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.
8 thoughts on “New Amish Settlements in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, Canada”
Interesting discussion. I hope the idea of non-motorized paths/roadways becomes a reality.
But a different idea popped into my head. I’m familiar with the Amish scouting out new fields for Amish- but I’ve never heard of Amish WOMEN being part of the party. Have you? Seems like women too should have a voice in the suitability of a new place, whether it is about climate, ‘freundshaft’, gardens/soil or whatever.
I have never, ever heard of women going along to a land scouting party.
Doesn’t PEI have another Amish settlement made up of Milverton Amish. The video here shows Swartzentruber or Abe Troyer Amish.
Neither have I heard of women being part of the scouting parties. Not that they shouldn’t, but they aren’t normally given much of a voice about such things. I do know of wives going with their husbands to visit existing settlements to which they are considering moving to.
I noticed that the women were wearing winter bonnets. I was surprised by that because I thought the Amish in Aylmer were not as strict. So you could be right, this group could be from a stricter mother community.
It is fascinating that they chose PEI. I bet Anne of Green Gables would be excited! I have always thought I’d love to visit PEI because of her!
Do many of those Amish actually not have indoor plumbing? I followed several links and read an article about the Old Order Mennonites moving out West. That article also mentioned that they don’t have indoor plumbing and electricity. I am almost certain that the OOM’s in Canada have both electricity and indoor plumbing. I’ll have to ask someone, to be sure about it.
Anne of Green Gables is one of my top favorite stories ever. I thought about that also.
I wonder about the indoor plumbing. Perhaps it’s the stricter OOM who have moved west? I don’t know that.
Thanks for your comments, Aleta. I hope you’re doing well.
I hope to visit Prince Edward Island some day. I had never even heard of it until I watched Anne of green gables and then read the books. It is definitely on my bucket list. I’m with you Saloma that it seems the Amish do “church” shop and why not!! We in the English world do the same thing, though on a smaller scale. We shop around until we find a church we feel has the same belief system as us. Of course we usually don’t move our family to do it!!!! I do think it’s sad, however, that the Bishop has the final say on things and you must uproot your family if you no longer agree with his views. I’m sure that can be hard on the families who choose to stay behind.
Indeed the winters can be cold in Manitoba. We lived there for 5 years. But if it comes below zero it stays till Spring. We have friends who lived across the Amish settlement in MB. We have seen them and I wished I could live close to them. I enjoyes it to see them when we were there.
Have a blessed Christmas!
Hi Saloma…hope you and David are doing good. Today just 5 minutes before I have completed reading “Bonnet Strings”. Hence I have completed reading both the books you wrote.
Its like I was so closed with the characters and visualized each scene. Really appreciate the writing style and plain simple easy go reading.
God bless you and your family.