Amish buggies come in a range of hues

amish buggy colorsAmish buggies come in a wide range of colors.  Historical reasons for the differences in carriage-top coloration are often unclear.  However, buggy design and colorations are important indicators of identity within Amish society.

Buggy color, like other aspects of carriage design, may be dictated by the church Ordnung. Color and style of buggy often indicate an owner’s affiliation or community.

Amish buggy colors vary:

  • Black-black-topped buggies are common in the Midwest in communities such as Holmes County, Ohio and Elkhart/Lagrange Counties in Indiana.  Black buggies are also found in Smicksburg, Pennsylvania, and among the Renno Amish in Big Valley, Pennsylvania.  Designs vary among communities.
  • Gray-a gray top indicates a Lancaster County buggy or one of its daughter settlements.
  • Brown-brown-topped carriages are found at the Amish community at New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and at its daughter settlements in New York.
  • White-White-topped buggies indicate a Nebraska Amish settlement, the only Amish group to use the white top.  Nebraska buggies have an open front, lacking any sort of windshield.  Nebraska Amish are found at Big Valley, Pennsylvania, and also near Andover, Ohio.
  • Yellow-Unusual bright-yellow buggies are driven by the Byler Amish, one of the three main Old Order groups found in Big Valley in Pennsylvania.  The Byler Amish group is the smallest of the three Amish affiliations in the Valley.

The Swiss Amish communities at Allen and Adams Counties in Indiana do not permit tops on buggies.  Some may allow an enclosed box in the back of the carriage for children to ride in during inclement weather.

For further information, see:

Plain Buggies: Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren Horse-Drawn Transportation, Stephen Scott

Amish Online Encyclopedia:  Why do the Amish drive buggies?


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