Amish History

Your Amish Experience

You feel the traveling-back-in-time experience that comes from a visit to the Amish country.

  • Illinois Amish Interpretative Center: at Rockome Gardens is a good starting point. It's about four minutes from the B&B.
  • Amish farms. The Amish live on small farms, raise a wide variety of animals--cattle, horses, hogs, chickens,and goats--and raise a variety of crops and garden products on their mostly self-sufficient farms.
  • Their barns are large stuctures built by groups of Amish during a "barn raising." They shelter horses and other animals and sometimes serve as garages for their buggies.
  • Many Shops. The Amish are farmers first. But they no longer live by farming alone. The Amish in the Arcola-Arthur area have woodworking shops, gazebo construction, carvers of wooden toys and wooden chests. They make lawn and porch furniture and produce some of the finest oak furniture in the world.
  • Farm Produce Several Amish families grow produce such as tomatoes, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries for sale to visitors. Others are middlemen and gather up large quantities of farm produce for a farmers' market during the summer months.
  • Horse related businesses. Some men make or refurbish buggies. some shoe horses, and several men raise horses for a large, national market.
  • Amish Furniture Many Amish are highly skilled woodworkers who maintain their own furniture factories on their farms. They often work from a picture to produce the furniture you want. They usually do not deliver. They do very good work.
  • Other Businesses. Other Amish men work as painters, blacksmiths who still make custom fitted horseshoes, or build extensive businesses as truss makers and fabricators of commercial wooden pallets, displaying large, neat stacks outside of their buildings.

Interesting Amish Stores

The countryside between Arcola and Arthur houses many interesting Amish stores. Feel free to contact us for more information as some of these businesses do not have in store phones.

  • Beachy's Grocery
  • Miller's Dry Goods
  • The Great Pumpkin Patch
  • Yoder's Harness Shop
  • Schrock's Horseshoeing
  • Kaufman's Custom Cabinets
  • Kuntry Treasures Stamp Shop
  • Schrock's Enterprizes and Toys

  • Family Health Food
  • Yoder's Lamp Shop
  • Yoder's Gazebos
  • Melrose Quilts
  • Arthur Sale Barn
  • AD Miller's Woodworking
  • Wilson's Kitchens & More
  • Cheese And More

History of the Amish

See the Facts about the Old Order Amish in Wikipedia

--An excerpt from a brief history by Bill Harshbarger--

The Amish are a reform group within the Mennonite faith. The Mennonites were a reform group that broke away from the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists started as a small group of Swiss Christians who recommended changes to the state Protestant church. Their reforms were rejected by Zwingli, the church head, and by the Zurich City Council. In 1525, they formed the first Swiss Brethren congregation. They baptized each other into membership in their "believers" church. That was a crime. The government and church banished some of them. Others were executed by drowning or burning at the stake. These were not tolerant times. The key belief of the Brethren was that only adults should be baptized.

For a more complete picture of the history written by Bill Harshbarger, our in-house historian,
please click here: Amish History Document