After regretting (on the original buggy sign post) that we had no Allen County, Indiana sign, reader Torey has kindly shared this photo, taken near the town of Grabill.
You may be aware that Amish in Allen County are considered “Swiss Amish”. Swiss Amish differ in a few ways from most other Amish (most Amish are considered to be of “Pennsylvania German” ethnicity).
Swiss Amish speak a different German dialect, have different last names, and only permit open-top carriages.
The Allen County sign is one of the few I’ve seen to depict an open carriage. I like it because I’ve always found it a pretty funny image. It looks like a plank of wood floating over some wheels, with a driver sitting on top of an upturned bucket (or something). Allen County carriages are typically a bit more elaborate than that, but come to think of it, not a bad rendition.
Also, this is the only sign I know of where the buggy is traveling from left to right rather than right to left. A clever commentary on conservative Swiss Amish culture? Not sure the artist had that in mind, but it’s fun to think.
I also came across another open-top buggy sign, from a Mennonite area of Ontario. However, as you can see by the photo, some of these Old Order Mennonite carriages do in fact have tops.
By the way these are not the victims of mass buggy breakdown; they are apparently selling maple syrup. Looks cold guys, hope you sold a bunch.
Finally, Keith James shares the photo above, taken in the snow-covered St. Joseph County, Michigan Amish community. Amish have lived in Michigan for 100+ years.
The St. Joseph County community, located near the town of Centreville, is Michigan’s oldest and largest. The community has ties to the Elkhart/Lagrange County settlement just over the border in Indiana. You’ll find more about those connections at the link above.
UPDATE: Brad Igou of Amish Country News just shared the non-Amish buggy sign below, taken in Bird-in-Hand, PA.
I believe it may be unique. It also, seemingly, has disappeared. I don’t know if it was stolen or taken down for other reasons, but luckily I got a picture of it. It was located just before the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company in Bird-in-Hand, PA. Interestingly, just this week on the way to work, there was a fire alert to the volunteers, and I saw several Amish men on their way to the fire company on their scooters. That’s all part of what makes living in Lancaster so special… the volunteerism, unusual sights, and those great fire company dinners!
Photo credit: Ontario Amish-Andrea Williams