Amish Baskets

Ethridge, TN — Part 3

As you know, all I wanted when we went to see the Amish in Ethridge, TN, was an Amish doll. But they also had a lot of really great baskets for sale. One of the ladies on the wagon tour with us had been there before, I’m guessing several times, for she knew which houses had what merchandise for sale.

At the last house we pulled into on our tour, she told us, “This is the house with the baskets.”

This house belonged to Levi Hershberger. Levi was a handsome man. With a dark beard hardly streaked with gray just touching his chest. He had clear skin, little round glasses and unlike the other men we encountered on our tour, he wore black lace shoes. If I had to guess I’d say he was in his late fifties to early sixties. Our guide told us that he had 17 children and 123 grandchildren. Keep in mind that the average number in a church district is 200. Mr. Levi’s immediate family was nearly a church district in itself!

Mr. Levi was kind enough to let us go into his workshop where he makes his baskets. All the materials are hand dyed, but the color is so even and perfect you’d think it had been commercially done. There was of course no electricity in his shop, the only light filtering in from the many windows.

The baskets were beautiful and had I had a little more pocket money I would have bought many more to bring home with me. As it was, I bought one (even though I swore I wasn’t buying anything else for my house. I’m doing my best this year to de-junk!). But next year I’ll be sure to stock up.

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