By Kevin Williams
This is all just guesswork. But the Amish are a rapidly growing church. Not surprising when families have 6, 7, or 8 children. Throw on top of that a retention rate that is north of 90 percent and you have a lot of Amish people needing places to live. In some older more established communities like Grabill, Indiana and Berne, Indiana there are practically homes piled up on top of homes. Homes became sprawling dwellings with additions and build-ons. So on one hand, understandably, Amish people like to stay close to kin and that often means staying in the older, larger, established communities. On the other, the Amish need to establish new communities to handling their growing population. Two notable places where the Amish first put down roots in 2016 were Vermont and Prince Edward Island, Canada. What places this year might see horse-drawn buggies on their roads for the first time?
NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Amish expanding throughout New England with large and growing populations in New York and Maine. Vermont welcome its first Amish settlement last year. New Hampshire with it's "Live Free or Die" comportment and plenty of land just seems like a logical fit.
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS: There is a growing Amish presence just across the border north of Glens Falls, New York, and the Berkshires of of Massachusetts have plenty of land and rural hospitality, so look for buggies here in 2017.
ALABAMA: You have large Amish settlements in Tennessee and a pretty established one in Pontotoc, Mississippi in the northeast part of the state, I'd not think it'd be a stretch that an Amish community could start in the northwest part of the state.
FLORIDA: It'd not surprise me if the Florida Panhandle attracted an Amish settlement in the coming years...
WASHINGTON STATE: The Amish have attempted in fits and starts to settle in Washington State and it just seems like with the Amish footprint growing so much in Montana and northern Idaho that it'd be only a matter of time before the is a strong, established Amish settlement in Washington.
We Have an Amish Family or two that has moved to Jackson, Co in a little town called Annville in the wonderful
state of Kentucky.
I've been hearing about the Annville community, Geneva...it's not terribly far off I-75, I hope to check it out sometime...thanks for the update!
I believe the Amish did try settling in eastern Wa. at one time. For whatever reason it didn't work out. It was just a small community .I really hope they try again.
Yes, Carolyn, they have before...several times, I believe...most recently a settlement was started around Moses Lake, but that fizzled...last I heard there was one Amish family still there, but that doesn't really qualify as an "Amish community."
Here in Washington, we have a conservative mennonite community that is vibrant and thriving in Rochester! (which is South of our capital Olympia) It has beautiful farm land!
While living here is expensive....I would love to see a Amish community put down roots and grow!!
Beverly, I just saw this comment. Haven't heard from you in awhile, hope you are doing well. Thanks for telling mm about the Mennonite community there, I did not know about it!
We just returned from our 4th trip to Amish country in Lancaster county PA. What I have noticed over the last almost 40 years is the creep of strip malls and commercialism. I felt a bit sad as I thought urban sprawl was not what the Amish originally were seeking. I love the farmlands so green and lush in what was a quiet and peaceful way of life. I told my husband, Northern NH would be a more fitting place. I find our own quiet little town in South East NH filling up with MA transplants who can't seem to shake what they left, only to want to change were they moved to, to what they left. But with 2 acre zoning, no street lights or sidewalks, with only artisan wells and septic systems it still retains the feel of a bygone era which resembles a Currier and Ives painting.
When I told our son in ME he said we have Amish communities here. He told me he read where they are considering NH. So here I am excitingly Googling it. I truly hope they do come to settle here they would be most welcome. North of Concord and in small towns you still see the rugged individualism, self reliance and spirit of community that NH, VT, and ME are known for. There are still dirt roads and trails where we enjoy riding our horses. With 85% of the land in NH, VT, and ME being forest there is still a lot of room.
Kevin if you would be so kind as to share this information with the Amish and Mennonites that they would be welcome, this old Yankee would be pleased.
Joanna, it's only a matter of time before the Amish come to NH. They just established a community in Vermont and they are approaching the NH border from the west with numerous settlements in Upstate New York. As far as Lancaster County goes, they Amish don't "want" suburban sprawl at all. They lived there long before the sprawl, the sprawl came to them so they deal with it as best they can...many have decamped for Kentucky and other points west. Ahhh you paint such an idyllic portrait of NH, makes ME want to move there. Welcome to Amish365!:)
My family and I just love the Amish people and community. The Amish people are so sweet.
We wanted to take our children to Amish town is there any near WA state? I heard there maybe one in seaside OR or closer does anyone know?
Hi, Kelli - I am unaware of any Amish settlements in Washington or Oregon. Amish have made some attempts to start communities in those states with mixed success. ....St. Ignatius, Montana would be the Amish settlement, or perhaps Rexford, Montana, would be your best bets...I know those are kind of far, depending where in Washington you are...Kevin