Brief History of the Amish • Top 10 Amish Questions • Amish Attractions, Lodging and Restaurants • Additional Resources
Ohio’s Amish Country
Ohio currently is home to the largest population of Amish in the United States, with 59,103 residents (2010 U.S. Religion Census). Tuscarawas, Holmes and Wayne Counties comprise much of Ohio’s Amish Country.
The Amish and Old Order Mennonites are an outgrowth of the 16th century Anabaptist movement in Europe. During the Swiss Protestant Reformation, this group of people were considered radical for rejecting infant baptism and mandatory military service. The Memmonite faith came first, with the Amish sect splitting from them 150 years later. This split was led by Jakob Ammann, who sought stricter discipline with regard to communion and excommunication.
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They immigrated to America in the hope of finding religious freedom. The first people of Amish faith to arrive in Ohio came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania and in 1808 settled in the area now known as Sugarcreek.
During your stay in Ohio’s Amish Country, we invite you to learn, explore and respect their customs. While generally friendly and congenial, the Amish prefer not to be photographed. All travelers need to be cautious – be on the alert for slow moving horses and buggies, cyclists and people walking along the roads – reduce your speeds and ensure a clear distance before passing.
If you would like additional information on the history, culture and lifestyle of the Amish and Mennonite people, please visit the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Information Center located in Berlin.
Brief History of the Amish
Who are the Amish Historically?
The Old Order Amish are the most conservative segment of what is known as the Mennonite Church. They are direct descendants of the Anabaptist’s, a group of which emerged from the Reformation of Switzerland as early as 1525. The Anabaptist’s felt that Zwingli, Luther and other reformers compromised in their stand, and did not go all the way in bringing the church back to a scriptural foundation. Read more…
Top 10 Questions Asked About the Amish
1. What is the difference between the Amish and the Mennonites?
The Amish and Mennonites have similar beliefs when it comes to Christian doctrine issues like creation and redemption. Both have strong beliefs in living out their Christian faith for all to see. The main difference lie on outward issues, such as dress and technology. Amish tend to stay away from technology and maintain a plainer, more conservative style of dress. Read more…
Attractions, Lodging & Restaurants
Additional Amish Information Resources
Amish Country Byway
Experience Ohio Amish Country
Ohio’s Amish Country – Knowledge Base
TravelHost – Amish Country Edition
Visit Sugarcreek – The Little Switzerland of Ohio