Saturday, March 8, 2014

Swartzentruber Amish Homes and Businesses in Ohio

We here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast recommend visiting some of the Swartzentruber Amish homes and businesses we have on our listing of places to visit. Today was one of those days when we paid visits to some of these homes.  We encountered muddy driveways, as temperatures were higher in the last few days.  Because the Swartzentruber forbid the use of gravel in their driveways, (gravel is permitted only in basements) it can be difficult to get in and out in the spring and fall.

Muddy Drive at Amish Home

At temperatures in the 40's, wash was hung on lines, taking in crisp winter freshness.  The mother of 10, three days past her due date with her 11th, took me out to the wash house to show me her old Maytag washer and the built in fireplace where hot water is heated in a huge copper kettle.  Stacked on tables in the wash house was a large selection of handmade baskets woven by her children.

Amish Wash House

In the house, the oldest daughter, age 15, had baked 14 pies; both pumpkin and cherry.  I asked if they are having church.  "No," replied the mother, "With six children going to school, I have to have food for their lunchboxes."

Amish Pies

 Rising in the warm kitchen, beside the wood-burning stove were six beautiful loaves of bread waiting for their turn in the large stove that also serves as the home's furnace.  In a Swartzentruber home, the kitchen truly is the heart of all that goes on.  It was an 11 year-old daughter who made the bread.

Homemade Bread in Amish Home

  In the living room is another wood-burning stove with a drying rack that serves as a clothes dryer and anything else that needs to be dried.  In this photo, the father is drying wood used in the construction of baskets.  The mother said that this winter, when it was really cold, she dried all her wash in this room.  Notice the daybed in this photo.  Because the Swartzentruber Amish forbid upholstered furniture, they have a day bed in their living room, kitchen, or dining room.  Consider that the typical Amish woman cans 1,000 jars of food a year.  With no modern conveniences and no soft furniture to rest in during the day, she needs a daybed for a quick rest between baking, canning, cooking, and caring for her children.

Amish Living Room
On your next trip to Ohio's Amish Country, plan a stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, where we will share more about our unique people and culture. For listing of Amish businesses, see our Ohio Amish Business Directory link.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
March 8, 2014

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