Discover the Amish way of life in Ethridge, Tennessee

The Amish are famous in Pennsylvania (especially around Lancaster, where many tourists go to the Amish Village and learn more about their way of life). The Amish live not only in Pennsylvania and Ohio, but throughout the Midwest, Ontario and beyond. Ohio has the second largest population of Amish and offers many opportunities to explore their communities.

People don’t have to travel to Pennsylvania or Ohio to see and learn about the Amish (Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is the Amish heartland); You can go to other places including Tennessee. The Amish have been part of America’s heritage since colonial times, with the first Amish arriving in the early 1700s. A visit to the Amish offers another glimpse of a very different way of life, often in their own local area.


What you should know about the Amish

Only Old Order Amish are considered in this article (there are other sub-groups of Amish). The Amish are a group of traditional Anabaptist communities closely associated with the Mennonite churches. Of Swiss-German and Alsatian descent, they reject the technology of modern life to varying degrees.

Old Order Amish population:

  • United States: 373,000
  • Canada: 6,000

They are known for their Christian pacifism, plain dress, simple lifestyle, self-sufficiency, and rejection of modern technology.

About 380,000 Amish live in North America, and their population continues to grow rapidly due to high birth rates (there were only about 5,000 Amish in 1920).

States with the highest Amish population:

  • Pennsylvania: 87,000
  • Ohio: 82,000
  • Indiana: 63,000
  • Wisconsin: 24,000
  • New York: 22,500

Their similar agricultural way of life, with manual labor and a strong sense of community, fascinates many – especially those who feel something has been lost with modern life.

See Also: 10 Things You Must Do in Ohio Amish Country

See the Amish of the South – in Ethridge, Tennessee

In 1941, a group of Amish families moved from Mississippi to Lawrence County, Tennessee, in search of good farmland. Today, Ethridge, Tennessee is home to a thriving community of over 300 rural Amish families.

Ethridge is just 80 miles south of Nashville (so it can even be a day trip while exploring the nation’s capital). Visitors can choose to take their own self-guided tour along the roads on the sides of Highway 43 and see each farm sign. Many of the Amish farms have signs selling their produce and may even offer farm stays and tours.

Visitors should definitely check out the Amish Market And Cheese Store and the Amish Heritage Farm Museum. The museum is the home of the first Amish home in Lawrence County. From here, visitors can also take wagon tours around Amish farms and schools.

In Ethridge, take the time to explore and sample Amish food too (it may not be what you think). Buy lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Remember to respect their beliefs and their rights to privacy. Their beliefs do not allow them to be photographed (except on rare occasions). As with other farms, do not trespass on their farms and otherwise be disrespectful.

See also: A Guide to Shelters and Shelters in Ohio Amish Country

Take a wagon tour at the Amish Welcome Center in Ethridge

Anyone seeing the Amish in Ethridge should stop by the Amish Welcome Center. It’s also worth taking a wagon tour and getting a feel for what it’s like to get around for the Amish.

  • Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • days open: Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday)

The wagon tour is only $10 per adult, and the wagon drivers often provide interesting commentary and are happy to answer questions about Ethridge’s Old Order Amish community. The wagon drivers are Amish and intimately familiar with the Amish community they call home. The covered wagon tours are more than just a ride in a covered wagon; It can be a guided tour of the local Amish.

Wagon Tour:

  • Costs: $10 per adult l $5 per child (5 to 12 years)
  • Duration: 1.5 hours

Wagon tours often visit Amish farms. Tourists can even visit an Amish furniture workshop and see how they make beds, dressers, and other items. Other things visitors can see include sawmills, acres of cultivated farmland, schoolhouses, and the local Amish going about their daily lives.