Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bonnets & Buggies {A Visit to Amish Country}

It's like a step back in time. 
Things move at a slower pace. 
You can almost feel it in the air....a slow motion, of sorts. 
As you drive along the gravel roads, passing one windmilled farm after another, it's like you're taking a glimpse into the past.
Really, this does something for your spirit   ... enriches it, calms it, centers it.
It causes you to think of your past, evaluate your present, & ponder your future.
For these reasons, we will always be drawn to amish country.

This is the little schoolhouse located about a mile or so from the campground.

We've been blessed to visit 4 of the top 10 largest amish communities in the US
{with 5 of the top 10 located in Indiana!}.
We've been to Shipshewana, Napanee, Lagrange & Adams Counties (all in Indiana)...& Holmes County, OH.
There are several other lil' communities throughout IN, not on the top 10 list ... we've visited many of those too.

Farm equipment at the home neighboring the campground

Our particular favorite place to visit is in Adams County, Indiana. 
There's an old order settlement in & around the town of Berne, which was originally settled by those who came directly from Switzerland in about 1850.
It's the 5th largest Amish settlement in the US, with about 7200 living there.
There are 47 conservative districts represented with several little towns within 10-15 miles. You will begin seeing Amish communities starting in Portland on 
through Bryant, Geneva, & Berne.
When you head out into the country, it's one Amish farm after another.

The quaint little town of Geneva
We visit Adams County at least once every year. 
We love to camp at Amishville USA. 
It's located in Geneva, right in the heart of amish country. 
{The campground itself is surrounded by amish farms}. 

I took this at the Berne Heritage Festival.  The Amish do not like their photos taken & I highly respect that. Any pictures that I've taken are with discretion & not of their faces.


Our connection to Amishville Campground started years ago with James' family.
They loved visiting & camping there.
In fact, James' 1st trip there was when we was a little boy
{probably age 3 or 4 yrs old}. 
So, we decided to make it a tradition for our family...
& it became the 1st official camping trip for our lil' guys.
The twins were 5 & Riley was 3.

This is what you find on the shelves of their general store {Berne}

This is the hitching garage for all the buggies...full on a Saturday {Berne}

So, every year as we pack up for our weekend camping trip, we begin looking forward to the peaceful time we know we'll have.
We anticipate the places that we love to visit...certain stores & farms.
We sometimes stop in on the amish farmer that shoes horses in his barn  ...
he doesn't mind us watching.
We go to an amish bakery out in the country ... the girls are all barefoot & shy;)
James always finds someone to 'sell' him some fresh milk.
We've even gone to amish bake sales & yard sales.
{One sale was a combo of both & it was inside her house!
I bought a nice set of silverware for our camper.}
And, usually, there's a family that comes through the campground with the back of their buggy laden with baked goods or fresh produce.
Course, we always have to buy some of that;)

Next year when we return, we'll visit these same places...& the landscape will remain virtually untouched.
Still slow-paced & peaceful.


  1. I have ALWAYS wanted to visit the Amish... I have somehow always known it would be good for my soul... thanks for sharing!

  2. We live a couple hours away from Lancaster where they have a large Amish population - it's like going back in time. They are hard workers. Oh, to enjoy such a simple life style.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures - they look like they could have been taken in Landcaster, too.

  3. So funny. We live in Lancaster PA. All our neighbors are amish, all our employees are amish, there is an amish school house right next to my house...I never even think about it (unless I'm stuck behind one of their buggies)! I'm spoiled to live here. Such simplicity. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am!

  4. Thank you, ladies, for your wonderful comments! Visiting Amish country is indeed good for the soul. I sure hope to visit Lancaster county someday.