Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amish Store

Breakfast at The Barn Inn, Millersburg, Ohio is special!  At the close of breakfast we talk about the uniqueness of our Amish culture and direct guests to Amish businesses located along our back roads.  We continue to add locations to the listing that we give to our guests.  New on our list is a "Swartzentruber" Amish store, pictured to the above.  There is no sign posted by the road.  You would not know it's a store unless told.  It's a simple store offering the most basic necessities of life.  Notice a table in the top photo.  It is displaying a wide variety of herbal remedies.  The store includes homemade salves and remedies.  Other basics offered for sale are socks for all ages, gloves, lanterns, pots and pans, flashlights, homemade bar soap, and buggy blankets.  I found canning jar lids at an exceptionally low price.

The Swartzentruber Amish are the strictest sect of Amish living in our area.  They broke off of the Old Order in about 1917 when their leader thought the Old Order Amish were drifting too far into worldly ways.  It comes as a surprise to many to learn that the Old Order are not the strictest.  The Old Order Amish have adapted, in certain ways, to modernism so as to remain viable and economically strong in today's market and have changed only to the degree that they are able to maintain their community and their identity as a unique people.

The Swartzentruber Amish; however, have changed almost nil in nearly a century.  Some ways in which the Swartzentruber Amish differ from the Old Order is that they cook and heat with wood-burning stoves, use kerosene lanterns, wear darker colored clothing, have no indoor bathrooms and no running water; buggies have no storm fronts (no glass windshield),  triangles, or side mirrors.  Homes are not landscaped,  men may not hire a driver to go to a job site but must drive their buggy to a work; women must work domestically amongst their own people.  They are a very hard-working people who typically are not as prosperous as Old Order or New Order Amish.  I have found them to be a wonderful group of people to befriend.  Primarily an agrarian people, closely associated with nature, most eke out a living from the land selling their produce or hand-made products at local markets or to passersby.  Some work at saw mills or other local businesses.  There are at least 10 vastly differing sects of Amish in this area.  For new "Amish Adventures", choose a stay at The Barn Inn where we will share cultural stories and direct you to some very interesting stops.  We have chosen to not list this Swartzentuber Amish business name or address on the web because, they are rigidly governed and forbidden to advertise on the internet.

When visiting Ohio's Amish Country, tour the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center, where the European history of our people is portrayed on a 265' circular mural.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
January 30, 2011

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