A few more of Cindy Seigle’s Orange County, Indiana Amish photos with a few of my own comments attached.
Again, we aren’t 100% sure which of the two Orange County groups each particular picture is from, but apparently there are similarities between the two groups when it comes to dress and technology.
In this photo you can see obvious signs of a lower-order buggy–no SMV triangle, side-view mirrors, or windows.
The father’s bob-style haircut is typical of the Swartzentruber group, but again, as there are similarities in appearance between the two settlements, he could in fact be a member of the Paoli group.
Some Amish kids enjoy large playgrounds with softball diamonds. Others make due with what they have. Meyers and Nolt write that Orange County Amish schools are likely the most austere in Indiana. Still looks like a lot of fun.
Slowly but surely. By foot is sometimes the simplest way to go.
Some people express surprise at seeing more mainstream Amish in sneakers and tennis shoes. Though I’m not sure that the lower-order groups in these photos would approve of such footwear, comfortable modern shoes are common in many Amish communities.
In any case, the Amish do not avoid comfort for the sake of suffering. Amish appreciate comfort as much as you and I do. Technological restrictions and dress guidelines help to preserve community by serving as a symbolic separation from the world and hampering destructive outside influences.
Open-front buggies are also a sign of a more conservative Amish group. Many Amish venture into town quite frequently to do shopping or on general errands.
Do the Amish ever live in town? In some communities, such as Topeka, Indiana, or Mount Hope, Ohio, a large percentage of a hamlet’s residents are actually Amish. Sometimes elderly Amish will move into town, and some will sell their horse if they become infirm or find they are able to manage without it.
Steel wheels are par for the course for most Amish-owned farm equipment. Rubber is used in some groups but is less common. Steel wheels work fine in the fields, but are a bit ‘unhandy’ on asphalt, which is the point.
I remember listening to a steel-wheeled tractor approach on a rural byway near Kalona, Iowa. You could hear it quite a long way off. Things are not always too quiet and peaceful in Amish America.