told about four brothers who build quality homes and make furniture in Summertown, TN or Ethridge, TN who work with Quality Metal in Summertown, TN. Me and my husband are wanting to build a home and barn on our land. We are looking for a number to contact this group of builders. I heard they have built a lot of quality homes along the Tennessee River, can you please provide me with a number?
I don’t know about the ones in Summertown, but I do know of some Brothers that are contractors in Huntingdon, TN as well as their father who is a contractor and their cousin as well between them they run 4 crews that work locally and away as well!
One crew I know of does a lot of work in the Franklin, TN area and another one does a lot in the McEwen/Waverly area.
They are in order;
Yoder Brothers Construction – 731-571-9196
Mahlon Yoder Construction – 731-358-2194
Levi Yoder Construction – 731-415-0975
getting in touch with the ethridge community
How can I get in to get in contact with the community in Etheridge? I’d like the fastest way to get in touch with them and get a reply as soon as possible. Thank you!
getting in touch with the ethridge community
“How can I get in to get in contact with the community in Etheridge? I’d like the fastest way to get in touch with them and get a reply as soon as possible. Thank you!”
Well not knowing anyone in that community directly I’d have to say the fastest way to contact them is to jump in your car and drive out there.
Now another way which is a long shot is to look up businesses in the area and see if you can contact them for additional contact info on who you are trying to reach. (not likely, but possible if you call a business they frequent like a lumber/hardware shop, gas station, bank or such and leave a message)
Now if you were looking to contact someone in either the Huntingdon, or McKenzie settlements I probably know them and could easily get you in touch with them.
Looking for Amish Dr. Reubon!
It’s a long shot I know but I have a friend I would like to take to Dr. Reubon. I know of him by a different friend and was told about his healing techniques. I don’t know where or how to contact him or find info! But I am willing to drive from WV to Tennessee just to see him with my friend. All I know is that he’s located somewhere near Nashville TN
This would be a gift from God to find him and take my friend to him. We strongly believe in herbal medicines and the healing knowledge of the Amish Medicine man.
If anyone has information, please call (681)-588-4718 or email me at email@example.com This is so very important to us! Thank you!
I work at Waverly Wood in Waverly, TN. We are looking to hire Amish workers in laborer positions. We will provide transportation to and from work if it is within a reasonable mile radius. You can contact me at 931-296-1455 if you know anyone that is interested in working Monday – Friday starting at $9.50 per hour.
Lisa I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if they are Amish they won’t be reading this on a computer as the Amish shun technology.
Just thought I’d let you know.
Check out Erik’s posts on the Amish and computers. There are Amish people in some communities & groups who DO use a computer at work, some who might use it at a public library. I’m Amish and use a computer at my job. There have been Amish people who have posted on here as “feature” articles as well as comments.
Thanks for the response Mark, you beat me to it 🙂 Yes Bryce we have several Amish commenters here, and more who read. The article Mark is referring to is below, explaining this – it is acceptable and common in certain contexts in many Amish churches (for example as in Mark’s case using internet at work, but Amish people aren’t going to have computers and internet set up in their homes): https://amishamerica.com/do-the-amish-use-computers-and-the-internet/
Also, here is an excerpt of a talk given by an Amish father to a group of Amish youth which he allowed us to share here on the site, on Amish concerns over cell phones and the internet: https://amishamerica.com/amish-cell-phones/
Amish Home Builder
We are looking to speak with builders from the Amish community near Springfield or Pleasant View who might be interested in building a home for us on land that we own.
Katie W,things in common
Dear Katie W, We might have more in common than you think.I was raised in WV from age 14 to age 19.What part were you in?I lived in Wood Co. a town called Parkersburg and then moved to Doddridge Co.a town called West Union.It is half way between Parkersburg and Clarksburg.It’s about an hour away from each town.Parkersburg is near the Ohio River and on the other side is the town of Marietta,OH.There wasn’t much to do but when we moved to West Union,I was in the country and it was nice to not have to deal with crazy driving as much in West Union.My uncle(the reason we moved to begin with,long story) is still a Black Angus cattle farmer in West Union,WV. The only thing I don’t miss are those extremely curvy mountain roads,weak tummy!!!Sorry I chatted your ear off,drop me a line sometime.Maybe we could be pen pals? Sincerely,Shanea Mason
Large Deck Installation
My daughter had a deck installed by an Amish family in Kentucky and they did an awesome job. My husband and I looking to replace our 1,000sqft deck. We are in Dandridge, TN. Any recommendations in the Amish or Mennonite community that would be interested? Thank you.
Rug salvage to weave with
Looking to purchase rug selvage to weave rag rugs. I was told someone in the Ethridge area sold it.
Deeply interested in tha Amish all the way from England
We are touringTennesse in August all the way from the UK.i have followed the culture of the Amish for years.would like to stay or visit a community.
Any ideas or help
I’m looking for a livein Amish nanny
Hi I don’t know if I will find one but we are looking for a live in Amish nanny for a 5 month old little boy. I had a Amish nanny for my other kids they are grown we just had the little one. Loving Christian home, with 2 dogs and cat. If interested please email me .
