Horse drawn buggies coming to Saline County

Horse drawn buggies coming to Saline County
By: Arnold Wyrick
SALINE COUNTY, Ill. - When it comes to living the simple life, the Amish certainly know how to do it right.  They don't drive any motorized vehicles.  And everything they use in their fields, including their buggies are horse-drawn.
Now more than 50-Amish families are deciding to call Saline County their new home.  The families are all moving down to the Heartland, from Cashton, Wisconsin.
L'Erin Ragon with United Country Southern Realty has become the families sole real estate agent in the area.
"They're just going to bring a wide variety of items to our area.  For instance custom cabinets, a leather shop and feed mills.  There's going to be a large sale-community set up here for shopping all different kinds of handmade crafts.  So hopefully it'll be a major tourism thing for Saline County," Ragon said.
Already the few families who made the move from Wisconsin to southern Illinois have purchased $1.2 million in land from United Country.  And they have contracts in the works for several hundred more acres of ground throughout Saline and Williamson counties.
"They're very private people and they appreciate nature, country living and the old fashioned way of life.  So of course the country is the first place they would go," Ragon said.
The Amish use no running water in their homes, and only oil burning lanterns for light at night.  They also home-school their children, and shy away from any attention directed their way from the media.

But some of their new neighbors have already welcomed them with open arms to the neighborhood, by donating their personal camping trailer to the Joni MItchell family until they can get their home built. "I think everybody is excited to have some good safe neighbors.  And they'll definitely know who their neighbors are and that they can be trusted," Ragon said.

Ragon went on to say that over the next three years between forty and sixty Amish families will be moving to Saline County, to start another chapter in their lives, here in southern Illinois.