Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Keeps the Amish Society and Religion Intact

Many guests to the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast ask the question, "What keeps the Amish religion and society intact?"  The Amish are a distinct cultural and religious folk society with both social and psychological characteristics they hold in common.  It is a society that is based upon deliberate and willful choices by members to join in a union of agreement to a specific Ordnung.  Their society is maintained by harmony that is ennobled by folkways, mores, traditions, and religious beliefs.

Amish Barn Raising
The German word "gemeinschaft" aptly describes the Amish.  "Gemeinschaft" is an association of individuals who maintain common sentiments, tastes, and attitudes; a society characterized by a strong sense of community, identity, close personal relationships, and a strong commitment to tradition.

Early Amish Homestead in Holmes County Ohio
 Because there are so many facets to this society, it would be impossible, in one post, to give little more than an introduction to this subject.  The Amish are both a society and a religion.  All of the Amish, irregardless of their sect, are distinctive in maintaining a doctrine and practice of nonconformity to the world.  The primary scripture verse on which their religion is based is a verse from Romans 12:2  "...Be ye not conformed to the world...."  Reference is also made to the verse; II Thessalonians 2:15  "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."  My husband and I embrace these same scriptures, but define them differently than the Amish do.  We would describe the kingdom of God as a spiritual kingdom, fought in a different way.  Referencing the second verse, we believe the Apostle Paul was speaking about a tradition of faith, not how great grandpa harvested his crops.

Amish Farmer Holmes County Ohio

 Undoubtedly there are numerous reasons why the Amish are maintaining their numbers and see continued growth.  I will present some ideas here.

1)  Many are happy and content to stay Amish.  They enjoy their common bonds, fellowship, and see their church as the true church of Jesus Christ.

2)  They might feel like they are betraying their forefathers if they were to leave.  There is almost never an Amish church service where they do not mention their forefathers, those who, during the Reformation, gave their lives for the sake of Christ.  Always stressed is, "Honor thy mother and father."  Those contemplating leaving suffer many stern admonitions from those around them.

3)  The Bann und Meidung.  These words in English mean excommunication and shunning.  In English, the Amish do not use the word shun, but rather "Avoidance."  The meidung, or shunning is applied in different ways depending on the church, the community, and/or the family.  Some shunnings are dictated by the church, other shunnings (avoidances) are mandated by the family. The Bann (or Bonn as the Amish call it today) has, since the 1600's been the source of many divisions within the Amish and stricter Mennonites.  The bon is an effective way of dealing with the nonconforming member, thus removing him from social relationships and community status.  No longer does this person have influence on the church, thus aiding the church to remain socially isolated from the erring one.  Additionally, there is great influence by the majority.  It would be socially unacceptable for a member to defend the "Erring soul."

Examples of things an Amish person could get excommunicated for:

a) Attending a more liberal Amish or a Mennonite church.

b) Attending revival meetings or Bible studies and not making a confession for it.
c) Noncompliance to church rules, which could be almost anything.
d) If they commit an actual Biblical sin and refuse to repent.

My husband, who was raised Amish, says, that while he was never told this is so many words, he believed that if he ever left the Amish, he would be condemned to hell.

For more information and DVDs visit American Experience.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
October 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holmes County named in Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves Worldwide

Although short, National Geographic’s article on the best places to see fall foliage worldwide included our very own Holmes County in the heart of Amish Country.  The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay if you’re looking to see the changing leaves, as it is conveniently located between Millersburg and Berlin. We at the Barn recommend the southeast corner of Holmes County for the most picturesque countryside, south of Berlin and Charm.
Autumn is often the busiest season in Amish Country; visitors from around the world come to experience and indulge in all that the Amish and their wares have to offer during the harvest. Locals and tourists alike have admired the beautiful array of colors that paint the rolling hills of Holmes County for generations, so the affirmation of its beauty by National Geographic is a welcome accolade. 
The excerpt in the list, which also includes locations in New Mexico and California, reads: “In the heart of central Ohio’s Amish Country, maple, oak, and the iconic state tree, the buckeye, hang over narrow roads that meander through wavy fields of corn. Drive under the boughs of bright reds and yellows, sharing the road with horse-drawn carriages of the Old Order Amish and stopping at roadside farm stands along the way.”

The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce has provided a link to the article on their website to highlight its importance. It can also be found here. Additional pictures of autumn in Amish Country can be found here.

The Barn Inn's Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats

This fall, these Pumpkin flavored steel cut oats are one of the new menu favorites of Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast guests. This gluten-free dish is a lovely departure from standard oatmeal, and we are posting this recipe upon multiple requests. This recipe serves 4-6 people, but we serve ours in 6 oz cups.

