Archive for July, 2011



Apricot-Nut Bread
On floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle. With pastry brush, spread the melted butter over dough, covering completely. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, apricots, and nuts. Roll jellyroll fashion. Seal edges with butter or water, pinching to seal. Cut to fit the greased pans or forms. Bake in preheated 375° F oven for 35 minutes or until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and lay on side to cool–on baking rack–to prevent the bread from getting “heavy”. Brush with a bit of butter or glaze while still slightly warm.

Yields: 1 Coffee Cake or 1 Pan of Rolls. 1 recipe of Basic Sweet Dough

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

1/4 cup cinnamon/sugar (half and half)

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup nuts–pecans, walnuts, etc.



More than a cookbook… a collection of scenic Lancaster County country photographs entwined with Betty’s stories and recollections. Written from the heart and soul, this book passes on a traditional way of life as well as some of the best Pennsylvania German country recipes. With vivid memories of her childhood, Betty Groff recalls the ways of family farm life among the “plain people” of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The recipes for the delicious food from her family’s kitchen have been passed down and perfected by Betty’s decades of experience as a restaurateur. Basics, light fare, and exquisite traditional main and dessert dishes are easily prepared from Betty’s easy-to-follow recipes using plenty of garden vegetables and fresh fruits. Beloved for preserving Pennsylvania German culinary arts, this book presents the best of Betty’s stories and recipes in her tradition. To order this book go to www.Amishshop.com        Richard from Amish Stories. Monday will be a new post im  calling “Winter”. And then on Tuesday Jean and David both  share their stories about the accident in New York state involving the Amish. Thursday will be the Amish cook, and then i give a diner review of Jennies diner in Lancaster including a diner recipe from a real diner, along with some  diner lingo.

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Buggy rides for the guest

 

I could smell this a mile away
A very dangerous place to be when one is so hungry
Surprisingly not many folks here at this time of day, and i believe the heat contributed to the low daytime turn-out. But I’m sure the evening was a very different story.



Don’t blame him for grabbing a nice cold ice cream in this heat.



What was the start of the outhouse race
Now a real race would be to use a real outhouse, with someone really inside,lol
Lancaster’s country side from a top a hill, no question why a lot of folks want to live here
Terre Hills volunteer fire dept was here to show their community support.
Another view from the hill
And they keep their fire equipment as clean as whistle
Another view of below
I told you they really had a outhouse race!
A young old order Mennonite couple going for a ride through town
And a patriotic end of the Terre hill Days.

The town of Terre Hill was incorporated in 1907 and was at one time the cigar capital in Lancaster county. I’ve read some articles about this small town not having any traffic lights, and from my many visits including this resent one that would hold true. How many towns in America can still claim that?. Terre hill is safely tucked away from Lancaster’s tourist area to the south, so you wont find any signs advertising buggy rides or shoo-fly-pie and i think the locals prefer it that way. This small town does have a restaurant which I’ve yet to visit along with only one mini mart with a few gas pumps . Its become one of my favorite locations in Lancaster to take pictures for Amish Stories along with a post i had done on a old order Mennonite dairy Farmer named Lester. This small town also has a good size Amish and old order Mennonite population spread through out this area with many living side by side of each other, with a one room school house within the towns limit. If your looking for a peaceful and relaxing place to walk around and enjoy the un-spoiled beauty of Lancaster’s Amish/Mennonite community then this would be one place id visit. There’s even a great park in town with swings for the kids, with a baseball field so you might even take in a baseball game from the Amish and Mennonites who frequent the park. So pack a lunch and head over to the town of Terre Hill for a park lunch, only please leave this special town as you first found it, un-spoiled clean and very beautiful. Richard from Amish Stories. Recipe of the week on Sunday, and a new post on Monday from a little  something named “Winter.” Yes thats right i said Winter….

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THE AMISH COOK

BY LOVINA EICHER

It is lunch time and Verena and I have the laundry hanging out on the line. The lines are all filled and we have to wait until some of the clothes are dry to hang the last basket full of clothing. Our laundry seems extra big today. With the hot weather everyone likes to shower more than once a day making for a lot of extra wash. Daughters Loretta and Lovina washed the breakfast dishes and swept the floors. The boys started with sweeping and mopping the basement. I need to write the column so I told the children they can have some free time. It makes it a little quieter for me to concentrate. While I am writing this the younger ones are outside riding their bicycles. Meanwhile, my husband Joe is putting in another day at the factory.

Daughters Elizabeth, 17, and Susan, 15, are detasseling corn which they are doing for several weeks this summer. (Editor’s note: corn-detasseling helps the process of cross-pollination) They put in some long hours last week. It was a very hot and humid week. I think the girls were starting to get worn out. On Saturday they left at 6 a.m. and didn’t get home until 5:30 p.m. They were ready to shower and rest after they came home. Our hay has been cut for the second time this year. It was long past due to be cut. It was actually ready for its cutting while we were in Florida but it was just so hot. We still hope to get in another cutting yet this year.

