Friday, May 27, 2016

The Amish Vote Holmes County Ohio townships Dry

Many guests of the Ohio Amish Country, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast ask, "Do Amish Vote?" The answer is "Some do and some don't".  Much hinges on the issues. There are approximately ten sects of Amish in Holmes County. The stricter sects such as the Swartzentruber, the Dan Church, and other ultra conservative groups do not vote; however, others do.

Amish Farm

I was surprised to learn from both my mother and father that both sets of my grandparents voted, and viewed it as their civic duty to do so. My mother's parents were strict Old-Order Amish in Geauga County, Ohio, and my father's parents, from Holmes County, Ohio, were also Old Order. I find that my Amish relatives really don't feel comfortable talking about voting. Typically Amish do not vote unless there is a local issue that will impact their lives. In Holmes County, the Amish are major land holders. They are a people group who educate their children only through the eighth grade. For this reason, many Amish will register and vote against levies that would increase taxes for such  things as higher education. Amish participation in the political process is often guarded and minimal.

 In 1946 a devastating event in Holmes County polarized the Amish community, which led to their voting several townships "dry." For those not familiar with the term "dry", it's a reference to a township that does not permit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Once was Old Time Tavern

The tragedy began Saturday night, March 9, 1946, when three Amish boys were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning as they slept in their 1936 Ford after it became mired in a muddy ditch on County Road 235. A fourth boy, Emanuel Schlabach, survived because he was near a window that was cracked open. They had attempted to free the car, but were unable to, so decided to sleep in the vehicle until morning. The car was missing a muffler and fumes filtered into the car until it ran out of gas. As was typical at that time, the boys enjoyed a time of merriment at the Old Time Tavern in Winesburg, then traveled back to Mt. Hope, where they dropped off John "Hans" Yoder, who asked to be dropped off at his home.
Amish Horse and Buggy


My father, Levi A. Miller, recalls the day. Driving his horse and buggy, he rode past the stuck car on Saturday night, not realizing that his friends were in danger. At that time CR 235 was not graveled.  It was the spring of the year and very muddy. Many Amish buggies passed by on the way to church on Sunday morning, but did not notice the boys inside the car. It was not until Sunday afternoon that someone made the gruesome discovery. It was the loss of these three boys that prompted the Amish to present petitions to vote Salt Creek, Plain, Mechanic, Berlin, and Walnut Creek Townships "Dry". This vote had several components and prohibits, to this day,  the sale of beer, wine, whiskey and the establishment of a state liquor store in all of these townships. The hotel/bar in Mt. Hope folded. It is the solidarity of the Amish vote that has, to this day, changed the face of the Holmes County Amish culture.

In 2004 there was an ambitious campaign in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to gain Amish support for the re-election of George W. Bush. During this race, President Bush visited Lancaster County and great numbers of Amish people lined the roadside to wave as the president passed. Some people did not get too concerned about the interest in the president, after all, a presidential visit was unusual. An aggressive drive was made at a local fire station to register as many Amish as possible. Free transportation to the polls was offered. At the fire station, where Amish were registering, was a life-size image of President Bush. While many Amish registered and voted, others were guarded and wary. The Amish appreciate the protections offered by our government; i.e., freedom of worship and military exemption. Many cite arguments stating that God's authority supercedes that of the government and that they should refrain from participation. For many, participation in politics is minimal.

Miller's Buggy Shop Mt. Hope

This 2016 presidential race again is focused to drawing in the Amish and Mennonite vote in both Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Holmes County, Ohio. Conservative Republicans are organizing a new Amish PAC in support of Donald Trump. Check out this interesting Lancaster, Pennsylvania news article regarding our current race. I don't know of any instance where the Old-Order Amish churches have pronounced an edict against voting. I believe it's a personal decision; kind of "Don't ask, don't tell" and the preacher probably won't say anything if a member votes, and in the above detailed historic experience, probably most ministers "silently" approved and voted.

Quoting, from "A Taste of the Backroads" book by LaVonne DuBois, "Voting is not common in political elections. Interest in politics extends to the local township trustees who maintain the back roads. County commissioners have to approve the location of the cemeteries in order to allow for proper drainage. Voting on the local issues promotes more interest than the Federal elections. Example: Library's book mobiles and issues that pertain to them within local jurisdiction. Very few Amish women vote. They seldom (if never) hold political office."

