Why Lancaster is Called "Dutch Country"
Dutch Country is a wonderful place to visit filled with the rich culture and history of the Amish people. You will find Dutch Country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles west of Philadelphia. The name of the area was derived from the word “Deutsche” which means German after the German speaking immigrants that settled in Lancaster County during that time.
The Amish in Lancaster
The Amish that the area is famous for were actually a small group of immigrants from Switzerland that followed the religious teachings of a Swiss descendant named Jacob Amman which is where the term Amish came from. These German and Swiss immigrants first came to the area in the 1680s after being persecuted in their own country for their religious beliefs and practices.
The Amish Way of Life
Visiting Dutch Country is similar to stepping back in time when life was much simpler and God, family, and hard work was all that mattered. They are very devoted to their faith and their community and are always willing to help a neighbor in need. The Amish are also known as plain people or plain folk due to their plain clothes and simple ways of life. They dress in dark colored clothing that is reminiscent of 17th century garments and they do not use modern technology. The Amish believe that influences outside their community may corrupt the minds of their young and be destructive to their entire way of living. You will not find electricity or telephones in their homes and they get around town by horse drawn buggies, not automobiles. Amish children attend one room school houses through the eighth grade when they continue working in the fields full time or working whatever the family business happens to be.
Popular Amish Goods
The Amish are very gifted with their hands and often make a living selling hand crafted furniture, handmade quilts, crafts, toys, and more. Most of their meals consist of food they grow themselves. Sauerkraut, smoked ham, fried chicken, shoofly pie, and apple butter are among some of the most popular Amish foods. Dutch Country is a very unique and friendly place to visit. The locals are very accommodating so please respect their land and their way of life on your visit to “Dutch Country.”