Written By Rebekah Miller
Amish houses have always been known for their traditional style and simplicity. But in the last 5-10 years, the property value in Holmes and Wayne County has increased immensely, which has lead to more and more luxurious and modern style houses being built by the Amish. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the various Amish houses you might encounter if you are traveling to Ohio Amish Country.
First off, the Old Order Amish houses are the ones you’ll see the most of, ranging from plain white to newer, more modern exteriors. The standard Amish house that comes to mind is the simple 2-story white farmhouse. However, in recent years, the typical style has been trending towards more expensive brick exteriors and other architectural changes, like different kinds of hardwoods and metals combining to make the home more aesthetically appealing. This particular affiliation of Amish have also adapted to more of the modern appliances today’s world has to offer. They are allowed to have solar power, so this results in most houses having solar lighting, and wall outlets. They have gas stoves and refrigerators, with many having large solar powered freezers. Most still follow the church guidelines by washing their clothes with the old Maytag wringer washer, but in recent years they have started using a spinner, or in some churches, even an electric dryer to help dry their clothes. Although most Amish wives enjoy hanging their wet clothes on the outside on a warm sunny day. In overview, the Old Order live more comfortably then most people would imagine. (As far as housing goes, much is the same for the New Order, so I will not go into detail about their houses, as they are very similar to the Old Order.)
This newer, modern way of life is not the case for the Andy Weaver Church (Danners), as they are not allowed to have solar or any electrical wiring of any kind. They use motors to run their washing machines, but are not allowed a dryer of any kind. Only in these last two years have their church guidelines allowed them to have gas powered stoves and refrigerators, which was a huge step for their people. They are also not allowed to have bicycles (unlike the Old Order). No tractor farming is allowed in the Swartzentruber, Andy Weaver Church, or Old Order Amish affiliations, as they still use horses to do all their farming. Some of the Amish have large thriving dairy farms, while still milking their cows by hand. Although in more recent years, the Old Order and New Order have switched over to automatic milking systems, which has allowed them to expand their farms greatly.Lastly we move on to the Swartzentruber Amish, the most strict of all the affiliations. They are not allowed any gas powered equipment, so this rules out generators, lawn mowers, weed eaters, stoves, refrigerators, or anything that runs on electric or gas. Instead, they use wood burning stoves to cook, and ice boxes to keep their food cold. They also live without running water, having to draw water from the well to wash their dishes, clothes, etc. Their houses are very plain, white on the outside, usually with a red barn. Swartzentruber Amish live with only the bare necessities and follow very strict church guidelines. Many keep to themselves and don’t socialize much with the rest of the Amish groups.
In conclusion, you are sure to see all kinds of different styles of Amish homes in just a short drive through the countryside.