So the trip was supposed to be to Welch. Remember this?
But when we got to Welch we were hungry and stopped to eat. I had some addresses from a directory I had bought sometime ago, so we knew a little of where to look but we asked the waitresses at The Cow if there were any Amish owned-businesses in the area. and that’s how we ended up in Chetopa, Kansas.
The town began as an Osage village named after Chief Chetopa of the Osage Nation. In his language, his name means “four lodges,” He was a great counselor for the Osage Tribe an advocate for peace. Perhaps that is why the Amish decided to settle here.
You have to travel a lot of dusty roads to find the Amish of Chetopa.
But they are there.
Here are a few things that I learned about the Chetopa Amish. Each house is allowed to have a telephone, but it has to be in a separate structure not attached to the homes (Phone shanties). Here’s a picture of one.
Each family is also allowed to own one piece of mobile machinery. Most buy a skid-steer loader like a Bobcat. This way they can buy different attachments for it and multiply the functions of the one machine. Here’s a farm we visited. See the Bobcat in the barn?
The Amish in this community are also allowed to use propane for heat and refrigeration. And I suppose outdoor grilling as well!
There are quite a lot of Amish owned businesses in the area, but some were not the kind that the average Englisher would need or want to visit. Like a metalworks shop and horseshoeing. (Yes, I agree that horseshoeing is very interesting but without a horse…)
But we did find a bulk goods store. This would be similar to Centerville in Lancaster and Creekside Sales in Chouteau.
While there we asked if there were any other Amish businesses we should visit. The owner pointed us toward Chetopa Fabrics and Variety. So of course we had to go!
Uhum…yes, this was too wonderful to let pass so I bought it. It looks great in my office!
On the way out the door I couldn’t help but snap a picture of their buggy horse.
After that we simply drove around looking for Amish houses and interesting sites.
If you happen to find yourself in the Chetopa area and you decide to stop in and have a look around, here are a couple of things to remember:
When you see the Amish, wave, smile, and be friendly, but don’t honk. You might spook their horses.
And when passing an Amish buggy, please drive slowly so you don’t choke them out with a huge cloud of dust.
I hope you enjoyed my visit to Chetopa!