Part II of Our Autumn Visit to Amish Country in Upstate NY

Monday, November 5, 2018

I hope you've had a chance to check out Part I of our recent road trips through Amsterdam, Glen, Fonda, Palatine and surrounding areas, all of which have a growing Amish population.  Did you know that New York has the fastest growing Amish population in the country? According to Amish America ( there are currently over 12,000 Amish living in NY in 89 church districts.  The first Amish settled in NY in 1831 and since 1970 they have had a signifanct presence in the state.

"The Mohawk Valley is home to five distinct Amish settlements, the Old Order, Swartzentruber, Byler, and Andy Weaver Amish.  The Byler Amish settlement in Fort Plain was the first established in 1986 and has grown to be the largest in the area with five districts.  Andy Weaver Amish settled in Montgomery county near Glen and Fultonville.  The Andy Weaver affiliation originates in Ohio.  Settlers to this part of NY left their home community in Ashland, OH due to long-standing concerns over behavioral standards among youth in the settlement.  Andy Weaver Amish are more conservative than mainstream Old Order affiliations, but no less than Swartzentruber Amish.  Andy Weaver churchers typically permit more limited technology than Old Order congregations and adhere to strict shunning." (taken from the Amish America site)
What we've noticed in our travels, from Amsterdam to Glen to Palatine and Fultonville, lumbering is a huge part of the Amish livelihood, along with agriculture.  One thing we noticed when we found the much larger, fancier compounds was the very noticeably larger number and variety of livestock.  Instead of a couple of horses, these larger compounds housed several horses, sheep, goats, chickens and cows.  Consequently the horses tend to look healthier and meatier.  Someone once told me Amish are cruel to their animals.....I've never seen animals that look abused where I've traveled but it's true, Amish horses do their share of work.....just like everyone in an Amish family.

Another thing we've noticed is that children are often outside the grass, in the mud, on the lumber piles.  We've seen young girls working the fields and gardens, just as much as the young boys.  Most of the farms we pass have signs out advertising baked goods, lumber, etc... all noting 'no Sunday sales.'   What always amazes me is the fact that youngsters drive the buggies with their adults present!  Considering how fast cars have come up on us on these roads, it sort of scares me to think of kids driving a buggy.  I'm guessing DMV has no driving test for buggies.

People have asked me where to find the Amish and the short answer is 'anywhere you see the buggy signs'.  That's always our clue. They are scattered all over, but when you find one, you usually find a few nearby.  I'm glad to have them because they seem to appreciate greenspace and wherever they are, you'll find acre upon acre of beautiful farmland.
Of course not every farm in this area is an Amish farm.  There are plenty of non-Amish farms too, some quite old and full of character.  Here's a few of those....near Palatine and Ephratah NY.

Fields of mature soybeans

Fields of Sunflowers  -Ssshhh, don't tell my backyard birds!

More soybeans....

And a few not far from Stone Arabia.....

And some of my Amsterdam favorites:

Whether they're Amish or not, the Mohawk Valley is filled with picturesque farms just asking to be appreciated and photographed. You don't have to ask me twice. I know so many people who take road trips to the Adirondacks or Vermont. I urge you to expand your horizons and take a drive to this beautiful area. Grab your smart phone or GPS and let yourself wander off the beaten path. You won't be disappointed....unless of course your heart is in the city. As for me.....well, you already know where my heart is. Thanks for visiting today. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Part I of this two part series.   Love this blog and want to read more?    Subscribe Here  If you love seeing the Amish and want to see more, you can check out my Blog Directory under the category, Destinations-NY (    See you next time at Life As I See It!

1 comment

  1. We followed an alternate route yesterday due to a serious crash on I90. Stone Arabia road had numerous picturesque farms. Another hint of Amish farms, horse poop on road 😁. Very pretty area


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