Visiting the Walker Valley Market (Pearisburg, VA Amish)
Two years ago, reader Shawn gave us a nice look at the Giles County, Virginia Amish community (also referred to by the name of Pearisburg, an area town).
This Appalachian community is tucked away in the scenic mountains of western Virginia. Though I’ve previously visited Amish in VA and have passed within shouting distance several times on visits to Amish Ohio, regrettably I’ve never stopped in here.
For those of you who’ve followed our series of “When a Son Joins the Amish” posts, Giles County/Pearisburg was the first community of Anne’s son Ed. This community is quite unusual among Amish settlements for several reasons detailed in the original post.
Shawn originally shared ten photos of the settlement, including one showing a sign of an area food store:
Today Shawn returns with an update on that store and a look inside. I enjoyed these photos and Shawn’s update on the area, and hope you do too.
First, Shawn writes:
Hi Erik! Just wanted to provide an update on this settlement…they have purchased the Natural Way general store and really made it bigger! Now houses custom furniture and a deli as well as dry bulk goods. When I went to the store they said they do plan on having deli sandwiches and ice cream available.
A huge van of Ohio Amish stopped through on the way back home. Very neat. Other than this news, not a ton of growth but clearly they are entrenched in the area. A LOT of “English” houses for sale in the area they could take over for land purposes should they choose.
Shawn’s latest photos:
The new sign.
The store exterior. Note the sign on the lower left. Too bad!
A glimpse inside the store.
Hats for sale. Straw hats cost a lot less than the dress version.
Looks like someone cleaned out all the fried pies and apple fritters, even the day-old variety.
I love visiting Amish-run stores. But if you can’t do that, it’s nice to at least have a look inside. Thanks Shawn.
Virginia is for Amish?
As of 2015, there are 6 Amish settlements in the state of Virginia. I wouldn’t call it an “Amish hotspot”, especially compared to places like Kentucky which have attracted bucket loads of Plain People in recent years, but Amish have gradually been settling the Old Dominion State.
In their 2015 Amish settlement update article, Joseph Donnermeyer and Cory Anderson noted that there have been two new communities added in just the past few years. And at least two of the Virginia settlements have grown to the point that they’ve divided their communities into two separate church districts (Charlotte County and Halifax County).
Thanks for sharing this report and photos. I stopped at the old store when I visited the settlement in 2014 and had read about the new store several times in letters in The Budget newspaper from the Pearisburg scribe. So, glad to see it’s finally open! Looks like a very nice store, very similar to many other Amish stores I’ve visited. When I visited the store in 2014, it took me awhile to find it, since it is several miles southwest of Pearisburg. I didn’t know where the Amish settlement was, so stopped at the courthouse in Pearisburg to inquire about directions. A couple of the employees I talked with said there used to be an Amish community near White Gate, but they all moved. But then, a local resident heard me talking and said, “No, the Amish are still there and I’ll give you directions”, so I found it!
Nice work, Al. That’s part of the fun of going to these off-the-main-drag places. Hope you at least got a fry pie for your detective work 🙂
I am trying to enter a comment on the website but it is not taking.
Many of the Plain Catholics are nonresistant, peace loving,
and of the earliest Church in worship and simplicity of
life, of the Old Order.
Sometimes those who have read a lot of the Amish novels find
the realities of Amish to be quite different. On the other hand, I
know of a former Amish girl who became a Catholic nun of a
stricter and nonmodernist sisterhood group, separate from
liberal groups. Even her garb is centuries older than that of most
Is that sign saying, “Sorry we’re open?”
That’s right! 🙂
Hey Erik. Nice to take an e-visit to a part of the Amish world I may never get to see in person.
I notice what looks to be working electric lights in the store. Makes me wonder if this OOA or possibly NOA. (My take on the article is that it is now Amish owned and not just Amish run (which would allow for such lights even among OOA).)
Don, I looked at the photo showing the lit up inside of the store. The larger “lights” look like the sky-lights or light-tunnels. We have one in our basement. There is a glassed over “window” on the roof and a tube lined with very reflective lining, almost like a mirror, and that “bounces” a surprisingly bright light all the way to our basement. I am guessing the strip lights are LED lights. They can be run off a large inverter and a 12-volt battery system, but sometimes are run directly off a generator. We have lights like that in our laundry-room (or wash house) that are set up to run whenever the generator is running. The generator runs our washing machine and spinner. That’s just my opinion based on the pictures.
They have large generators for power, they have coolers and freezers working off them also.
Beam me up!
Ahh…maybe I’ll live long enough to be “beamed up” (or over?) to some of the Amish areas featured in your blog, Erik! Meanwhile, I’ll make do with photos that you and other readers provide (Thank you, Shawn!).
I have an unexpected day off and wish I could stop at Walker Valley Market for a few items!
The Amish bulk store I visited in Wisconsin a couple months ago had the same kind of lighting—many skylights (amazing how much light they provided, even on an overcast day!)
So, has the community grown since 2014? It almost sounded (previous 2014 post) that they were near to “closing up” & moving away.
Thanks for this “virtual mini-vacation!”
(Darn! Now I’m craving a fry pie!) 😉
Will the amish sale online?
I enjoyed the article and pictures about Walker Valley Market.
I used to live in MI right across the state line from South Bend IN. We went often to Napanee and Shipshewana IN.
I live in northwest LA now near the AK border. I have looked at your 2014 map showing the Amish settlements and wonder why we don’t have any Amish in LA? I sure miss going to their shops and roadside stands.
Amish in Louisiana?
Thanks Judy, with the way the Amish are expanding maybe there will be some soon in Louisiana. We had a post last year where I asked readers to speculate which states Amish might settle next: https://amishamerica.com/five-new-states-where-amish-may-settle/
Louisiana only came up once in the comments from one of our readers who thought it unlikely Amish would settle there, along with Nevada and Arizona: https://amishamerica.com/five-new-states-where-amish-may-settle/#comment-110962
Visiting the Walker Valley Market in Virginia
I enjoyed looking at the Photos about the Amish Store…
I think People love buying homemade gifts, organic food
I think it brings out the Mother Earth in all of us!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here at Amish America!!! Have a peaceful, restful and very thankful day.
Thank you Harriet! Wishing you the same 🙂
Am not able to put a comment on the discussions/website.
Please inform what is being overlooked.
I can see both of your comments on this page, on my end looks like it is working fine. Are these the ones you were referring to?
I work for MCC Media based in Sunderland in the UK and we’re currently producing a new documentary for Children’s BBC about life as an Amish child.
I would love to pick your brains for some info could you please email me at email@example.com or you can call me at 0191 592 0003
Thanks in advance.
Natures Way Store
I used to go there when the Kauffmans owned it and it was light cannons in he roof and propane lights when it was dark. I believe they moved to Michagan. I was very sorry to see them go. The new store opened more than a year after they moved but it is very nice and modern. We go every two weeks to stock up. Those amaish gals make a fine sandwich!
Hello, my husband and I found this place a few years ago and ordered lunch. We long since referred to our sandwiches as the best sandwiches we’ve ever had. They were stuffed with yumminess and goodness and seriously, the best sandwiches we’ve ever had (and the biggest). They have a wide, wide variety of items for sale there. From birdhouses to pies to bedroom furniture. The place is a real treat and one definitely needs to stop if they are going by, or even remotely close.
Great recommendation Kelley! Thanks for sharing it.