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Amish Communities in Western Pennsylvania

Updated on April 23, 2015
Amish Barn and Buggy
Amish Barn and Buggy | Source

Did you know?

  • The Amish first came to America in the early 1700s to flee religious persecution in Europe.
  • There are no longer Amish settlements in Europe.
  • Amish currently live in Canada and 28 states.
  • Old Order Amish are members of the Amish society who chose a more conservative path.
  • Old Order Amish women do not wear buttons on their clothing.

Amish Farm
Amish Farm | Source

There are quite a few Amish communities throughout Pennsylvania. The most well known one is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is in the eastern part of the state and draws huge crowds of visitors throughout the year. While beautiful and interesting, it is overrun with commercialism and tourists.

For a more realistic and low-key glimpse at the Amish way of life, visit Western Pennsylvania. There are four large communities that offer the visitor a taste of the Amish life and have a large Amish presence.

  • Dayton, Pennsylvania
  • Smicksburg, Pennsylvania
  • New Wilmington, Pennsylvania
  • Volant, Pennsylvania

The Amish in these areas are considered Old Order Amish and live within smaller communities surrounding the towns. Around New Wilmington and Volant, the Amish settled in the 1840s, while the community near the Dayton and Smicksburg area settled in the 1960s. Today the Amish are an integral part of their communities, working closely with non-Amish in all sorts of jobs, and shopping at local area stores. The area Walmart even has designated buggy parking.

If you come for a visit watch out for the buggies on the road. Also, note that none of the photos in this article are of people, only of places and things. This is to respect the dignity and privacy of the Amish who generally do not care to have their photos taken.

While you are visiting, don't forget to drive the back roads around the towns. This is where you'll see the quiet beauty of the everyday life of the Amish.

Take a trip back in time and visit Western Pennsylvania's Amish Communities.

Amish Buggy
Amish Buggy | Source

Dayton, Pennsylvania

Dayton, Pennsylvania is a small town located just over an hour northeast of Pittsburgh, PA, making it a perfect day trip from the city. Like nearby Smicksburg, this area was settled in the 1960s. You can get a taste of Amish food at the local restaurants and you can admire fine hand-made furniture at the shops. Quilters will have a fun time visiting the local quilt shops and examining the beautiful work of the Amish quilters.

Amish Corn Crop
Amish Corn Crop | Source

Smicksburg, Pennsylvania

Home to over 800 community members, the Amish settled in Smicksburg in 1961. You'll find many specialty shops in the town and the countryside is beautiful. When driving through the area, be mindful of buggies while stopping by all of the shops run by the Amish. You'll find specialty foods and crafts along your way. If you are lucky you'll see farmers using horse drawn plows to work their fields or community members having a barn raising.

New Wilmington, PA.  Note the wheel tracks from buggies on the roadside.
New Wilmington, PA. Note the wheel tracks from buggies on the roadside. | Source

New Wilmington, Pennsylvania

Near the Ohio border, New Wilmington, PA is a charming town nestled in the heart of a large Amish community. It is about 1 hour north of Pittsburgh, PA. Within the area of New Wilmington and nearby Volant there are approximately 2,000 Old Order Amish community members. The community is divided into church districts comprised of approximately 75 members in each one.

Drive through town and you'll see buggies parked in bank parking lots while owners do their daily shopping. Drive a mile out of town in any direction and you'll see Amish farms and school houses with people going about their everyday lives. Throughout the countryside take a look at the signs at the end of farm lanes and you'll see things like "Harness Repair Shop", "Buggy Repair Shop", "Eggs for Sale" and "Quilt Shop".

Of other interest in New Wilmington is Westminster College and the local tavern in town that was part of the Underground Railroad.

Volant, PA
Volant, PA | Source

Volant, Pennsylvania

Only 4 miles from New Wilmington, Volant is a town that caters more to visitors. Quaint specialty shops line the town's main street and on any given Saturday you'll find Amish families selling baked good and produce in the town park. Don't forget to visit the renovated grist mill which sells collectibles and home décor items. Drive towards New Wilmington and there will be farms selling produce, quilts and other items. For locals, this area is the perfect spot to find craftsmen who specialize in remodeling kitchens and making beautiful wooden furniture.

