My interest in the Amish in Upstate New York was recently renewed when I happened to pass an Amish barnraising on Route 14 above Lyons a few months ago. It was fascinating to watch a "swarm" of Amish men quickly build a barn. Then I happened to hear that a group had settled in upper Oswego County...where I lived as a child.
Fortified by a Cheeseburger at Daddy Ed's Restaurant in Mexico (where I grew up) I headed out to see for myself. I didn't have far to go. I found an Amish buggy entering town as I was leaving. I took Route 11 toward Pulaski, my final destination, in a vain attempt to locate my Grandfather's old farm just outside town. I found two likely candidates, but both barns had been demolished (as most barns in the area have been) I noticed many Amish buggy signs on the highway so I assume they now own many of these farms.
My final destination was the Farmer's Market in South Park in Pulaski, a town about 12 miles north of Mexico where many of my relatives formerly lived.
There's music at the bandstand most evenings.
The beautiful Art Deco movie theater closed around 1982. A car parts store took up about half of it for a few years but now even that seems to be gone. There are no longer any movie theaters in Pulaski or Mexico.
The downtown area has been designated as an "historic district" Of course, a couple of buildings have been torn down and banks erected in their place. And no one sells "things" anymore (I guess you have to go to Walmart) There were restaurants, a lab, and a Laser clinic (I suspect they have a lot of wrinkles and such in Pulaski now), a Dance Studio, and a Martial Arts School
The horses wait patiently attached to their Amish buggies at the Market. I succumbed to a Raspberry Pie and two Fried Raspberry Tarts. The Tarts were delicious. This could become a bad habit.
The Amish around Pulaski are a Swartzentruber Amish group founded by Mose Miller in 2006. Two years ago they had 26 families, mostly from Wayne County, Ohio. Now there are 36 families with more being added. They had been homeschooling, but now they have two schoolhouses, with another under construction.
They presently have no bishop, a bishop from Heuvelton in St. Lawrence County has been presiding over this flock. They do have a deacon and other ministers, but have no bishop of their own yet. The Farmers Market in Pulaski has been running for a few years and the Amish people have been selling there since they got the ok from the Bishop. At one time they were forbidden to attend because of the music.
The Amish vendors with their wonderful baked and other goods at one end of the Market.
Amish continue to arrive in New York today. The Amish population in New York has been described as the fastest-growing in North America.
In the past ten years, Amish have established over a dozen settlements in New York, many attracted by the prospect of inexpensive farmland and communities more isolated from pressures found in other Amish settlements. These newer settlements typically number just one or two church districts, but prospects for growth in many are good.
As New York continues to offer Amish settlers suitable land and relatively sheltered locations in which to found communities, Amish settlement in the Empire State is likely to continue.
Labels: Amish in Upstate NY