Hardin County is home to a large community of Old Order Amish. They still live a centuries-old ‘plain’ lifestyle and the horse and buggy remain their primary form of transportation. Their plain lifestyle and denial of modern technology are a careful expression of their devotion to their religious beliefs.
Take a slow driving tour through Hardin county’s beautiful rural countryside and discovering the many handcrafted homemade products offered by the Old Order Amish community. Driving leisurely through the back roads of Hardin County is a great way to fully appreciate the lifestyle of these devote people who live much we all did in the mid 1800s. A unique way to take a step back in time.
Visitors will experience the ultimate ‘off-the-beaten-path’ finds at farms and family businesses selling country eggs, honey, maple syrup, baked goods, handmade toys and, quilts furniture, seasonal fruit and vegetables – all sold at homes that advertise by way of a simple handmade sign at the end of their lane by the edge of the road. Stopping for purchase is a nice way to exchange a few pleasantries with folks who live a pious love of God and compassion for their fellow men and women. Traveling through the Hardin County Amish country community will put you in a simpler state of mind. And if you ask our Amish brethren, they’ll tell you simplicity is one of the greatest gifts of all.
Amish Country is generally located between routes 309 and 31, Southeast of Kenton and North of Mt. Victory. Please be respectful and do not stop at homes that do not advertise good for sale. Unlike the Amish communities in other parts of Ohio, Hardin County’s Amish do not permit large bus tours or sell products on Sunday.
Mary’s Amish Bakery is a hub of much activity – hours vary and there is no phone so you’ll just have to take your chances (no sales on Sunday). The address is 12813 Co. Rd. 265, Kenton, OH 43326 – southeast of Kenton. If you take the slight fork right from Pfeiffer’s Station General Store onto Co Rd 265 (not to be missed) at the Wheeler’s Tavern sign, you’ll soon see Mary’s on the left.
Words of Wisdom while touring the backroads of our beautiful Hardin County Amish country:
– be very aware of horse drawn wagons and buggies, they are lit with very dim lights that make them appear far off in the distance when in fact, they’re much closer. Take it slow and enjoy the scenery when traveling the country backroads – slower speeds will enhance your journey and keep everyone safe. If you’re in a hurry, come back later and take a leisurely driving tour when you have more time. Just be sure to come back!
– Respect our Amish neighbors and only stop at their residence if you intend to purchase their goods. Remember, there are no sales on Sunday.
– Please don’t photograph Amish in the area without asking permission. If they say no, respect their request and allow your memory to capture the moment.
– Enjoy yourself and tell your friends!
– Images From The Driver’s Seat by Jerry Gaukin »
A photo book of images “including Ohio farming, old order Amish and the spectacular flowers full of color that grow in Lawrence Woods State Nature Preserve Hardin County Ohio. I believe that we should all study the history of our families and our state. The greatest classroom that we have is what surrounds us and we should enjoy and embrace it always…
More About the Hardin County Old Order Amish…
Founded by Jacob Amman for whom the group was named, the Amish are a Christian sect that broke off from the Mennonite church in 17th century Europe due to the dissension of religious practices. Because of religious persecution in Europe after the sect was formed, the Amish fled to North America where they now maintain a population of 50,000 residents in parts of Canada, the Midwest and some eastern state of the U.S.
The Amish lifestyle is centered around farming. While they do not permit the use of tractors in their fields, they do use modern equipment pulled by teams of horses and mules. They do not own or operate cars, believing that cars would provide easier access to the ways of the world. They will accept rides when necessary.
Amish do not have electricity or phone in their homes. By restricting TV, radio, internet, the Amish are better able to keep the modern world from intruding into their home life. Old Order Amish men typically dress in plain, dark colored slacks and vests, married men have beards. Women wear long, solid colored dresses often with an apron and always a bonnet. Married women wear white bonnets, single women wear black.
The Amish are generally private people and do not seek attention. They believe the taking of photos where someone is recognized is forbidden by the Biblical prohibition against making any ‘graven image’. Be sure to respect their way of life and never stop on Sunday. The Amish are always friendly and like the ‘English’ appreciation for their products!