St. Jacobs or Jakobstettel how it was called in the earlier days is not only for us a major attraction. The Mennonite and Amish heritage attracts visitors from all over the world.
The Amish are still living and maintaining their live style - even when they adapted certain things to make live easier. You can see that immediately how they are dressed and that they still use horse drawn buggies instead of cars.
We learned certain basics during a visit of Pennsilvania. Heinz Gaugel a German painter who lived in Welland created not only murals which still can be seen in our city - he also created a masterpiece dedicated to the Amish which can be seen in the "Amish & Mennonite Center" in Berlin, Ohio. Heinz was a very nice man, but he is not any longer with us. Just visit the related web site to learn more. Use the key words; Behalt Ohio.
A typical buggy of the Amish
The Amish are still following most of the strict regulations created by their forefathers and stay away of many things which could make live easier. However, as long as no electricity is needed they compromise. For example gas a powered fridge is allowed. The only exception they had to accept are the battery powered lights on their buggies!
The Mennonites on the contrary adopted many of things which we all use or do.
A separate parking space is reserved for the buggies
Whenever I wanted to enjoy real god German sausage, smoked meat or baked goods following original German or Swiss recipes we visited a farmer's marked where the Amish and the Mennonites offered all that. We had found such a market in nearby Kitchener.
Suddenly many of the vendors were gone. I was told that a new Management caused the damage. Thanks to this "Damagement" they moved to other places. One of those places who gave those Amish and Mennonites a sanctuary was destroyed by fire as far as I know.
I planned a new visit of St. Jacobs and the surroundings for 2016 not only to update my website- mainly to get things which I missed for a long time.
The video for which I installed a link below makes me wonder. I get the feeling that the flair of the old markets which I know is gone. It looks like a mixture of our local farmer's market in Welland and Disney Land. But I do not wand to judge before I went there to get my own impressions.
I loved to shop here
I was told that about 70 % of the customer have German background
I am happy that I can buy good a healthy bread inn Ontario and that more and more people seem to prefer that to the marshmallow type bread. But is still a slow process. Elizabeth, my wife who is a true Canadian enjoyed the varieties which was offered when she lived with me in Germany. Each country has specialties and for me eating is more fun than shopping!
We always brought something back. Things which we could not get in our local stores.
I was amazed how many people were talking to each other in German. Mostly elderly people. We even met friends.
How achieved the Amish and the Mennonites to keep up their heritage over hundred of years and stay in business with traditional food and crafts? Most ethnic clubs must close after 50 years.
When we traveled it was most the time business related and we could not choose the best time. Business brought us also to visit Newfoundland and Labrador.
Now we are older and if our health allows it we will explore Ontario under more favorable conditions.
We do not get paid for that by anybody what means I cannot bite a hand which feeds me what I enjoy because I can stay honest.
The new Farmer's Market during summer - many thanks to "Brona" and Wikipedia
The "Millrace Trail" - many thanks to "Magnus Manske" and Wikipedia
Visit the former mill - you will find crafts and art
Park your car and walk around. Browse through some of the interesting stores, enjoy lunch or dinner. Don't miss the "St. Jacobs Country Mill" - you can spend hours there.
Summer is naturally a better time to travel
St. Jacobs is still a gem and I hope that it will bot become extremely commercialized. I hope that the artist and crafts people will proceed in staying here to keep up the flair of this unique little town.
Customers are still attracted by old trades
When we passed this place an Amish just had parked his buggy around the corner to see the blacksmith. I realized that little wooden pins were used on his clothing instead of buttons. I had heard this before.
Elizabeth loves window shopping and browsing through stores
Naturally we became hungry from all the walking. We knew that in this area many restaurants are "dry" which means no alcohol is served.
I grew up in Bavaria and a Bavarian prefers to have a beer with most meals. I was really surprised that I could get one in the place which we had chosen.
However, the meals was not as good as that which we had a years before in a true Amish place.
St. Jacobs farmers Market Waterloo Ontario Canada
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