57 responses to 5 Amish buggy styles

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 03:55)

    My vote goes to the grey-top buggy, anyone else have an opinion on style?

    I have no idea which ride is more comfortable, but I imagine Amish buggy rides in the spring in Amish land is nothing less than fairy-tale like charming.

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    kristin jager
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:01)

    It is funny that you posted this today. One of my Amish Living friends and I were just chatting about buggies yesterday. We were curious about the differnces between the buggies in various settlements/communities. I knew that they often differ by color. I really like the Dover/Deleware buggy . It is quite stylish.(especially considering they are so plain) Thanks so much for sharing about the buggy styles.

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    kristin jager
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:20)

    Okay, third try to post.
    It is funny that you posted about the 5 different buggy styles today. My Amish Living friend and I were just chatting about that yesterday. We were curious about the differences in the buggies from one Amish community to the next. I knew they varied in color, but did not know the specifics. She said she could not really tell the difference-and aside from color I do as well. Actually, before I joined Amish Living, Amish America and Amish Hearts, I did not know there were any differences at all. At one time they basically all look the same to me. But, I know there are differences . Your post and pictures really help.
    I really like the Dover/Delaware buggies. Quite fancy for the Amish (they are so plain), it is a bit surprising.
    A couple of questions for you Erik. Are there only 5 different kinds of buggies ? Or, did you just write about 5 different kinds that you personally saw on your quest? Question #2, are all the buggies made out of fiberglass , now? I just viewed a DVD about the Amish and showed a father/son team making fiberglass buggies. Just wondering. I certainly hope this comment posts!!

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Alice Aber
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:22)

    Oh my goodness, when I saw the Dover buggy I thought of a hearse. Is there that much difference in size or are my eyes playing tricks on me? Speaking of a hearse, do Amish have a hearse buggy for funerals? Is there such a thing? Would it be an open or closed buggy?

    Blessings, Alice

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    Stephen B.
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:27)

    It’s interesting to see that only the Dover buggy has side or rear windows for anybody riding in back. I never noticed that lack of openings behind the driver’s row before.

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    Karen Pollard
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:36)

    I live in KY where the black buggy is noticed most frequently in the Amish communities around here and in southern Indiana.

    Off topic though, please pray for the family whose buggy was caught in flash flooding yesterday. Three of the four children’s bodies have been recovered, but one is still missing. How tragic to lose four children like this. This family sure needs our prayers.

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    Marilyn in New York
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 08:51)

    My thoughts and prayers are with that family. That is a tragic thing to have happen. I read a small article about that on the edge of Amish Stories this morning. That is so heart breaking.

    I love the Dover buggy. That is cute and different from the other carriages. I am surprised that the rest of the buggies don’t have back windows so they can see who is behind them. It makes you wonder how many times buggy owners have turned in front of someone because they didn’t know there was someone behind them. Rear view mirrors don’t always do the job.
    Marilyn

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Andy Dufresne
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 09:01)

    Great photos and information. Makes me more aware of the differences in buggies from the three different Amish communities out here in Western New York. We have brown and black buggies with slight variations in them.

    Andy

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    Robin Miller
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 09:15)

    Very interesting! I have only seen the grey-topped buggies from trips to Lancaster and also in Southern Maryland where I grew up. The black enclosed buggies used in Delaware are rather depressing. They remind me of armoured cars, hearses? I can see where the young folks might get excited over those bright yellow models … :-)

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    Amanda Creasy
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 09:36)

    I grew up in Crawford County, PA and saw basic black buggies more often than any other. However, these buggies were not enclosed, did not have a rear-view mirror, or any reflectors other than the orange triangle in the back. Once in a good long while, we’d see a brown topped buggy…usually right around the wedding season and/or if an auction was going to be held. Very interesting to see all the different types! The Dover buggies look positively lavish compared to the ones used in Atlantic!

