Welcome to the Amish of Ethridge Tennessee

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Amish Man And Boy In Wagon.
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We hope you are planning to take a trip to see the Amish. The Amish are normal people that choose to live a lifestyle that is based on religion, family values, and simple means.  But, you might be asking yourself if you know anyone that has ever taken a trip to the Amish? What should you expect? What advice can you find on an internet search? We hope to give you some tips and answers to your questions before your Amish vacation to Ethridge Tennessee. 

A note from the Josh Brown and Michael Pilkinton, the authors of this page:  

If you are planning an Amish vacation and would like some advice. Well, you have come to the right place, as co-authors of the Amish of Ethridge website and a residents of Lawrenceburg Tennessee. We live just a few miles south of the Ethridge Amish community. Here is some great advice from personal experiences we've gathered about our local Amish community!.

Amish Sign That Tells Visitors What They Have To Sell.

Days To See Amish: Monday-Saturday during normal business hours is always best for taking a Amish trip. Sundays and Holidays are reserved for church and family with the Amish. Do not visit the Amish at all on Sunday's. The women in the house will usually find you a male to talk business with if you have questions. Amish goods are sold first come, first served and are usually out very early in the morning during the season for vegetables. Hours we can comfortably give you are 8am-5pm generally but keep in mind that dinner time is set in the evenings and nights are reserved for reading so don't come to late in the evenings. 

Amish With English Traffic In Their Driveway.

Stopping To Buy Amish Products: At times there will be many cars at an Amish home. Please try not to block other guest when parking, it has caused accidents. When buying from the Amish people. Do not try to haggle on the price or offer a trade for other items. Most Amish people find this offensive. Also bring enough cash and coins to make your sales without having the Amish break larger bills.

A Car Passing An Amish Buggy.

Meeting an Amish Buggy : Make sure that you can see far enough ahead to clearly pass and keep in mind the conditions of the roads in Amish territory. The hard wagon wheels grove the roadways sometimes making automobiles waver.

When Passing a Buggy:  Please, no horn honking, loud music, or loud exhausts. Many wrecks happen each year due to the slow speeds of the buggies and the skittish nature of horses. Do not hang out of the windows to get the attention of the horse or the Amish people. Just be respectful and give the horse room when getting in front of them. 

Amish In The Road.

Watch the road: There will be several who will be looking out the window of their car at the beautiful scenery or swerving to miss the holes in the road and may hit you. If you're driving, then please be careful to look up ahead and make sure all is safe in front of your car. Amish kids are sometimes in the road or just off the road in the lane of traffic and they are usually not able to judge distance or speed well. Animals are sometimes out of their fences and may be on the road or just off to one side. Just be careful and make sure nothing gets hurt! Get on a wagon or buggy ride if you want to look around. 

Amish Tours Pulled By Horses.

If you get on a buggy tour, then we have some special instructions we feel can help your trip! Please follow our tips in this section to help your visit go successfully!

  • Weather Conditions and Accommodation: Being prepared for the weather is always a must. Sometimes temperatures can be extremely hot or cold depending on the season. And the Amish don't sell products such a bottled water, or have air conditioning, or bathrooms for visitors.  
  • Bring enough cash and coins to spend at the Amish stores. Don't expect the Amish to break large bills. Do not haggle on price or ask for a bargain. The Amish generally don't barter from the "english visitors" who get price conscious.  
  • Take canvas bags or other transporting bags with you. There's always tomatoes scattered along the wagon bed after someone buys a bunch of tomatoes or other vegetable and doesn't have a bag to put them in. 
  • If you are sensitive to the sun or have issues with bugs then bring sample sized bug repellent creams and sunscreen. Most buggies have covers over them to keep direct sun off of you but once out in the open, the sun can be on you. Bring a hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, and water bottles.
  • Make sure to leave enough room in your schedule for the complete buggy ride. See our list of buggy ride providers and other services in our resource section to find a ride that fits your needs.
  • During the summer, wear clothes that would be comfortable enough to ride in but not sloppy enough that you would want to go back to your room to clean up. This way you can see other Amish related places when you get off the wagon ride. We believe a good set of linen pants or shorts are the best material for a good summer material. Shoes should be comfortable and able to climb up and down off the wagon steps. No need of high heels or clunky lug work boots. Shirts can be short sleeve or long sleeves that can be rolled up or down. A good hat like the Tilley Airflows series can be great if you want to stand out in the sun during the sections of the tour where they drive you to the Amish farms. The tours are are about an hour and a half to two hours long so dress for comfort and still look good for Amish country shopping before or after your ride! 
  • The wagon and buggy rides are ADA ready but make sure to have help with you if you have a disability and may need help getting on and off the ride. Some Amish have outhouses for restrooms that may not fit wheelchairs or walkers. Make sure to ask your tour operator about your route and see if they can accommodate you while on the tour.  
  • Kids under 5 may not have much to do and get bored easy while on the longer tours. Bring something they can play with if the children with you get fussy and tired. The Amish stops usually have hands on activities for the kids if there is a chore to be done. Churning butter, shucking corn, pulling peanuts, grinding corn stalks, and other chores are just a few children's activities. The Amish can always find a job for kids on the tours. Ask your tour operator about kids activities and hands on learning before leaving on the tour ride!
Amish Kids In Toy Wagon.

