Clover Ridge, Oklahoma, is the fictional town I developed for my Amish romance series of the same name. With so many Amish living all over the United States, why did I decide to make up a town? Well, it’s not because there aren’t any Amish in Oklahoma. There are in fact two thriving Amish communities in the Sooner State. One is in Coal County (southeastern OK) close to the town of Clarita. This small community only supports one church district or less than 200 people. The other settlement is in Mayes County (northeastern OK) near the town of Chouteau. This settlement has around three church districts or roughly 600 people. I wanted to set my books in Oklahoma since I live there, but it also gives readers a different setting from the majority of Amish fiction. (For more detailed information and history click here: OK Amish). My wonderful town of Clover Ridge is written to be in Mayes County, though it’s not patterned after Chouteau in lay-out or demography. I wanted to create a town that revolved around the Amish settlement, but I wanted to create stores and characters that
were exclusive to my town. Places like Anderson’s general store, the lumberyard, even the library. Some of the events and places may be reminiscent of real places and happenings in the community, but the details and characters are all from my imagination.There is one big difference between “my” Amish and the Amish who truly reside in this great state. The Amish in Clover Ridge are Old Order, while in truth, Oklahoma Amish are a hybrid of Old Order and Beachy. Most importantly, they are allowed to use tractors outside their barns due to the harsh planting conditions and rocky soil. In fact, when the Amish first came to settle in Oklahoma, they split into the ones who wanted to use tractors and the ones who didn’t. Consequently, the non-tractor using Amish eventually moved away. Oklahoma Amish are considered to be more progressive than typical Old Order Amish, but still devout and faithful believers.But they have similarities as well. In both, the women wear conservative dresses and white prayer kapps. The men wear their pants with suspenders and their beards without mustaches. Neither have electricity in their homes. Yet I felt the average reader could better identify with the doctrine of Old Order, and Clover Ridge was born.
These girls are from Lancaster County. Do you know how to tell the difference? Their heart shaped prayer kapps are unique to the Amish girls in Lancaster County, PA.