Son Joseph had his 9th birthday yesterday July 24th. We celebrated with grilled hamburgers and grilled zucchini and also campfire potatoes, which I will share the recipe for at the end of this column. We had a cake with nine candles for him to blow out. Sister Emma also had a birthday last Tuesday, July 19th which makes her 38 years young.

We are managing to gradually get some weeds pulled in the garden. I just could not much get done out there with the heat last week. I did get some green beans canned. The boys picked the beans and helped me clean up. I have plenty of cucumbers picked to make a batch of freezer pickles. This is the last week of July so we want to pull our onions and get them hung up to dry. I always like to get my onions out before August 1. Also the red potatoes are ready to be dug.

Daughter Verena will have surgery on her foot on August 10th. Doctors will also do a muscle biopsy. We hope and pray the surgery will be a great success. She still doesn’t have any feeling in her right foot and her leg. Otherwise she is doing very and still not having the post-concussions anymore. I cannot thank God enough that she has healed this much already.

Jacob, Emma, and Steven, along with Joe, Kevin and I attended the funeral of our Aunt Katherine. She will be greatly missed. Although not for this reason it was nice to see my Dad’s 9 other siblings again. All were present except Uncle Jake was unable to be there. Also we were glad to see all of the cousins that were able to be there. We have missed out on the Coblentz reunions for probably the last 5 years. So it has been awhile since I have seen some of my Coblentz cousins. It was hard to believe how their children have all grown.

On the way home we happened to go past the Enos Schwartz place so we stopped to say hi. Enos’s family used to live in Berne, Indiana in the same church district as Joe and Jacob. Enos was also Jacob’s school teacher. We asked for directions to Joe’s Uncle Ben and Aunt Margaret’s and stopped in there for a visit too.

We continue to enjoy fresh goodies from the garden. On Friday evening we all enjoyed sweet corn from the garden. Joe wants to prepare some corn on the grill soon, it makes for a nice, juicy roasted corn. Joe removes the husks and the silk and then puts the husks back on before grilling. Joe’s Dad would always cook corn in a big black kettle. He would boil the corn with the husks still on. We all went over there for dinner once and my Dad said that was the best sweet corn he had ever had tasted fixed that way in the kettle.

Yesterday we had homemade biscuits for breakfast, along with eggs, potatoes and bacon. In addition to the sweet corn, we are enjoy diced jalapenos from our garden. We enjoy dicing them and putting them on about anything.

I will share the recipe for campfire potatoes which I tried last night. I used fresh red potatoes from our garden.

CAMPFIRE POTATOES

5 medium potatoes, washed and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

1 small onion sliced

6 tablespoons butter

1 /3 cup shredded cheddar

1 /3 cup chicken broth

Place all ingredients in double aluminum foil and seal edges well. Put on top rack of grill over medium coals. Close lid and cook 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Published with permission from Oasis Newsfeatures.
Don’t Miss this Fridays post From the Terre Hill Days festival in Lancaster Pennsylvania, along with pictures of the famous outhouse race !

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.



Jean’s Homemade Doughnuts

4 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp soft shortening
3/4 cup thick buttermilk or sour milk
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Beat eggs well. Add sugar, and shortening and beat. Stir in butter milk or sour milk. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together. Stir into other ingredients. Chill dough for 2 hours. Heat fat while rolling and cutting doughnuts. Fry until brown. Serve plain, sugared or glazed. For the Farmers Market I sometimes melt some sweet chocolate and dip the top of the donuts in there and let it set.  Enjoy! Jean                                                                                                                    
The Amish cook this Thursday along with a new post from myself on Friday of the Terre Hill Days festival in Lancaster Pennsylvania. And don’t miss the image of its famous outhouse race !.

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Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.

Martha was shocked at the comments that came from her post about her converting to Old Order Mennonite. She just thought one or two people might comment. I had the same feeling when I had my first post. I thought no one would be interested in our life or what we do. Both Martha and I were wrong. Martha and I both thank you for the your nice comments and questions that you give us. I am trying to talk Martha into doing a post on her adopted children as her and Joseph have four adopted children. Someone asked if she has any children married yet. No, her oldest will turn 16 in a month or so. He is older than the years they are married. He was about three or four when he, his brother and sister came to live with Martha and Joseph. At 16 he will start going to singing, parties, etc. On his 16th birthday he and Joseph are going over Martha and Joseph’s property where they will decide what section goes to him when he gets married. Actually he will probably get it before he marries so they can build the house and move in after the wedding. They are hoping he doesn’t marry for a few years yet. Like until he is 19 or 20. He thought he might not get the property because he is adopted. Joseph told him adopted is nothing but a sheet of paper. You were our son the day they brought you through our door. All ten of their children are treated alike. They all have chores to do, get punished when they do something wrong, enjoy the fun times and get lots of love.

