Bench Wagon Graffiti

When I saw “graffiti” in the title of the email, I imagined spray-painted epithets, possibly the work of ne’er-do-wells with an axe to grind against the Amish.

Bench Wagon Adams County Indiana Amish

By the looks of things, the etchings in these photos from contributor ShipshewanaIndiana appear to be the work of young boys, perhaps killing time after a church service.

I can’t quite make everything out in the images–in the first one we clearly have a “Joseph” and a “Samuel”, but not sure who’s/what’s in the middle.

Amish Graffiti

In the second photo, I can’t tell what’s on top, but looks like a baseball/softball player did the one on the bottom.

Amish Wagon Etchings

The oversized wagons used to transport benches are one of the few collectively-owned items in Amish churches. Maybe that means anyone gets to carve something if they like 🙂

Just a little slice of life from the Amish community of Adams County, Indiana.

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    1. Marie


      Could it be the name Paul?

      1. Paul

        Now that I look again I think “Paul” could be it…there is what looks to be an “I” right before the P that threw me off. Maybe that was just the first attempt at etching a P.

        1. Had some of the same problem, Erik. It’s a bit hard to tell the intentional from the extraneous markings.

    2. “Patty” was what I first saw in the top pic, but now I’m with Marie and leaning towards “Paul.”

      In the lower pic could the top word be “Notice” (although I have to admit that making an ‘o’ out of the second letter is a bit of a stretch)?

    3. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      This reminds me and my brother chalk drawing on the exposed foundation “walls” of our house in the basement. 25-30 years later its probably long been washed away. But my father never bothered and it sat there as long as we lived in the house

      1. Lori

        Slightly-Handled-Order-Man, my aunt and uncle had a wall full of the kids “graffiti” in the little closet where the hot water heater and stuff was. They put a pencil sharpener on the wall in there and after someone wrote something, messages were written back and forth for years. I wonder if the people who live there now got rid of all the stuff we wrote.

        1. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

          Come to think of it, Lori (and everyone), when my brother and I did our graffiti in our basement I don’t think we used commercial chalk, which irritated Dad, we used the stones that you can find in gravel driveways that you can use in much the same way as chalk, or maybe it was actual chalk but it was hard to impossible to wash off

    4. Ada/KJV Conservative

      It's Paul

      “Paul,” I believe, is the name between “Joseph” and “Samuel.”

    5. Al in Ky

      I think the second photo says “Notice — Fairview Sluggers”. If the names are correct and not aliases, and the Fairview Sluggers
      are a ball team in the settlement, I wouldn’t think it would be too hard for the ministry of the district to find out who wrote the graffiti. What I noticed was that this graffiti is so much “milder” than what we see written on buildings, walls, sidewalks, etc. in urban areas.

      1. I guess I’m letting my own experience give me tunnel vision. I had just assumed that Fairview was a ref. to some Amish school (e.g.,, and Fairview Sluggers was just an informal nickname assumed by the kids that play ball there. If that is the case, I would be curious to know if the Fairview school was within this church district (with kids from Fairview writing on their own buggy), or if it were some kind of “cross-town revelry.” But I could be way off on all that.

        1. Linda

          Don, there does seem to be a Fairview Amish School in Adams County.

    6. Juanita Cook

      I think it is Paul that is in the middle of Joseph & Samuel.

    7. Alice Mary

      Whoda thunk it?

      “Amish Graffiti”…sounds like another bad cable TV show about the Amish!

      Alice Mary