Loretta’s Pumpkin Flavored Steel-Cut Oats
1 tbsp butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey

Melt butter in large sauce pan. Add steel cut oats. Brown the oats (be careful not to scorch), then add water.  Simmer approximately 15 minutes before adding remaining ingredients on low heat. Be careful, because steel cut oats tend to cook over if left unattended and make a large mess. Because I have a gas stove, I begin cooking this two hours in advance of serving time. I start it, and let it sit on the pilot light, and the pilot provides enough heat to slowly cook the oats. About a half hour before serving time, I add the remaining ingredients and cook until the oats are soft. Serve with toasted almonds, brown sugar, and milk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Amish Country Ohio October Events

Mark your calendars! There are plenty of fun fall activities taking place in Amish Country Ohio this month. As the leaves begin to change and the air gets cooler come stay in one of the cozy guest rooms at the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast and take in one of the many fall festivities taking place only minutes away!

Antique Festival in Millersburg, Festivity in Charm, & Yoder's Amish Home

Family Night at Hershberger's Farm & BakeryOctober 3, 2014. Join Hershberger's Farm & Bakery for an evening of food, pumpkin picking, and free pony and buggy rides. Call 330-674-6096 for more information. Location: 5452 State Route 557.

Apple Butter Stirring at Yoder's Amish Home - October 4 & 11, 2014. Come help the Yoder's make Apple Butter! When you visit, you can take a turn stirring the butter and even take a sample! 6050 State Route 515.

Apple Fest at Schrock's Amish Farm & Village - October 4, 2014. Visit Schrock's Amish Farm in Berlin on Saturday for an evening of fun activities and music, free wagon rides, a petting zoo, homemade ice cream & apple dumplings, kettle corn, and schnitz pies. Amish Country Bluegrass will be playing from 3:00 pm - dark. Location: 4359 State Route 39.

Holmes County Antique Festival - October 4-5, 2014. Two days of antique market, arts and crafts, 5K race, parades, and free entertainment in Historic Downtown Millersburg. For more information email:

Charm Days - October 10-11, 2014. During the annual Charm Days event, enjoy sales from the Charm vendors and much more! Keim Lumber will be open Friday from 7am. - 7pm. and on Saturday 7am. - 12 pm. Bring the kids for the Wooly Worn Derby, which is always a must see!

Fall Festival at The Farm at Walnut Creek - October 11, 2014. The Farm at Walnut Creek will be open at 8:30 am. and will not close until dark. Come join in the fun: food, fall decorations, horseshoeing, broom making, pumpkin slingshot, and much more! There will be activities for all ages! Emery Stutzman from Dundee will demonstrate farrier & black smith techniques. Location: 4147 CR 114.

For more upcoming events click here for our calender of events, or call The Barn Inn at 330-674-7600 for information on events in the area. 

Submitted by: Elizabeth Beam
October 1, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Auctions, Bargains, and Antiques and Primitive Shopping in Holmes County, Ohio

Auctions, bargains, and antiques and primitive shopping are part of the Holmes County Ohio experience, and take place any day of the week except Sunday.  The Kaufman Auction House, located at 3149 State Rt. 39, in Walnut Creek, conducts an auction every Monday night beginning at 5 p.m.  The only date variance is if there is a holiday on a Monday.  Monday antique auction preview time is anytime after 12 noon.  Kaufman Realty maintains an excellent online listing of upcoming auctions.

Kaufman Auction House
 Auctions are well attended by our local community.  They serve not only as a means of buying and selling, but also provide opportunity for socialization, or entertainment  The Amish, who are not permitted typical American entertainment such as attendance to county fairs, Cleveland Indians or Browns Football games, theaters, or view television, find auctions a great opportunity to meet friends and catch up on the latest news such as who moved where, who sold a horse for a certain price, or who is going on a trip.

Amish at Auction

On one side of the room are boxed lots of miscellaneous items such as seasonal decorations, books, lamps, and all sorts of furniture items.  You could expect anything that might be found in an attic.  Consider this a "Snooper's Paradise" for anyone who repurposes furniture or other items.
 Kaufman Auction House also conducts coin auctions every Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.  On coin auction days, doors open 2 hours prior to sale time; online bidding is available at  Typical items might be cents, half dollars, silver dollars, gold, and miscellaneous coins. They also conduct gun auctions, such as one that is approaching on September 26, 2014.
Just so you know, Kaufman Auction House has a convenient food service counter where they offer the best hot dogs in the area. 

Plan a trip to the Holmes County with a stay at the Ohio Amish Country,  Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast and a buying experience at one of our many auctions.  My personal favorite is the Monday Kaufman Auction, which has a Millersburg mailing address, but is located in Walnut Creek.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
We have other good auctions by other auctioneers; some offering significant antique items; tools, wagons, primitives, other artifacts, and "Who knows what."  Check out RES Auction Services. One of their auctions will be on October 1, 2014, 4885, Kidron Road, Kidron, Ohio.

