Exploring Amish Country Ohio

The Ohio Amish is the state of Ohio’s 2nd biggest tourist attraction. If you see more than three black buggies in a row, that is considered a traffic jam in Ohio’s Amish Country. Our Amish areas truly are a place apart — a land of plain people who forsake modern conveniences for a simpler way of life. And while these folks may look as if they are from hundreds of miles and decades away, that’s not the case.

Amish Country Cheese factory

Ohio is home to the world’s largest Amish population, and through their back-to-basics lifestyle, we can learn about life’s simple pleasures such as a soul-warming home-cooked meal, a hand-made piece of furniture or a lovingly-stitched quilt — all found in abundance in Ohio’s Amish Country.

Follow the horse-drawn buggy into a world that is truly unique, truly different. Here at the center of the world’s largest Amish population, two worlds of culture meet and thrive. Holmes County blends the best of progressive up-to-date growth with the time-honored values of its’ gentle rural past. The atmosphere is dynamic, the hospitality is genuine. To help you learn more about this special place, the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau offers you comprehensive information about our businesses and services. We invite you to first explore this site, and then we welcome you to explore beautiful Holmes County.

Holmes County Ohio Amish
Amish Country in Holmes County Ohio

For decades, the Amish people have made their living farming the fertile soil of Ohio. They are true artists of the land, working the soil and sowing the seeds that will create the vibrant colors of the fall harvest. They are also fine craftsmen, skilled in everything from building the barns to sewing the intricate designs on their colorful quilts.  The back roads of Holmes County are dotted with signs telling of crafts for sale or of services offered. Hand-made furniture, quilted items, and wooden horses are just a small sampling of what can be found. Skills handed down from generation to generation have resulted in the unsurpassed quality that has become a proud tradition of the Amish community.

Visitors are often inspired by the simplicity of life in Ohio’s Amish Country. Horse-drawn buggies travel down country roads, quaint general stores and markets peddle an assortment of handmade goods, and the sweet smells of homemade cuisine and baked goods emanate from community eateries. The region presents plenty of opportunities to explore Amish culture, from farmers’ auctions and craft fairs to museums and living history villages.

Amish quilts

When you hear the word “Amish” certain images come to mind – horses and buggies, butter churning, and quilts. The truth is, however, that Amish quilts have not always been as big a part of Amish culture as you would expect.

Amish quilts didn’t really catch on in Amish communities until the 1870s. Before then, the Amish shunned quilt making as “too modern.” However, from the time that making quilts became an accepted practice in Amish communities to 15 years later, you could nary find a home without several quilts in it.

In the years since Amish quilting has evolved, but it always stays several years behind current trends. For example, Amish quilts at first were very ordinary. The first Amish-made quilts were made in one solid color. That one color was often black, brown, or blue.

Gradually, extra pieces of colored fabric were added to these Amish quilts. For example, a quilt might have a large, colorful diamond in the middle, although the rest of the quilt was still a more solid, less exciting color.

Many people assume that all Amish quilts were always made completely by hand. That is not true. While some are handmade, many were pieced together by using a treadle sewing machine.

As Amish quilts have evolved, their evolution has depended largely on those who live in the Amish communities. Basically, a community consensus has had to be reached in many instances when deciding if certain colors – like pink and white – are acceptable to use.

In modern days, Amish quilts look quite a bit different than those that were first created in the 1870s. With the country’s bicentennial in 1976, many Americans began to look back on the country’s past. As they did this, Amish-made quilts grew in popularity.

Amish women continue to make quilts for themselves as well as interested buyers. Because Amish women spend a lot of time outside in the garden in the warmer months, most of their quilt making occurs in the winter months.

Now, Amish quilt making has come full circle. Some women have gone back to incorporate more black in their designs, but also include a lot of colors.

Just as Amish quilts have been a part of Amish life for many years, they are also a part of the lives of many other people and will likely continue to be for years to come.

Amish Furniture

The history of the Amish can be traced back hundreds of years. Unlike most cultures that morph over time to adapt to the ever-changing world, the Amish have stayed true to their roots in their approach towards working hard and living a simple life. Another thing that has stayed steadfast over the years is their dedication to making traditional, fine crafted Amish made furniture.
The Amish are known for their simple way of life. Their unstated nature is a quality that shines through in their unique yet practical handcrafted furniture. Amish made furniture is made with detail and care. It is sturdy, practical, and beautiful.

