Video Tour of Unity, Maine Amish Settlement
Maine is not a state synonymous with the Amish. But over the past decade or so a few settlements have been established in the state. The rural, rugged land and independent attitudes of Mainers have proven to be welcoming for the Amish. As of this writing there are three Amish settlements in Maine that I am aware of: Smyrna, Fort Fairfield, and Unity. The Smyrna and Unity settlements share ties. Unity is actually what is called a "daughter" settlement of Smyrna. Smyrna is a daughter settlement of Lindsay, Ontario, and Lindsay is a daughter of Aylmer, Ontario. The way it was explained to me is that the Amish in these communities don't want several church districts bunched together as is typically the case. These Amish want their communities to serve as "beacons" in various places. While the Amish don't traditionally evangelize, some Amish do like to "serve as witnesses" or "lead by example." So while they maybe won't reach out and try to convert, they want their communities to serve as positive examples to outsiders. Unity does not have its own bishop yet, the settlement is not large enough, so the bishop in Smyrna also is in charge of Unity. Once Unity becomes firmly established and of sufficient size, they'll have their own bishop and then will begin to explore creating a daughter settlement somewhere else. Other unusual attributes of the Maine Amish: they do worship in a formal church building, unlike most Amish that worship in their homes. Also, the men in these communities do often wear mustaches. Mustaches have traditionally been frowned up by Amish men because of their alleged association with military service. But as one Amish man here told me "we don't frown upon other Amish who feel that way, but we don't think a mustache has any military meaning." In other ways, these Amish are quite traditional. They travel by horse and buggy and, of course, don't have electricity. Click here to watch my quick video documentary of this Maine settlement known for their potatoes and blueberries.
Donna Lu Smith
I would enjoy your videos more if they focused more on what you are talking about than you. When I watch a documentary, I am not use to seeing the person talking being the center of the camera. If the documentary is about the Amish or Mennonites, then their environment, products, etc, should be the main focus. I realized they are not comfortable with their pictures being taken, but I am not comfortable with the camera always being on you. I wanted a wide lens shot of the stores and places you went, with your voice in the background. It is nice to see who is talking occasionally, but it should not dominate the video.
Donna...I don't disagree...and I appreciate the input...keep in mind, though, that for instance in the case of being inside the home in this video...I had only met the woman that day, I just felt funny taking a camera and shooting her living room unless the camera is mainly on me....so I was trying to put the focus on me so she didn't feel "violated" in any way...that said, I don't think it's bad advice and Lord knows I'd rather be off camera than seen on....
I was pleased to see this video about the Unity Amish. For one thing, I live in Farmington, Maine, only an hour from Unity, but hear very little about their presence. 14 families is great. Whatever encourages a strong farming culture in this rural state is most welcomed by me. Small family run farms are traditional in Maine, not big-Ag, so keeping farmland in the hands of knowledgable farmers is a boon to our state, as are any associated occupational skills and trades. And Maine's trend toward supporting local independent craftsmen and farmers should benefit the Amish. Everyone wins!
Welcome....let us know if you go to the Unity settlement....Their presence in Maine is small, but growing!
Do the Amish in Unity, ME sell and install metal roofing? Is there any contact information available?
Just curious...do you know when their services are held in Unity? And, if so, where?