What is this buggy doing in Adams County, Indiana?

Adams County Covered Amish Buggy

This one has been fun to ponder.  The above is not something you’re supposed to see in Swiss Amish communities like those of Adams County or Allen County, Indiana.  The Swiss Amish churches are known for a number of characteristic practices, including using only open carriages.  This photo was taken in the Adams County settlement not too far from Berne.  So what is going on?

Open Buggies Berne IN
What Swiss transportation normally looks like

A friend who is well-acquainted with the Berne- area Amish wondered if there were a health reason which might have led to a covered carriage being allowed here.  Thinking now a couple of other ideas come to mind…for one, I wonder if this might be someone who had just arrived from a different community, and who hadn’t yet migrated over to the new variety of wheels.  Swiss Amish and Pennsylvania German ethnicity Amish do not too often move to one another’s areas, but it sometimes happens…any other ideas?

UPDATE: I’ve learned, in the comments below and elsewhere, that there are a few churches now permitting covered transportation in this settlement.  Thanks to my well-informed correspondents.

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    1. Richard from Amish Stories

      I’m stumped, I cant even think of anything funny to say so I’ve got nothing!

      Richard from http://www.Amishstories.net

    2. Galen

      The GPS in their buggy wasn’t working right???

    3. Mary Beth

      Since it’s in a field could be putting down fertilizer or doing something with the crops.

    4. Virginia


      Is it possible that someone is visiting and is down in the field to talk to the person that lives there and is working his field?

    5. Mary Beth

      Oh I didn’t read the whole thing before I commented. Oh well..haha

    6. Alice Mary

      Sun shade?

      Could the owner be diagnosed with skin cancer and needs to avoid the mid-day sun? I mention this because I had a precancerous growth removed from my face about 18 years ago, and a co-worker has had two cancerous growths removed from hers—and we work inside a library, not out in the sun every day! (Some meds I take advise avoiding the sun, too.)

      Alice Mary

    7. Someone from a “topped buggy” community visiting?

      1. Was wondering the same Saloma but haven’t checked if any are in range…

    8. Linda

      In the Amish Cook column of April 23, 2012, Lovina Eicher wrote, “The community in Berne, Indiana, has open buggies but now several churches are allowing covered buggies.”

      1. Thanks Linda, that was another thought that crossed my mind but hadn’t heard anything on it…sounds like this might be our answer. The license plate also suggests that it is in-state. I wonder how many churches are going this way.

    9. MaryAnn Pepe

      Stolen buggy?

      Is it a stolen buggy that was taken from one Amish community to another on a joy ride and abandoned? LOL

    10. Katrina

      Covered Buggy

      Three ideas come to mind:
      1) someone from the Shipshewana area is visiting friends/relatives

      2) the buggy broke a wheel and repairs are being made

      3) the rumspringa driver lost the drag race with the other buggy (yes, they do do this), sobered up, went home, and will return later to get the buggy out of the field.

    11. naomi

      while driving down the field lane stopped to chat with the farmer!

    12. Richard from Amish Stories

      An update...........

      An update folks on me trying to come-up with something cute to say, I’ve still got nothing! Now if we are talking about a contest here well I think I could have a flash of brilliance and pull it off.

      Richard from http://www.Amishstories.net

    13. Matt from CT

      The piece of equipment sure looks like it’s in the Vermeer livery.

      But I can’t tell what it is — possibly a round baler, but making large rounds is for folks with more money then labor and that’s not very Amish way of thinking. And there’s no hay down in the pic to bale that I can see!

      Oh well, unless I saw the original pic (if it is much higher resolution) that’s all I can add, that from my knowledge of Amish farming that piece of equipment is sticking out like a sore thumb.

    14. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      The owner of said buggy is a Plain Quaker and likes the boxy style.[?]

      1. Katrina

        Quaker buggy?

        I didn’t think Quakers drove buggies. A friend of mine was raised Quaker and they lived modern/English.

    15. Tom-GA

      Covered Buggy

      I believe the buggy is moving down a road and the piece of equipment is on the other side of the road. Could there be a fire plug behind where the buggy just passed? Note the telephone post and wires. I believe Linda has the answer to why it is there.

    16. Lattice

      Yes, I agree with you, Tom-GA. You can tell that the buggy is on the road, by the powerlines running along side of the road. That contraption is on the edge of the field on the other side. Maybe that buggy is from another community altogether. Tricky camera angle.

    17. Linda Northern Illinois

      Personally, if I was in the area I would stop and as a lost English would ask for directions. And while I was there I would see if I could assist in any way.
      Then I would know what’s going on.

    18. Randy

      Ive asked several

      Living here in southern Adams co.Ive seen that particular closed buggy go past our house on occassion. I haul many of the local Amish and no one really seems to know who that is. They’re talking about it too!! LOL

      If i find out ill let ya know!

    19. Bob Charles

      When I was a teen my family visited an Amish family in Lancaster County who attended a wedding of my father’s relative and said to stop by sometime and visit. The wedding was in N.E. Pennsylvania. The wife took my sister and I for a ride in a buggy and I remember it was not covered. She let me drive the buggy for a bit and I loved it. I thought they were all covered but it seems not to be the case. Very interesting picture. Wish I could travel by horse and buggy here in Long Beach, Long Island, NY. Most everyone has a car here but I have not driven or owned a car in 30 years and get around by bus,train or get rides. Don’t miss owning one or driving.