Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daytripping: Revel in a Simpler Life

Spend a few hours among the Amish, and you might wonder what you’ve been missing.



 
Amish hats for sale at the hardware store | An Amish horse and buggy waits patiently outside Walnut Creek Foods
 

New Wilmington is a small borough in Lawrence County that was established in 1863. Today, it’s home to both Westminster College and the Old Order Amish community. (Fun fact: Westminster College once counted among its faculty the writer-director Wes Craven, of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” fame.) 

The Old Order Amish adhere to the most conservative tenets of their religious faith; automobile ownership and the use of electricity are forbidden, and dress is restricted to traditional attire: simple dresses and bonnets for women and girls, and plain pants, shirts and straw hats for men and boys. Photographing the Amish — considered making a “graven image” — is frowned upon.

The Amish commit themselves to living separate from the modern world and both its conveniences and vices. They consider themselves “in” the world but not “of” the world. Pennsylvania Dutch (Deitscher) is spoken at home, but Amish children learn American English in school.
 

 
A covered bridge | Amish dolls
 

Susan Hougelman of Simple Life Tours acts as a bridge between the Amish and the “English” (non-Amish) in her community; after taking ownership of the New Wilmington restaurant The Tavern on the Square, she was often asked by patrons how they could visit Amish establishments. She began to forge relationships with members of the Amish community and now offers Simple Life tours to introduce outsiders to the Amish way of life.

On tours, Hougelman — “English” by birth but quite fluent in the Amish way of life — escorts visitors to local Amish establishments. At the grocery, you can buy jams, jellies, handmade bird houses, candies (tzooker), Amish noodles, all the staples; at the harness and tack shop, choose a leather saddle pungent with oil or a wide-brimmed straw hat for $17.99. (Bring cash, as the Amish don’t accept credit cards.) Find dolls, pot-holders, aprons and candles at the Amish quilt shop; rockers, chairs and cabinets at the Amish furniture maker; and potted plants, flowers (blumme) and wreaths at the Amish nursery and greenhouses. All are lit by kerosene lamp.
 

 
A quilt for sale at the Quilt Shop | A woodworker’s shop
 

At each stop, Amish children run to meet us (usually led by a friendlich mutt). You can’t leave an Amish bakery stand without buying something — try the cinnamon rolls, the elderberry jam and the flaky strawberry-rhubarb pie. My dollars are taken by young Anna, shy and pretty (schnuck).

On the tour, you’ll also see a small Amish schoolhouse, a photo-perfect covered bridge and pristine, weed-free gardens. Sprawling Amish houses are whitewashed with doors painted robin’s-egg blue. Purple martins orbit hand-hewn colony houses, towering above geometric white fences (fens).

It’s a simple life and enviably so.  

On the Web: simplelifetours.com
Drive Time: 1 hour
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

PG&H Brings Locally Made Home Goods to Downtown

The yearlong pop-up shop on Smithfield Street features everything from wall coverings to furniture, all crafted by local makers.

Your Ultimate Holiday Guide to Family Fun in Pittsburgh

We found the must-do events you should put on your holiday bucket list this year.

A Chess Phenom at 4, Pittsburgh Teen is King of Queen's Gambit

Ashley Lynn Priore is teaching young Pittsburghers chess so that they can empower themselves and their communities.

A 9-year-old's Nonprofit is Still Giving Back 12 Years Later

Started by college student Conner Hagins when he was 9 years old, Cuddles for Kids strives to brighten up the lives of hospital patients with toys, treats and special events.

PM on KD: Our December "Faith" Issue

Pittsburgh Magazine editor Brian Hyslop appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our December cover story on what local faith leaders say is how best to move forward in the wake of the Tree of Life tragedy.

Meet Pitt's Soft-Spoken Professor Who Writes Crime Novels

Writer Kathleen George’s sinister mysteries have created a dark, alternate Pittsburgh. In her latest, however, the heyday of the Hill District is brought to life.

Yes, Virginia, Christmas is Preserved and Restored in Oakmont

The volunteer-run Kerr Museum offers tours on Saturdays — with a festive twist for the holidays.

Catching Up With Rivendale Farms Susanna Meyer and Neil Stauffer

The two foundational figures of Pittsburgh's sustainable farming movement blend old-school know-how with forward-thinking practices at the Washington County farm.

