A Beautiful Morning in Lancaster County (16 Photos)

I arrived Thursday evening in Lancaster County, will be staying with Amish friends here for the next several days.

I was out and about yesterday and snapped a few photos to share. It was a brisk, beautiful morning.

Below are a few of the things I saw. I meant to post this for you yesterday, but let’s just say the internet is limited around here 🙂 :

Before the lights went on.


Things got brighter quickly.


School bells ring at 8:15.


Lancaster County is a rural county but at the same time home to nearly half a million people. The roads buggies share with cars can be busy.


A typical Lancaster farm.


Lancaster County is full of interesting place names. Stumptown is just one of many. Previously home to many trees, perhaps? Anyway, thataway to Stumptown Mennonite Church.


Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop.


The Bank of Bird-in-Hand. This is a recently-opened Amish-backed financial institution we’ve written about here before. Don’t let the modest exterior fool you; in its first year of operations it tallied over $60 million in loans.


A typical Lancaster farm.


Old cemeteries are always interesting to me. You pass them frequently driving around the county. Amish cemeteries typically have a distinct look, often enclosed by a white picket fence.


Barn near a historic mill.


“Downtown” Intercourse. This is the center of tourist activity in the community.


Seen outside a local business. “Denkie fa da gaul sie scheisse uf picka!”

Even if you don’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch, you can probably figure out what that means.


This time in English, outside the Pequea Valley Public Library.


Some clouds on the horizon which suggested to me that snow or something was happening. A few flurries came down near me later in the day, but not too much. It sure felt cold enough for it.

On that note, I have been sleeping in the mostly unheated upstairs of my friend’s home so that means extra blankets and a sleeping cap. I always seem to sleep better in the cold though.


A cupola business, also Intercourse area. I remember stopping in here when selling books in the area, almost ten years ago now. They didn’t buy. But nice cupolas.


Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for all your visits and contributions here. I hope your 2017 is great.

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    1. I so enjoy going to shipsawana Indiana, would love some day to visit Lancaster PA

      1. Nancy K. Paquin

        Lancaster is Lovely - but Paradise is as well!

        When you have the time to visit in Lancaster, do enjoy the Historical Building. I’ve forgotten the name – perhaps the Amish and Mennonite Historic Society building. While not in a settlement, I enjoy a somewhat simple life amidst a too busy community.

    2. Very nice photos

      Thank you for posting the photos around Lancaster County…I like to take pictures of the rural settings out here in western Nebraska, also. The prairie may seem boring to some folks, but it always makes me feel peaceful. When I get into a city, that feeling disappears.
      Our lives truly are bonding with the land where we find ourselves.
      God bless you in the new year.

      1. Nancy Turner

        Loved the pictures also

        I always feel just as Ruth (an old friend of mine) does about being out in the country….there is something peaceful and wonderful about it….that you do not find in a city…….Nancy Turner

        1. Thanks Ruth, and Nancy! My pleasure. It was a beautiful day.

        2. Rita zacharias

          I too love the peacefulness od Lancaster country

    3. Carol

      The New Year

      Hi Erik, Nice pics! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time with your friends.
      Szczeliwego Nowego Roku! God bless you and your family, Carol

      1. Thanks Carol! Szczęśliwego nowego roku to you too 🙂

    4. Bob the Quaker

      Great Pictures Erik

      You had good clouds in most of your pictures & I have learned how important that can be. All blue skies are nice, but clouds with all their variations really enhance.

      I still do homeschool in science & math for 2 grandkids, & I always try to think of “cool” things to keep them interested. Did you know, for instance, a typical Cumulus Cloud weighs over 1 million pounds?

      Finally, if you get by the Bird in Hand Bake Shop from October to December, they will always give you a free calendar for the coming year if you ask. Usually several choices…covered bridges, barns, etc.

      Happy New Year to all.

      1. Thanks Bob! Yes the color and contrast Saturday were great. Really the nicest day of my trip from that perspective.

        Fascinating about the cumulus cloud. I guess that would make sense. I think that would be a good factoid to share in an Amish school.

        I didn’t get in to BiH Bake Shop this time, just took the photo and turned around in the parking lot 🙂

    5. Ron

      Hello from Canada

      Hello Eric
      My family and I visited that area in August. Nice country and people. I found your website after that and have been following you ever since. We would definetly like to return some time in the future. Enjoy your site very much, keep up the good work. Have a blessed new year.

      1. Hi Ron, glad you found us and hope you continue to enjoy it. And thanks for the kind words 🙂

    6. Judy Pasqualone

      Love Your Emails

      Hi…went to Lancaster many years ago for a weekend…got to ride in a buggy…I sat in little seat next to the driver…the horse was “right there” and he proceeded to drop a load and pass some gas! Lol…it was so funny. Love the Amish customs and was born in Indiana, Pa…live in Baltimore County…have Amish cookbooks too…great people.