It is my opinion that if the Amish vote in 2016, they will vote for Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee.  They certainly would support the idea of the American work ethic, a balanced budget and opposition to governmental waste. The Amish do believe in helping widows, elderly, and the needy. Perhaps we should have an Amish man for President! Every last dollar would be accounted for! Grab your bonnet and hat and go vote!

Come see us at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast


Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
May 27, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ohio Amish Country Source for Seeds, Plants, and Garden Supplies

Spring brings us to gardening time. Guests and residents of Ohio's Amish Country are seeking sources for seeds, plants and garden supplies. We here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, have some excellent recommendations for suppliers, nurseries and green houses for both the home grower and small to medium agricultural operation.

Amish Greenhouse
We have compiled a listing of some great places to shop in Amish Country. In most cases, you will find a great selection and competitive prices. Here is a listing of some of the places we recommend along with what they specialize in. This by no means is not a complete listing; there are many more places in the area. Most of these businesses are Amish owned; therefore, have no website presence.
  • Backyard Blooms Greenhouse - Amish owned business offering hanging baskets, bedding plants, and vegetables. Tel: 330-359-5195, Ad: 2998 CR 200, Dundee, OH 44624
  • Berlin Seeds - Comprehensive gardening store, seeds, supplies, order trees to be shipped to your home, Hrs: 8-5, Tel: 330-893-2091, Ad: 5335 SR 77, Millersburg, OH  44654
Berlin Seeds Company
  •  Bowman's Greenhouse - Owned by Alvin Bowman, Sell Organic Vegetable plants, openly mainly in spring. Ad: 7633 TR 601, Fredericksburg, OH 44627
  • Country Corners Greenhouse - Ad: 4401 Township Road 606, Fredericksburg, OH 44627. Corner of Twp 606 and 241.
  •  Fredericksburg Greenhouse & Nursery - Amish owned. This is Loretta's favorite greenhouse. Ad: 8645 Cutter Rd, Fredericksburg, OH 44627
  • Merit Seed - Serving small farmers, Merit Seed offers many different types of hybrid seed corn to meet the various planting needs of growers. Tel: (330) 893-3196, Ad: 4759 Township Road 366 Millersburg, OH 44654, Mailing Ad: PO Box 205 Berlin, OH 44610, Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Flowers - The Barn Inn

  •  Mt. Eaton Greenhouse - Family owned since 1988. Provides bulk seeds, potting soils, fertilizers & more; Mon-Sat 8 - 5 pm, Tel: 330-857-0341, Ad: 15172 Harrison Rd, Apple Creek, OH 44606. 
  •  Pleasant Hill Surplus -  Providing composite decking, broad selection of stones for walls, borders, patios, edges, firepits; stepping stones and bagged stones. Ad: 8500 TR 656, Fredericksburg, OH  44627
  •  Troyer's Flowers - Amish owned offering haning baskets and bedding plants. State Route 241; between Mt Eaton and Mt. Hope, on the east side of the road. 

Guest Room - The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
 
Submitted by Amy Yoder
May 16, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ohio Amish Country 2016 Guided Tour

With the 2016 summer approaching, guests of the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast again are asking about Amish tours. To experience our Ohio Amish Country to the fullest, we recommend LaVonne's "A Taste of the Backroads" guided tour. 

Holmes County Ohio
This 28-mile scenic back road tour includes stops at two local Amish home businesses and a detailed narration about the Amish way of life. The pleasure is all yours as you sit back and enjoy the tour in a comfortable climate-controlled Mercedes Benz, 11-passenger vehicle. You won't miss a word, as LaVonne's shares over a PA system; connecting you to the folkways and mores of the culture from which she came and the people she loves. LaVonne invites tour goers to bring a soft drink of choice.

Amish Milk Cans
The tour departs from the Berlin Grande Hotel located at 4787 County Road 366 in Berlin next to the Farmstead Restaurant.  Meet behind and depart from the hotel.  Advanced reservations are suggested.  We, here at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast promote this tour as a package to our guests. Consider a stay at The Barn Inn and let us know if you are interested in the tour. Simply call us at 330-674-7600 to add this package to your room stay. Whether or not you are a guest at The Barn Inn, you may wish to book a tour by calling LaVonne directly at 330-340-7343. You may contact her via email at info@atasteofthebackroads.com.

The Barn Inn Suite

The price per person, ages 12 and over is $45.00.  Payment by cash, Visa, or Mastercard

Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 - 1:30 and 2:30-5:00. No tours are offered on Sunday or Monday.
  
With over 30 years of experience and local roots, I consider LaVonne the area's leading tour guide. We have been recommending her for 18 years.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
May 9, 2016