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Old 07-19-2013, 07:07 PM
Location: California
26 posts, read 59,550 times
Reputation: 32


Hi there!
So we're in the process of moving out of the craziness that is Southern California and I love the idea of a small, family-friendly, community-based small town. I've been researching small towns with large Amish populations. I hear the Amish are great neighbors. Is this true? Can someone please tell me what it looks like to live in an Amish community? I've looked into Shipshewana, In and absolutely LOVE all the community activites they have (seriously I've never seen anything like it, check out their website for the list). Any thoughts? Thanks so much!!

Last edited by InLoveW/3Boys; 07-19-2013 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:10 PM
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One thing we found because we were not Amish if we were to sell any of our Goods we either had to deal with Amish or travel miles away.Like some outsiders said if we got a Big Black Hat we could sell anything.

As far as getting along we did.But my Brother in Law has trouble with them Trespassing and Poaching.

I just never cared for them using their Religion to sell their Goods when ever I put out just as Good or Better than them.

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Old 07-20-2013, 06:28 PM
Location: Prescott Valley,az summer/east valley Az winter
2,045 posts, read 3,667,222 times
Reputation: 7933
If you have a true Amish colony you will have to deal with horse and buggies~ small school houses with Amish only students and a lot of other oddities. Although you will be tolerated and accepted do not think you will be welcome to their gatherings, etc.

Although I've been fairly close to an Amish colony I found that doing business with Mennonites more satisfying and yes they were more open, although still very strict with their codes. Can't say they were by best friends but they were friends and business associates.

Last edited by deckdoc; 07-20-2013 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:42 AM
Status: "Very thankful." (set 7 days ago)
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,990 posts, read 23,858,071 times
Reputation: 49953
I don't live in an Amish community, but I do live around one or two. We also have Mennonites, who drive cars and seem to like to shop quite a bit.

I see the Amish and the Mennonites at the mall and at discount stores such as Walmart or Target. They are in full attire - women with caps and hanging strings, men with beards suspenders and straw hats.

My daughter and I saw two teenaged girls recently at Target. They were wearing traditional garb, but they had some cute accessories. They were buying sandals - pretty fancy ones, and flowers for their hair. They also bought a discounted cardigan and purses. They were talking and laughing in English just like any two teenaged girls.

The ones in the Mid West are less austere than the ones in Lancaster PA, where they wear dark stockings.

I had interactions with a vender in late June who made a porch swing that we purchased. They are good at wood working, but they do not bargain.

My sense is that the older ones, especially the men, are rather aloof and arrogant.

I really detest the way that they treat their animals. They run some horrible puppy mills and treat those dogs terribly.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:14 AM
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,408,421 times
Reputation: 18282
I grew up on the MI/IN border and my brother is still there. Make sure you check the crime stats as many of the Amish have relocated out of the area and been replaced by illegals according to another friend. Think the RV industry in the area, etc.

I just moved from a town in KS where the Amish were moving into. I guess it started about 7 or 8 years ago. You get a lot of competition between them and the people that already lived there. You'll get static too if you move into a small town more likely than not. The Amish are a "community" within themselves so you will not become a part of that community. Just like everyone else, the economy is hard on them so much of the wealth they seemed to have when I was a child has disappeared just like it has for the rest of us. The ones here seemed to really be financially struggling but we have seen drought and they count on the crops more than others. I went out to visit about a local issue with one of the Amish gentleman. The farm was very welll-cared for as were the dairy goats, dogs and horses which they were training for different families. There was a peacefulness.

Complaints I heard, and these were from people that liked to complain in general, were about the slow buggies on the gravel roads and while they would get over, I am guessing that some were probably passing and speeding and throwing dirt and gravel (yeah, these hicks were charming) so they didn't get over for them and I don't blame them as I would want to protect my family also. They complained about how they kept their horses, too lean, yet these were working horses and were lean but with muscle. When I seen them pulling the carriages, the horse seemed strong and healthy not just an overfed yard ornament. This is an interesting article about the teens: The Outsiders: Teens Caught Between Freedom and Faith - ABC News and is an explanation about seeing teen girls buying cute accessories at Target. The boys also drink alcohol, some of them, and such which many people mistake as a betrayal of their faith and get irritated because the teens seem to go wild and they were not expecting that. This is also a nice website: Amish America and this one has a section on the Amish also:
Peaceful Societies

Many of the Amish are moving West for cheaper land. Keep in mind that they are their own community. We found them friendly and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did not seem to judge me for my dress or that I was sort of a "strong-willed" woman. I admire their strength to be different and that they find that through their faith in God.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:56 AM
Location: Location: Location
6,416 posts, read 8,005,457 times
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According to Mose Gingrich, himself an ex-Amish, the communities in the Lancaster (PA) area are far more liberal than the ones in Missouri, where he currently lives and works and raises his family. He visited the eastern Amish community and was surprised at the degree of difference he found than where he currently lives and in Wisconsin where he grew up. I'm sure the liberality varies from family to family, with some continuing the "old ways" and some becoming more modern.

The Mennonites are not as strict as the Old Order Amish, often wearing more colorful, although still modest, dress; driving cars and using telephones.

As far as the Amish having "puppy mills", "some" would be a more appropriate modifier, since not all of them are so engaged.

What is often seen as aloof is simply a way of staying disconnected from the worldliness that surrounds the Amish.

It's true that when living among a large population of the OOA, one will often be driving behind a horse and buggy, but sometimes there is a price to pay for living in an area with a rural feel.

Yes, it does take a good deal of strength to remain in a faith that promises little in this life but abundance in the next. Especially when the young people yearn to be free as their non-Amish counterparts.

I worked with a young woman who was Amish-born but had left her community and while she sometimes traveled back to visit her family, she hadn't been baptized when she left and as a result, she wasn't shunned. Despite a quirky life-style, she still retained some of the mannerisms that were inculcated when she was growing up Amish.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:41 AM
Location: Columbus, Indiana
964 posts, read 1,971,798 times
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I've read a few books about people who have left the Amish. There is no "blanket" way to describe them, even within the Old Order Amish, some groups are stricter than others. It depends on the bishop of that community. Of course, there are differences within individual families also.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:25 PM
Location: California
26 posts, read 59,550 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks everyone! As AnywhereElse stated I really admire the Amish community. Have seen a few documentaries about them and love the way they take care of eachother and their neighbors. Of course, being from Scottsdale, I don't actually have first hand knowledge which is why I defer to you kind folks.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:54 PM
24,841 posts, read 32,882,093 times
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The local health department in our area has problems with the Amish.

They do not follow health codes.

They dump raw sewage in the ditches from their out houses.

I had to pay thousand of dollars to meet code.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:12 PM
58,700 posts, read 83,293,256 times
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New York's Amish Trail |

New York Amish | Amish America
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