Buggy Basics

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When most people – myself included – think of horse-drawn buggies in Amish country, we imagine charcoal black carriages clattering down rural roads.  And that is, in most cases, what you’ll see. These buggies are very traditional black seen in Hardin County, Ohio.  But there are various Amish churches, for reasons of religion and tradition, that adhere to different colors. I’ve shown photos of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and Cuba Lake, New York’s chocolate-colored buggies.  There are, however, some Amish communities – primarily in Pennsylvania – that drive snowflake-white colored buggies and, yes, there is even one small group of Amish that use “butter buggies,” (their color being the bright yellow of home-churned butter).  I’ve never actually seen a butter buggy, but I can imagine that they’d be much more difficult to miss on the roads, that is for sure.  The white-topped buggies belong to the ultra-conservative “Nebraska Amish” (who actually live in Pennsylvania), and the butter buggies belong to the very conservative “Byler Amish” group.  Here’s an interesting article that gives a bit more history and background about the various Amish groups living in what is known as the “Big Valley” of Central Pennsylvania.  Thanks to Dawn Esch for the white and yellow buggy photos! Have you ever encountered one of the white or yellow buggies?  Any other colors?   Gray-topped buggies, by the way, are quite common in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  The gray-topped buggy shown here was one I actually photographed in Wayne County, Indiana, but that group moved to the area from Lancaster County, Indiana. So as Amish settlements grow and church members redistribute geographically, you increasingly see a patchwork of buggy colors in different communities based on the historical ties of each. 

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The Discussion

  1. Linda Bolt says:


    Interesting. Never knew about the yellow butter buggies before.

    So, is “very conservative” less conservative than “ultra-conservative”?

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  2. Kevin,
    I believe that there are “Nebraska or Yoder Amish” in Andover Ohio.

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  3. Kevin,

    The pictures of the white and butter colored buggies came from Dawn Eshbach.

    Thanks. :)
    Heather D. recently posted..A "Manly" HatMy Profile

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