Amish Communities in Western Pennsylvania

show route and directions
A markerDayton, PA -
Dayton, PA, USA
get directions

Dayton, PA

B markerSmicksburg, PA -
Smicksburg, PA 16256, USA
get directions

Smicksburg, PA

C markerNew Wilmington, PA -
New Wilmington, PA, USA
get directions

New Wilmington, PA

D markerVolant, PA -
Volant, PA 16156, USA
get directions

Volant, PA

Come for a visit

If you are just passing through for a day, or planning a longer visit to Western Pennsylvania, make time to visit the Amish communities in the area. You are sure to get a glimpse of the real Amish way of life.

Sources

  • Amish Online Encyclopedia
  • Visit Lawrence County Website

© 2012 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks for sharing about the different Amish communities in PA. I visited quite often as a young girls with my parents, because we always somehow ended up vacationing in PA and stopping for a day trip in Amish country. You brought back some memories on this article and have of course voted and shared all over too.

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 4 years ago

      I was in Lancaster years ago and we met up with a young Amish man who was driving a horse and buggy. He was smoking a cigarette and immediately upon seeing us, he hid it in his lap so we wouldn't see it. I'm sure some of the Amish do smoke, though, don't you think? My sister lives in upstate NY and there's an Amish family just up the road. I love to see the windmills! It really is a lifestyle that many of us would like to live, I think. At least homeschooling and raising a garden and animals, etc. are important to many, much more than there were before the recession!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Awonderful hub and I look forward to many more to come.

      Eddy.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      This is a very comprehensive hub about a fascinating area that I have visited many times. Up and interesting!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Janine! - I'm glad you enjoyed it. This are really is beautiful, especially this time of year.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks breakfastpop! I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is a great time of year to drive around the area.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks susieq! We see Amish at the stores in the video game section and I've never been able to figure that out. Maybe they go to a non amish friends house to play. In general it is an intriguing way of life. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Eddy! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I have heard how wonderful it is to tour this Pennsylvania area. Living in the Midwest, the Amish were so much a part of our community. They live a simple life and one that we could all learn from well.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this interesting tour.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Mhatter!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      How interesting! I did not realize there are Amish communities there. I am in Canada and now wonder if we have any here.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for this look at visiting Amish communities in Western Pennsylvania! We have friend who've invited us to visit their Amish friends with them in Ohio and we certainly hope to do so one day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks teaches. It's so nice to see the community in the everyday without all of the tourists.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks ChristyWrites! Many people know of the eastern PA communities, but not these. I appreciate the comments!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      RTalloni - If you ever make it to Ohio, these communities are not that far away. Pretty close to the Ohio border. Thanks for the comments!

    • peternehemia profile image

      Peter Nehemia 4 years ago from Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia

      After reading this, I browse about Amish people. Looks interesting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting topic about the Amish their culture is unique thanks for sharing this Hub

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      I live in Tennessee and have visited the largest Amish community in the south, Ethridge. We came home with the best tasting strawberries, huge sweet onions and some tomato stakes. The prices were awesomely cheap, and of course the garden goodies were totally healthy and organic. I also enjoy trying Amish recipes out. One of my favorites ones is an Amish breakfast casserole with bacon and lots of different cheeses in it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks peternehemia - Amish are an interesting community.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      DDE - I appreciate the comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Cathleena - The produce is awesome and their prices are terrific. I also like some Amish recipes. Nice wholesome comfort food! Thanks for the comments.

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image

      Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

      Nicely written hub. I am definitely a fan of more people visiting the Amish farms to learn the truth behind their facade.

      I, too, have lived around Amish communities in various states which does offer a glimpse into their lives and lifestyles. And in 15 years of my involvement with animal anti-cruelty organizations, I've witnessed the continual carnage masked behind the term "Amish".

      Please visit these communities and when stopping for butter or eggs, ask if they sell puppies and, if so, if you may peek inside their barn to see them. Chances are, after the latter question, you'll be asked to leave.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer!

      Congrats on HOTD! A really interesting well written piece that introduces the Amish community to everyone. All I have seen of the Amish is what I have read and seen depicted in movies or documentaries. Well done on a nicely researched hub on this community!

      Votes a plenty :-)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Amazing and so well informed and presented.

      I now look forward to so many more by you without a doubt.

      Eddy.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Congratulations on HOTD! This is and interesting and informative article on the PA Amish and their communities. Very well presented. We have Amish Country, too, in Ohio near where I lived when in Ohio. It is fun to see their beautiful farms and experience their culture for a day or two. Thanks for a great article on the Amish!