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Alice Mary
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 11:36)

    I’d have to agree with Alice Aber and Robin–the Dovers do look like hearses to me (like something out of the Addams Family). And how could you carry things in them—there’s a lot of hip room, but since it narrows toward the bottom, your feet and legs would seem to be cramped. I think the Nebraska buggies would be very sensible for the summer, with their “open to the breeze” front and white, sun-reflecting tops. That brings me to the question of, how do (IF they do) the Amish change their buggies (accessories?) for a change in seasons? I heard that some buggies are “open”, no tops whatsoever, all year long (that would be one way to keep ME home!)Is that even done? (Add or remove windows or a wind shield of some type?)And do they use sleighs (in areas with heavy winter snows)?

    This was very interesting! I like the Lancaster grey-top, myself.

    And yes, let’s all keep that family in our thoughts and prayers. I heard the news on the radio just before I left for a doctor’s appt. It brought tears to my eyes. I guess it doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you’re in, when you cross a flooded road, you’re at nature’s mercy.

    Be safe!

    Alice Mary

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Leo
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 12:38)

    The Swartzentruber Amish here in Oswego County NY drive black buggies with no windshields, electric lights or orange SMV reflectors. For night driving, they hang a kerosene lantern from the buggy. They do have the rear of the buggies outlined in gray reflective tape.
    I have seen the white top buggies in Andover, Ohio.

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    sadie crandle
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 12:52)

    I wish to correct something you posted in connection with the Nebraska Amish. They are also to be found in Snyder County, PA … a smaller offshoot of the Big Valley Nebraska’s but a separate community nonetheless.

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    Erik\Amish America
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:08)

    Ah Sadie I think you got me.Thanks for the correction.
    I was thinking 2 states and forgot the other Pa community.
    But who knows with the way Amish move there may be others already!

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    sadie crandle
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:22)

    Well Erik, I only know this because they are my neighbors … sort of. They are just over the hill from where I live.

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    Bob Rosier
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:28)

    I know this doesn’t follow the post, but I have such sad news. 3 Amish children die when buggy flips in Ky.
    DUBLIN, Ky. – Emergency workers in rural Kentucky are slogging through mud and high water looking for an 11-year-old Amish girl swept away when the buggy she was riding in flipped in a rain-swollen creek, killing three other children.

    Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said Friday that emergency workers have already found the bodies of a 5-month-old, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. Three of the children were siblings and one was a cousin.

    Two adults and three other children were able to escape. The horse that was pulling the buggy also survived.

    Redmon says the group was traveling in a downpour in the dark and did not see how deep the water was or how fast it was moving.

    They were in Dublin, a sparsely populated farming community in far western Kentucky.

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:37)

    @Alice You know when I saw the Dover buggy I thought the same thing. I just did not want to say it. However, I imagine in cold winters it attracts sunlight and warmth perhaps.

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:52)

    Wish I could comment more-am writing this from my new kindle at the airport waiting to take off for Poland. It is a fun device but web browser is kinda slow. But I never thought about Dover buggies looking like hearses.It is a good observation.

    Also prayers for that Kentucky family. Cant imagine what it must be like.

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    Alice Aber
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 13:59)

    Erik, you have a safe flight. When you get a chance please tell us just what the Amish use to transport bodies to funerals?

    My heart and prayers goes out to the Kentucky family as well, such a sad thing. :-(

    Mark, I guess I could not help myself, LOL. I went back and looked at the picture again. Even the back opens, so I imagine it could be set up as a hearse.

    Blessings, Alice

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 14:43)

    Just got in. Alice Erik covers Amish funerals/transporting on his site. Richard.Pennsylvania

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 22:10)

    Poland? What takes you there Erik?

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    Slightly-handled-Order-man
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 22:45)

    Don’t be mad at me Beth, I’m just kidding, but I suspect the plane from the “Not something you see every day…” post is what will take Erik to Poland. I just hope it won’t be too cold, a friend of mine born in Poland tells me parts of Poland has been unusually cold this year.

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    Kristin Jager
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 23:24)

    Hey Mark, I saw you commented about comfort. I cannot imagine any of them to be too comfortable. I do not think they are overly concerned about comfort. I have never ridden in a buggy , but sure would love to. Maybe someday.

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    Kate
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 25th, 2011 at 23:24)

    Bob,
    That article is somewhat old now because they have found the 11 year old girl who was also dead. It is *so* said and like Erik said I just cannot imagine how that must feel. The 11 year old was a niece to the family in the buggy so those parents lost 3 children plus a niece. How awful!

