Ex-Amish in Parke County, Indiana

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WTHI-TV in Terre Haute aired a two-part series this week that sort of raises more questions than answers.  Finding Amish people willing to appear on camera is a rarity – not an impossibility – but a rarity.  So the media often end up focusing on ex-Amish or people sort of on the edges (think TLC’s “Breaking Amish”) and I think that is probably what happened in this case.  The Terre Haute TV station probably wanted to do a story about the Amish, but couldn’t find any takers, so they focused on this ex-Amish family.  It still provides an interesting story, but probably somewhat skewed.

Click here to read and view Part I.

Click here to read and view Part II.

The reporter says that “a few Amish families” live in Parke County, Indiana.  Actually, there are more than a few, there are dozens – scores – that now call Parke County, Indiana home.  The community started in the mid-90s by Amish who came from SE Pennsylvania seeking cheaper land and more room.  The settlement has thrived since then with many businesses and even a produce auction. Not a lot of information is given in the story about the Fisher family, but it seems as if they wanted to take a more evangelical direction than the more subdued mainstream Amish and they’ve paid a price.  But since we don’t know, it’s just a guess.  The piece does mention that the family spent time in the “mountains of Virginia” before coming to Indiana, which I take to mean Pearisburg, Virginia.  Pearisburg is a unique, intriguing Amish settlement. I really like it there, but there have been divisions and splits within that group, perhaps the Fishers got caught up in that?

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The Discussion

  1. You’re right, Kevin. This piece raises more questions than it answers, and I hope people won’t see this as representative of all Amish.

    It’s also interesting about the refusal to get a driver’s license. He says it’s all about money – in one way he’s right. I wonder who he thinks pays for the roads he’s using.

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