Thursday, November 3, 2011

Swartzentruber Amish

Circa 1922 Stove in Swartzentruber Amish Home
Today was an exciting day at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.  For over a year we have been sending guests to a Swartzentruber Amish basket home located only about three miles from us.  After realizing the condition of their stove, Paul and I decided to make it a Barn Inn project to collect money to replace their circa 1922 wood-burning stove.  I asked the mother how much a new stove costs.  She said about $2,400, but she said, we may just have to buy a used one.  She said this one they bought used years ago, but "It's falling apart and the hot water reservior no longer holds water, and I'm afraid the oven door will fall off onto the children."  We began telling our guests about it and in two weeks guests have contributed $2,537.06!  Praise God!  It is truly miraculous.  We were hoping to have collected enough money to purchase it by Christmas but now they will have it before Thanksgiving!  It will be delivered and set up Thursday, November 10, 2011.  When I asked the children what is bad about their old stove, they showed me how, when they opened the oven door, it falls off onto the floor.   Today I went to Troyer's Repair, an Amish stove sales and service shop on SR 241 between Millersburg and Mt. Hope.  What a joy it was to purchase a brand new stove for them!

Amish-Made Baskets
 We have been sending guests to this home to purchase handmade baskets which is their main source of income since they lost their entire herd of cattle to a disease about two years ago.  They are a family with nine children.  This is probably the happiest and most cohesive Amish family I have ever met.  The children are friendly and are eager to work and contribute in the day-to-day operation of the family.  Their young girls can total up a customer's bill and make change better than most other little "Worldly girls."

The Swartzentruber Amish, named after a leader, are the strictest of the local Amish.  Governed by the hand of the church and their bishop. The Swartzentruber follow very restrictive guidelines for living; some of which include no hiring of drivers to go to a job site, minimal or no use of power tools.  They use a saw run by a gas motor.  They do not have refrigerators or rent freezer space, nor do they carry the slow-moving triangle on their buggies.  Farming is with work horses.  It's not unusual to see young boys drive teams of horses. To learn more about the Amish, follow the ministry of Joe Keim, who both he and his wife, were raised Swartzentruber Amish and have a great love for their people. 

Come to The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast where, at breakfast time, we share about our culture and community.  In a followup blog, I will share photos of the new stove after it is installed.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 3, 2011

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