Indiana Journals

My Weekend Adventures in NW Indiana's Amish Community

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An April 2013 trip to Indiana by MilwVon

Walking Home From Church Photo, Nappanee, Indiana More Photos
Quote: Indiana has the third largest Amish population in the United States, behind Pennsylvania and Ohio. I spent three days exploring the Amish communities located in NW Indiana learning more about a culture that fascinates me and observing them as they go about living the simple life.

Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort

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Attraction | "A Step Back in History"

Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort Photo, Nappanee, Indiana
Quote:
Amish Acres Historic Farm & Heritage Resort was opened to the public in 1970. The property and surrounding 80 acres dates back to 1873 when an Amish man by the name of Christian Stahly acquired this land for the purpose of building a house and barn for his son Moses. The main house was built in 1893, after Moses Stahly's father-in-law Noah Nissley bought the homestead. It was later transferred to his son-in-law Manassas Kuhns who retained ownership and operation until his death, when it was then sold at auction in 1968.Four local businessmen led by Richard Pletcher formed "Amish Acres, Inc." and successfully bid on and bought the farm at that 1968 auction. Amish Acres welcomed the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 21, 2013

Amish Acres Historic Farm and Heritage Resort
1600 West Market Street
Nappanee, Indiana 46550
(800) 800-4942

Menno-Hof Mennonite/Amish Visitor Center

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Attraction | "Not to be Missed!"

Menno-Hof Mennonite/Amish Visitor Center Photo, Shipshewana, Indiana
Quote:
For anyone interested in the Anabaptist culture, which includes the Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites, a planned visit at Menno-Hof is a "must do" experience. Visitors will have a hands-on opportunity to see and learn about how these religions and cultures stemmed from the Christian Reformation movement in Europe during the 16th century. Ultimately their beliefs and desire to be freed from religious persecution brought them to America during William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious tolerance in the 1730's. Initially establishing communities in Pennsylvania, they began a migration west that first brought four families (24 individuals) to Indiana in 1841.The Menno-Hof center is a cul...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 21, 2013

Menno-Hof Mennonite/Amish Visitor Center
510 South Van Buren Street
Shipshewana, Indiana 46565
(260) 768-4117

Along the Heritage Trail Photo, Nappanee, Indiana
Quote:
I had heard about the Heritage Trail while researching my trip to Northern Indiana's Amish communities. Much of what you find on the internet speaks to it being "one of the top places to see in your lifetime" by the editors of Life Magazine. Readers of USA Today give an equally glowing recommendation. So when I checked into my hotel in Nappanee, IN I was pleased to learn that the desk clerk had a copy that had been left by a prior guest.The driving tour spans roughly 90 miles and covers sights of local and historical interest in the counties of LaGrange and Elkhart taking mostly rural roads through the countryside. Admittedly, as I took off out of Nappanee, I quickly became disinterest...Read More

My Own "Self Driving" Tour

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Story/Tip

Young Amish Woman Plowing the Field Photo, LaGrange, Indiana
Quote:
As I mentioned in another entry in this journal, the local CVB has produced a CD tour kit called the "Heritage Trail" which provides an audio accompaniment to aid in your driving experience through the Amish communities of Elkhart & LaGrange Counties. For those who are a bit more adventurous and willing to just go where the roads may take you, I encourage you to do as I did and just get in the car and drive!My first morning in Nappanee, IN I was up very early knowing that I could not start my tours over at Amish Acres for several hours. It worked out well that I gassed up my car and just headed out of town. Once I was about five miles out, I took the first of what would be many turns...Read More
Automobiles & Buggies Photo, Indiana, United States
Quote:
Please understand, this is purely from an observational perspective, having visited and photographed the Amish communities throughout Wisconsin for a little more than a year now . . . and after my first weekend experience doing the same with the Amish of Northern Indiana.While I have read a lot about these communities, rich in tradition and largely holding to the beliefs of what is known as the Old Order Amish, much of what I read about cannot really be observed by an outsider. For instance, the Amish in Wisconsin generally do not have indoor plumbing and still out outhouses. Even the schoolhouses here in Wisconsin still have outhouses. In Indiana, however, many if not most do have indo...Read More