Saloma Miller Furlong's Blog
New Amish Settlements in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, Canada
The Amish tend to migrate to new areas when their “mother” settlements become overcrowded (the Amish definition of this is different from what most consider overcrowded). Normally “scouts” (men from the mother community) go looking for suitable farmland in new places. Eventually they will settle down in an area, and hope other Amish will follow.
This is the case of two “daughter” settlements in Canada, both coming from the large Amish community in southern Ontario. You can see a short video about the settlement on Prince Edward Island here. I noticed the locals there are discovering that the Amish do not want to be photographed or filmed, as the one Amish man voices his opposition to being stopped and filmed. You can also see that the women in the short video were aware of the camera filming them.
There have been several stories about local people on PEI who objected to horse manure being left by Amish horse and buggies on streets in their area. I’ve written about this issue before. It seems horse manure becomes a problem in the newer settlements.
There is an even newer Amish settlement in Manitoba. The winters there sound brutal to me, but apparently the lower prices of farmland lured the Amish to that area.
When someone in a mother settlement begins to explore other areas for resettling, others soon follow. I have to wonder why some members of the Ontario community decided to move the the extreme eastern end of Canada, and others to the west? There is another example of this in the five new Amish settlements in Colorado. From what I’ve heard, each of the groups that settled in Colorado couldn’t agree on their Ordnung or set of church rules. Is this the Amish version of church shopping?
Disagreement on church matters is often an underlying reason for Amish people to decide to move. In the Amish church system, there is no way of overriding a bishop’s decisions because each bishop has the ultimate authority on what is allowed (or not) in his district. If his fellow elders or church members don’t agree with him, and the bishop happens to be unreasonable, then the only choice left for dissenters is to move away. I don’t know if the Amish who moved to PEI and Manitoba are dissenters, and I also don’t know why some moved east and others moved west.
There is a news story from Geauga County concerning buggy safety in which it is reported that federal funds are being awarded to create roadways for safer buggy travel. Katie Troyer pointed out in one of my latest posts that Geauga County has at least one of the buggy/bike trails already being used. It sounds like they will use these funds to create more “non-motorized buggy lanes.” I am heartened that federal funds are being allocated for this purpose. The car and buggy problem is growing with the increase in Amish population, so it is high time this problem is addressed. Good for the politicians in Ohio who made this happen.