Amish made furniture includes dining room tables, chairs, dressers, bed frames, etc. The furniture can be purchased from Amish stores. But since most people don’t live near an Amish furniture store there is a huge selection of high-quality Amish-made furniture available online.

Traditional Amish furniture can be a great handcrafted gift for your friends and loved ones. Or give your own home the gift of furnishings this holiday season. Replace your wobbly kitchen table or squeaky bed with some high-quality Amish furniture. Find the perfect side table to complete your living room. Choose from oak, cherry, and other beautiful woods. You will find that the Amish-made dining room, bedroom, and office furniture are the perfect pieces for your home.

Why do people buy Amish furniture? Because they are known for quality work. They are known for making beautiful pieces that will last for generations to come, pieces that transcend both time and personal style preferences.

Why do people buy Amish furnishings? Because we promise to sell all of our furniture, quilts, and baskets for fair prices. We promise to offer excellent customer service and to deliver our merchandise in a timely fashion.

When you think of Amish furniture, do not think of one particular style or one particular wood. These craftsmen incorporate a variety of styles and woods into their furniture — mission style, shaker style, oak, cherry, etc. Rather than thinking of it as being of a particular style, instead, think of it as being of a particular quality — of excellent quality, that is. The skills used by these artisans have been passed down from generation to generation. In this sense, each piece is many years in the making! All of the furniture is handmade with attention to detail, and all of it is so well-made that it will stay in your family for generations to come.

Schoenbrunn Village in New Philadelphia

Founded in the 18th century by a group of Moravian missionaries, Schoenbrunn townsite is now the site of the Schoenbrunn Village in New Philadelphia, where costumed staff, re-creations of the village’s original log buildings, and a museum bring local history to life.

Massillon

History buffs should also check out the city museum and historic properties that line the downtown streets in Massillon, including Spring Hill house, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Canton was the home of President William McKinley, whose life is illuminated at the McKinley Museum and National Memorial.

Amish Shopping in Ohio

Amish Crafted Furniture

Two great stores… One Great Location. One of the largest selections of Amish-made furniture in the area. Oak, maple, cherry, pine furniture. Bedroom, dining, entertainment, computer….much more. A “must” stop. 2431 SR 39, Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681 Phone: 330-852-7305

Amish Traditions

Amish crafted oak & cherry furniture ranging from dining sets, bedroom suites, and entertainment centers. Lawn furniture, Boyds and Ty collectibles, Heritage Lace, lights. Retail & wholesale. East of Nashville on SR 39. 330/378-2791. Web page: www.amishtraditions.com E-mail: [email protected]

Ashery Country Store

“Grandma of the Bulk Food Stores” We have bulk foods, smoked meats, cheese, homemade jam, jellies, bread, etc. Over 85 spices, dried fruits, and nuts, apple cider, Goshen Ice Cream. 8922 SR 241, N.E. of Mt. Hope. 330/359-5615.

photo Amish people

Amish Attractions

Behalt at the Mennonite Information Center

Interpretive tour of stunning 265’ mural-in-the-round depicting Amish-Mennonite history, free video presentation, bookstore, gallery, gift shop. Nonprofit. Open year-round Mon-Sat 9-5. N.E. of Berlin on CR 77. Phone: 330 893-3192

Helping Hands Quilt Shop and Museum

Large selection of quilts (antique and new), fabric, stencils, and quilting supplies. We also do custom quilting. Quilters on site some days. Open Mon-Sat 9-5. PO Box 183, Berlin, 44610. 330/893-2233.

Historic Roscoe Village

Restored 1830’s canal town featuring daily tours, costumed interpreters, craft demonstrations. Festivals, shopping, dining, getaway packages, nearby canal boat rides. Open year ‘round, families and groups welcome. 381 Hill St., Coshocton 43812. 800/877-1830. Web page: www.roscoevillage.com Sunday

Holmes County Pottery

Hand-turned pottery fired in Ohio’s largest wood-burning kiln. A standard line of pots for house and garden using traditional techniques. Open Mon-Sat 9-5, Wed 12-5, year ‘round. 8500 CR 373, Big Prairie 44611. 330/496-2406. E-mail: [email protected]

