We’ve heard of a barn-raising before, but we’ve never seen one lifted and moved!
But that’s what roughly 250 Amish men gathered to do on a chilly March morning in 2019 in Ohio.
Ohio is home to the highest number of Amish congregations in the country now. The Amish have been moving there from their original settlements in Pennsylvania since 1808.
A major facet of Amish life is cooperation. So while a video of a barn moving is impressive, it shouldn’t necessarily be surprising that everyone turned out at 9 am to help Joseph Hochstetler move his large barn 150 feet away into a more convenient location.
Since the Amish typically do not use equipment that requires electricity, all the work was done by hand – 500 of them.
Farming is an important aspect of Amish living and the cooperative community largely closes itself off from the influence of the outside world. They tend to reject new technologies, which is part of the reason they require manual labor such as this.
The viral video
Someone from Mount Vernon News was on hand to record the event, which has now been viewed by over 600,000 people.
In the video, the narrator tells us it’s a pole barn the men are moving. These are different from typical timber-framed barns which are much heavier. Of course, to move any structure this big, you’re going to need a couple of hundred friends.
It’s not uncommon for the Amish to do this kind of work – you can a similar barn move here – but it’s still impressive to see the kind of cooperation and coordination it takes to complete the task!
The big move
As men spread out on all 4 sides of the barn, they slowly lift the structure. But the most interesting part to watch is the slow and steady movement.
Clearly, there’s strength in numbers – the men accomplish the feat in under 5 minutes!
As women and children in the community look on, the men turn the barn 90 degrees before finally setting it down in its new location.
Our interest in the Amish
The viral nature of the video is more than just watch a feat of strength – people tend to romanticize the Amish, especially in our overwhelming modern world where people seem driven by disagreement and dissent. Of course, there have been plenty of people who grew up Amish only to reject the culture later in life.
Still, many are enamored with the seeming simplicity of building their own homes, growing their own food, and making their own clothes. The ideal of family closeness and a commitment to helping others, even strangers, are also central tenets of Amish communities, which are also strictly religious.
Of course, not all Amish are the same and there are hundreds of different types of communities around the country – some even do partake in more modern technology.
But cooperation and the concept of a brotherhood of believers is present throughout the Amish communities – and that’s why you’ll never have to move your own barn!
Make sure to scroll down below to check out the impressive teamwork it took to move the Hochstetler barn!
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