One of the neat things about Clare (and Gladwin) County are the Amish businesses that can be found in each. I enjoy stopping at Amish roadside stands for jams, jellies, maple syrup, baskets and the like. I sometimes stop at their stores to admire their handmade furniture–something I cannot yet afford.
The Amish who have only been in the area since 1980 (Amish history) are a draw, not only because of their goods but because of their simple lifestyle. So when friends and family come for a visit, I take them to places like the Colonville General Store and Benchley’s Furniture, Surrey Road General Store (complete with refrigerated AND a freezer cases–unusual for a business that does not hook into the Consumer’s Power electrical grid!) and maybe the Amish Bakery on Eberhart Road. If any of the visitors like baskets, there are also a couple of basket shops with a variety of colorful items often made by Amish children who sign their names to the basket and add their ages. (The Amish may have simple lifestyles but also know how to market their goods!)
Anyway, if you are thinking of coming up to our mid-Michigan county, here is a listing of Amish Businesses with map. (The listing comes from the Clare County Chamber of Commerce guide. ) Please note that not all the businesses in the listing are shown on the map.
Oh, as to the pointing thing, early on I took my daughter and her husband on a tour of the county and pointed at the first Amish couple we saw. My daughter was appalled at my act and let me know they are not show things or objects on display. She was right. Visit them, note the different look of their farms and how they work and live, buy from them, but always treat them with respect.
And slow down and watch for horses and buggies. Every year, there are crashes involving the Amish and the English (the Amish term for the non-Amish), and the Amish always lose.