Amish fiction, Pebble Creek Series, Shipshewana Series Comments: 13

wisconsin schoolAll Things Amish – Similarities

Last week we talked about the differences in Amish communities. Today let’s discuss similarities. Disclaimer: I haven’t been to all the Amish communities, but I do know 2 fairly well. Indiana is where my Shipshewana series is set, and Wisconsin is where my Pebble Creek Series is set.


  1. The schoolhouses looked very similar to me. They’re small and on the corner of a farmer’s property.
  2. In both areas, you’ll find many Amish family businesses. Just drive down a back road, and you’ll see signs at the end of lanes, advertising rugs, quilts, produce, etc.
  3. The buggies looked basically the same to me.
  4. Style of clothing also looked the same–though in Wisconsin I noticed more of the black outer kapps and shawls, but perhaps the was just the weather.
  5. Large gardens at every home, which included both vegetables and flowers.
  6. Extremely friendly people in both areas. I was invited into homes, schools, barns, and businesses. Folks were very willing to share stories and information about the area.

I’m sure there are more similarities, but these are the ones I remember. What about you? Have you noticed similarities in Amish communities?




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13 thoughts on “Similarities

  1. Melissa L.

    Their sense of family and community. Also their ability to forgive and move on even when something so tragic as a death or injury has occurred. We as a people tend to hold grudges. We also tend to stir the pot all the time by revisiting a situation over and over and over while they tend to forgive and let the matter drop. Once a confession is made then the forgiveness comes and they move on. I am sure there are exceptions to that rule because after all we are all only human. Family and community come first to them. It would be a better world if more people took that to heart every day and not just when disaster strikes.

  2. Juanita Cook

    I have never been blessed to be around the Amish or getting to know them. But I love reading and learning more and more about these loving and gentle people. I hope one day to meet some Amish people. Thank you for posting great comments about them and their lives.

  3. Linda McFarland

    The children are all adorable especially when riding in their pony driven carts! Each of the schools in Lancaster, PA are different on the outside but each have swings & teeter-totters and outhouses. There are also several bulk food stores which are fun ’cause you can find all kinds of stuff. The farmers work hard and every house has a pulley system for their laundry and a garden. I love to go in the Spring when they are plowing…the smell is a little off but that too is part of the charm

  4. Judy B

    I haven’t been around any Amish communities other than the community of Amish in Shipshewana. It would be nice to be able to visit other areas to compare. I do know that some of the Amish homes have curtains and others do not. I guess that probably depends on their Bishop.

    Enjoyed your post.


    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Judy, would you believe I decided NOT to put up curtains after visiting so many Amish folk? We have blinds (they have shades), but no curtains. I think it does help with the allergies. Texas is very dusty!

      1. Judy B

        I have vertical blinds in all our rooms except for our computer room and one of our bathrooms. Blinds in the computer room, pull down shade in the bathroom. I love not having curtains!

  5. Donita Corman

    I have seen Amish students at recess and also walking home from their school with their cooler lunch pails. Most pails are blue and white.The Amish in Arthur,Il have big gardens and most homes have either blue, green or white solid curtains.I love going to Arthur to their shops..makes for a nice day trip and cant go there without going to Yoders restraunt.:)

  6. Nita Singleton

    My husband and I have been blessed to be friends with several Amish families in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. We have spent the night in their houses, went to barn raising in Ohio, a wedding in Indiana, a funeral in Ohio and several other events. We have been there through to good and bad times. If I were good at writing I would write about some of these wonderful experiences. It’s just not my forte but I sure would like to get it down in print. I do agree, the school houses have been pretty much the same but I have found there to be some differences in the buggies. In PA, I noticed their buggies were gray. We are used to only black buggies.
    Our friend Ervin says he can tell what group someone is in by their dress. There are such subtle differences we would not notice. The brims (length) of their hats are a big indicator of the group they are affiliated with as well as the pleats on the dresses and pleats on their caps. One of my friends, Barbara just made a tiny little cap for her newborn girl. I couldn’t imagine making those teeny little pleats.
    Some communities allow their members to use flashlights but some as in our southern Indiana friends are not allowed to use batteries of any kind. The curtains in both Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are always black. All of these decisions are made by the Bishop in the community. The Bishop in the southern passed away a couple of years ago. We have been noticing subtle changes such as siding on the houses. (one house is even red!) Colors and some decorations in the houses now. It’s a refreshing change but I know some are having a difficult time adjusting. I think in many ways they are feeling guilty for the changes. Some of the older generation will never change. Just wanted to put my two cents into the conversation. I enjoy your books and post!

    1. vannettachapman Post author

      Nita, thank you so much for your comment! What a wonderful peek into the community near you.