    • stillwaters707 profile image

      stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

      Congratulations on HOTD. It looks like an ideal vacation; although I can't give up indoor plumbing and a/c. I bet the driving and visiting in those areas are beautiful and peaceful.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Very interesting. I lived in Southern Maryland for years and there were tons of Amish in those parts. I always found them fascinating, and many of them are very nice people.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Pages-by-Patty - I appreciate your comments. I have never witnessed the experiences that you have, but it is distressing to hear.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Suzie HQ - It was interesting to do this hub and I'm lucky that I live close by so I can visit this area. I really appreciate the comments!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Eddy! - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Suzette - We are near the Ohio border and there are large Amish communities around there too. It's fun to visit there too. Thanks for the visit!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate it stillwaters - and you are right, I could not give up the indoor plumbing and I do like my electricity! I could give that up for a couple fo days max. Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks kittythedreamer! A friend of mine lives down there and she said there are large communities down there. I appreciate the visit!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I remember driving through New Wilmington and wishing I had more time to stop and look around. Very interesting hub.

      Congrats on your well deserved HOTD!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Congrats for earning HOTD for this informative and beautifully laid out hub about some of the lesser known Amish communities in Western PA.

      I've been to Lancaster and enjoyed it very much, but as you say, it is very commercial. It would indeed be interesting to drive through the areas you highlighted in this hub, particularly the Volant community which welcomes visitors.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

      Thanks for sharing this great info.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great Hub! I have always wanted to travel through the Amish country. They are fascinating people. Congratulations!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Interesting hub. I have a feeling I wouldn't fit in too well with their lifestyle. Thanks for sharing their history with us. Congrats on your HOTD.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Susan! - New Wilmington is really beautiful. Maybe you can spend more time next time you are in the area. Thanks for the comments!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the comments HappyBoomer. Lancaster is beautiful, but not when there are too many people around. If you are ever in the area...this is the place to go. Thanks for the visit!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Rebecca! I'm not sure where you live, but there may be Amish communities somewhere nearby. Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Sunshine - I definitely don't fit in with their lifestyle, but it's interesting to drive through! I enjoy tv too much. Thanks for the comments!

    • thejeffriestube profile image

      Dave 4 years ago from United States

      Great informative Hub! Definitely voted up and well written. I would like to mention though that the Amish are the #1 problem in PA for running illegal puppy mills; three huge operations were shut down just this last month.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      thejeffriestube - Thanks for the comments and the information. Someone else commented on puppy mill issues. I was not aware of this. I've never even seen a "puppies for sale" sign around here. I'll have to check into this. I appreciate the visit.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Seen them driving down 78 and Reading Pa. Seen books about them on a rest stop and I felt they were from another time and space, but they are respected and considered a national Iconic representation of the beginnings of this Country. Great pics and congrats Glimmer, on being selected as a HOTD.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Just stopping back by to say Congrats on your Hub of the Day award!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Excellent! I enjoyed the pics and the info. It does take me back--my dad's people were Amish.

      Going to visit those cousins made us feel both rich and envied, a rare opportunity! We would sneak out behind the barn and share our transistor radios with the Amish young cousins. How they loved rock 'n roll, in complete secret, of course. I think that always adds to the savor of the thing, if it is forbidden by the elders! Dad would offer rides in the car, which were politely refused by the elders while the young ones looked longingly at the car.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 4 years ago from USA

      Often the Amish and Mennonite are mixed up when seen. There are those who follow the old Amish ways, while others, such as those in Lancaster, who are moving from other areas, out of need for income, are becoming a bit more modern, yet trying to maintain the old way of life. They don't own cars, but will ride in one. Some have gas stoves, and lights that run off of generators. The old ways are dying out, and the young are moving out of the country type settings towards areas where they can earn an income.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Cool hub! If I ever make it up that way, I'll definitely stop and take a look! Congrats on your hub of the day. Well-researched and well-deserved. Voted up and tweeted.

    • profile image

      GoldenThreadPress 4 years ago

      Wonderful Hub! I love going into the Coolie Region near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where they have a large Amish population. I have seen their quilts and tasted their baked goods--yummy! They are super farmers and I love to watch them in the fall during harvest. --Deb

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Interesting hub I enjoyed the map and descriptions of the local Amish communities in Pennsylvania. Thanks for compiling this interesting article.

