Sunday, April 4, 2010

Road Trip--Lancaster Pennsylvania!

I had a wonderful visit with my friend Sid who lives in Lancaster Pennsylvania--She is the perfect hostess who drives me around to all the fun places to shop and the best places to fall off my diet! The weather could also not have been better with warm temps and sun!!

I realize many of you already know about the Amish who live around Lancaster, but for those who may not, I'll tell you a little about them and share some of the pictures that I took.

They are a conservative, reclusive, religious group of people who drive horses and buggies rather than cars.

Some 200,000 Amish people live in more than 20 US states and in the Canadian province of Ontario. The oldest group of Old Order Amish, about 16,000-18,000 people, live in Lancaster County, which is a rural, farming area where Amish first settled in the 1720s - many fleeing religious persecution in Europe.Amish women wear modest dresses with long sleeves and a full skirt, a cape and an apron. They never cut their hair, and wear it in a braid or bun on the back of the head concealed with a small white cap or black bonnet. Clothing is fastened with straight pins or snaps, stockings are black cotton and shoes are also black.

Men and boys wear dark-colored pants that never have creases or cuffs and are worn with suspenders. Belts are forbidden, as are sweaters, neckties and gloves. Men's shirts fasten with traditional buttons in most orders, while suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. Young men are clean shaven prior to marriage, while married men are required to let their beards grow. (The picture below is not one that I took). Homes do not have electricity, but do have running water and use gas stoves.

There are also no telephones inside their homes.
But many farms do have outside phone boxes like this one.
The Amish send their children to private, one-room schoolhouses until the age of 13. Most are trilingual and speak a dialect of German called Pennsylvania Dutch at home, use High German at their worship services, and they learn English at school.

My friend Sid said that since a shooting at an Amish school a few years ago, fences have been put up around many of them. While many Amish own firearms, used to hunt, their communities until that time were (and typically are) largely free of violent gun crime.
They eschew technology and preach isolation from the modern world. They do not join the military or accept assistance from the government.
The Amish experience many of the same problems as other communities, but keep them private. They are divided into dozens of separate fellowships, broken down into districts or congregations. Each district is fully independent and lives by its own set of unwritten rules, or Ordnung. They observe strict regulations on dress, behaviour, and the use of technology, which they believe encourages humility and separation from the world.
I really do admire the Amish to be able to be "in the world but not of the world." And I have to admit that there are days when I wouldn't mind trading the chaos and stress of my life for the simplicity of theirs.
THANKS for coming along on this little trip...Tomorrow, what else I saw...


  1. Happy Easter! What a lovely tour of Amish PA! I went to college for a while in Amish Ohio, and was fascinated by their communities and habits. Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a peaceful Sunday.
    Hugs xo

  2. How amazing. Those houses look remarkably modern. I'd assumed , based on no knowledge whatsoever, that they lived in Dutch Quaker style homes.

  3. I found this very interesting! I have watched programmes before and really enjoyed them and liked to learn of their way of life...thank you for the info! xxx

  4. What a beautiful area. Looked like you hit some nice weather too.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  5. ...and next time woo will have to let me know woo are khoming this-a-way so I khan say HI!


  6. Looks like a great trip :) Hope you all have a happy easter!!

  7. Enjoyed the photos and information. I had heard most of it before, but didn't know about the outside telephone. I have a feeling that their lives are as stressful as ours but just different kinds of stress. I don't think it is an easy life. Glad you had such a wonderful time.

  8. Enjoyed your photos and essay about the Amish, it was a trip down memory lane for me. I worked in a predominantly Amish school here in Oklahoma and loved every minute of it! (They went to a small public school in the middle of their farming community, Mazie.) They are fantastic cooks! One mother sent something warm from the oven to school every week for the teachers. Very good people, children are delightful...


  9. Kim,
    Great post as always.
    Kitchener, Ontario is mostly Amish and they always have the best looking baked goods and jams, etc.

    Years ago with my first pay check I purchased a star pattern quilt in blues and lovely stitching patterns around the outskirts.

    This quilt is still on our bed today but has a flaw. One of the colors in the star pattern is reversed because they believe that only God is perfect so they always make a mistake in their quilting.
    I guess this is one way you will always know if it was truly made by a Amish quilter.

  10. Thanks for the tour, it is very interesting.

    Sheila & Bob

  11. Glad you had a great time! It's beautiful country in the Lancaster area.

  12. As I child I remember trips to the Tionesta area of PA as well as Westminster College for basketball camp! Lots of Amish around those areas. There are similar people in Montana but they are called Hutterites. I'm not sure what the difference is between them, but they seem rather similar to me.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure! Certainly a trip down memory lane for me.

    Hope you had a great day!


  13. It's been years since I last visited Amish country and your pictures brought back fond memories. Glad you had the opportunity to visit...thanks for posting such incredible pictures!

  14. What a beautiful post.
    We admire the Amish as they are true to their beliefs in a world that is not easy.
    We have some Amish country side in Oregon too. It is beautiful and the people believe in peace for all.
    Thank you for sharing and Happy Easter

  15. The Amish are fascinating. There was a documentary on TV here a couple of years ago and the strangest thing I remember in that was that they are allowed to use bikes, but not bikes with pedals! So there was footage of lots of kids scooting around propelling themselves with their feet! Glad you had a good trip.

  16. thank you - I find the Amish so interesting
    ( tomorrow I'm posting about working on a Kibbutz )

  17. That is one place I would love to visit. We have both Amish and Mennonite farmers north of us, mainly Mennonite I think, not as conservative as the Amish.

    St.Jacobs, Ontario is the place to go if you want to see more and are visiting Ontario.

    Gill in Southern Ontario, Canada

  18. Oh, I didn't see The Witch's post, Kitchener is next door to St. Jacobs, so she is right as well....St.Jacobs is more rural.

    Gill in Canada

  19. Stopped by from "The Hen House". I really enjoyed this post. Looks like you saw some really unique things.

    I like all your photos of your animals ~ very fun! I will be back! :)

  20. Thank you!! very interesting... just learned a few things about Amish...

  21. I was sure that outside telephone hut was in fact a toilet

  22. Oh Kim I knew that you would love it. Your photos are wonderful!! It makes me want to visit again for a long weekend. Can't wait to see more pictures of your trip.

  23. Thanks Kim, that was very interesting to read. Sue x


Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!