Indiana's Amish settlements are growing and spreading throughout the southern part of the state. A new settlement is starting outside of Gosport, about 20 minutes or so northwest of Bloomington. Gosport, as you can see from this photo, is a speck of a town. Buggies will soon become a common sight on the quiet main street.
Only three Amish families now put down roots there, but they hope for more and I'm sure more will come. This is a peaceful, tranquil part of the state and this Amish settlement has a bit different of a mission than most.
According to Rhoda Yoder, wife of the local minister, the settlement is meant to be a place where Amish can go for a "second chance." If they've experienced problems in their own settlement, they can move here to start fresh. I think this is a good thing in the sense that I've found that many times the Amish are far more forgiving of transgressions committed by outsiders (think the Nickel Mines shooting) than of those committed among their own. I think most people deserve a second-chance, so it's nice to see a community beginning upon these premises. So I'll be interested to see this new settlement take shape over the years ahead and I'll share more when I visit.
Rhoda was very friendly but a little guarded talking to someone like me who is a writer. After one experience with a newspaper reporter that resulted in an article that was not the most accurate, Rhoda said:
"Next time I want something written about us, I'll write it myself," she quipped. Smart woman:)