Monday, May 13, 2013

Amish Buggies in My Life

  As far back as I can remember my parents always had three buggies. A little open buggy that was used when Daddy needed to go somewhere alone or with one or two of us children riding along, the top buggy that was used for the family its springs had been damaged the day it had tipped over and from then on always leaned a little toward the left, and then the spring wagon which was basically an Amish version of a pickup truck. A single seat at the front and a long bed to haul things. We also enjoyed using it on warm Sundays to go on a drive. With Mom and Daddy on the seat and folded blankets in the back for us to sit on we enjoyed many Sunday afternoons exploring back roads.

As the family grew we no longer all fit into the two seated top buggy and it was time for a new one. Daddy went to the local buggy shop to order it. Which happened to belong to LV's Dad.

I still remember the excitement of having a new buggy that now had three seats. That didn't last very long though because of the way the seats were situated. The two back seats were sideways and we used to have to sit facing each other with interlocking knees. I was glad once John was old enough for his own horse and buggy and we no longer had to ride in the back of our parents buggy.

Saturdays we would often have to wash the buggy. The wheel spokes had to be washed carefully until they were sparkling clean. Every little speck of dirt and mud seemed to like to stick hard. But even worse was scrubbing the sides. The vinyl or as some people called it: oilcloth, seemed to be a dirt magnet and we had to scrub every speck out of all the crevices with brushes.

The dash had added dirt that had been flung back by the horse's hooves. Plus clinging horse hair.

Once my brothers had their own buggies they liked waxing afterwards even though it meant that the whole thing had to be done again if it rained.

My Grandpa Mast used to call his top buggy a surrey. And his spring wagon a buckboard or a durban.

LV started building his buggy only a few weeks before we were married. Up until then he had used his parents little top buggy. I was sad to see it go to his oldest nephew when we left the Amish even though I like our mode of transportation better now.


  1. Thanks for sharing that story...I enjoyed reading it.....I would love to go for a buggy you ever miss it? Blessings

  2. Were women allowed to drive the buggies in the order you grew up in? Are they allowed in any order? I've seen Amish women working the horses in the fields, is that only allowed because it's at home? I can just imagine the scene if my five children had to ride somewhere with interlocking knees!

  3. Thank you for the story. It's nice to know how life really was. I don't think most of the Amish fiction books that are available portray accurate views of the life.

  4. Oh, if I could ride in a surrey again or a buckboard or a covered wagon...I would be so happy. Dad and hs ancestors owned a horse and then added a dairy farm in the 50's until my Dad died at 41. Up until that time our lives were western riding horses and western teams of horses. You brought back such wonderful memories to me, my sister and my husband. Thank you for your story today. It really was enjoyed.


  5. My grandfather had a carriage and a buckboard. I imagine with 9 children, they probably took the buckboard when they went visiting, but according to my mom, that wasn't often. Most of the visiting was done at their farm. This was in NJ in the early 1900's. My mom remembers the first car to appear in their driveway ... a guy courting her sister. The kids all thought it was hysterical to look at and listen to :-) Perhaps it was! It broke down a few times but Grandpa's horses never did ....

    Thanks for your recollections... of oil cloth, too. That was a term my mom often used for the covering on the dinette table. Sounded "icky" to me but it wasn't!

  6. Oh my word, I can only imagine how dirty the buggies must've gotten, especially on rainy days. Last time we came home from Amish country, it had been wet out and I was at the carwash and the man asked if we were at a quarry or something. TOO funny! I've still never ridden in one but I know I'd like that part. :)

  7. The common name for a one seater with long box was "hack" when we lived in Holmes County. After moving to Canada were amused that Canadians referred to it as a democrat! Go figure!

  8. Lots of terrific memories. Would LV and you ever consider getting a horse just to ride or drive for fun?


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.