Friday, August 17—Pennsylvania Amish Country

Three generation Amish farm

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has the largest concentration/population of Amish in the US, depending on which year demographic data is obtained (versus Holmes County, Ohio). We hired a private tour guide (Mennonite ) for exploring the county and she discussed the religion, culture, and lifestyle of the two sects.

Authentic covered bridge 
All Amish buggies are gray

I particularly enjoyed seeing farm work done with horse or mule teamsDairy farms were prevalent as were row crops consisting consisting mostly of corn, tobacco, and hay/alfalfa. Among the Amish farms most of the work and household chores are done by hand (reminding me of how things were done in my earliest days, as best as can be remembered).

Three abreast horses working the field
Three abreast horses working the field
Tobacco, cut by hand
Tobacco drying

The Amish in Lancaster County are far more oriented towards commercial pursuits than either Holmes County, Ohio, or Elkhart County, Indiana. In fact the county is a hub of tourist activity, much like an early Branson, Missouri, to the extent that there are too many people and too much traffic—overwhelming! We did enjoy watching the old-style agriculture work of haying, tobacco cutting, and cultivation, all using horses or mules or done by hand.

From Lancaster, we traveled back west to Gettysburg, spending the night at a PEO bed and breakfast. International PEO, of which Kay is a member, is a philanthropic educational organization of women helping women. Some members offer their houses as bed and breakfasts with a large portion of the money collected being returned to the international organization. The house in which we stayed is owned by Admiral (ret) Tom Wilson and his wife Sue, our hostess. Parts of the house date to 1804, but the entire structure has been updated, but retaining its charm and appearance.

The Wiilson’s PEO B&B

Naval pattern “quilt” painted on barn

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