Advice on your words: The Amish usually teach and speak to their smaller children in Pennsylvania Dutch, to try not to have their children influenced with technology. So cell phones pictures are usually not welcome at Amish homes or on the tours when present at Amish homes, Communication with smaller children is frowned upon. The Amish parents don't want any outsiders telling their kids alternative information about the english way of life so our advice is not to talk to them at all unless a child needs to go get an adult. Also refrain from using bad language around the Amish people. They generally don't like cussing, crass humor or jokes about their ways of living.

Amish Home And Field.

Amish Homes and Businesses: Keep in mind that the Amish homes and businesses are someone's private property, DO NOT walk up on their porch and go into their home uninvited. Visiting the Amish is not like a tour where you are exploring antebellum homes or a museum, their home is still someone's active personal space. Don't expect the Amish people to put on a show or act out for you. The Amish live according to their religion and convictions that determine their way of life and are in no obligation to entertain guest or sell goods to us non Amish public. The Amish Heritage Welcome Center and Museum has a home and farm that is set up exactly like an Amish home if you chose to visit an Amish home replication. 

Amish Man Standing Up While Driving Wagon.

The Amish and photography or videography

There is one universal concept that all Amish communities seem to have in common. That is no Amish order that we have ever found is fundamentally open to photography or videography. Even in the less strict varieties the core principles of having their photo taken for later viewing is to be rejected. The Amish community in Ethridge is the same as the other Amish communities as they also do not want any photography of any kind done with them. Naturally one would say their homes and horses are left out of this decree, but you would be wrong. In most circumstances the Amish believe any photo is calling attention to the object and therefore is treated like a graven image. In verses like " - Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: the Amish don't want any of their belongings to made into graven images by being photographed. Even their dolls are faceless because "all are alike in the eyes of God", and that the lack of facial features agrees with the Bible's commandment against graven images. They don't even have mirrors!

Amish People Getting Hey Into Bales.

Our advice is to respect their rights to not be photographed and to not have your phone out at all when you are around them, in fear that they may think you are taking their photo or trying to be sneaky about taking their photo. We understand this advice may be hypocritical since you are reading this on a website with several photos of the Amish. Understand dear reader that these photos are a direct representation of the Amish people here in Ethridge Tennessee! Our intention is to make content for the sole purpose of  attracting people who love to visit Amish farms and take tours of Amish countryside and these photos are showing the local Amish people in a proper way. We have talked to many Amish bishops about what we do and while they do not approve of us taking photos, they tell us that we need to show them working in the field and that we leave their little ones out of any photos. Notice as you scan our website that we did show very few of their little ones but in a manner that they are playing as children. We use a 600mm lens from a public road to capture these photos so the Amish don't even know they have been photographed. We feel that we have been respectful in a way that balances their belief and show a realistic scene to the visitor who will spend money on staying here to see the Amish community. The photos you see on this site were taken by the writers of this website and are not sold as prints. They are to be an example of the Amish people of Ethridge Tennessee you might see when vacationing here.

Amish Boy And His Brother On Horse Team.

Amish beliefs about photography and videography

Just about every Amish person believes something different about what happens to a person who is photographed. In Ethridge there is a view that is accepted by more english than the Amish, and that is that when an Amish person is photographed the photo takes their soul. We have never heard an Amish person proclaim this personally but each Amish person we talked to said they did know Amish people who do hold this belief. We will link an article here from Amish America and a video below where our local wagon tour operator tells a television station about this belief and we defend his statements. There are Amish who hold this belief here even though most do not. We have had many Amish people pose for photographs and video clips asking that they not be shown to the bishop. Some Amish youth have come out to wave at us when they see our vehicle come by. In today's cell phone culture where everyone has the ability to take a photo, it isn't hard to imagine just how many souls a person would capture on a busy Saturday. We believe the Amish people have come to understand that not everyone will abide by their wishes and that they will just have to live with being photographed. However, this doesn't mean we are saying to go take photos of the Amish. We are saying that if a visitor does come to see our Amish community and doesn't care about what we have to say, that they at least take photos of the Amish people working and to leave their little ones out of it.   

Play video where Sam talks about the Amish in Ethridge TN     

Above is the video where Sam shows our area to the news station. We will include links to the best Amish related website we have seen at Amish America where they also have photos of the Amish and a famous Amish photographer.  The question of whether or not the Amish believe the camera takes their soul is answered on a faq section on the Amish America website where you will find many more Amish related things by a team who explores Amish life and living in a way much deeper than we cover. We suggest taking a look at the Amish America website and Bill Coleman's Photography of other Amish people.

We at The Amish Of Ethridge hope your trip is rewarding and filled with many memories. With the above advice we hope that all travelers have a safe and happy adventure that will last a lifetime.  

If you would like to see our recommended resources page where we showcase Amish itineraries where we give you the best times and places to participate in our places of interest. Our restaurant guide can help you find the foods you like best and may show you a place you would love to try! The place you stay is so important to getting a good nights sleep where you get up and start your day of fun. 

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