MEET THE MENNONITES OF MONTEZUMA
By Kevin Williams
There is no Old Order Amish presence in Georgia. In fact, the Deep South as a whole has not been a place many Amish have settled. Not sure why. One obvious reason, though, could just be without electricity the idea of settling in the heart of Alabama might not be the most appealing. Winters would be pleasant, but not July. Still, the Amish have gradually made inroads into the South. Kentucky has a huge Amish population and Tennessee has a growing community. Mississippi is now home to a horse and buggy Amish community near Pontotoc. But Georgia? Not yet. But I wouldn't be surprised to see some Amish families arrive within the next few years. I think the South as a whole will begin looking more appealing to the Amish as land grows scarce elsewhere.
Georgia does, however, have a handful of Plain communities: Mennonites and Brethren,namely.
One community has captured my imagination for years, Georgia's oldest and largest Plain settlement: Montezuma, about an hour from Macon. The community began with a handful of families in the 1950s and today consists of about 180 families comprising three Mennonite churches. The Amish of Monetzuma are Beachy Amish Mennonites, so they use electricity, farm with tractors and drive cars. But they dress Plainly and hold on to many Amish traditions. Yoder is a common name here.
I would love to one day visit Montezuma, but I doubt it's going to happenterany time soon. So when my parents were driving through Georgia last week I suggested they visit for me. Mom and Dad usually like a little road trip off the freeway (especially Mom), so this would seem to have been right up their wheelhouse.
This article is rather old, but most of the information seems to have held up well, so click here to read even more about Montezuma.
Meanwhile, the photos you see with this post are ones my Dad took for us to enjoy. Stay tuned tomorrow to see what happened when I sent them to the "Holy Grail of Amish Cooking" in the South........
Kevan, it is strange that I spoke with the restaurant just last week. I was told that the Bed and Breakfast no longer exist. I have eaten at the restaurant before and the food was very good and they gave you plenty. Of course they told me that the restaurant was still open. I live in Georgia and I have been told that the Amish don't settle in Georgia because the land is too expensive.
About a year ago I was on a mission to find out why I had heard of several sightings of Amish about 20 miles from my home. I talked to the police in that town, the chiropractor, the grocery store where they had been seen and the herb shop. The lady in the herb shop answered my question.
There is a holistic teacher in that town and they come from Pennsylvania to try to get their cancer and other chronic conditions healed. She said that there is a school there (strange that I live so close and had never heard of it) that teaches holistic healing. She said that she had previously seen many of them coming into that town, but hadn't seen any lately.
About the cotton: I grew up working in the cotton field. I have helped plant, chop, hoe and pick cotton. The picture that you put in the post is cotton fully open waiting to be picked. In full bloom, it actually has flowers on it (yellow or mauve) and it can have 2 different color blooms on the same stalk. It then has what is called squares. Then it has boles and as it gets fall the leaves fall off and the boles open and you can pick the cotton. I'm sure I gave you more info than you wanted, but it is really interesting if you didn't grow up around it or don't know about it. Keep up the good work.
Wyvonne, thanks for clarifying the cotton for me and the info about the Amish and holistic healing school is quite fascinating,what town is that?
Thank you. we grew a few cotton plants in the north just for their beauty. Several years ago the plants died so no more seeds...It is an interesting crop. I love this site. Nice stories, and great ideas for dinner, Rita
An interesting experiment growing cotton in the north! And, by the way, my mother's name is Rita, you don't hear that name a lot anymore