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Amish Man And Boy Who Is Holding His Back
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Just north of Lawrenceburg Tennessee located on the east and west sides of Highway 43 North. Amish seekers will find the largest Amish community in the southern United States. With a total of ten Amish church districts in its incredible Amish community. The Amish families of Ethridge Tennessee can truly boast that their traditions and heritage have not only grown in size and popularity in past years. But, have been an example for new Amish communities springing up throughout the United State. The Amish people call everyone who is not Amish an "english" person and those in Ethridge are no different.

An Amish Lady Getting The Mail At Her Mailbox.

The Amish in Ethridge Tennessee are Swartzentruber lineage and Millers. These families live just like any other family and have the normal home setup. The mail brings bills to pay, newspapers, flyers and advertisements and letters from family members. There is still gossip, squabbles, family issues, jealousy and other human problems that we english have, but the Amish have ways of dealing with these issues in unique ways. These Amish people have proven that with a simple dedications to hard work, family values, and religion great struggles can become concord while using very primitive tools, technology, and travel in keeping with their old world ideas and values. Some of the finest Amish farms, families, and craftsmanship can be seen with just a simple weekend trip to see the Amish of Ethridge Tennessee! 

Two Different Kinds Of Amish Wagons.
Amish Family In Open Top Wagon.

The Amish buggies and wagons are varied in their use. The common black buggy is seen all over Lawrence county but the open top wagon is usually reserved for work and to carry a larger group of people to a singing or Amish gathering at another members home. The Amish have certain times of year and holidays they meet at one another home for certain services. The english are not allowed in during these special times and the Amish are a bit shy in revealing their times and locations to keep photographers and onlookers away. 

Amish Buggy Meeting The Tour Wagons.

 The Amish here in Ethridge understand that without the wagon tours, there may not be as much traffic to their homes to buy their produce and furniture. Most Amish people do not generally like being the spectacle of onlookers  although some will put on a show for you. The Ordnung does not allow for posing or drawing attention to ones self but to live in humility and humble means. The old world order of Amish in Ethridge do not use electricity, computers, cell phones/home phones, cars, or modern farm equipment. Also, the old  order Amish in Ethridge  would prefer that you don't take pictures of them and refrain from speaking to their younger children in English. These ideas all stem from their deep religious roots, and their Dutch ancestry, in which they speak to their younger children using only Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

Amish Kids Going To School.
Amish School In Country Side.

Amish schools are one room homes around in the country. Once a school house is full they build one somewhere closer to the children who are further away. If your wondering just how large the Amish of Ethridge community is in size. The last recorded number was  in excess of 300 families that live in this primitive way. To give more of a history, in 1944 five Amish families moved all of their belongings to Ethridge. To start what has now become the largest old order of the Amish in the southern U.S. Starting off with very modest beginnings with farms averaging 20 acres or less with small five person families. The normal Amish farm today in Ethridge will usually  have close to 100 acre, filled with just about any kind of livestock or crop imaginable. A normal family size of Amish now will range anywhere from three to twenty children and include many older generations of the same family under one roof. 

Amish Garage With Furniture.
Amish Man On Side Of Road Selling Furniture.

With excellent craftsmanship abilities stemming from their old world lineage. The Amish offer many different specialty handmade soaps, candles, wooden indoor/outdoor furniture, harness and tack repair, molasses, hand woven quilts, and rugs just to name a few items, that are for sale to the public.  But, have no worries most everyone in the Amish community are friendly and more than welcome to guide and help anyone find what they are seeking and by simply taking a ride down the roads of Ethridge. You will see many hand made signs at the end of the driveways that shows what each Amish home and business has to offer. 

Amish Boys Working Burning Wood.

Amish kids do a lot of the work their fathers give them to do. It is not uncommon to see a young boy working with a team of horses and a plow. These Amish boys and young men are very strong and rarely wear shoes. Even the girls are to do gardening and collecting of crops during the growing season. Chickens and eggs are a general task where you'll find a child throwing seeds out and gathering eggs into a basket. The genders are treated more equally in the Amish community as they just need a pair of hands to do work around the farm and there isn't as much work that is made for boys over girls.

Amish Lady In Their Personal Garden.

Some Amish people keep two different gardens on their lands. One very large garden for sale to the english and one smaller garden for their own use. Seeds that are saved from the year before that proved to be hardy producing plants are normally used in the personal garden. The english gardens are usually bought seeds and are tended to efficiently enough to produce crops but not so good that it takes all their time. So the next time you see an Amish garden, you'll know who the small garden next to their house  looks great and the big field gardens look like they need weeds pulled around the plants. Either way, you're getting good decent produce when you buy their crops during growing season.

Amish Girl Brushing Hair.

The Amish do no work on Sundays. This is also why the Amish tours and welcome centers are closed on Sundays. The other stores on highway 43 are usually open on Sundays if you need to shop at the Amish Country Flea Market or Vintage Shoppe while in peak season. The Amish people care for their animals and go to a barn church or home church on Sundays. Occasionally you'll see a couple who are courting in a buggy going for a stroll. This is a way for the younger people to comb their hair and look nice for their potential mate. Sundays are the day of rest so no work is to be done according to the bible and the Amish in Ethridge certainly take this to heart!

Amish Girl Without Her Bonnet On Swing In Yard.

The future of Amish life and what we don't talk about.

The Amish in Ethridge Tennessee don't have a "rumspringa" or period that they can live without the supervision of the authorities over them for a while to see if they want to continue in the Amish tradition or find a mate. The Amish around Ethridge can only choose to be baptized into the church or not. Being baptized into the church makes them accountable to follow the Anabaptist tradition for the rest of their lives. The Amish people are worried about the younger Amish children leaving the Amish tradition for the conveniences of the english lifestyle. The Amish here in Ethridge are aware of the top news stories of technology and new advancements to make our lives better and more enjoyable. The healthcare and dental we english get is covered by insurance and is a feature the Amish have to pay out of pocket for and may be prohibited to take part in their care. Amish youth have cell phones in some parts of the community for business reasons and the cell phone is considered a travesty by most bishops. There is still a desire to continue in the Amish tradition by most youth today. Very few leave the church for english life but those who do are usually shunned by their friends and family. Please understand the controversy as you read this page that it is our intention and hope that the Amish people can live as they would like to and that the tours and other tourist activity can help them along in their goal to live in the manner they see fitting to their way of life. 

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