By Kevin Williams
I will admit that I am not as familiar with the Wayne County, Indiana Amish as I am other groups. This is largely because I am not as familiar in general with the Lancaster County Amish and that is where this group has their roots. They have a whole different set of customs and traditions.
We spotted this small structure/building in a field at an Amish home in Wayne County. My first thought, and I probably still lean this direction, is that it is an outhouse. Although the middle of a field seems a strange spot for one. You'd think if you have to go answer nature's call in the night you wouldn't want to have to negotiate a dark field. Most outhouses I see in Amish settlements are closer to the home. The photos here show the front and the back. Many outhouses I've visited have similar windows and are set back some ways from the house. Yet this just seems like an odd spot for an outhouse.
Yet, I did see other similar-looking structures at other homes that had to have been phone shacks. For instance, there was one right at the end of someone's driveway. Clearly not a spot for an outhouse. The style was similar to this. Yet, for a phone shack,there were no wires going in or out of any of the structures. So I suppose this opens up the possibility that there is yet another purpose for these shacks. Does anyone know?