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, October 16, 2007

A long time coming

Tuesday The Round Barn Theatre was filled with nearly 800 school children for Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) performances of Winnie the Pooh. The school buses arrived from Triton Elementary, New Creation Academy, Christ the King, Woodview Elementary, Holy Family Church School, Parkside Elementary, Eastern Pulaski, Goshen, Teacher’s Home School, South Central, St. John’s United Church of Christ School, Syracuse, and Hawthorne Elementary. Darden, Hamilton, Kennedy Academy, and Hay, all of South Bend Community Schools make at least annual visits for TYAs

Seeing this South Bend Community School bus among those arriving reminded me of the phone call I received in 1971 from the PHD in charge of field trips for the corporation. He said that 50 cents per pupil was above their budget and wanted to negotiate the price for the guided tour of Amish Acres to 35 cents. I said, “No, thank you.” It was a chilling exchange for me. I had just spent most of two years investing other people’s money in creating Amish Acres for the purpose of inviting groups to come and experience the farm and its educational value from a cultural and sociological viewpoint. My vision was expansive. To decline the potential business from the largest school corporation in our area was frightening. Our survival was dependent upon a strong mix of adult and student group visits and tourists traveling individually, but I believed in our mission and refused to have it compromised by a cheapskate; therefore, I find some satisfaction in seeing this bus among the others arriving at Amish Acres so that even students from South Bend can pursue a well rounded education that includes historical interpretation and the performing arts outside of the school’s cafeteria.

Here is the letter I subsequently received to confirm my questionable stubbornness thirty six years ago:

South Bend Community School Corporation
Hamilton School
Office of the Principal

April 30, 1971


I am writing to inform you that our scheduled field trip to Amish Acres on May 13, 1971 was not approved from downtown. They felt that for large groups there should have been some further concession in the student’s price. It was felt that while some could afford it others could not so they are not approving further trips to Amish Acres this school year.

We are disappointed about it but their word is final so don not expect us May 13th.

Mrs. Yoder, Teacher


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