Skip to comments.Amish Leave Pa. In Search Of Greener, Less Touristy Pastures
Posted on 05/22/2014 1:34:19 PM PDT by Theoria
Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Visitors who also bring big money to the state to the tune of nearly $1.8 billion a year. Which explains why the winning bumper sticker in a contest sponsored by Pennsylvania's Tourism Office didn't feature the Liberty Bell or the battlefield in Gettysburg but rather, "I Break for Shoofly Pie," an ode to the traditional Amish dessert.
But pictures can be deceiving, and the office of tourism indeed the entire state has reason to worry. The Amish, with their emphasis on family, hard work and simplicity, have drawn hordes of tourists but also an influx of residents, malls, roads and housing developments. The upshot? Swaths of farmland have been lost, and many Amish are now choosing to give up farming or are leaving the state to pursue quieter surrounding and cheaper land.
The irony, spelled out in research from Pennsylvania's Kutztown University, couldn't be more blunt: "The commercialization of the Amish lifestyle has grown tremendously in recent decades, so much so that it actually threatens the viability of the very tourism industry it created. ... Stores catering to the tourists now sit on land that was once an Amish farm."
Samuel Lapp, a former Amish farmer who lives near Intercourse, said a farm is "a nice place for boys to grow up," but seeing others get jobs, make money and not have to work seven days a week convinced his sons to take another path.
"My sons didn't want our farm and I'm not going to milk cows by myself," said Lapp.
(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...
Ohio passed up Pennsylvania as the state with the most Amish sometime back in the 1990s.
I would think it would be "I Brake for ShooFly Pie", but then, I don't speak Amish...
They should transplant to the desert. There’s a whole bunch of nothing out here and the heat will keep the tourists at bay.
Plenty of good land in eastern Nebraska...
Lots of them in Michigan as well. I even ran into an Amish family fishing in Lake Superior from the breakwater at Grand Marais MI.
I was going to say...come to OHIO! Still lots of rural land here, aside from Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati!
As my late Grandpop Klauser would say, now we’ll see more of the richest farmland in the world turned into subdivisions.
I would think it would be “I Brake for ShooFly Pie”, but then, I don’t speak Amish..”
Actually it could be either. “I Break...” because it is something you eat and you normally take a break from work when you eat. “I Brake..” because you see a sign ahead that tells you about a restaurant that is serving ShooFly Pie and so you want to stop.
If you want to be Amish, you do break for ShooFly Pie, however.
They should come to Alaska. Particularly the Interior region. Lots of room and little government!
Foks, when you get there, let me know.
It’s not easy anymore to find a pleasant, green place where the idiots of the world will leave you alone to live your life in peace.
I’ll probably pack up the van and join you.
Now that Pennsylvania’s Republican governor has given in to Gay Marriage, the Amish have no choice but to leave the state.
You would be surprised how many new settlements there are around the state of Ohio. Southern Ohio is the newest location with new groups in Highland, Ross, Pike, Vinton and Adams counties, as well as Gallia. The church districts are growing rapidly in Logan county too.
Many Amish and Mennonite families here in the Missouri Ozarks.
There is a newer group of transplants from PA in Fountain City IN these days. Rather than adopt the black buggy style used in most of IN they brought their gray buggies with them.
SHHHHHH, then we’ll get those areas built up.
Unless of course prospective buyers are led through fields loaded with invisible chiggers.
actually there is lots of farmland in NYS but then they have Quomo and the leftist machine....
The biggest threat to the Amish in Lancaster, PA is simply the cost of farmland. There is less due to development Amish families are larger than average American families. This has caused farmland to spike in cost and pushed Amish in to the trades. The exodus of Amish to form new communities in other states has been going on for 30 or more years.
PA should be glad. Every time I check out FreeRepublic, it looks like those rascals are up to no good!
“Why did God put Mennonites on the earth?”
His answer; “To give the Amishman a ride to work.”
Are we talking about the real Amish? Sarasota, Florida has lots of Amish.
There were a few around Seymour about 40 years ago. I suspect that area and further east are much more populated now than then, too.
“Ohio passed up Pennsylvania as the state with the most Amish sometime back in the 1990s.
Yes. I remember as far back as the early ‘80’s that people were commenting on the ‘flight’ of the Amish from Lancaster Country (PA). That might not be the right word for it, but property values, and the relative lack of good farmland had younger Amish, looking to establish themselves, moving westward.
There was even an attempt to establish an Amish ‘colony’ in Belize, IIRC.
Just south of Iowa City, Iowa is the community of Kalona.
I’d estimate it’s 80 percent Amish/Mennonite.
I love the Lancaster (PA) area - you can’t beat some of the restaurants for serious home-cooked meals! But yes, it is ironic that the “simple life” has fostered such commercialism. I feel the same way when I visit Gettysburg... not nearly the amount of tourist traps, but plenty nonetheless. It’s just weird to think that “entertainment” has come from such a horrific event in our history. I guess that’s just the way of it, though.
Upstate SC has a growing Amish population due to the larger farms to be bought at a reasonable price. This has been a trend over the past ten years....Horse Farms especially. Right across the border in Tryon, NC is horse country.
There are many Amish and Mennonite families from Lancaster County buying farms in my area...north central Ohio.
They make great neighbors...no noise.
The Amish in Central PA still have a lot of fine farms and without the commercialization.
One of my all time favorite trout streams is bounded by their farms. They leave buffer zones along the streams and don’t use a lot of fertilizer or pesticides, so the stream hatches are some of the most diverse I have seen.
You will see them plowing the fields with teams of eight horses. On Sundays along the stream you would hear the clip clop and then up to forty carriages of courting teens would pass by.
They’ve been moving to southern Iowa and northern Missouri in droves for a couple of decades.
I was surprised to see many Amish near Long Prairie and Wadena in Minnesota. They must be hardy folks as my wife and I drove by an Amish woman going home in her horse drawn buggy on US 71 when the temperature was -26 degrees.
The Dakotas, Kansas, any rural county that has seen its population dropping in recent decades should welcome the Amish.
I have the feeling there will always be Amish in Lancaster County, even if illegal aliens have to be hired to pretend to be them.
There are alot more Amish and much more PA than just Lancaster area. They are fine in central PA. Believe me, no one goes there for tourism.