Amish Bicentennial

The Amish Bicentennial Committee of the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario planned several events for September-October 2022 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Amish in Canada.

Read about the history in these articles by the Committee.

MHSO committed $1,200 towards these commemorations.


The events are listed here for information purposes. Please note that all events have concluded.

Amish Mennonite Heritage Bus Tours

Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Contact
Registrar/Treasurer Ken J. and Joyce Jantzi, 63 David St, Wellesley, ON
N0B 2T0 Phone 519 496 4044

  1. SOLD OUT, but please contact the registrar to be added to a waiting list.
    Up the Nith Heritage Bus Tour” 9 am.-4 pm. on Wed. Sept. 28 OR
    Sat. Oct. 15. Cost-$80 (including restaurant meal). Tour Leaders-Fred
    Lichti, Ken J. Jantzi, and Sandra Kuepfer. Starts at St. Agatha
    Mennonite Church. Join us for a heritage tour which covers 200 years
    of Ontario Amish Mennonite history on a 100-kilometer bus trip.
    Through stories and stops along the way, you will learn about the
    oldest Amish Mennonite settlement in Canada and how it changed
    and developed through the centuries. This tour will explore the
    spectrum of Amish Mennonite people in Ontario from the “tradition
    minded” Old Order Amish to the “change minded” groups
    (Mennonites) which no longer use the term “Amish” and have
    assimilated in varying degrees with the mainstream society. Stops at
    Old Order Amish on-farm enterprises and a parochial school. Lunch at
    Anna Mae’s Restaurant (Sept. 28) or Schmidtsville Restaurant (Oct
  2. SOLD OUT, but please contact the registrar to be added to a waiting list.
    Wilmot-South Easthope-East Zorra Heritage Bus Tour”. Sat. Oct. 1,
    8:30 am-1:30 noon. OR Sat. Oct. 1, 12:30 pm-5:30 pm. Cost-$42
    (includes traditional Bean Soup lunch). Tour Leaders-Ruth Steinman
    and David G. Neufeld. Starts at Steinmann Mennonite Church. Join us
    for a heritage tour which beings in Wilmot Township with the history
    of the Indigenous people and the story of the Amish Mennonite
    settlement over the past 200 years. From Wilmot, we will travel west
    into South Easthope, Tavistock and East Zorra to explore the story of
    the Amish Mennonites who settled west of Wilmot and established
    the East Zorra Congregation in 1837, the second Amish Mennonite
    congregation in Canada. East Zorra grew into 5 congregations. Both
    morning and afternoon bus tours include a traditional Amish bean
    soup lunch at Steinmann Mennonite Church from 12:30 pm-1:30 pm.

A Cappella Hymn Sings

  1. Sunday Sept. 11, 2022 7:30 pm at Maple View Mennonite Church,
    5074 Deborah Glaister Line, Wellesley, ON N0B 2T0
  2. UPCOMING Sunday Sept. 25, 2022 7:30 pm at East Zorra Mennonite Church,
    677044 16th Line, Tavistock, ON N0B 2R0

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

Friday Sept. 30, 2022, 7:30 pm. at Steinmann Mennonite Church Gym. Rebecca
Seiling, MCC’s Indigenous Neighbours Engagement Associate, and David G.
Neufeld will speak on the theme "What Stories Have We Not Been
Telling?" Rebecca will also speak on “The Landed Buggy”, an Old Order
Mennonite buggy which has been decorated and modified to reflect a web
of connections between the land, Indigenous people and settlers.

Indigenous Awareness Workshop

Saturday October 1, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch provided.
Workshop with Clarence Cachagee and others at Crow Shield
Lodge,1044 Christner Road, New Hamburg, On. Cost-$50 per person.
Pre-registration and prepayment required. Contact David G.
Neufeld. Phone 519-897-7893.

A long history of assimilation has attempted to take cultural and
spiritual teachings and gifts from Indigenous peoples. Traditional
knowledge, languages, cultural practices and oral traditions built up
over the millennia are all connected to the land. Crowshield Lodge
invites participants to gather around the fire in the healing lodge to
learn and share food together. The Indigenous Awareness workshop
will be co-led by Indigenous and settler Canadians on the land, in a
beautiful wooded setting near the Nith River. The workshop
will provide an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
to learn about these connections together - on the land. Leaders will
share of their own personal journeys of understanding and healing of
settler/indigenous relationships. Participants will be given the
opportunity to learn and ask basic to complex questions, and address
the issue of “where do we go from here?” All ages welcome.

Thanksgiving Worship Service

Sunday Oct. 2, 2022 7:00 pm at Steinmann Mennonite Church.
Speaker Kyle Gerber, Special Music by Fair Haven Amish Mennonite Choir,
Offering for Mennonite Central Committee
divided between Indigenous Neighbours and Refugee Programs.
Fellowship time following the service. Display of Ontario Amish
Mennonite artifacts and memorabilia available from 3 pm.

Exhibit of Amish Mennonite Artifacts and Memorabilia

Everyone is welcome to view the artifacts and memorabilia on display in the gym at Steinmann Mennonite Church. 
Categories include Indigenous artifacts, settler deeds and documents, early furniture, books, fraktur art, show towels,
quilts, fabric arts, antique tools, butchering equipment, early toys, Conscientious Objector memorabilia, Amish clothing,
Ontario Amish Mennonite cemeteries, Pennsylvania German recordings and more!   Admission free. 
September 30 - October 2. Friday evening 6-9 pm, Saturday 11 am-2 pm, Sunday 3-9 pm.

Bechtel Lecture with Dr. Mark Louden

Thurday, October 20, 7:30 pm at Conrad Grebel University College.
Mark Louden of the University of Wisconsin - Madison will speak on "Reconstructing Linquistic History: What Did Ontario's Earliest Amish Speak?"
Dr. Louden is the author of Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Langauge.

Tavistock and District Historical Society public meeting

Sat., Oct. 22
1:30 pm. with Dr. Mark Louden speaking on “What did the founding
Families Speak? Tracing the Roots of Tavistock Deitsch”. At Tavistock Mennonite Church, 131 Wettlaufer St., Tavistock