Holmes County, Ohio – Home to the Largest Amish Population in the World

There are pockets of Amish people in many states in the U.S., but the single, biggest population of Amish live in Holmes County, Ohio, which has been dubbed “Amish Country.”

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You will not drive through Holmes County without passing horse-drawn buggies on the road. Wander away from the busy shops of Berlin and you will see Amish residents riding their bicycles and shopping in the groceries just like you and me. That last statement made have made you pause. Amish shopping in grocery stores? Yes. They don’t grow everything themselves, and they ride their buggies to the stores and shop for some essentials just like you and me.

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There are probably a million misperceptions about the Amish. Some people don’t think they pay taxes. They do. They think they don’t use banks. They do. They imagine they all move from one farm to another raising barns. (Only when necessary.) They do shun the luxuries of the outside world, but that’s more because of scripture than because they would rather do without. In fact, some of the newer orders of Amish incorporate electricity with generators. They may use generators or car batteries to power a lamp or something inside. It’s a nod toward progress and convenience in a world that very much shuns anything worldly. The Amish are much more complex than one might think.

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Ohio Amish Country set up an incredibly fascinating itinerary for me and my daughter. Each place we visited gave us more and more insight into this fascinating world so close and yet so different from ours.  I’ll recount what we learned at each stop along the way. Each experience built on the others and culminated in a rich understanding of the Amish way of life.

We’ll start with Yoder’s Amish Farm next.

Is there a part of Amish life you’re curious about?

13 responses to “Holmes County, Ohio – Home to the Largest Amish Population in the World

  1. It must be a fascinating place to visit. I’m afraid I’m one of those people who probably have a lot of misconceptions about the Amish given that most of my knowledge about them probably comes from the 1985 movie “Witness.”

  2. Fascinated by the Amish having first encountered them in Lancaster County. Just love the needlecraft and am a proud owner of an Amish made quilted cushion. Their lives hark back to our own Irish pre electric days, filled with religious fervour and ritual and long days of manual work. Looking forward to the series!

    • Lucky you! I have an Amish quilt, too, and bought a rug this time. I’ve also been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and admired the tidy farms there. It’s such a unique culture and easy to miss if you don’t know what to look for.

  3. This is so cool! And just in time for my upcoming relocation to Ohio! While some different populations interest me, like Native Americans, the Amish has never been one that caught my interest. However, I clicked on the link you posted for “Ohio Amish Country” and the page referred to “slowing down,” which I would really love to do! I am anticipating your future tales!

      • You know, that is something I am looking forward to. I like history, and Ohio is older than Seattle or even St. Louis. And it’s closer to other significant historical places.

  4. Juliann, do the Amish youngsters go to school and mix with the general population? If so, are they not tempted to embrace modern, conventional and materialistic ways?

    • No. They don’t go to school with the “English.” They have small schoolhouses every few miles so that it’s easier for the kids to get there. They either walk, ride a bike or take buggies. And many of their lessons are in German, or Pennsylvania Dutch.

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