Francine In Retirement
Seeing Life Through Photography



While visiting the Amish country in Pennsylvania and Ohio I had the fortune to see an Amish buggy and visit inside an Amish home were we were served a wonderful meal.  Below are the photos of that experience.


The Amish buggy is a common sight along the country roads of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania and in the nearby state of Ohio.  Although the Amish religion allows the Amish people to ride in automobiles, as well as buses and trains, they are forbidden to own one.  In fact, of all the worldly possessions available, the car is considered the most dangerous to the unity of the community and the purity of the culture.  It is believed that car ownership would lead to the breakdown of the Amish community by opening the floodgates of social and cultural change.  Instead, the Amish use horse-drawn carriages or wagons for local transportation. These horse and buggies tend to travel at an average speed of 5 to 8 miles per hours. Since the Amish rarely travel very far distances, this leisurely speed is not a problem.  In fact, because the horse and buggy is so limited compared to the automobile, the people are more inclined to remain within the confines of their family and community, rather than outside of it.


Simplicity as a Virtue 

Although modest and simple, the typical Amish house reflects the importance of the family, daily work, and humility.  Amish homes are usually large with two stories since many Amish families consist of six or seven children. The homes tend to be plain and are usually painted white, green, blue or brown which are the colors of nature.  Amish farmhouses tend to have double or triple dwellings to house the grandparents. Traditionally among the Amish community, adults retire from active farming when they reach their fifties.  When they do this, they move into an extra house that has been built on the land.  A married son or daughter then takes over the main house along with the primary responsibilities for the farm. 


Everything within the house is functional. To preserve the religious value prohibiting pride and vanity, pictures and photographs are not hung on the walls for decoration.  Amish furniture is well-made and sturdy but modest in design.  Curtains, shades, and quilts may feature colorful designs but are also modest and simple. When designs are used, typical motifs tend to involve depictions of nature such as doves, roses and trees.  

As part of the Ordering and the tenets of the Amish religion, electricity is not used within Amish houses.  Instead, alternate means of energy are used.  For instance, in Amish kitchens refrigerators and stoves are often powered by various types of natural, propane or bottled gas or kerosene.

Special allowances are made in the Amish built home to accommodate the prohibition against electricity.  For instance, homes often feature skylights to increase the lighting and inverters are sometimes used to pull currents from a battery source so that appliances such as electrics fan can be used.

However, you won’t find a telephone, television, stereo, or computer in an Amish teenager’s bedroom or anywhere else in the house.  Such items are strictly forbidden. 


After viewing the home and surrounding land, we were treated to a sit down dinner prepared by our Amish hosts, and the younger members of their family, from items grown in their garden or brought from the neighboring farm.

The Amish do not permit photos of them, but I was granted permission to take the above photos, which I was very grateful.

To see more entries of Ailsa’s challenge or to participate, visit her blog, Where’s my backpack? and this week’s theme “TRADITION”.




  1. What an amazing experience. You were very Iucky to share such a wonderful time with such special people

  2. The Mennonites, here in Ontario, have begun to own automobiles but you can still see some of these buggies in occasional use.

    • The Amish will tell you they are nothing like the Mennonites. I thought they were the same but they are not. Thanks for your comment.


  3. Absolutely fascinating! What a chance to get an insight into such a different world. A really great post!

  4. I’m amazed that they allow outsiders into their world, lucky you what a privilege!

    • Depending upon the sect, some Amish are more progressive than others. The ones I visit are part of the tourism of the area and open their homes to bus tours for a meal and to see how they live. Some have stores where they sell homemade products. They are a friendly people who although remaining true to their culture and traditions have learned how to make a living in ways other than farming in these hard economic times.

  5. There is something very fascinating about Amish people and their similar religious group, the Mennonites. I don’t really understand their strict culture and why you would chose to limit yourself so much as they do – and I guess that is what makes them fascinating. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Thank you for stopping by and your comment. I think we are always fascinated by people and customs that are different from us or what we know. Have a great day.


