Amish Country Journal

Reports and musings from Indiantree Farm, in Holmes County, Ohio -- the largest Amish community in the world. See more about author Larry D. Miller and Amish Country at

Monday, July 01, 2013

On The Other End of the TV camera

          Much of the last three days was spent in the persona of Jonas Stutzman, the 225-year-old Father Of Amish Country, also known as "Der Weiss" (The White One.)
          He was the first settler in what today is known as Ohio's Amish Country.  And he was Amish.  And he not only built the first log cabin that launched the largest Amish community in the world but built the first sawmill, the first school, became the first schoolteacher, the first published Amish author and the first – and only – Amishman to wear all-white clothing. 
          You wanna know why?  Visit our museum.
          And, since he was my great, great, great grandfather, I feel an extra compulsion to keep his story alive.  Thus the white Amish suit, the long (pretty much white) hair and the white Swartzentruber hat.
          Yesterday, a television crew from Germany spent more than six hours asking question of, and filming "Der Weiss" at the German Culture Museum in Walnut Creek and around our family farm, Indiantree Farm, just outside Walnut Creek.
          Director/Producer Anke Schiemann was a bundle of energy, asking questions while darting to and fro and directing British cameraman Martin on angles and backgrounds.
          What fun!  We became close friends.  Son Alan dropped in with samples of the menu for this week's wedding of granddaughter Katie so we invited the TV folks to stay for dinner.
          Nola cooked up a feast and the stimulating conversation stretched late into the evening.
          It all fits perfectly with my Mantra: "How're you ever going to really get to know your neighbors if you don't spend some personal time with them?"
          "Der Weiss" also got to know many local neighbors Friday and Saturday evenings by introducing a special free showing of the Academy Award winning movie "Lincoln" before unveiling the German Culture Museum's new exhibit of rare Abraham Lincoln memorabilia.
          Another couple of special evenings to remember.


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