An Amish Country Pinch-Me Moment By Laura Bradford

An Amish Country Pinch-Me Moment By Laura Bradford

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)
Tuesday (wedding)
Wednesday (bench wagon used to transport benches to home where wedding will be held)
Thursday (wedding)
Friday/Saturday (transport)

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.

Neat, yes?

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

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11 Replies to “An Amish Country Pinch-Me Moment By Laura Bradford”

  1. We passed a house with over a hundred buggies parked in a field., It was a wedding. I had ready so many books about the large Smish weddings and how the buggies are parked and it was amazing!

  2. My husband has Amish in his family. At a recent funeral visitation many of the Amish cousins came to pay their respects. While I had met a few of them before never had I met so many at one time in one place. I was fascinated with the clothing on the women that were pinned together. I didn’t mean to be staring so much but I just couldn’t help myself!

  3. I have seen an Amish home, in Lancaster County, where a wedding was being held. They had added an addition to the house just for the wedding.
    I have seen an Amish home where a funeral was taking place.
    On my “Bucket List”….. I would really like to go to a Mud Sale.

  4. I lived on a Amish farm in York county PA, just over the Norman Wood Bridge on the Susquehanna River. I drove Amish to appointments, interacted with our properties owners daily, and attended Christmas programs at Amish School. Also enjoyed seeing and hearing 200 Amish youth attend a hymn sing at owners farm. I drove families to Amish Weddings that were too far away to go in a buggy and get home the same night. Our farm house was “English,” as it had electricity. We moved when the families eldest daughter and her husband wanted to buy property from their parents. Now both older boys (twins); live in the original house which has been divided into two separate households. The daughter and her husband that moved into the place we had been renting, re did entire house and pulled out electrics. Since then, they have built an extension called a Dowty House, for their aged parents, MARY and David Fisher, to in. We had some adventures…we really did. My children did also…they really had to walk a mile on a gravel and dirt road to catch their school bus or catch a ride with the Amish School teacher who was one of David and Mary’s children! On bitterly cold mornings or mornings with snow, ice, or rain, she would stop for the boys….I’ll never forget when I made two wonderful chocolate torte or flourless cakes covered with a dark chocolate ganache and sent one down to the Fishers. One of the twins brought me back the cake carrier the next day and said to me that “mam” really liked the cake…but next time I baked and did not have enough flour for the cake or enough sugar for the frosting, she would be glad to share some with me. Lol. So I just made sure I only sent regular cakes and cookies to them after that episode. And no one could touch their bread baking skills. One Amishman And his family that I drove to see family living about fifty miles away ( couldn’t get there and Home again horse and buggy in one day…and get home in time for the milking), told me that the phrase I needed to learn in Pennsylvania Dutch ( or localised German dialect) was “ cum essa). He said if one of us sticks his head out of the door and says “driver, cum essa!”, it means to come eat.

    I’ve eaten wththe Amish, shopped with them at their stores, and learned a lot in the two years I lived on that farm.

    1. Renee, this sounds incredible. Cum essa…I would love to hear that from an Amish person one day. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve read it three times already!!! 🙂

  5. I saw a situation in Amish country in OH where a tall Amish guy with his teenage son came to a parking lot with their horse and buggy and found the parking was full. (The horses of each buggy were attached to the railing with reins.) So he just got out picked up the back of a buggy or two and scooted them over to make a place.
    In Michigan I saw a large, open buggy with large car seats in it instead of bench seats.
    In Ohio I also saw a tractor pull in with a huge wagon filled with lawn chairs and people sitting in them. In Sugarcreek I saw a tractor filled with young people standing around the driver heading towards the fair.

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