Simple Life Amish Tours
When I realized we were in Amish country, I was secretly giddy with excitement! I love reading about the Amish and their simple ways of life. Their devotion to faith and family are truly admirable. They work so hard. If you’ve ever worked a long hard day in the summer heat, you know how it feels to do a good days work. I admire that and so many other things about the Amish community. So I spent a little time investigating the options in the Grove City area and came across the Simple Life Tours https://simplelifetours.com and promptly booked a tour for Friday morning.
Although my sister in law grew up here, among the 10th largest Amish community in the United States, she had never taken a tour or visited the shops we discovered on our tour. We weren’t really sure that the kids would like it, but the tour guide Susie was so incredibly engaging that even the kids had a great time! It was such a pleasure to have Susie share her wealth of knowledge about the local community.
We began our tour in Volant, PA where we headed to New Wilmington. These towns are so small that they really run together. One farm after another line these small streets with covered bridges. Colorful laundry hangs out to dry on the clothes line until a young girl brings it in to fold, once the breeze has completed the task of drying the clothes. No one has electricity. And no one is allowed to have a bathroom (outhouse) inside the house. Just recently they have allowed the outhouse to be attached with a covered walkway. The Amish are superstitious about many things: drains inside your home, having a photo taken, no faces on their dolls (no graven images), and the list goes on.
Banks Covered Bridge
This beautiful bridge was one of our first stops. This bridge was built in 1889 and restored in 1999. The craftsmanship of the bridge was absolutely stunning!
Local Amish Farms
The next part of the tour was a lovely drive through the countryside to see the oats in the fields, community telephone booths on the roadside, which led to our first stop where we purchased corn from a new farmer. The family had picked 500 dozen ears of corn! We grilled some with our lunch when we got back and it was so delicious!
You would never know that these are Amish stores! Just a little sign by the driveway indicates that there is something for sale. All of the “stores” we visited were in the basement of their home except the wood workshop. It was a stand alone shop. We visited it on our return trip on Saturday.
The teacher at this little community school is 16 year old Emma. She has 37 students! She was at the school, probably cleaning in preparation for class to begin again. It’s a one room schoolhouse where the children learn reading, writing, math, and English as a second language. At the age of 15, the boys begin training in the trade they choose, usually whatever their father does. They aren’t strict about it though. With such big families, it is likely that at least one will follow in their father’s footsteps. The girls begin training in housekeeping, gardening, cooking, canning and quilting. They must learn all the skills they will need to have a family of their own. In this area, they usually aren’t wed until age 20-21.
In winter they cook over a fire and in summer they use propane to cook with. Here are some outside fryers used to cook the amazing Amish Donuts:
These donuts were enormous! So fresh and perfectly delicious! As you can see, we all enjoyed one immediately. We did take some back to the guys, since they were still home working on the kitchen remodel. The sweet ladies here had pies, cookies, jams, jellies, and even some fresh fruit for sale. Want to guess how much one of those huge donuts cost? $1.50- can you believe it!!!
Our last stop with Susie was the quaint little quilt shop. It is located along one of the main roads, and is well marked for an Amish store. They had quilts, birdhouses, and a variety of other handmade wares inside!
Simple Life Tour Review
Susie was an absolute joy! She shared such valuable information about the history of the Amish, about their lifestyle, and faith. You can tell she has a close relationship with the people of the community. An awesome thing about this tour is that it provides an open door for Susie to share her faith in Jesus with everyone who takes her tour. She exudes the love of Jesus in her words and actions and interactions with those in the Amish community in such a beautiful way. I highly recommend this tour. Susie was professional and we truly enjoyed every minute!
Amish Tour Take 2
Well, after we told the guys all about the wonderful time we had on the Amish Tour, they insisted that we take them on Saturday! We traveled back through Volant and into New Wilmington to Banks Covered Bridge, the grocery store, bakery and this time we visited the Furniture shop. The furniture shop was so impressive! Rudy makes beautiful tables, benches, futons, chairs, and pretty much anything you ask him to make. He supplies some of the local stores in Grove City where his pieces are a prized purchase for many buyers. Here are some pictures from our 2nd day in Amish Country New Wilmington.
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