Pennsylvania is a state of many different nationalities. One type of group that lives in our state are the Amish. These people live in small communities without electricity, or modern conveniences. They use buggies and horses for transportation. These are often found on the highway and it is quite dangerous for them since cars speeding along the paved roads can not stop in time to prevent hitting them. The closed buggy is used during the winter months. The open buckboard is used in the summer. The buggy and buckboard are small and will only seat two people. The buggy has one seat for two people but others can sit on the floor behind the seat if necessary. The horse's reins fit through the window at the front of the buggy. The buggy, ansd buckboard, were sold to the man in the white T shirt by an Amish man who did not wish to repair them. The horse was trained by the Amish is very easy to control with voice and reins. This horse like other Amish horses is taught not to fear the noise from cars and trucks so they will not shy away or try to run away with the buggy or cart. A lot of the time the horse are harnessed and used by women who transport children and purchase groceries using the buggy or buckboard. It is rare to be able to purchase any of their buggies or horses but this man became friends with a young couple who had just made newer and bigger ones because he had too many children to transport to church and school and they needed a lot of work.
The Amish are a very close knit community that have their own set of rules and laws. Children go to a one room school house for 8 years then they marry. Sometimes the girls are married at the age of 12. The young people live with his or her parents until they are considered able to purchase their own home. These means they often live with as many as twenty people to a house. The women do all the cooking, cleaning, and gardening. The men do all the farm work, work in saw mills cutting lumber and building for outsiders. (People who are not Amish) You are never invited into their home and often are ignored by them because they are busy trying to provide for their families. They do not have to abide by the states education requirements or age for marriage because they are considered a nation within our nation. The only time they have anything to do with OUTSIDERS is when there is a medical emergency or a legal problem they can not solve inside their community. They work as a unit so when a young couple is considered able to maintain their own place the community goes together and buys a piece of property or a farm. All property belongs to the community not to the individual living on it. They are great builders and carpenters so are in great demand by OUTSIDERS who are willing to pay to have them build either buildings or furniture for them. Some hospitals and doctors will take the quilts the women make for payment because they have such a high value and not often sold or permitted outside the community. The women bake bread and other goods to sell in stores as well as make cheese and butter which is sold in stores close to their home. In the Spring you can purchase vegetables from them because they have greenhouses where they raise vegetables which are ready about the time others are starting to plant their gardens.
They are a hard working community that does not like to have their picture taken or anyone to visit their homes, schools or churches. They have this freedom in the US because they are considered a religious sect who does not believe as other Christians do. They are exempt from the service and some taxes. Their life is hard and they are becoming fewer and fewer in certain areas yet people will travel for miles just to hire them to work for them or buy their goods. If they live too far from you and you are lucky enough to get them to build a building for you it is your responsiabily to transport them to and from the site because they do not own vehicles of their own.
I hope these pictures will help you to understand about one of the cultures in our state that does not use modern transportation.