Every time I plan a trip to Amish country, I always hope I’m going to see something new—something I’ve learned about, but never seen with my own two eyes.
My favorite such sighting so far? The bench wagon I came across during a trip to Lancaster last spring. While researching my Amish Mysteries, I learned that the bench wagon is how the benches are transported from one home to another for Sunday worship. This mode of transportation is so critical in fact, that weddings generally fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the late fall and early winter because of the bench wagon.
How so, you ask? Well, let’s look at a bench wagon schedule during wedding season so you can see…
Sunday (bench wagon in use for church services)
Monday (bench wagon used to transport benches to home where wedding will be held)
Wednesday (bench wagon used to transport benches to home where wedding will be held)
The benches, themselves, are folded up and placed inside the wagon. When they get to their destination they are used for seating during the service and can then be further folded for use as tables during the meal.
Now imagine my squeal when, while driving around the back roads of Amish country one Saturday evening, I spotted a bench wagon… It was closed, but it let me know church service was going to be held at that home the next day.
So, the next morning, I drove back to that same house around the time I expected church service to be over and, this time, the wagon was open…with a few benches loaded back inside! I, of course, had to snap a picture and place it side by side with the one I took the previous night when it was closed.
The next thing I’d love to come across would be an actual wedding…
How about you? What’s the coolest thing you’ve witnessed during a visit to Amish country and what one thing would you still like to see with your own two eyes?
Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.