If you follow me on Facebook then you already know that Stacey and I finally got together after three years! Let me tell you it was long overdue to take a road trip with my bestie and see some (Amish) sights. Yoder, Kansas, of course. This was the main reason for our visit since I have a new series starting there next summer. This was our second visit. Yoder is worth a second look for sure, but we also wanted to make sure I had all the details right. Chouteau, Oklahoma is a must when she’s here since it’s so close, but we also went on a journey into the unknown to find Amish where we weren’t 100% sure that they even lived. But more on that in a minute.
It takes me a while to get through all the pictures we take and get them ready to show you, but I have gotten a few sorted. These are the ones that we took on our quest to find the reported Amish in Welch, Oklahoma.
I’ve had a couple of people tell me that Oklahoma has gained a few more Amish communities in the last few years. Some of those folks were Amish that Stacey and I met during the Clarita School Auction in 2018. Most everyone who follows knows that there is the community in Chouteau. That’s the one that Wells Landing is *very* loosely patterned after. Mostly size and location as well as many of the practices like driving tractors during the week and buggies on Sunday. The town itself is all my invention. And then there’s a settlement in the aforementioned Clarita, Oklahoma, though a lot of times I hear people calling it Coalgate, after the county seat. We’ve been to both, of course, and are always willing to go back, but we wanted to bring you something new and different.
And we found it! When talking about Welch Amish it’s not the same as Lancaster or any of the larger communities. It’s not even the same as Chouteau or Clarita. Basically there are a handful of houses out in the country. They are reported to keep mostly to themselves. But we wanted to see what it was all about.
Welch is a tiny town—population 619 in 2010—just eight miles south of the Oklahoma/Kansas border. There are a couple of convenience stores, a post office, and at least one really great place to eat.
As I said the Amish in this area mostly farm for a living and keep to themselves. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed because I love to visit Amish-owned businesses. Honestly my favorite is when they have little shops outside their houses where people can buy canned goods, potholders, and beaded jewelry, among other things. However in mulling it through, I’m sure there has to be a certain amount of tourist traffic for this to be even remotely profitable. And I’m fairly certain that the Amish in Welch don’t have this sort of English draw—not yet anyway. Who knows what the future holds for this new community?
While in Welch we ate at The Cow restaurant. Fantastic food and great service. The waitresses were so nice and helpful. One even told us the story of how the Amish came to help when her grandfather’s lumberyard burned. The Amish came asking if they needed any help rebuilding. The family said they hadn’t figured out how they were going to finance the rebuild. The Amish said, that’s not what we asked you. We asked if you needed help. And they pitched in without thoughts of money or compensation. So they might keep to themselves but when the chips are down it seems they can be counted on to help. Very neighborly, for sure!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip. To see them all, click HERE to view the page I have dedicated to the Amish of Welch, OK. And if you haven’t checked out the site in a while, feel free to look around. There just might be something new to see.
Thanks for reading!