Cultural History Tour of Southern Tennessee
Several of our visitors say they came to see the Amish because of their way of living. Their cultural difference makes them attractive to those interested in cultural history or who want to teach their kids about different people groups. We have a few places of national importance in our area! The Klu Klux Klan was founded on Rose Hill in Giles county in 1865, and we have the backward marker to this day! The Farm Community started in the 1970s when Stephen Gaskin migrated with over 60 buses from San Francisco to Summertown, Tennessee. The Bell and Benge routes of the Trail of Tears crossed in 1838 within a few weeks of each other on a small bridge where the piling is still visible today. This significance prompted the devotion of the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center and Pleasant Park Trail, where they also have the bridge overlook. We are not pushing anyone into living in a commune but adding this page for educational purposes. We believe having these cultural points of interest can enhance your Amish Adventure!
These groups put the "Commune" in "Community"
The term "Commune" is a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities. This definition seems to fit several people groups and cultures. The Amish have a type of commune they call a church district. Amish people who vow to keep the Amish way of living will place themselves under the Ordnung and live according to its laws. The Amish define this arrangement differently depending on how the community sees the "order" the community is under. A New Order Amish community will have specific allowances compared to an Old Order Amish community. We will explain how these groups achieve communal life within their community!
The Different Amish Communities
The term "Amish" is a shortening of the name by which the person who was famous for the beginning of the group. That is to say; they are named for those who in 1693 followed Jakob Ammann and were known as Amish. These people came from a split where Jakob Ammann separated from those who followed Menno Simons, the father of the Mennonite people we discuss later. The Amish would go on to come to America and split into different groups. We have 3 groups of Amish in our area. The Old Order Swartzentruber Amish is our most common in Ethridge. The New Order Amish lives in Summertown in Lewis county. The Amish Mennonite or the Beachy Amish live around Minor Hill along highway 11 in Giles county. These three Amish communities are a great example of a communal lifestyle based on shared beliefs and behavior!
Native American Tribal Inclusion
The dark past of the Tennessean president Andrew Jackson who brought in the Indian Removal Act that removed the native first peoples off their lands, has left us with no official native tribe. Today the native populations do not live in a communal tribe but identify with their tribal inclusion. The Central Band of Cherokee has a presence here in the Lawrence county area, but so far, the families of those who were removed but returned later have not reformed to live as a community. They have settled into the day to day life. The natives lived in communal tribes and shared what they had with each other. They did things as a group, and you can learn all about the area natives by seeing the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center in Pulaski, Tennessee. This museum is more about natives' history and life than the trail of tears, so it is not all about the negative aspects of the migration. See our page and another page we found interesting below!
The Farm Community in Summertown
The charter buses can sometimes be seen with a group of visitors ready to see The Farm Community in Summertown! Plenty of documentaries have been made about this place. Stephen Gaskin was a creative writing teacher from San Francisco State University and had a crowd of followers who listened to him give lectures. He would lead a grand caravan of over 60 school busses to Summertown, Tennessee, where they would form a commune that still exists today! There are many things to learn here about ecological green living, alternative energy, vegan diets, yoga, and much more! Teenagers will see more innovation in these areas and be ahead of their peers if they are aware of sustainability concepts early. Younger kids will love the mud houses and outdoor sections of the farm experience. Homeschoolers have other options as they have a Farm School program for those who need a curriculum from a legitimate provider. The Farm puts on a Kids to the Country program similar to a kids camp if you are interested. We believe The Farm Community can offer a unique environment seeing a different way of living when combined with your Amish Adventure.
The Klu Klux Klan
The most controversial group we have to see on our cultural history tour is the Klu Klux Klan. This organization is nationally known and famous for its fraternal secrecy with its hoods and conical hats. The rights of initiation and vows bond these groups into a single group with the sole purpose of setting things right according to their beliefs. Several members told us at The Amish of Ethridge that the Klan started when they needed more vigilante justice to set things right in the community. When a man needed the "Fear of God" put in him so he would act right. The Klan would have 3 major groups that would vary in extremity, but we are only interested in the birthplace of the Klan since the Pulaski group started the national order. Today the meeting place of the Klan is little more than a backward plaque where the meeting room still stands, but it is still worth the trip to see it in person. Naturally, the Klan was not a commune. Still, the KKK was a group of like-minded people who put themselves under a specific belief system, rites, and rituals that confirmed a member's dedication to the group's directives.