  6. What a lovely story, Francine. Love those photos, too. Lancaster County is beautiful, is it not? My family and I were up there a few years ago and the scenery is just breathtaking. I will have to locate some of those photos. It was my pre-digital days. 😉 Didn’t go digital till 2007. We took a ride in a Mennonite buggy driven by a charming gentleman. He was so sweet and shy, but he made a joke. We were cruising along past this cemetary and he cracked that people were just dying to get in. Cracked us all up, especially because he seemed so quiet. I told him, “You’re a mess!” He blushed and said, “Thank ye.” Hehe! He was too cute! Mama looked at all these beautiful quilts in someone’s home and she wound up buying one. Woooo! Those suckers are expensive!! But, then, she does love hand stitched quilts and I’m sure with all the work and time that goes into them, they still don’t sell them for what they are really worth. I know you loved visiting that Amish family’s home and seeing how they live, and I’m sure the lovely meal was a special treat.

  7. thanks for sharing this is so interesting, the Amish serve the planet well with their simple lives, i am sure big business does not make much profit from them 😉

    • No I don’t think so, but they have surely learned how to get ours. They make beautiful furniture, quilts, jams and baked goods. I have never heard of peanut butter pie before I visited one of their homes and next week I will be going on another visit to learn how to make it and ride in one of their buggies. Thanks for your comment.


  8. Francine, thank-you for sharing this! 🙂

  9. Hi Francine; What a wonderful article.. Amish people have always amazed me .. Thank you for sharing this… Blessings.. Bro Pat.

    • I too was amazed by them. I love their simple lifestyle. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Blessing to you as well, Bro. Pat


  10. a great read,Francine
    I quilt and I love the Amish quilts…
    I would love to visit their world….maybe someday….
    I always think when the world implodes from too much
    technology, the Amish will be the ones that will show how to live
    within Nature….
    Beautiful photos….can’t wait for the next ones…
    Take Care
    (I just figured out why I wasn’t getting emails…so I will be here now!…
    I am glad I found you ….again (I could almost live in their world as technology challenged as I am, )
    Thanks again for a great post!

    • Hi Lady Blue Rose, I am very glad you enjoyed the post. I agree, the simple, plain life is the way to go. I enjoy technology but I try not to let it control me. Thank you for your encouraging comments. I didn’t get a reply concerning e-mail subscription. Did you click on button to follow by email located on the side of page?



  11. Francine, thanks for sharing your Amish experience. Quite fascinating.

  12. Love this post. 🙂 And I like the simplicity of the Amish home.

  13. Such a different way of living from today’s materialistic world. One can’t help but admire these people. Thanks for sharing about them. Most interesting, Francine.

  14. This is really informative.

  15. What a treat for you! Thank you for sharing.

    Near my hometown (Jasper, Indiana) are several Amish communities; the horses & buggies are frequent sights on the roads, especially the “back roads.” I eaten in a few Amish restaurants and the food is phenomenal — simple, plain, and delicious.

  16. This was such an enchanting post, Francine. What a privilege to see the inside of an Amish home, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have been wanting to visit Amish Country for ages and am fascinated by their way of life. I can’t wait to hear about your next visit, when you go for a ride in a buggy. xxx

  17. Wow this very interesting. Thanks

  18. Thank you for a wonderful insight into the lives of the Amish! Enjoyed your story and photos.

  19. Lovely and informative post, Francine! I grew up in Pennsylvania, and the times that we went to the State Fair or drove to the center of the state, the influence and presence of the Amish was everywhere – and sort of comforting!

  20. It’s fascinating, but not for me 🙂

  21. Why arent they allowed to use electricity?

  22. […] Travel Theme: Tradition This entry was posted in books and tagged Amish, Barn, Bishop, Bone, Karen Harper, murder mystery, New York City, Ohio, Plain Dealer by Nonie. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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