Contributor Don Burke today shares some photos from a visit to the Amish community at Canton, Missouri (Lewis County).
These photos were actually taken in early 2015. Thanks to Don for his efforts with both the photos and the accompanying text. I hope you enjoy this snowy look at another out-of-the-way corner of Amish America.
Last year as part of a trip to the northeast corner of Missouri, I decided to include a passing visit through a few of the Amish communities in the area. One of these was the community of Canton. Some recent snow made the brief three-hour visit into a photographer’s wonderland.
The Amish houses and farms in Canton were pretty typical for what you would expect Amish places to look like, but allowed for a great variety of designs, building materials, etc.
I happened to catch an Amish farmer shoveling feed into a wagon.
The stereotypical phone shanty would be found scattered here and there.
With three church districts, the Canton community has a number of schools. I found at least five one-room schools as I traveled through.
Amish in the Snow
About three years ago I have my first opportunity to take a “Amish in the Snow” themed shoot, and it’s still a favorite subject. The black closed buggy against a snowy background, or the bundled-up Amish in an open buggy is still a favorite capture.
Of course, kids are kids, and Amish or not snow is a kid-magnet, whether that involves sleds…
…or other snow-related fun.
With rare exception (such as Garnett, KS), buggies are just an assumed part of Amish everyday life. And in my experience you can tell quite a bit about the community just from their buggies.
This one picture tells a lot about where this community (or at least district) falls on the conservative-progressive spectrum. They do not use electric flashers (which would suggest a progressive-leaning group), but rather limit themselves to the kerosene-lamp-powered lantern to help make them visible to automobile traffic at night. However, they are not on the extreme conservative end of the spectrum since they do allow the orange SMV triangle, a red reflector, and the white reflective tape – all which would be rejected by the most conservative.
Canton sports a fairly wide variety of buggy types…
… as well as the occasional Amish that just forgoes the buggy altogether.
In a community of this size there are naturally numerous Amish businesses. Here an Amish family has a greenhouse business right beside their house.
This Amish family has a small engine business in an annex to their home.
An Amish candy store.
Horse shoeing and trimming
There seemed to be a lot of timber-related business, including this home-size gasoline powered saw mill…
…and at least three commercial-sized saw-mills.
Yutzy Cattle and Construction.
I was intrigued by the two church wagons at this one location, and was told later that these were for a large funeral that had taken place the day before.
A couple of things caught my attention at this home. For one, the black drum strapped to the roof was unexpected. I later discovered that this is probably their heating system for water used in their shower. Water is pumped up by a small engine, allowed time to warm, then used in the shower directly below it.
The same house also sported what appears to be an ice locker.
This was an enjoyable, even if brief, visit.