Adirondack Mennonite Heritage FarmAdirondack Mennonite Heritage Farm


Annual Program - "How DNA Extends and Enhances Our Understanding of Mennonite and Amish Families" - April 21, 2024

The annual meeting of the Adirondack Mennonite Heritage Association will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Croghan Mennonite Church. This meeting will be followed at 2 p.m. by a public presentation by Darvin L. Martin, scientist and author, graduate of Eastern Mennonite University in 1994. He will talk about his work using DNA to expand and clarify the genealogies of original families in the Lancaster area. Mr. Martin will expand from this, showing that DNA testing is a reliable way to gather information about one’s forebears even in families with common surnames. Please come and join us.

Darvin L Martin has been passionate about family history since his youth and began to explore ways to use DNA testing to solve family history puzzles since these tests were first offered more than twenty years ago. His interest in history, particularly local history not found in common textbooks, compelled him to blend a career of scientific research with the pursuit of his own ancestry, seeking to understand the lives of his Mennonite and Amish ancestors. He has chaired the Lancaster Family History Conference from 2003 through 2019, and serves as Group Administrator of the Mennonite and Amish Immigrants DNA Project.

32nd Zwanzigstein Fest - Saturday, June 29, 2024
"Come Join Us to Raise the Roof"

Photo Credit: Ken Landis

The theme of this year’s Z Fest is "Come Join Us to Raise the Roof." During the day, we will be asking volunteers to help us raise the roof of the pavilion that will be built this summer. This is the activity which led us to choose our theme. Throughout the day, we will be celebrating the barn-raising tradition of the local churches and communities. Families who had barns built on their property as well as individuals who led these efforts will be sharing their stories. At noon, a typical barn raising meal will be provided. Plan to join us on Saturday, June 29, for these and other traditional Z Fest activities.

2024 Zwanzigstein Fest Poster

Zwanzigstein means "Twenty Stones." This name comes from when God led Joshua and the Israelites over the Jordan River. When they were safely across, the Lord said to Joshua that the twelve chosen men, one from each tribe, were to take a stone from the middle of the Jordan, carry it out, and pile them up as a monument at the place where they camped that night. In the future, when their children asked, "What is this monument for," they could tell them it is to remind them of God's amazing miracle. All nations of the earth will realize Jehovah is the mighty God and all will worship him forever.

As our forefathers (twenty families) traveled from Europe to settle here, they, too, must have realized the mighty hand of God and truly worshiped him. When our children ask, we can tell them of this mighty God.

And so Zwanzigstein.

The purpose of the Zwanzigstein Fest is to preserve, celebrate, and accurately portray our religious and cultural heritage in Lewis County. Since 1991 the Heritage Farm has provided the site for visitors to learn about our Anabaptist faith legacy and rural life of years past through stories, exhibits, tours, demonstrations, and fundraising venues such as foods and crafts.

Zwanzigstein Fest 2023 - Widrick Family Audio Stories

LeEtta Widrick and Loren Widrick

LeEtta Widrick Loren Widrick

Community Heritage Hymn Sing - at Maple Ridge Center - June 30, 2024

The next community heritage hymn sing is planned for June 30, 2024, at 2 p.m.

In anticipation of the 500th Anniversary of Anabaptism in 2025, the Adirondack Mennonite Heritage Association (AMHA) has been doing a series of programs. Over the next two years as part of Legacy 500, we are planning to do a cappella hymn songs. Singing has been an integral part of recalling that history and inspiring the core values of our faith.

Legacy 500 Fall 2023 - J. Nelson Kraybill's Services - YouTube

Lowville Mennonite Church - 7:15 p.m.

"LEGACY 500"

Essential Conversations on Anabaptism
Past, Present, and Future

"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn"…Isaiah 51:1


In anticipation of the 500th Anniversary of Anabaptism in 2025, the Adirondack Mennonite Heritage Association is planning a series of programs. The purpose is to provide an opportunity to sharpen our perceptions and dust off those perspectives that relate to our heritage of the faith, to take a clear look at who we were, who we are, and who we want to become. We believe the series of programs will stimulate a conversation that is both old and new.

In Isaiah 51, the prophet gets our attention with three strong verbs…listen, seek, and look. With Abraham, God started a new conversation, a restoration project that hearkens back to Genesis 3. Isaiah encourages the people to look back to Abraham and Sarah but also to look forward to restoration from exile and then beyond that to a time when God’s promise to Abraham will include the nations…a restoration that anticipates Jesus who is the full and final conversation of God.

In the life of faith, conversation and prayer permeate one another. This was true for Abraham… true for us. Prayer has been described as “that place where God’s seeking us and our seeking God meet.” This does not mean it is just some “static place.” It is a journey, it is Ur to Canaan, it is a dynamic conversation, which is both deeply personal and fully corporate...a conversation with one another and the one true God who is the God that speaks. We, like Isaiah, look backward and forward at the same time. We are invited to listen, and in so doing, walk in that place where the temporal and eternal mingle.

Please join us on a journey that includes both reflection and vision. It will stimulate our thinking, stir our emotions, and enliven our spirit. This is a journey to deepen your understanding of our mutual heritage of faith so you can say with Pilgrim Marpeck, “That faith is a living letter in my heart.” (1531)

J Nelson Kraybill

J. Nelson Kraybill (PhD, New Testament) relates biblical themes of justice and peacemaking to the mission of the church. He is President Emeritus of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana (1997-2009) and served as President of Mennonite World Conference (2015–2022). He was Programme Director of London Mennonite Centre in England (1991-1996) and has addressed academic or church groups on five continents. He annually leads a pilgrimage to biblical sites in Jordan/Israel/Palestine. See his "Holy Land Peace Pilgrim" blog at for a link to upcoming tours. Contact info: 26103 Vista Lane, Elkhart, IN 46517 USA.


Essential Conversations on Anabaptism
Past, Present, and Future by J. Nelson Kraybill


"Anabaptist Personalities from the 1500s" by Lynn A. Miller (evening program from April 23-25, 2023).

Donations appreciated for the viewings to help offset the expenses incurred for the visiting speaker. Please send to Don Roggie, AMHA treasurer, 4491 Boshart Road, Lowville, NY 13367. Thank you!

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