I thought I would share some last observations from my visit to Adams County, Ohio's "Wheat Ridge" community. One thing that caught my eye was what looked like a "miniature" bench wagon parked in someone's driveway. Bench wagons - as the name implies - are storage vehicles used to cart benches from location to location. It is a little difficult to discern size from this photo, but this bench wagon is considerably smaller than ones I've seen elsewhere. Since Amish church services are generally held in private homes, the bench wagon provides a means to transport materiel from place to place. In addition to the benches on which the church congregants sit upon, the wagon also contains the songbooks (Ausbund) and sometimes even silverware and dishes. Most bench wagons also contain a "lost and found" box for someone who leaves that errant glove or bonnet behind. I asked an Amishman why this bench wagon appeared so much smaller and he didn't really answer (although I have a theory which I'll share). He did say that the benches in the wagon are 8-foot long and that many churches elsewhere use longer benches. One theory I have is that Adams County, Ohio is such a hilly settlement (not just gentle rollers, but STEEP hills) that a smaller bench wagon is probably easier for the horses to pull. So the churches here have opted to go with shorter benches that will pack into a tinier space. Here are a few other scenes from my visit to Adams County before we say goodbye to this settlement for awhile.
About Kevin Williams
Hi, my name is Kevin Williams and I am owner of Oasis Newsfeatures and editor of The Amish Cook newspaper column.