MultiStories: Three Times a Bust – The German National Bank

The bank was at the center of a corruption scandal which eventually led to an overhaul of Pittsburgh city government.

Matters of the Heart

In a city of eds and meds, it’s to be expected that some couples are going to meet in the medical field. We found some of the best “meet-cutes” from recent Pittsburgh weddings.

At Scene75, Be a Kid (or Bring Your Kids)

The entertainment center in Edgewood is a great time with or without little ones.

Pitt Attaches Old-School Signature to Narduzzi’s Championship Prediction

Thanks to wide receivers recognized for their blocking ability and an offensive line endearingly referred to as “knuckleheads“ –– the Panthers are one win away from making their head coach's bold pre-season prediction a reality.

Pittsburgh Restaurant News: Reduced Hours and a Chef Change

Two Oakland restaurants now have shorter hours and a chef moves from Downtown to Lawrenceville.

What Unites Us In the Wake of the Tree of Life Tragedy

We asked local faith leaders for their response to the massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill –– and how we can come together and more forward as a community.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Review: Molinaro Ristorante

Ron Molinaro's Downtown restaurant offers high-end Italian dishes made with top-notch ingredients, but is it worth the price premium?
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Your Ultimate Holiday Guide to Family Fun in Pittsburgh

Your Ultimate Holiday Guide to Family Fun in Pittsburgh

We found the must-do events you should put on your holiday bucket list this year.

Comments

PM on KD: Our December "Faith" Issue

PM on KD: Our December "Faith" Issue

Pittsburgh Magazine editor Brian Hyslop appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our December cover story on what local faith leaders say is how best to move forward in the wake of the Tree of Life tragedy.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Restaurant News: Reduced Hours and a Chef Change

Pittsburgh Restaurant News: Reduced Hours and a Chef Change

Two Oakland restaurants now have shorter hours and a chef moves from Downtown to Lawrenceville.

Comments

How to Shop Like a Pro for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh

How to Shop Like a Pro for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh

Our guide to produce, pastries, libations and more will help your table brim with tasty treats from Pittsburgh-area businesses.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

We dove into the local artisan bread scene to find the best places that bake naturally leavened bread in Pittsburgh.

Comments


At Scene75, Be a Kid (or Bring Your Kids)

At Scene75, Be a Kid (or Bring Your Kids)

The entertainment center in Edgewood is a great time with or without little ones.

Comments

Five Essential November Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential November Events in Pittsburgh

Avian art, altruistic alt-rock and more November nights.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pitt Attaches Old-School Signature to Narduzzi’s Championship Prediction

Pitt Attaches Old-School Signature to Narduzzi’s Championship Prediction

Thanks to wide receivers recognized for their blocking ability and an offensive line endearingly referred to as “knuckleheads“ –– the Panthers are one win away from making their head coach's bold pre-season prediction a reality.

Comments

Steelers Have Changed the Narrative in Dramatic Fashion

Steelers Have Changed the Narrative in Dramatic Fashion

A defense that was groping to accomplish the simplest of tasks has started to dominate. The offense has stopped getting in its own way and started exploding scoreboards.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The 400-Word Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

While Harry Potter diehards will find more than enough sustenance in the sequel, non-devotees may have a rough time following the action.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The 400-Word Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Coen Brothers' western anthology is less than the sum of its parts, but it boasts some great tales.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart

In a city of eds and meds, it’s to be expected that some couples are going to meet in the medical field. We found some of the best “meet-cutes” from recent Pittsburgh weddings.

Comments

‘X’ Marks the Spot for This Wedding Scavenger Hunt

‘X’ Marks the Spot for This Wedding Scavenger Hunt

She thought she was going on a simple scavenger hunt. She never dreamed it would end with a wedding.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PG&H Brings Locally Made Home Goods to Downtown

PG&H Brings Locally Made Home Goods to Downtown

The yearlong pop-up shop on Smithfield Street features everything from wall coverings to furniture, all crafted by local makers.

Comments

Schoolhouse Electric Brings Hip Lighting, Coffee, to Pittsburgh

Schoolhouse Electric Brings Hip Lighting, Coffee, to Pittsburgh

The Portland, Ore-based lighting and furnishings store, which shares space with a high-end coffeehouse from the team behind The Vandal restaurant, is located in East Liberty's Detective Building.

Comments