Posts Tagged ‘PA’


Amish Horse-drawn Corn picker


This is the view out my bedroom window.  After a few hours we get used to the clomp clomp clomping of horses hoofs, a few feet away.  Amish carriages pass by here continually.  Much closer than this corn picker.  I can raise my head off my pillow and see them pass by.  It’s a lovely sound and sight.

We spend three days here, at Beacon Hill Campground, in Intercourse, PA.  I’m being careful with my wording here, so stop your snickering. Like I should talk – my maturity level is such that I spent about an hour giggling hysterically in the middle of the night, coming up with different takes.

Okay, now that’s out of the way.  Even though it was Columbus Day weekend and the town and main highways were crawling with tourists, as soon as we got off the beaten path, it was another world.  It’s definitely the most dense population of Amish and Mennonite families we’ve ever experienced.  We are the strange ones here – we’re “English”.  It must get so old for the Amish though, being seen as a curiosity, gawked at and having cameras pointed at them, wherever they go.  I put my camera away while we were here, except for those two shots here,  from where I sleep.  Even though I really wanted to take pictures of the little Amish brothers who pulled a wagon through our campsite, selling amazing baked goods (we bought the pumpkin custard pie).  Or the group picnics at farms, the lines of buggies at the hardware store.

The first day we were here, we drove to Wheatland , President James Buchanan’s home.  The 15th President seems destined to be remembered most for not doing more to prevent the outbreak of the Civil War, by not taking any stand on the slavery issue.  I think I’ll always remember Buchanan for his tragic love story, the fiancee who killed herself after calling off their engagement under pressure, and his lifelong bachelorhood.


We saw Buchanan’s “body” lying in a coffin, in the entryway of his home.  Everybody’s getting ready for Halloween.

After Wheatland, we went to the  “Mennonite Information Center” and saw the film “Who are the Amish”.  There’s also a free film about the Mennonites.  It’s a good introduction for people wanting to learn more about both, and trying to figure out the differences.  I should mention right now, that Beacon Hill rents movies about the area, a buck a night – so we watched the Harrison Ford “Witness”, which was filmed here, and then the sillier Tim Allen “For Richer, For Poorer,” where they pretend to be in Intercourse.  See, what trouble you get into talking about it?

After  that, we did the the buffet at “Family  Cupboard” , because we’d heard that locals went there.  It did look that way – and it was good.

Goodnight from Beacon Hill campsite

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I’ll let the gardens speak for themselves.  Thank you Pierre du Pont for this beautiful place!



Interior Courtyard du Pont House



Water Platters and Water Lilies


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Bethlehem, Old Moravian Industrial Center


There’s an historic Bethlehem Partnership that sponsors walking tours of the Moravian settlement here.   We took the October themed Graveyard Tour, which included a bit of time at the Moravian Museum (which was otherwise closed) and then followed a costumed interpreter into the graveyard for stories of some of the people buried here.  Most interesting things I learned about the Moravians:  They signaled important events with a trombone choir; they lived separately, in men and women’s dormitories, even though marriage and children were allowed;  they didn’t raise their own children; many children died of diseases that ran rampant where they were all congregated; they started out excluding non-members, shared common property, and wound up giving up on both ideas.

I really liked the trombone choir – the rest I’d pass on.  But they were a hard-working, committed community, and I’m always fascinated by how people seek God.

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