We are researching to see if there are Amish home builders in our area. We are in Portland TN and are planning on building a new house on our land. How do we find out if there any Amish builders in our area and how do we contact them? thank you
I would like to find someone to salvage a large oak in our yard.
I’m looking for someone to make belts and putting the names or any lettering on the back of the belt? I know a guy did in Summertown TN but I’m wondering if anyone knows of anyone else because the guy that did it before I cant find and cant remember his name!
Help. Home repairs.
We have been trying for almost a year to have repairs done on our home. So far all the contractors we have tried to deal with are well… lazy it seems. Mostly some flooring and windows but other stuff too. Wondered if there were any Amish contractors that do work in the Blakeville/Petersburg area?
Builders near Medon TN
Looking for contact info for local builders.
Amish carpenter crew
Eric I drive for an Amish crew that would be interested in your business. You can reach us on my cell phone 270-705-1139.
We are from Huntingdon, TN but your in an area we would be willing to travel to.
Looking to build a garage in Ethridge
I am looking to build a 40 X 70 garage in Ethridge, can someone tell me who I can contact about getting an Amish builder
Best prices for a barn.
Bear, you can call my boss Ervin Mast at Mast Home Builders 731-418-1325 and leave a msg (he will call you back). The guys are Amish and don’t carry a phone around while working. I am the driver for the crew. If for some reason you don’t get a call back from Ervin within 24 hrs during the week you can call my cell phone @ 270-705-1139.
It’s a pretty good haul (about 2 hrs each way), but with the days getting longer I believe we can either get it built for you or refer you to another crew that can.
Looking for an Amish Barn Builder
I am looking to build a barn on my property near Altamont and would prefer well built Amish barn. Does anyone have any contacts in that area that I could use?
I am looking to get a cabinet made to specific dimensions, I live in Ethridge does any one know a carpenter that can build something like this?
I have pictures but can’t post them here.
Amish home builder
Needing Amish Pole Barn house built in West Tennessee.
Amish carpenter crew
What part of West TN?
I drive for a crew of Amish carpenters that do excellent work.
Reply to Belinda Wagoner
I drive for a crew of Amish carpenters that do excellent work.
What part of West TN?
Amish Home Builder
Belinda I drive for an Amish carpenter crew that would be interested in this job depending on where in West Tennessee you are talking about.
Looking for an Amish town where they make and sell furniture – tables, chairs, entertainment centers etc. I have purchased from a retailer but want to buy direct from the Amish. I live in knoxville but frequently travel to Cincinnati and Nashville.
Amish Community in Ethridge TN
Bit south of Nashville, local community with around 50 Amish run businesses
Amish small Cabin Builder, Northeast Tennessee
Seeking Amish builder for small cabin on top of my small mountain in the County area of Carter. Can help with the build as well. Would be wonderful to have a hand in building it. Less or around 400 sq ft, off grid, within a small budget. I dont need fancy, just simple, small kitchen, loft bedroom would be nice though may be too expensive yet I dont know., small living room and composting bathroom with plans for grey water and water collection containment as digging a well is beyond my budget. Most contractors are too expensive for my frugal budget and prebuilt suppliers will not go up my somewhat steep hill to the top. Is my dream to have peace on my mountain. support wild life, conservation. Disabled Senior with new project for my relaxing years. Would need quote in case I would need a small bank loan.
We are looking for Amish builders to build our back deck. We’re located in Chattanooga, TN
Looking to have a house built by the amish. Where is a good place to start?
Looking for a draft horse
I am looking for a blue roan draft or draft cross.
Amish places in TN
Love the home made food, furniture. going to visit Knoxville to Dollywood area East TN where are the commutes at?
Looking for a pole barn builder around Smithville Tennessee.
I had an Amish crew build a pole barn when I lived in Indiana and was wondering if there was any chance of getting a new barn built near Smithville Tennessee. I was very happy with the quality and the way they worked together. My number is 574 727 0725.
I am still looking for a builder around Smithville/McMinnville area. We have bought a house and need a barn. Please call me at 574 727 0725 and leave a message and I will call you when I can.
Barndominium builder needed
We have land near McMinnville (in Rock Island, TN…10 miles outside of McMinnville) and also close to Sparta. We are needing an experienced GC to build a barndominium turn key. Thank you!! – Chris and Elizabeth Taylor (615) 260-4471
Looking for a Amish builder to build a Monitor barndominium home
Looking for a Amish crew that can build a monitor style home and a second barn style home in Chapmansboro Tn. We will be building these two homes on the same property. Thank you for your time.
Looking for custom made cabinet
I am looking for a crafts man that can make us a custom made cabinet for our living room
I am still needing a builder to build a pole barn. I have reached out to the local contractors in the Smithville area and they are very unreliable and don’t even show up after they make an appointment to view the building site. If anyone is interested in building a pole barn please call me. 574 727 0725
I now live In east Tennessee, cosby area and I am trying to find amish builders to build my pole barn house/garage. If anyone could help me out.