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LuminUS: Stories About Us

A Simple Life

Holmes County is the center of the world's largest Amish population, and a place where two worlds—contemporary American society and traditional Amish living—converge. It's also one of the hottest tourist destinations in the U.S.

PBS Western Reserve's A SIMPLE LIFE visits the people and the places that populate the beautiful rolling hills and farms of this rural northeastern Ohio county to find out what draws the millions of visitors each year.

A SIMPLE LIFE offers a video guide to the attractions of Holmes County and shares some of the history of the 31,000 Amish people who call it home. Local writer/director Phil Hoffman invites viewers to ride along and see the sights and meet the people who make Amish country special, exploring the inns, the Amish restaurants, the stores and the tourist attractions. But viewers will also get a feel for the pace of Holmes County.

"The world looks different at five miles per hour," says Hoffman. "Landscapes roll by slowly, and there's plenty of time to talk and laugh. Riding in an Amish buggy is one of the most popular ways to see Holmes County, and each year people from all over the world visit to eat at an Amish kitchen, take a buggy ride or shop for antiques."

Hoffman, an Akron resident, is a joint producer for PBS Western Reserve and The University of Akron. His most recent production to air on the stations was FLOATING ON AIR, a documentary about the history of the blimp.

Premiered on Western Reserve PBS in 2002.

Educational Resources

Subject Area: Social Studies

Grade Level: Intermediate and Middle School

Download A SIMPLE LIFE teacher guide.