The scenery in Lawrence County is something many of us take for granted, especially the
Amish Countryside, where nature thrives and hasn’t been disturbed by western civilization. It’s the perfect place to unwind, relax and find your focus. It is our hope that this article will help you learn a little more about our area and an appreciation of their simple lifestyle.
Our Amish is the third largest Old Order Amish sect. In 1847, nine families, all Byler, moved to Lawrence County. Eventually they grew into fourteen districts, each with their own school and Bishop to govern.
Amish girls and women wear dresses primarily in colors of royal blue, navy blue, black or brown. Reds, pinks, oranges and yellows are prohibited, as are patterned fabrics. One thing is absolute; there are never buttons on the clothing of the Amish women. They use straight pins to keep clothes together. Men and boys wear denim trousers with two large overlapping panels in the front which button to the waist. The bishop determines the number and size of buttons. Coats and vests are fastened by hook and eye, never buttons. Suspenders are used to hold up the trousers. Belts are never worn.
The Amish practice home churching which is a gathering for Sunday services at various homes. It is a major undertaking to host the preaching service. With the help of family and friends, the house is cleaned and scrubbed from top to bottom. The host family also provides the noon meal for the congregation.
An old wives tale is that the Amish shutters and doors are painted blue meaning there is an eligible daughter to marry. In reality, it just means it’s the only color paint they had available. Now it’s become a tradition of sorts to use the color blue. This is the same with the brown top buggy. Traveling around you will often see black or gray topped buggies but only in Lawrence County will you see the brown. We often tease our counterparts across the state saying “Brown Buggy’s Rock”!!
Many of the Amish in Lawrence County are agricultural or dairy farmers; the farms are usually passed from one generation to another. Horses are used to plow the fields. Some Amish subsidize their farm income with woodworking and construction. Because of pasteurization laws, many Amish do not sell dairy anymore so they focus on produce and furniture making. The Amish make beautiful one-of-a-kind furniture along with the ever popular hand sewn quilts.
There are many nooks and crannies throughout the New Wilmington /Volant corridor of which to explore. Our agency has developed a drive yourself Amish tour and it is on our website and in our brochure. For years our brochure was the only way to navigate the countryside. Now we are lucky enough to offer local Amish tours for a more unique experience to tourist and residents alike. No matter how you do it, be sure to treat yourself to an Amish donut, made fresh each Saturday! Travel writers have loved the experience and the upswing in visitors has shown. More information may be found on our website www.VisitLawrenceCounty.com . When visiting the Amish countryside and shops, be sure to keep in mind, the Amish do not like to be photographed or video recorded.