Carr/Hughes Auction

Check out all the wonderful auctions taking place every week.  Find listings for antiques, farms, farm and business-related equipment, household estates, vacant land, and houses in the The Holmes County Bargain Hunter, Marketplace section.  The Bargain Hunter is published every week, every Monday.

Check out Dave Acker Auctioneer, with an auction on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

A good source for weekly auction listings is to subscribe to the Holmes County Bargain Hunter. You'll find the auction bills of sale in their Marketplace section.  I was unable to find any auction listings on the website.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
September 21, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tips for Choosing the Right Bed and Breakfast

Perhaps the greatest fear of staying at a bed and breakfast is a fear of the unknown. There are many good reasons for choosing a bed and breakfast for your vacation stay. Typically, bed and breakfast stays offer personalized service, security, safety, and great accommodations.  Most B& B hosts offer good food and conversation, along with valuable touring information.  As owners of  the Millersburg, Ohio,  Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast we hope to dispel fears and provide tips for choosing the right bed and breakfast for your special date.
Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Fear of "Sharing a bathroom"  is rampant among travelers. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International reports that 94% of Bed and Breakfasts have private, en-suite bathrooms. Even though  many innkeepers live in the same building out of which they run their business, their living areas are usually separate from guest areas.

Gathering Area

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is a licensed hotel, offering private guest room entrances; each with a private en-suite bathroom.   Each bathroom features either a tub/shower combination, or a separate shower and a jacuzzi or whirlpool tub.

Family or buffet style breakfasts, often hand-made each morning, are part of the nature of a Bed and Breakfast.  Family-style breakfasts provide an opportunity to socialize with the other guests, which is somewhat the norm with bed and breakfasts, and many people go to bed and breakfasts for such socialization; however, many innkeepers are happy to make accommodations for private tables upon request. Here at the Barn Inn, we break the ice by introducing guests to each other. For guests wanting a table for two, we have several available.  Please ask in advance for private seating.

Dining Room

Not all bed and breakfasts are the same.  Asking the right questions is important to finding the accommodations that will best serve your needs. Consider too, that not everyone is a perfect fit for each property.  So, here are some keys to finding that bed and breakfast that will meet your expectations.
  •   Check review sites such as TripAdvisor and Google Reviews.
  •   Check if a bed and breakfast is inspected such as properties with Select Registry.
  •   Is the bathroom down the hallway or en-suite (part of the guest room)?
  •   Is the breakfast continental or a hot country breakfast?
  •   Is the breakfast served in-house or do they provide a voucher to a local restaurant?
  •   Does the inn have a common area for relaxation, table games, reading, etc.?
  •   Do you provide free WiFi, parking, complimentary evening snacks?
  •   Do you provide TV programming?
  •   Do you provide individual climate control?

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast offers a hot, full country breakfast every day of the week.  With 10 or few guests we serve family style, or with more guests, buffet style, either way, we can seat you privately if requested.  We also cook for dietary restrictions.  Please let us know if you have allergies, restrictions, or simply don't like something and/or don't want to see it on your plate.

We Bake Homemade Bread at The Barn Inn

 Here are some other good things to know about The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast. We provide:
  • WiFi
  • large common area for fellowship and relaxation
  • Private balcony entrances and inside corridor entrances
  • Satellite TV with 40 channels available
  • Full country breakfast
  • Daily informational about area, shared at breakfast time
  • Resident innkeeper/owners are on site for customer service
  • Children under age 10 are permitted only at the farmhouse or Apple Hill location
  • Keys or keyless entry codes for rooms.
  • Video surveillance of exterior parking lot and interior hallways and dining room.  (While we here in Amish Country do not have a security problem, we provide this for added security).
Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
September 14, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Log Cabin Days Offers fun for All Ages

Few settings are as picturesque for a celebration of log cabins as the Ohio Amish country during the fall. Offering most activities at free admission, the Log Cabin Days outside of Loudonville, Ohio are a perfect addition to any vacation or visit to Amish country. Guests of the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are invited to make this festival part of their stay.

The 7th Annual Log Cabin Days will be hosted this year at Hochstetler Milling, outside of Loudonville, on the weekend of September 12-13. This family-friendly event has gathered over 3,000 visitors nationwide in years past, and promises to be bigger and better with each coming season. For no cost, families can tour real log cabins, attend free seminars, see a log cabin home being constructed right at the event, participate in a Silent Auction, a petting zoo, and so much more.

Dozens of unique vendors and exhibits will also make their home at the festival, including food stands offering home-cooked barbeque chicken, hot apple cider, pastries, and kettle popcorn. There will also be demonstrations of sawmills powered by steam engines. In addition, crews on site will be building a 13x24 foot log cabin home to be auctioned off at the end of the festival and transported to the winner's desired location.

For a full itinerary and map, visit Hochstetler Log Homes.