    • RodRoc profile image

      RodRoc 4 years ago from US

      Thanks for the hub it really does help to give me some new ideas

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Congratulations!!!

      Thank you for a free tour since I have no idea when I could see Pennsylvannia and the Amish communities. I've seen some of them here and how wonderfully amazing it is to feel their simple living, realizing how they can continue with it while we are finding a hard time coping with financial issues and stability in our modern livelihood.

      Great and interesting hub!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for a peek into this lifestyle of the Amish in Pennsylvania. If my travels ever take me up that direction, I will be interested to stop and see some of what you have shown in this hub. Up votes. Thanks! Well deserved HOTD!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      I've always wanted to visit the Amish areas in PA. Especially since I've been to the Ohio Amish country tons of times. Thanks for this great resource and congratulations on your well deserved HOTD!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Lord de Cross! You are right, when driving through Amish country you do almost feel like you are in another world. I appreciate the visit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much RTalloni!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate your comments Paradise! I hope you are doing well. That must have been a real treat to have an insiders look at the Amish.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Linda - The Mennonites and the Amish are often misidentified and the lifestyle differences between them are quite interesting. Thanks for the visit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much cclitgirl. It's beautiful country out this way and it makes for a nice vacation.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      GoldenThread - I appreciate the comments. It is fun to watch them in the fields with their horse drawn plows and I love the way they stack the corn stalks in the field. It really is a glimpse into the past.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks CZCZCZ - I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I imagine it is difficult to continue a lifestyle like that in today's economic world. It shows how dedicated they must be. I appreciate the comments coffeeinmyrice!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      PeggyW - Thanks for the visit! This was a fun hub to write and take picture for. Gave me an excuse to peruse the countryside on a nice fall day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Sharyn's Slant! I enjoy visiting the Amish communities in Ohio too. They are all not too far away. I appreciate the comments!

    • RodRoc profile image

      RodRoc 4 years ago from US

      Great comment thanks

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

      Very pretty countryside. I always enjoy visiting the Amish communities. In many ways, the Amish have their act together by shunning what many of us consider must-haves and concentrating on what's truly important.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks tips. There are some things that they do that could help us in today's hectic world.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Glimmer,

      How wonderful that this won HOTD... Congratulations!

      Like Gail, I have been to Lancaster many times, it gets more built up each time we go. I am very interested in checking out these other communities, especially as we have family in the Johnstown area.

      Voted UP and UABI...great job. Hugs, Maria

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I really appreciate the comments marcoujour! Come for a visit. You will enjoy it.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Great hub! When I was in my early teen years, my sister took me to Pennsylvania and we visited an Amish operated farm. It made an impression on me I still remember clearly to this day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much shiningirisheyes! It really is fun to visit these areas. Come back some time!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      My senior year of high school was spent in PA with my sister and her family. The year was 1965. I visited Lancaster county then and saw a very rural way of life with many buggies filling the highways and byways. I am sorry to hear that it has now become so commercialized. The lives of the Amish are uncluttered by so much that many of us have come to consider so important. Thank you for sharing this so that others will know where to visit to learn of this way of life. Sending Angels your way :) ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you pstraubie. I'm glad this was a little bit of a walk down memory lane. I appreciate the comments.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Living so far away, I had no idea of the Amish community at all. I think it would be fun to see how they live a simple life even today away the rat race of today's life.

      Voted up, interesting and beautiful.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much rajan. It is amazing how different it is in their areas. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      GTF......Living in WNY and not a far distance from god's country-type territory, I don't need to be on vacation nor out vacationing & sight-seeing to watch out for the Amish buggies.

      I go through an extensive stretch of Amish Community every time I take my dog or cat to the Vet.....have run into Amish families in the supermarket, Dr.s Office.....and many years ago, in the hospital for my 4 th (and last) baby.....I can never forget there was a young Amish Mom who'd just had a baby in the room to my south....and that young girl's mother.....who also just had a baby, in the room to my north.

      So....just think about that! I couldn't imagine having a child AND a grandchild on the same day in the same hospital! Nor could I imagine packing up and going home, 2 hours after giving birth as That Amish Mom & Daughter & their new babies did!

      I watched from my hospital room window as their husbands helped them up into the buggy seat of their respective buggies and handed them their babies......hopped up and took the reins...and off they trotted.....clip-clop. I clearly remember thinking....."Ouch!!!" as I sat on my donut pillow!............Up++++

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