The Underground Railroad and Education of Colored People
Tennessee and Virginia were the northern most southern states so slaves at that time would have to use the rivers and select routes in order to escape. Tennessee played a role in freeing slaves on riverboats to go north to freedom. The Amish people were hunted down and killed in their country of Switzerland by the same clannish belief that those who believe differently should be imprisoned or die for their standing against those in power. We here at the Amish of Ethridge understand that there is little in resemblance to these different groups but if you want to include these places of interest for education or homeschooling then please look into some of our points of interest where the underground railroad was used. We believe these places can can offer historical interest to our visitors so we include them here.
We hope those who love cultural education will take a trip to see our cultural tour. We understand if you don't want to add a culture tour to your Amish Adventure. This page is for those who want to extend their Amish vacation into these other areas of historical significance. Below are lists of other points of interest you may want to see on your trip.
Area Woods and Watersports
We have many remarkable rivers and lakes in Lawrence county. Visitors come from all over to participate in our great tubing and kayak adventures. There are three great places for fun on the water. Each place we feature opens around May and closes on Labor Day weekend. The water temperatures are a bit cold before May and after August. Crockett Shoals Tubing Company is our pick for kids 10 and under as the water is very shallow, and the tubes have a bottom so you can't slide out into the water. If a child does fall out of the tube, it is only a foot deep in most places, so they have to stand up. Upa Creek kayak rentals have both tubes, canoes, and kayaks and offer different drop-off locations according to how long you want to float. Upa Creek is beside a great restaurant called the Taco Shack if you want to eat after a long float. Double G Canoe and Kayak Rental are for the person who wants a long float with incredible scenery. They can even facilitate wheelchairs and other needs for those with disabilities. At Double G, they can offer the longest float and the most unique way of putting the kayak in the water!
All these places and more are featured on our webpage devoted to woods and watersports. Please see our detailed guide for more information on which places the best fit your needs for a day in the woods or out on the water!
We have more outdoor sports than we do inside sports. Let's divide team sports up with parallel sports. A parallel sport is played the same, no matter how many players there are. So if you like golf, tennis, motorcycle, ATV, or bicycle sports, then we have the place you will love! We have both ball and disc golf courses and plenty of places to ride your ATV on wooded trails and jumping hills! We also have archery and gun ranges where you can take your best shot and be on target!
Our outdoor activities webpage is where you can find all our listings of outdoor activities in Lawrence county! This directory explains our top places for outdoor recreation! The button below takes you to the outdoor page, so click the button and get started on planning your trip itinerary with these outdoor activities in mind!
Indoor activities are essential for inclement weather and nightlife recreation! We have bowling, pool, and ax throwing. Yes! Ax throwing at Kick Axe in Loretto is a top-rated destination for those wanting to throw axes and try to get out of an escape house where they lock you up as a group inside a series of rooms where you must use clues to find the key to get out! We also have Crockett Theater, where you can see shows and live concert performances! If movies are your interest, then Crockett Cinemas are here to give you the best viewing experience with all the snacks and foods you would expect from a working movie theater!
Click the link button below to see our indoor activities webpage! We have collected all the best indoor places in Lawrence county to help you add these places to your plans or itinerary for your stay! The Amish don't offer any kind of nightlife so we want to bring you options to make sure you can enhance your vacation with a few indoor activities!
Other Great Southern TN Points of Interest
Tennessee Whiskey is nationally known in Eastern Tennessee as the best stiff drink. Distilleries on the Tennessee Whiskey Tour are sure to lift your spirits! Most of them have tours and tasting rooms to sample their whiskey!
We are looking to advertise your product or service!
Do you have a business that would like to advertise your product or service on this page? Then see the link below for our advertisers contact page where you can fill out the forms to get us going so you can get in front of your ideal customer!
We (The Amish of Ethridge) do not guarantee the accuracy of the links it shares as the URL may be changed without warning from the original location. We also do not represent any business listed above or the Amish Community we share. Anyone who consumes our content and acts on what they perceive, is doing so of their own volition. We built our website and trails to show our visitors possibilities to include in their itinerary to experience on their vacation.