Monday, March 21, 2011

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Explains: Amish Outhouse or Phone Booth

·      When tourists visit one Holmes County, Ohio bed and breakfast, they comment to the innkeepers on all of the outhouses that they passed when traveling up and down the small township roads.  They find some that are double-wide and others that are sided or have windows.  Those buildings by the edge of the road are NOT outhouses!  They are actually telephone booths.  The Amish live in neighborhoods that are “church districts”.  Each church district (if the Bishop allows it) has a phone booth that is shared by all members.  This permits the Amish to call the doctor, handle emergencies, call a driver to take them to work or the hospital.   Each church disrict has about 25-30 families so you will find many telephone booths when you travel the County.  There are approximately 40,000 Amish in Holmes County, so imagine how many phone booths you have the opportunity to pass.  Some times you will find these Amish phone booths every mile that you travel.  Guests at Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast will find a phone booth on the same road as their Ohio bed and breakfast.  The next time you visit Amish Country remember outhouses are never at the edge of the road.  Outhouses are behind the house or in the back of the yard.  Some parts of Holmes County have a more conservative group of Amish and they have no phone booths or access to a phone.  Occasionally you will order furniture from an Amish store only to find out that any questions must be mailed in a letter or via a personal visit.  Thus, not every Amish person has access to a telephone. 

Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

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