About the Amish by George Bailey

About the Amish

Old Order Amish use no electricity, no running water and dress in plain clothes of grays and blues.
Their cooking stoves are powered by propane, kerosene or wood. They use kerosene lamps.
They never work on Sundays and rotate church meetings at various homes within their districts.
Their children traditionally speak German until they start school at about 6 years of age where they are taught English.
They go only until grade 8 then they go to work with their family.
They do not have health insurance but will go to a doctor and pay for there visit with cash.
They pay school and property taxes.
They are permitted to use a public phone; they call it a “community phone”.
They have strong family work ethics and there is little or no divorce or crime.
14 to 15 people live in the same large home. When the youngest son marries the parents move into a small “Dotty House’ found behind the larger home.
They use no credit or debit cards.
They rise early and work hard without complaining.
When a neighbour is unable to work due to an accident or poor health the community pitches in to help.

The Road

Traveling the rolling roads of the Amish Trail in Cattaraugus County is part of the enjoyment of a visit to this part of the world. The roads are all well marked and in most places almost all paved. But look out for the Horse and Buggy’s. Give them lots of space and lay off the horn. Don’t forget to wave. Check out the hand-written plain black and white signs that indicate the names of their businesses. No neon here. You’ll pass Amish Cemeteries, small white school houses and an occasional “Community Phone” set beside the roadway that call out to be photographed. This countryside scenery is right out a Norman Rockwell painting.

It was some of the most pleasant days I’ve ever spent, meandering the countryside and speaking with kind, polite, humble people who were fun to be with.

Traveling the Amish Trail is like traveling back to a more peaceful place. You’ll feel like you’re in a different era. It’s a refuge in the noisy confusion of life.


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  • any of the Amish Trail businesses
  • the Persia Town Hall located at the Northern gateway to the trail
  • the Amish Trail Welcome Center in Randolph, New York the Southern gateway to the trail
  • County Center in Little Valley.
  • Information Center on I-86 in Allegany

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