Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mayor Thompson's Proclamation

Last night the entire cast and company of Plain and Fancy were presented with a proclamation from Nappanee's mayor Larry Thompson declaring 2006 the year of Plain and Fancy. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise to receive the recognition. I reflect on twenty years of producing this delightful musical comedy that opened the 1955 Broadway season with the musical story of Amish life and love. To be recognized by the City of Nappanee for this contribution to the arts and culture of the region is an accomplishment that must be shared by 207 actors who have taken the stage throughout this improbable run plus the uncounted hundreds who have delt with the technical aspects of live theatre and the administrative and marketing staff that has worked so diligently to fill the seats of the theatre with appreciative patrons over the decades.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Bonnets

I have been gone from this blog for a week and some because I upgraded my computer and the ensuing problems arising from getting all of the software up and running with my customary settings and tool bars has take my customary blog time. Today was Easter. 15 waitresses, more bus boys, a gaggle of dishwashers, cooks, pie cutters, bakers, coffee makers, water pourers put in long hours of exceptional work. I poured water and coffee from 10:30 a.m. until after 4:00 p.m. Others are still going as I write. It was the perfect Easter from our restaurant's viewpoint. Not nice enough to stay home and have a picnic and not inclemet enough to keep families away. It was good to see so many large family tables, I'm talking a dozen to two dozen per table. After almost forty years of serving Easter dinner, I observed that the Easter bonnet has become a rarity. I gave a young lady her choice of a dozen cookies for having the nicest one today. On the other hand this generation of employees works just as hard and wishes to satisfy their guest as much as the first day we opened. Then we had 100 people to make happy at any one time, now it is four hundred. One family said, “We have been coming every year since 1974 and today we have a one week old baby with us.” One young lady asked me if the restaurant had really been a barn before. I said, “No this was a Wal-Mart, but now looks like an animal and hay barn. On grandmother couldn't find her family's table after returning from the restroom. We checked every corner before finding them in the Blue Room. She had not yet been missed, but they were eating pie. You learn more by pouring coffee than drinking it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Amish Acres hosted a GLAMER (Group Leaders of America) Chapter Meeting yesterday for travel planners to create itineraries for their groups. Twenty-seven vendors from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and other Midwestern states showcased their products and services, as the seventy attendees visited each table at The Marketplace in the forenoon. Attendees also attended a seminar hosted by Travel Alliance Partners.

As the host, Amish Acres showered the attendees with our Famous Thresher’s Dinner in the Restaurant Barn while treating them to performances of songs from Forever Plaid and Plain and Fancy. Some GLAMER attendees experienced the House and Farm Tour as well as viewed rooms at the Inn at Amish Acres where a Welcome Reception in the Geranium Room was held featuring sweet breads and beverages, is an extra hospitality event for groups visiting Amish Acres. Prize giveaways from each vendor put smiles on the attendees’ faces. It was about as much exposure as we could take in one day.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The People's Exchange

The People's Exchange is a 128 page free bi-weekly advertising paper serving the Amish communities in Northern Indiana and southern Michigan with a circulation of 8,500. Its classified ads are sorted by animals (horses, livestock, pets), benefits (fund raisers for those in need like the haystack supper for David and Barbara Helmuth's doctor and hospital bills), real estate, reunions, stud and taxi services. Features include Childhood Chuckles, Farmyard Funnies, recipes, and Red Cross blood drive dates. Happy birthdays and anniversaries are featured on the front page.

Display ads feature gas refrigerators and freezers from L&M Appliance; windmills, bike carts, and double tubs for laundry at Wingard's; washline posts and hitching racks at AL Enterprises, and the Spring Dairy Feeder Heifer Auction coming up in Topeka on April sixth.

This publication, which is like reading the Sears & Robuck Co. Catalog at the turn of the last century, illustrates the self sufficiency and caring for one's own that make the Amish a model for the rest of us to emulate in this ever more individualized world. Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, spoke last Sunday at the University of Notre Dame about this phenomena. He, perhaps, should include a footnote about the Amish.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ben Franklin would be proud of Indiana

On Sunday, April 2, 2006, at 2:00 a.m., Indiana will no longer be counted as one of three states which do not Spring ahead from "standard" to "daylight saving" time or Fall back from daylight to standard six months later. Only Arizon (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii remain out of lock step.

Since Indiana has not observed Daylight Saving Time for 36 years, many Hoosiers have never changed their clocks. Bills proposing DST had failed more than two dozen times in the past until it squeaked through the state legislature in April 2005. Many Indiana citizens are concerned about how long it will take to change their clocks. "I'm sorry for any confusion that any folks are experiencing. It's really not that complicated," Governor Mitch Daniels said.

The earliest known reference to the idea of daylight saving time comes from a purely whimsical 1784 essay by Benjamin Franklin, called "Turkey versus Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle." Now 231 years later the subject remains whimsical, proving once again Franklin's continuing relevance.