Charm reposes firmly in Holmes County, Ohio. In 1808 a man Jonas Stutzman settled in the yet wild countryside that would later become Holmes County. Stutzman was Amish.
Today, Holmes County and the tiny community of Charm is home to one of the largest concentrations of Amish faith holders in Ohio.
The Amish (and closely related Mennonites) are part of the 16th Century Anabaptist movement. The Anabaptist movement originated during the 16th Century Protestant Restoration in Switzerland. Anabaptists reject the idea of baptism at birth (in favor of baptizing adult believers). They also believe in firm separation between church and state and in nonresistance.
Adherents to the Anabaptist movement came to America from Switzerland seeking freedom of religion.
Today, several disciplines exist within the Amish/Mennonite faith. The most conservative Amish, the Swartzentruber sect, live the simple life of the 19th Century. They are the image of Amish that most outsiders have come to expect. They avoid new technologies that they feel might erode family structure or create inequities within the community. They still use bicycles and horse-drawn buggies for transportation. Fields are tilled and harvested with implements drawn by horses. The use of electricity and power tools is not allowed for the most part.
Some Mennonites have adopted most, if not all, conveniences of the modern world.
The Amish and Mennonites dress in accordance with the scripture, “Be not conformed to the world.” Women wear long dresses, prayer caps, and bonnets. Men wear plain clothing and grow beards without a mustache. The exact style of dress might vary between sects.
Yesterday, that girl and I drove to Holmes County. I have always said that every state in this nation has a place of great beauty. For me, Holmes County is that place in Ohio. I fell in love with the softly rolling hills, the paved roadways that cover the hills like netting, the orderly farms, and the buggies coming and going on the roads.