December 17, 2012
Hello there to all the good folks in my town of Adairville, Kentucky, the suburbs, South Logan and all the rest of this great county.
A LITTLE HISTORY Last week I wrote a little bit about the history of the Amish and their coming to Logan and surrounding counties. I did not expect so much positive reaction to my article. Seems I am not the only person that likes the Amish. I received several e-mails, a letter and several phone calls. Also some people in town stopped me and wanted to talk about the Amish.
I am amazed at some of the misunderstanding that goes along with new folks that move to our county. Yes, Amish pay taxes like most of the rest of us. In fact they are very faithful at doing so. No they do not get free government handouts. Do they mistreat their animals? I have never seen it and do not believe so. They pay a lot for their animals and all that I have seen have been very well cared for and are well fed. How do they treat their children? Like we (English) used to treat our kids. Generally the parents are very good disciplinarians, loving, treat the kids to have high values, take them to church weekly and put into practice what they learn. I believe better than 99% of the Amish attend religious services. The Amish are also very good neighbors.
Education is through the 8 th grade and at their own schools. They receive no public funding. The parents pay all expenses. The boys and girls attend a one room school house with pegs on the walls for their coats, no electricity, they bring their own lunches and their is a modern outhouse on the property. Their teacher is Amish. Usually a past graduate who has done very well in their studies.
The homes are generally built at a house raising where much of the Amish community pitch in and help. A large two story house is usually up in two to three days. The first floor walls are moveable for Sunday services. (Amish do not have church buildings.) Their religious services rotate each week from home to home. There is a special wagon that hauls the benches for the services to the home where the services are held.
The young people pick their own future spouse. This is usually between the ages of 18 and 24. They declare at a worship service and marry in the fall. They then spend some time visiting both the bride’s and the groom’s family so everyone will know each other.
There is a business structure in many Amish communities. The best I can determine a community is set up with about 25 families. Most families milk cattle as their primary income. They also raise much of their food. In addition each family may carry out an additional business adventure such as one runs a small grocery with Amish products from all over America, another may have a store that sells men’s and women’s clothing. (Some clothing is made at home as well.) Some raise a lot of poultry and sell live chicks, young pullets and cockerels, eggs and dressed chickens. Some work on farm equipment. One or two serve as teachers. Some have green houses and sell to the public and to each other. Some sell fresh vegetables.
Some build furniture and do other kinds of wood work. Some sell building supplies and farm equipment. Some hire out and do carpenter work. There also seems to be a system of trading or bartering.
Most families are fairly large with eight to 15 children. When the children grow up and marry and the community grows large there is a division and a new community is started.
There are more than one order of Amish. In fact there are several. The ones in North Logan, over at Auburn and Scottsville are referred to as “old order.” They do not use electricity in their homes or on their farms. They use horses and buggy’s or wagons for local transportation. They do not have telephones in their homes but may have one near by for communication. Farm work is done with horses.
The “new order” live at “Tinny Town” not far from Clarksville. They have started using some electricity in their stores in particular. They use tractors for their farm work and some have telephones in their homes. Some soup up their tractors and ad a wagon in the back for the purpose of transporting family to places and events. Some of those tractors can go 40 to 50 miles per hour.
To see the “old” and “new” orders on the street, they look pretty much alike in dress. The Amish can tell the difference but I can not. All unmarried men are clean shaven and the married men wear beards but never a mustache. They do not intermarry and they do not marry “English.” (All non Amish.) Most speak a form of “Dutch” or German that is from Switzerland. We tend to call it Pennsylvania Dutch.
LOCAL NEWS Special Christmas services are planned at many of the local churches. Please contact me and I will include in my article next week. Some churches are having special singings and or services. Let me know and I will pass along the news.
Check out the Adairville Town Square at night. The park and the businesses are all lighted and it is very beautiful.
The Adairville School could use some more donations for needy children to have a good Christmas. Send or drop off a donation to the school. New clothing is much needed. Hats, gloves and coats are needed for the winter.
The Adairville Senior Citizens just across the street from the Adairville School has a wonderful program. “Ms Dolly” does a great job working with our seniors. Stop in one day during the holidays. They would be thrilled to have you come in. You will be surprised at what a wonderful program they have.
The Red River Meeting House is sponsoring a fund raiser Christmas sale this weekend at the Country Angel Gift Shop in Adairville. (Located on South Main across from the BP Station.The special sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There will be door prizes, light refreshments and Christmas music. With each $10 purchase the buyer will receive a chance for a “Hinkle Rocker” given away on Saturday at 5 p.m. Nancy and Tim Watson, owners of the shop will be contributing 10% of sales to the Meeting House. Contributions will also be accepted.
The funds that are raised will go towards building a much needed pavilion/restroom facility on the historic grounds of the Red River Meeting House. Special note: A special Red River boxed Christmas ornament will be on sale for $12. Be sure and buy one of these for your decorations.
Donna Blake, Adairville Mayor-elect, has told me she is working on bringing a grocery to Adairville. She could use any leads or news you might have in this regard. She is doing everything she can to bring a store back to our town. We need one badly.
WITH A SMILE Last winter I drove, with a friend, to the Amish Community located near Pembroke, Kentucky. I went to deliver some pecans for the holidays. It had gotten dark fairly early and as we drove up to a local farm not a light was seen. The person who was with me told me he did not think anyone was home. I speculated that there was probably a lot of folks home. My friend wanted to bet me but I would not take him up on the bet. I did not want to take his money. I just said count how many people we find there.
I parked my truck, honked one time and got out in the head lights. First the father of the home and two of his sons walked out of a garage. He took one look and called out “Simon” is here. Then three more came out of the barn where they were milking cows. Then gas lights started coming on in the house and out scampered five or six young kids plus several older daughters and the mother of the house. Then up came a couple more young people who had been out in the garden. All told there was about 15 Amish friends there and maybe a couple of their cousins to boot. I think every one there greeted me, shook my hand or handed me something. In addition to the pecans I brought, I also had several large sacks of potato chips, some fruit jars, a couple of knives for the boys, a rooster for the dad and a few other items. It was like a home coming!
We were offered a late supper but declined. I did accept some hay for my Mexican Buros that protect my chickens at home. Then after a short visit my friend and I were off for Adairville and Logan County.
My friend was amazed. He kept telling me that he had thought no one was home but that nearly 40 people had appeared out of no where. Well, his numbers were a bit high, but there was a nice family there.
I love the Amish life and the people. I can see why few of the children ever leave. The church, family, the simple life and all that binds is so good. I admire the people for what they accomplish.
Time to go. Good night to all the folks in Dot, Lick Skillet, Keysburg, Hill Top, Olmsted, Schley, Oakville,
Schochoh and Adairville. Good night to all the staff WRUS Radio, Sweet Bertie Angel and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are.