Lifeline to Pinecraft

Florida Amish settlement at Pinecraft
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I’ve written often about one of my favorite Amish settlements: Pinecraft, Florida.  While it’s not an Amish settlement in the traditional sense, it’s a favorite winter refuge for Amish and Mennonite snowbirds.  And there is a plain presence year-round in Pinecraft.  One special memory I have was when I was a young journalist writing a story for “Florida Retirement Living Magazine”  (I know, hilarious, I was 20 years old doing a story for a retirement magazine…young journalists will write for anything to earn their writing chops!) and I was assigned to write about Pinecraft. This was the early 90s when the Amish enclave of Sarasota was largely unknown outside of the plain community.  What made the magazine article special is that my late grandfather – who lived in Venice, Florida – shot photos in Pinecraft for my article. That piece is the only joint journalism collaboration with a family member (excluding my wife), so it was special. Pinecraft is full of charming cottages, bungalows, and thimble-sized houses where the Amish take up residence for a few months during the winter.  March – right now – is still peak season in Pinecraft before people begin filling up this bus and heading for home.  The Pioneer Trails bus line is the lifeline to the Amish communities of the north, making multiple runs a week this time of year.  We visited Pinecraft last July and saw the Pioneer Bus, which has a very limited summer schedule.  Bus is massive, isn’t it?Florida Amish settlement at Pinecraft

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The Discussion

  1. Linda Clark says:


    A very good looking bus and it actually looks like it is roomy and comfortable. You may have just given us an idea on travel we hadn’t as yet considered :)

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