Holmes County’s Amish Flea Market

Holmes County’s #1 Attraction! Collectibles, antiques, crafts, quilts and more, 500 shopping booths. Ride the escalator from the parking lot. Open 9-5 Thurs, Fri, & Sat., 3149 SR 39. Walnut Creek. 330/893-2836. E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.amishfleamarket.com

Killbuck Valley Museum

Fossils, geological displays, artifacts, mastodon bones, one-room school, mill display, zoology display. Open May 1st-Oct 31st. Fri, Sat & Sun 1-5. Front St., Killbuck. Phone: 330 377-4572 Fax: 330 276-0591 Web page: http://kvhs.evisionsite.com/ Sunday

Ohio Central Railroad

Take a nostalgic trip back in time and ride behind a historic steam locomotive. Experience the ambiance of railroading as it was in the days of steam while the Amish countryside passes by. Phone: 330 852-4676 Fax: 330 852-2989 Toll Free: 866 850-4676 Web page: www.amishsteamtrain.com

Schrock’s Amish Farm & Home

Guided tours of Main House & Grandpa’s House. Slide presentation “The Amish Way”, Amish buggy rides, quilt, oak and leather shops. East of Berlin on SR 39. 330/893-3232. Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-6, April-Oct. Web page: www.amish-r-us.com

Victorian House Museum

Listed in the National Register of Historic Sites. 28 antique-filled rooms with Victorian splendor. Open to the public. Self-guided and group tours available. Phone: 330 674-0022 Toll Free: 888 201-0022 Web page: www.victorianhouse.org. Sunday

Yoder’s Amish Home

Tour two homes, 110-acre farm, animal petting area, buggy rides, hayrides, and crafts. Open mid-April through Oct. Mon-Sat 10-5. Between Walnut Creek and Trail, on SR 515. 330/893-2541.

Group of Amish people

OHIO Amish FAQ

“Can an outsider join the Amish church/community?”

“A local Amish man recently said, “You do not need to move here to adopt a lifestyle of simplicity and disciple. You can stary wherever you are.” Yes, it is possible for outsiders to join the Amish community, through conversion and convincement, but it seldom happens. First, the Amish do not try to recruit and seek to add outsiders to their church. Second, outsiders would need to live among the Amish and demonstrate a clear conversion experience of faith that has resulted in a lifestyle change. Third, it is extremely difficult for anyone who has not been raised without electricity, automobiles, and other modern conveniences to adjust to the austere lifestyle of the Amish. And to truly be a part of the Amish community one would need to learn the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.”

“Is the Amish calendar the same as ours?”

“The Amish use the same yearly calendar that you use. We might add that November is the month for weddings – spring, summer, and fall months there is too much work to be done and in the winter there’s the risk of unfavorable weather. Also, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days for weddings – these are the least busy days of the week.”

“I think some of my ancestors might have been Amish. How can I find out?”

“The best source of ancestry information is the Mennonite Historical Society, which maintains an extensive genealogical library. Their address is 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602. Telephone: (717)393-9745.”

“How true was the portrayal of the Amish in the movie “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford?”

“Witness,” portrayed the Amish lifestyle fairly accurately in what was shown, but it portrayed a very limited segment of the Amish lifestyle. The Amish people have had a lot of reservations about “Witness.” The plot seemed to be inconsistent with the lifestyle and culture of the Amish. It was filmed in the geographical area of the Amish, but not on an Amish farm. The actors and actresses in the movie were not Amish.”

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

FRIENDSHIP BREAD 

STARTER
1 (16 ounce) can sliced peaches, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 cups sugar

Stir peaches and sugar every day for 10 days.

16 ounces pineapple
2 cups sugar

Add pineapple and sugar to peaches and sugar mixture. Stir every day for 10 days.

2 small jars maraschino cherries, drained
2 cups sugar

Add cherries and sugar to peaches, pineapple, and sugar mixture. Stir every day for 
10 days. Drain juice from fruit. Save juice. Divide fruit into 3 even portions. 

Makes 3 cakes. Recipe below. 

FRIENDSHIP BREAD 
1 yellow cake mix
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 box instant pudding mix
1/3 of fruit from starter recipe
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix ingredients together and put in a tube pan or bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 
1 hour. Save juice to start another batch or share with a friend.

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