Our Day at an Amish Auction

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Amish auction

You probably already heard if you follow me on Instagram, but a couple weekends ago Bjorn and I spent the day at an Amish auction in southern Minnesota! We had been wanting to go to this Memorial Day auction for two years but our schedules didn’t allow it…so it was an absolute blast that it actually worked out this year. That and I’m semi-obsessed with the Amish – their history, their language, their culture, and their simple lifestyle. 🙂

The auction was essentially what you might guess: Amish people auctioning off items they have crafted or grown or made. We spent hours wandering around, people-watching (of course!), testing out Amish-made outdoor furniture, enjoying a meal served by some of the younger women, and watching the men auction off stunning quilts and vibrant pots of flowers.

This auction was especially fun because of the way it differed from our time with the Amish in Pennsylvania. Last summer while living at Fort Lee in Virginia, Bjorn and I had the opportunity to drive up and spend time with (and stay with!) the Amish in Lancaster County! While that was an incredible experience, it was obvious that most of the Amish we interacted with in Pennsylvania were accustomed to tourists and were used to being extra-social and sharing about their lives.

A peek at our time staying with the Amish in Pennsylvania:

Lancaster County: Part 1
Lancaster County: Part 2

Anyway, at this Minnesota auction, the Amish who attended weren’t there to “entertain” curious outsiders; they were there to sell their crafts and have a busy, fun day out with their own families! Bjorn struck up a conversation with a young Amish man in his early 30s who was watching the auction next to us. The two of them chatted about farming and family and then more farming… and we walked away smiling – we had made our first Amish friend! 🙂 Later on, we sat and watched the flower auction for a while (I still can’t totally understand what price the auctioneer is saying!). A large group of young Amish women was sitting behind us, chatting in Pennsylvania Dietsch, a couple of them bouncing babies on their laps. The little Amish kids running around were absolutely precious! We bought root beer floats (we watched some of the Amish men make the ice cream right in front of us!) and checked out some of the horses and buggies. When we eventually had to leave, we definitely left with arms full of baked goods and homemade Amish candy! 🙂

Behind-the-scenes at the quilt auction! The younger Amish men were all busy either watching or helping to set up the next items up for bid.

The fun thing is, there are multiple smaller Amish auctions in that area throughout this summer! It’ll be so fun to head back that way and spend time interacting with this fascinating lifestyle, as we look forward to the Labor Day auction coming up!

Do you have experience interacting with the Amish? Are there Amish near you? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂



  1. This auction looks so neat. I am so fascinated with the Amish and their lifestyle. My husband are actually back in Ohio for work ( we were here 2 years ago) and after looking through your Take Me To Lancaster I feel like I need to go back. I didn’t do my research and gypped myself. I was curious how you got so many pictures? I noticed you didn’t get ones they were uncomfortable with but I was curious if having your camera out bothered them or how you went about that subject with them? Also, if I get to go back do you have any suggestions for me. And do I need more than one day? I’m so so glad I ran across this article. I’ve followed you blog for a little bit now, but wasn’t ‘around’ when you went to Lancaster County so I’ve glad you linked back and I was able to relive it.

    1. Thanks so much, Kayla!! It’s neat to hear that you’re also interested in the Amish! In regards to my pictures of the Amish in Pennsylvania, they were verrry used to tourists with cameras out all the time! So they knew I’d probably have my camera out (at our Amish farm tour, for example) and didn’t seem fazed by it or ask me to put it away. I did try to stay respectful, though, by not taking any pictures of them “head-on.” I didn’t ask to have my camera out, but I just wandered off a bit while my husband chatted with the tour guide. And at the auction here in Minnesota, there were a lot of “Englischers” like us with iPhones out, so I just discreetly tried to take phone pictures. Didn’t bring my big camera out for that auction. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re here following along, Kayla! Thanks for taking the time to chat about the Amish! 🙂 I hope you and your husband get the chance to have a fun experience visiting the Amish soon!

  2. That is so awesome! I’ve watched different shows that have showed the Amish doing woodworking and it was amazing. I took woods class in high school and built a lot of stuff, but I don’t think any of it can compare to their precise projects!

    1. I totally agree, Jenn! Their woodworking is stunning! It’s so cool that you got to take a woodworking class, too! I always wanted to do more with woodworking when I was younger…but the farthest I got was breaking a jigsaw blade in 7th grade. Haha. 🙂 I’ll have to look up more shows about Amish craftsmanship! Thanks!

    1. 🙂 I guess it’s not something very common out on the west coast! Thanks, Daisy! I wish I could’ve gotten more crisp, clear photos but I didn’t want to bring my “big” camera! I’m glad you liked them anyway 🙂

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