      1. Whoa sounds hazardous Judy! 😀 Thanks for reading and stopping by to comment

    7. alberta wells

      Loved the pictures of Lancaster County.
      I love taking pictures of the country side, also.
      I am hoping to go to Lancaster County and see what it
      is all about. Would really like to take a ride in an
      Amish Buggy..Thanks so much for sharing the pictures
      and Happy New Year..

    8. Jim (Jakob) Kramer

      The Beautiful Morning in Lancaster County

      Danke nochmals für die schönen Worte und Bilder, die Sie uns so oft bringen. Ich bin froh, dass es Ihnen gelungen ist, nach Lancaster County zu reisen und bei Ihren amischen Freunden zu bleiben. Das muss aber herrlich sein!

      Ich kann Ihnen sagen, ein ungeheiztes Schlafzimmer kann sehr gesund sein, vor allem, wenn man wie Sie schrieben, genügend Bettdecken und eine Schlafmütze hat. In Deutschland, als ich vor vielen Jahren Student war, gab es noch die schönen Daunendecken: ganz dick, mit Gänsefedern gefüllt. So schön warm waren sie, dass man die Hitze aus dem Gerät gar nicht vermisste! Wenn ich so etwas hierzulande finden könnte (ich weiss, ähnliche kann man hier bekommen, welche allerdings ein kleines Vermögen kosten und immerhin nicht ganz dieselbe sind wie damals), würde ich schier vor Freude springen! In Augsburg gab es sogar einen “Putzdienst” dafür: einen LKV mit dem Schild an der Seite sah ich eines morgens. Ich fragte meine Freunde danach, und sie sagten, man gebe die Federn aus der Decke an den Dienst und bekomme eine groβe Tüte, die man in die Decke stecken soll. Praktisch, gell? Solange sie saubere sind, ist es egal, wer sie zuletzt hatte. In dem Nordosten der USA wäre das doch auch etwas Gutes, finde ich, nur kaufen Amerikaner kaum die guten Daunendecken. Die amischen “Quilts” sind aber auch wunderbar, nur anders. Sehen Sie, die Deutschen waren immer praktisch denkend, und ich finde ja, die Amischleute stehen den Vorfahren in nichts nach.

      Ein glückliches, gesundes und erfolgreiches neues Jahr wünscht Ihnen


      Jim (Jakob) Kramer
      (Der Kerl aus Pittsburgh, PA)

      1. Lorelei

        My curiosity!

        Since I was not sure if everyone knows of good sites to translate languages, I am pasting the translation here. Love this site so much! And this post was so interesting:

        Thanks again for the beautiful words and pictures that you bring us so often. I am glad you have been able to travel to Lancaster County and stay with your Amish friends. But that must be wonderful!

        I can tell you an unheated bedroom can be very healthy, especially if you wrote like you did, enough duvets and a sleepy hat. In Germany, when I was a student many years ago, there were still the beautiful downstairs: very thick, filled with goose feathers. They were so warm that they did not miss the heat from the unit! If I could find something like this (I know, you can get similar ones here, which cost however a small fortune and nevertheless not quite the same as then), I would jump almost for joy! In Augsburg there was even a “cleaning service” for it: an LKV with the sign at the side I saw one morning. I asked my friends about it, and they said they were going to give the feathers out of the blanket to the service and got a big bag to put into the blanket. Practical, right? As long as they are clean, it does not matter who they had last. In the North East of the USA, that would be something good, I think, only Americans barely buy the good down. The amic “quilts” are also wonderful, only different. You see, the Germans have always been practical, and I think the Amish men are in no way inferior to their ancestors.

        A happy, healthy and successful new year wishes you

        1. Jim, thanks for your words, and Lorelei for the translation! Yes I usually quite like an unheated bedroom, though I’ve never tried it in say Siberia.

          1. Jim (Jakob) Kramer

            My thanks to YOU, Erik

            Hi Erik,

            Sorry–I do work in both languages, and I really do know English too! Lorelei is right: the pictures are stunning! I am so glad you have this site, and appreciate all of your postings, pictures and information! You reminded me of the little Amish area I loved to visit in Somerset County, PA, and believe it or not, the lady who owns that Hidden Valley Variety is my (now deceased) friend’s niece. Henry and Rhoda are two people who really helped when I needed an ear, a friend and just some time away from Pittsburgh. Now that he is gone, my thoughts and prayers are with Rhoda B., who I understand now lives up above Mercer, PA. We sort of lost touch. One day perhaps I will find her and her daughters there. In the meantime, Erik, you have blessed my heart and the hearts of many, and I thank you. Incidentally, the Somerset County area is truly beautiful for anyone who hasn’t been there yet: I did such a double take. It reminded me immediately of the area just south of Augsburg, when the landscape in Bavaria begins to become hilly. Even some of the German farm buildings (no large silos like here, but the various smaller buildings to be sure) reminded me! I miss both places very much, and you help immensely by sharing your love of the Amish and this fascinating culture.

    9. Sunny

      Home Sick?

      Makes me want to return to Lancaster, PA, but grateful for where God has put me.
      I’m from the Groff family line.
      Thanks for the photos!