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 09:42)

    Good morning folks… a somewhat cloudy day here in the Lancaster/Lebanon area. And i hope Erik had a comfortable flight on his way to Poland. Since we had a good amount of rain here on fri, quite abit of snow has melted as a result. So the weather looks to be all clear over here as snow is concerned. Enjoy your weekend. Richard. Pennsylvania

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    Michelle V from FL
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 14:11)

    Beth- According to SHOM Erik got married and just completed his honeymoon! Now, he’s on his way back home to Poland
    All in good fun,
    Michelle

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    Bob Rosier
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 15:18)

    Alice, I thought the same thing about the Dover buggys. I have a sister-in-laws in Dover, and she said that’s what they look like.

    Thanks Kate for the update, although not good news. Can’t imagine how hard it is on the parents.

    I still like the Lancaster grey buggy the best. I have ridden in them several times. A little bumpy and noisy, but Okay. I’ll send a picture to Erik & see if he would like to post. I took the picture from a buggy with 2 kids on scooters up in front.

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 16:24)

    Hi everyone, just touched down in Poland. It might be a day or two before I get over jet lag and back in the swing of things but wanted to jump in and put down the rumors I was on a honeymoon or fleeing the country on raw milk charges :)

    Beth I sometimes mention it on the blog, but I actually live a good chunk of the year in Poland. My family is from here originally though I was born and raised in Raleigh NC.

    I just spent 3 weeks in Raleigh and on the Amish trip but I wanted to get back to Poland to catch some more of this lovely Siberian winter they’ve got going on over here.

    I don’t want to be too grossfeelich (“big feeling”) but I might share a short piece on the blog in future to clear up any confusion and rumors about where I plant my feet ;)

    5 Amish buggy styles

  • How do Amish transport their dead at funerals?

    Alice on the funerals question there are a couple of posts here that might be of interest, the first one has a bit on funeral transport:

    http://amishamerica.com/what-is-an-amish-funeral-like/

    http://amishamerica.com/where-do-amish-bury-their-dead/

    On a similar subject I just read the update to the Kentucky drowning story. Apparently there was a chance the 11 year old could have survived but in the end that was not to be.

    On the Dover buggies I just had someone in Poland tell me (without me mentioning it first) that they looked like hearses too. So looks like the impression is crossing national bounds here.

    How do Amish transport their dead at funerals?

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    Alice Aber
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 16:42)

    Thanks Erik, I will check those out. Glad you made it back to Poland safe and sound.

    Yes the news from Kentucky is very sad indeed. My hearts and prayers go out to the families.

    Blessings, Alice

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    Alice Aber
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 16:50)

    That helped a little, but it didn’t show me what an Amish Hearse Wagon looks like. By the term wagon I am assuming it is opened rather than a closed buggy. Not sure if that is necessarily true or not just a guess.

    Oh well, maybe its not really that important, I am just curious, LOL.

    Blessings, Alice

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 17:01)

    Hi Alice, I don’t have an image of my own but there’s one here, you may need a plug-in to view it though: http://www.life.com/image/72097268

    Also here: http://books.google.pl/books?id=VVRXZhHHOdMC&pg=PA159&lpg=PA159&dq=amish+hearse+
    funeral&source=bl&ots=G5byWGz5He&sig=jK3h4rQ-8OV-m7gJZ21mF6tS5fw&hl=en&ei=EnhpTanNJIKg8QP39q3yBw&sa=X&oi=
    book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=
    amish%20hearse%20funeral&f=false

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Hershey Sensenig
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 17:22)

    The yellow one kinda drives me buggy. Does it really need a saftey flag? The entire buggy is a saftey flag!

    The last picture… I never saw a horse pulling a hearse behind it!

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    Alice Aber
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 18:11)

    Thanks Erik!! Yes they do look similar to the Dover buggy except the Dover buggies are curved on the sides. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of those pictures. This has been very interesting to me. :-D

    Blessings, Alice

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    Gordon Bjorkman
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 18:20)

    My thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with the families thatlost the children. How sad, so very, very sad. We need to pray for them.

