Holmes County, Ohio is home to over 10% of the world’s Amish population. The first Amish settlers arrived in the region in 1809 along Sugar and Walnut creeks, and today the area is home to over 35,000 members of the Amish community. Holmes County is also home to a large Mennonite population, who are similar to the Amish in their religious beliefs, but socially are more accepting of modern conveniences like cars and electricity. This area is mostly agricultural, but there are some small to medium sized towns as well. Visiting Amish Country in Ohio was similar to my experience doing so in Pennsylvania. There is great curiosity about the Amish which brings many visitors to the area, but in reality the Amish are busy working on their farms and would probably prefer to be left to their work. This leaves other people scrambling to scoop up those tourist dollars with things like the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock (or Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park in Pennsylvania - nothing is more Amish than a good roller coaster) and can create a Disney-like atmosphere. You can definitely get some wonderful bread and cheese in these regions and also some delicious baked goods. I also really enjoyed visiting the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Millersburg. There is a fascinating Cyclorama there which tells the entire history of the Amish and Mennonite religions and how they evolved over time. They also have a wonderful video which explains the key differences between the Amish and the Mennonites. Both point out that in many ways the Amish and Mennonites are like anyone else - they have marital issues and rebellious teenagers too. But they also point out that because their lives are simple with all of their basic needs met, they don’t long for material goods and are more likely to feel satisfied than those of us who live in a modern world of mass consumerism. I can certainly agree with that. Anyways, here are some great photos from my visit to Amish Country. As always, you can click on them to make them bigger.

Amish Country Ohio