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Friday, April 7, 2017

The "Amish Barn Raising In Lancaster County, PA" Story

An old photo showing a barn raising in the distance.
It was an ordinary day.  Reading about the Amish Community in which I live and how they help each other in every aspect of live.  And, being that I have lived in Lancaster County my entire life, I have seen many barn raisings after disastrous fires, hurricanes and the like as well as when a new Amish family joins the community. A few times I have been a witness to what many will never see in their lifetime.  Lancaster County has a very heavy Amish population and our roads are dotted with the traditional covered buggies as well as the open-air buggies.  Barn raisings usually begin at the break of dawn and workers fill the landscape and skyscape until dark, usually finishing the project in a day.  
Another early barn raising in Lancaster County, PA.
A few days before, the foundation is laid from blocks and cement.  Barns raisings are usually led by one or two Amish "engineers" who draw the plans and make sure the materials will be on site.  Roads are filled with buggies as far as the eye can see while horses feed together in nearby fields.  The Amish number many as they crawl over the new roof, all dressed in colored shirts with black suits and straw hats.  
Like bees swarming to stock the hive.
The atmosphere is festive with the women and young girls preparing food as needed.  Most workers on the barn wear tool belts which carry a hammer and nails as they work in unison.  So, just where did all these people come from.  Seems that a fundamentalist movement began in Switzerland in 1525. This group eventually became known as "Mennonites."  
Another view of Amish building a barn.
Then, in Germany in the late 1600's a Mennonite named Jacob Amman decided to start his own religion, thus the Amish began.  They emigrated from the Palatinate region of Bavaria to southeastern Pennsylvania in 1698.  Since that time over three hundred years ago, the peace-loving Amish continue to live their religion which emphasizes self-reliance.  They reject welfare and government as well as refuse to serve in the military.  But, boy can they sure raise a barn in no time. AS I said before, I have been witness to that.  It was another extraordinary day in the live of an ordinary guy.     

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