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    Slightly-handled-Order-man
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 22:36)

    The Amish church wagon shown in “The Amish of Juniata County, Pennsylvania” certainly looks like a lumbering beast to me. I think if I were looking to attend an Amish church service on any given Sunday, I’d certainly look for one of those on a property.

    I think that the church wagon is a match for modern style vehicles, in terms of sheer size. Don’t you?

    Michelle V from FL; Don’t you think Erik would look nice with an Amish-married-man’s believers’ beard. I’m not saying in this thread that Erik is married, but from the pictures I’ve seen, the beard would fit his face nicely.

    I can’t/won’t live down my comical error, can I? ;)

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Many styles of Amish buggies (February 26th, 2011 at 23:02)

    Many styles of Amish buggies

    Kristin, back to your question up top on the wonderful world of buggies.

    These are just the 5 styles I encountered just on the recent trip. There are many different styles though. And a fiberglass box is common nowadays.

    If you are interested, the book to read is “Plain Buggies” by Stephen Scott. Steve probably knows more about plain transportation than anyone. In the book he goes into not just Amish buggies but other Plain transport as well.

    As for fancy buggies, the Dover look is definitely unusual. In my opinion the fanciest Amish buggies are found in Holmes County though. Among some groups, particularly New Order, you will see quite fancy curved decorative molding above the front (windshield area). To me that has always seemed a highly unnecessary bit of flair :)

    Many styles of Amish buggies

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 26th, 2011 at 23:06)

    Shom, on the church wagon, I’d just put it this way: I wouldn’t want to run into one. The car might actually lose in that impact. Lot of weight with the long wooden benches loaded in there.

    And no beard for me yet!

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    sonofagun
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 27th, 2011 at 08:10)

    You can always purchase one along the way if you go to a stoning (shunning?) but be prepared to haggle over the price.

    (;

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    Lindsay
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 27th, 2011 at 08:34)

    Have a paczki for me Erik! One of my Polish co-workers brings them in every year from a Polish bakery…they are impossible to resist!

    I find the yellow top buggy interesting…wow is it LOUD!

    I kind of like the simplicity of the Nebraska wagon…though in winter you would certainly have to wear several layers just to take a ride in that thing.

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    Michelle V from FL
    5 Amish buggy styles (February 27th, 2011 at 09:54)

    SHOM and Erik
    Aren’t blogs fun:)
    “Eric Weston” you better watch out before you know it we’ll have you so married, bearded, and with 15 children running about ;)

    I just love the “Big Banana” since yellow is my favorite color.

    Can’t wait to see more pics and read about the rest of your adventures from the “honeymoon” heehee
    Have a Blessed Sunday All,
    Michelle V

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    5 Amish buggy styles (February 28th, 2011 at 03:49)

    Lindsay, paczek, you got it :) This is actually a big week for eating them, Thursday is a traditional day for that. (Paczek is a Polish donut, usually filled with jelly btw)

    Michelle, you got it!

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    kristin jager
    5 Amish buggy styles (March 4th, 2011 at 07:03)

    I know this has nothing to do with buggies…back to Poland. You said your family comes from Poland..on both sides or mom’s? Just wondering because Weisner is not a typical Polish name (I am Polish too, so I can be bold to say this). Oh, and thanks for commenting on my questions about the syles of buggies.

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    5 Amish buggy styles (March 5th, 2011 at 04:57)

    Sure thing Kristin. I’m full Polish, both sides. Mom’s maiden name is much more Polish-sounding. But you get quite a few German-sounding names in Poland. In fact, a few years back, the prime minister of Poland was named “Leszek Miller”. He could almost be an Amish guy with that name :)

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    Lynn from Delaware
    5 Amish buggy styles (March 16th, 2011 at 09:21)

    I believe that those Dover buggies may have evolved out of a need for safety. I have seen the more traditional buggies in Dover before. Unfortunately they travel in areas inhabited by ignorant and sometimes dangerous people.

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    Dan D
    5 Amish buggy styles (August 22nd, 2012 at 13:17)

    For many years there has been a Nebraska Amish community in eastern Penns Valley, in Centre County Pennsylvania. The Seven Mountains, a rugged, forested Appalachian ridge and valley section separates Penns Valley from Kishacoquillas Valley, better known as Big Valley, in neighboring Mifflin County, PA. As another commenter noted, there are a few Nebraska Amish settled in parts of Snyder County as well, Centre and Snyder Counties each border Mifflin County. Travel over the Seven Mountains on steep state forest roads is not an easy buggy journey.

