Views From Around The Holmes County Amish Community (28 Photos)
How about a little tour through Holmes County, Ohio?
I realized I still have a lot of photos from last year’s visit. Since I’ll be going to some new communities starting next week, I thought it would be a good time to share them with you.
These were taken over a couple days in early December. You’ll notice the changing weather conditions, from bright and sunny to overcast and snowy.
There is no particular theme to this post – other than “things that caught my eye in Holmes County.”
Views From Around Holmes County
To start, the main road going through the town of Winesburg.
It’s a pretty little town surrounded by Amish farms in all directions. While there I had a nice meeting with the folks at JPV Press.
For literary people, this is not the Winesburg, Ohio of Sherwood Anderson fame – that town was fictional.
Some shots of farms and fields not too far from the Winesburg area. You can see the clouds have started rolling in.
Holmes County 77 is one of the main roads in the county. Head north from here to reach Mt. Hope.
An Amishman crosses the street in Mt. Hope. This little town is home to the Mt. Hope Auction, Wayne Dalton Garage Doors, and a popular Amish-style eatery. It is an “Amish town” if there ever was one.
That eatery is Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen. It draws both English and Amish customers.
Parking lot adjacent to Mrs. Yoder’s.
Possibly a Mrs. Yoder’s customer leaving after lunch.
This is what looks like a new hotel going up on the west side of town. I saw at least two or three new hotels in various stages of construction in the community. Holmes County remains a popular place to visit and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Buggies parked near the Mt. Hope Auction. The Auction holds sales on average every couple days, if not more often. These include regular produce auctions, horse sales, and more. Great to visit for the atmosphere even if you don’t need a horse.
Unloading after errands?
Homestead Furniture is one of the largest Amish retail furniture stores in the community.
Some Amish business signs north of Mt. Hope.
Countryside Market. I stopped in and browsed a bit. A nice Amish food store. This is the place where the bookmobile was parked in the 5 Mystery Photos post from December.
A phone shanty with solar panel on top. Sometimes these are planted close to the home. Sometimes, not really.
Check out this phone shack post by David Arment to learn more on these important little buildings found in many Amish communities.
A Swartzentruber Amish schoolhouse. The schools of this group of Amish have a much plainer appearance than others.
Raber’s Bookstore. One of the best known book shops in all of Amishdom. Raber’s is also known for producing Raber’s Almanac.
Rich Stevick and I stopped in for a visit one morning. Mary Raber was inside at the register. To her credit she remembered me (I’ve been in a few times over the years). A warm and friendly person.
A buggy parked at Raber’s. The bookstore used to be housed in the building just behind it. It was cozier but their space was limited. Here are some photos from inside the old building, which Mary let me take in 2011 prior to their move to the new place.
Here’s a buggy body on the side of Highway 39. Not really sure what is going on here.
You might recognize this shot, I shared one close to it in the aforementioned 5 Mystery Photos post. This Amish woman is riding an electric bike.
I’ll close with what is possibly my favorite view in the entire community.
This is a Swartzentruber Amish farm which has always caught my eye whenever I travel down this road. Swartzentruber farms are easy to recognize by the characteristic red barn, rusty windmill, and metal roof.
Stop in for potatoes and eggs. At least that was in December. In April, the menu might be different.
I took a photo of the same farm maybe 10 years ago. It sits in a lovely valley. This spring shot is rather more cheerful than my December photos.
But I think you’ll notice it looks about the same today – the main difference being that a second house has been added, and a silo.
Here are some other posts from this visit, if you missed them.
A Visit to An Amish Candle Shop
Comparing Amish Women’s Head Coverings
A Visit to Charm Sweet Shoppe & Pizzeria
Buggy Lanes in Action
Amish Church Clothing
A Visit to Boyd & Wurthmann Restaurant
A Visit to A Swartzentruber Amish Rug Seller
I still have a couple more planned before closing the book on this trip, so stay tuned.
I think what I find most interesting when you post photos of the communities is just how much finances of one community varies within the religion. I wonder if when new settlements establish if the wealth or lack there of depends on how the new community is able to thrive. I also wonder if Amish purposefully move from one community to another with some financial stability in mind.
Financial differences between Amish
Dana good points and questions you bring up. There is definitely a disparity across the groups in this settlement (and broadly comparing other communities and affiliations). For instance the Swartzentruber Amish can have quite low incomes (even though some of them technically may possess a lot of wealth tied up in the value of their farms).
The book An Amish Paradox explores this in greater depth in the Holmes County community, I recommend it if this topic interests you. And here’s a related post on the topic looking at Indiana communities: https://amishamerica.com/comparing-amish-affluence-in-berne-shipshewana/
Financial stability can be one motivating factor and failure to make a sufficient living is frequently a reason Amish settlements have failed.But I think for many movers it is not just about making a living somehow, but making a living in their preferred way – namely on a farm. When you get priced out of buying a farm in your local area, and don’t have a ready source of financial assistance (parents or bank/other funding), then moving is about the only option if you want to own your own farm.
Love the pictures, as always.
I’ve never been able to travel much in my life, so I automatically am drawn to pictures of places that look different than where I live. Even seeing everyday locations can make me wish that I could jump into the picture and just explore. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you liked it! I get to relive the visit myself so I always enjoy these posts too.
Views From Around The Holmes County Amish
Erik, thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures. I was just there 2 weeks ago and passed by many of the same areas you were in. The Swartzentruber school on Kidron Road was one particular place I went buy. There were some students outside, so I quickly pulled into a drive across the road and took a couple quick pictures. There is another Swarrtentruber school on the northern end of Country Road 77 near Route 250. The boys were out playing softball that day and i got some good shots of that as well.
Thank you for capturing these photos. I hope to go back when the weather becomes more “spring like”. It’s amazing to me how the Mt. Hope area is growing. The auction house has grown and as you mentioned…hotels are going up. Not sure it will ever be as busy as Berlin, but it’s on its way.
That’s something to consider Michael. I would hope that town doesn’t lose its character and get too developed from a tourist standpoint. For me it’s one of several “Amish towns” in the settlement (Charm and New Bedford being a couple of the others).
Spring is on the doorstep so I’d expect the views now would be greener or at least on the way there! If you have any photos you’d feel like sharing with us, feel free to drop me a line.
Thank you for the photo essay. It was interesting for me to see ‘real’ Amish building, and business. Thank you, from SE Alabama….
Glad you liked it! No Amish in Alabama currently, but maybe that will change sooner than later.
Thanks for sharing all the pictures but especially the one of the Swartzentrubrr farm in springtime. A unique style of simple Amish beauty.
Until 1973, my Dad was a Banker & especially had Mortgages for the Amish People.
Location, Anonymously. & I, currently, don’t have any clue on the Cooperation, between the Banks & the Amish People after my Dad pass-away. My dad also own farms & had respect for Farmers equally. via: by Truck & Tracker & Horse/Buggy. As fair as the Amish people having Cell & I phone, that’s complicated to understand. What the difference when it comes to Drivers misbehaving behind the road and: Trespassing the Amish homes & phone booths, which is selfish & unacceptable behavior. What’s going to happen when a new era Farm Neighbors can be trusted their Taxies. Please respond.
What’s going to happen, when new era farm neighbors, non Amish can’t be trusted?