    10. Dave

      Erik, Thank you for a year of columns. These pictures are refreshing. Happy New Year.

      1. I appreciate it Dave. I just returned to NC last night, a short-ish but overall nice visit.

    11. Harriet

      Great Pictures, Erik

      Great pictures, Erik! Thanks for posting them for us.

      I am surprised at the size of the grave stones. The one’s around here are VERY small compared to the ones in your pics. (Maybe 6-7 inches tall!!!) Interesting.

      Happy New Year to everyone!

      1. Gladly Harriet. I don’t believe those are Amish gravestones, though I am not sure exactly which cemetery appears in the photo.

    12. I read a lot of books about the Amish. I am fainted with their strong faith and their love and devotion to family and community. I am old and so would have a very difficult time adjusting to the lifestyle but I appreciate it immensely. Thanks.

    13. duane c doyle

      the one of the cemetery looks like the next door of my house 717 723 0556 7 hellers church road Leola pa 17540

    14. Eric

      Nice pictures

      Nice pictures, great website! Happy New year!!

      1. Thanks Eric! I spent New Year with some Amish friends, I was asleep by 11:30. Am usually up to greet the coming year, but I guess we were all extra tired and I don’t think there is quite the same fanfare as there is among English 🙂

    15. Juanita Cook

      Thank you for sharing all these beautiful pictures of Lancaster. I have been there once and would love to go back again. It is so beautiful there.

    16. Lorelei

      Welcome, 2017!

      We spent another glorious weekend and just returned, after welcoming in 2017 from our small hotel room in Lititz. If anyone is selling their home in Lititz, please let me know where private home listings might be found easily and perhaps, even somewhere on this website. I so enjoy reading anything of happening in Lancaster County and the photos you post here! We can’t wait to come back again. So happy I found this site.

      1. Bob the Quaker


        is a good place to start Lorelei

        After getting to site, just type in Lititz, PA and all will show up with prices and location

        1. Lorelei


          Oh, thanks, but I’m very familiar with Zillow. Have my own house listed on there, actually, in their ‘make me move’ section! I like that site very much! Thank you so much again for helping.

      2. Glad you found it too Lorelei. And I hope you can find something, I know Lancaster is an attractive place to live not just for the Amish 🙂

        1. Lorelei

          Where Our Hearts Are...

          Hi Erik:
          We won’t give up hope of finding our little piece of heaven. Our hearts are set on Lititz, PA. We’ve researched every surrounding town but we know where we would be happiest. We get to LC at least once a month. The ride on Route 772 soothes the soul. I’ve shot countless pictures of the wide open farmland and the beautiful clouds above. I can’t put into words the feeling that comes over me when I gaze out the car window. I pray that we find things come together for us soon and our dream comes true! Meantime, I get to visit even while still waiting, via the great photos you post!

    17. Loretta Shumpert


      Thanks, Erik, for another year of doing what you do so that we can enjoy it. We appreciate how you pull things together and wish you a blessed year in 2017 and beyond.

      1. Thank you, Loretta. Speaking of pulling things together I will be doing a post on a new Amish publication soon. I had a nice conversation with the person who’s doing it while I was in Lancaster County. There might even be a giveaway involved 😉

    18. Michael

      Amish remind all of basic quality of life.

      Eric, we appreciate your efforts and recent photos.

      We drive almost 3 hours to stay in Lancaster County every two months or so. It’s our refuge. Our main enjoyment is just driving around the countryside, seeing the farmland and the Amish people; just witnessing the simplicity of life and connection with God. We make it a rule to regularly patronize only Amish or Mennonite businesses. In the spring time, we even buy our seedling plants there.

      We have also brought relatives who visited from Hong Kong. They greatly enjoyed the rural setting and seeing how the Amish live.

      Keep in mind that Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. What a wonderful contrast for them to experience. Michael

      1. Thanks Michael. I think you described the appeal of the place well. And yes must be an immense contrast compared to Hong Kong.

    19. Rita

      Welcome to PA, Erik!

      Hi, Erik, Welcome to PA – I’m right across the river from you! Enjoyed your pictures. We also have a sign at our local library asking the Amish patrons to clean up after their horses. Enjoy your stay.

      1. Thanks Rita! I did enjoy it, just got back last night. A little short but I managed to do a lot and see a lot of the people I wanted to (though not all of them unfortunately).

    20. Michael

      Manheim area

      This time, mid February, we are thinking of staying in Manheim instead of Lancaster. We are wondering if there is a different variety of Amish-oriented sights and places of interest. Anyone know? Thank you Michael

    21. Diane Sattazahn

      From Elizabethtown, Pa

      Eric, Welcome to beautiful Lanc. Co.! The photos are beautiful and I’m glad you included the Bird in Hand Bakery. That is the go-to place for our family.They have the best baked goods and you can have an ice cream and eat out on the swings under the trees.(when they have leaves). Next time, don’t forget to check out the farmers markets: Green Dragon and Roots, while you are here.