    Penns Valley has numerous Lancaster County Amish with the gray-topped buggies as well, most of them more recent arrivals than the older Nebraska community.

    5 Amish buggy styles

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    Jessica
    5 Amish buggy styles (April 29th, 2013 at 18:50)

    I was wondering if any one knew the dimensions were of an Amish buggy. My mother is into miniatures and wants to make a mini Amish buggy. She needs the dimensions of everything for the buggy. If someone could help I would appreciate it very much..

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      OldKat
      Dimensions on Amish buggies (May 1st, 2013 at 06:42)

      Dimensions on Amish buggies

      Jessica,

      As you can tell from the pictures above there are various types or styles of Amish buggies, depending on the community where they are used. Each type would have a different set of dimensions from other types. Even within a single type or style of buggy there would probably be variations in exact dimensions from one unit to the next depending on who built it. I guess what I am saying is you probably need to determine which type or style you wish to pattern it after first and then seek dimensions after you have made your choice.

      There is a book on the various styles of Amish buggies, authors last name is Scott I believe. It is a small, inexpensive book and I have a copy at home. I can’t recall if dimensions are included or not, but I will check for you and post what I find.

      Dimensions on Amish buggies

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        jessica
        5 Amish buggy styles (May 1st, 2013 at 06:50)

        Oldkat

        She is looking for a pennsylvania family style Amish buggy. I will have to loom for the book. Thank you for your help.

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          OldKat
          I found it (May 1st, 2013 at 20:40)

          I found it

          The book is titled: Plain Buggies; Amish, Mennonite and Brethern Horse Drawn Transportation. Authored by Stephen Scott. It also has a line on the front cover which reads People’s Place Book No.3.

          It has a chapter (#10)on buggies found in Pennsylvania, of which there are several styles. I suspect what you are looking for is information on the Lancaster Grey Top buggy. Unfortunately there are no dimensions in the book, but it would probably be helpful for you to buy a copy just for the background info and pictures.

          On the back inside cover is a notation that reads “People’s Place Books are published by The People’s Place a museum and heritage center specializing in Amish and Mennonite life, located in Lancaster County in the village of Intercourse, Pa”. Their phone number is 800 /762 7171. They very well may have what you are looking for, or be able to help you get the info.

          Please keep us posted on your progress. That sounds like a neat idea. I’d love to see pictures if you and your mother actually get one built.

          Hope this helps & Good Luck!

          I found it

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    meloni
    wasn't a buggy but was traveling... (December 30th, 2013 at 00:15)

    wasn't a buggy but was traveling...

    i was in upstate new york about 3 years ago and passed a man being pulled by a horse and he was standing on a wooden pallet, like he was water skiing down the highway standing on wood being pulled by a horse instead of a boat….was amazing :)

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    Sandra Kathleen
    Safer buggies (January 17th, 2014 at 21:21)

    Safer buggies

    What is the safest buggy? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have all Amish communities have a conversation about how to build safer buggies while maintaining a “traditional” style?

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      5 Amish buggy styles (January 18th, 2014 at 11:08)

      I don’t know the answer to your question about the safest buggy or if that has even been studied. Some of them are built with more sturdy materials (though I’m not sure how much difference it makes when buggy meets car); some have storm fronts –the enclosed front and “windshields”– while others do not (not sure which would be more advantageous during a crash, if it can even be said).

      I think safety improvements are mainly made on a bottom-up level with innovations like placing the battery which powers lights outside of the buggy (you can see it attached to the undercarriage in some of the photos above). Thanks to technology we can make cars a lot safer but when you’re dealing with a vehicle that has to be pulled by an animal there’s only so much you can do.

      5 Amish buggy styles

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    Christine
    Native Miffling County Resident (March 14th, 2014 at 17:33)

    Native Miffling County Resident

    Very nice write up. I just wanted to let you know that there was a bit of a typo above. Mifflin County’s Big Valley/ Kish Valley which is was it is also called for short is in central Pennsylvania not Ohio. Just some helpful info! :)

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