We heard that Michael, our former foster child, is not doing well in the house that he is in as he did at ours. Here he was the oldest of the children. At the house he is with he is one of younger children-I guess that is not setting well. We got a driver to take us to see him and he was glad to see us. He is in an Old Order Mennonite home in Waterloo, NY. He, David, Susan, Baby David and I went out to lunch together. Michael works on a farm at the home he is at now like he did at ours. He and David were talking cows, horses, crops -just like Michael had his own farm. We took him to a couple Amish and Mennonite stores while we were there as we wanted to pick up some items. Some his current foster parents had taken him too-but some they hadn’t. We had a very nice afternoon. He wants to come back to our house, but as we had said, we have to see how his parents trial makes out.

There was an annual farm sale a couple of towns over. David bought us some cows there and at another farm that was selling so our barn is about full now with 125 cows. Also, Marilyn saw on TV that a SPCA had 34 horses, but was looking for some farms that would take them in as they had lots more horses than space. We called and found out more information about it. A local Amish neighbor heard about it so he and David went to the SPCA to see the horses and have the SPCA meet them. I guess several farmers were there so they were narrowed down to those that handled horses like we do. As they were looking at horses they came upon two that he and David discussed as they are a rare horse breed. They are the type horses that haul royal carriages like Queen Elizabeth’s. These horses look so regal and royal but if they have to they can run like a race horse. The Amish man told the SPCA the breed of the horse (which I can’t remember and David isn’t here) and they looked like they didn’t know what he was talking about. Finally he told them they don’t know what they had there. They gave him all of this breed to take to his farm where he will take care of them. When they are all well-he will have an auction for all the Amish and Mennonites in our area. These horses are for carriage use only and can not be used to haul blows in the fields. All the money from the auction of these horses will go back to the SPCA.

One of the horses we got-I like so very much. It is brown with black ears, main and tail. It is really beautiful. We are going to buy that one-the SPCA already knows. We might buy the other two we have here from there, too. With the SPCA we get feed them, take care of them and get free vet care while we have them here. So animal wise we really expanded.

The weather here has been so very dry we had to run sprinklers down through some of our crops. We run the sprinkler on a well rather than on the town water system like out house is. It’s a good thing that it does because we use a lot of water with the sprinklers. We did have a little rain this morning, but not much. It is also in the 80’s pushing 90. We read that the weather is much hotter other places than here. We hope you all stay cool.
God is With you, Jean


Dont miss Jeans homemade recipe for

Doughnuts this Wednesday!.

                                                                                                                                                    

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Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Bake potatoes until tender and skins are very crisp–about 1¼ hours. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out centers into a bowl. Add butter and mash until smooth; fold in chives, cheese, bacon, salt and pepper. Mound mixture back into potato shells and bake at 400° F. for another 15 minutes. 2 large baking potatoes
2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon chives
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
3 bacon slices, fried and crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Table for Two sets the table with all the Amish food favorites–just for two! Sam and Amy Miller and their extended family have shared 438 of their best recipes in helpings that won’t leave a week of leftovers if there are only two at your house. Mouthwatering food, for just the two of you. Laminated cover – Spiral bound – 207 pages. To order this book please go to www.Amishshop.com . Richard from Amish Stories.



Chicken Corn Soup. A Lancaster county favorite!


10 oz pkg frozen fresh corn (cooked and seasoned) or 1 15 oz can Cope’s Heat & Serve corn


1 qt chicken broth


2 hard boiled eggs


1 cup cooked diced chicken


2 Tbsp parsley, chopped


1 cup cooked noodles (optional)














Combine ingredients and heat. Serves 8 to 10.






 Published with permission from John copes www.farmstandfoods.com.  Richard from Amish Stories.

 


  Brand new post from Jean on Tuesday. With a special post on wedsnesday of one of Jeans homemade recipe’s.

 

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The history of Intercourse Pennsylvania

                        Probably no other town in Amish Country can claim its fame is owed largely to one simple thing — its name. For years people have come to this town to send letters home with the name stamped boldly on the envelope… Intercourse, PA. Some visitors even ask where the university is located in town (there is none) because they see so many T-shirts emblazoned with “Intercourse University.” Local businesses have received phone calls from people chastising them for using “that word” in their marketing. (They did not believe there was a town with that name.)

Perhaps it says more about us these days, that we can find so much to get worked up about in one word. Those of us who live here simply take all the fuss in stride. After all, we live in a county that has other interesting town names, including Bird-in-Hand, Blue Ball, and Paradise. There are several explanations on how the town got its name, and they are woven into the brief history that follows.

In the beginning, of course, there was very little here, just settlers arriving in the New World from Europe. Back around 1730, the Old Provincial Highway (or Old Philadelphia Pike, Route 340) was laid out. It was to connect Philadelphia with the inland town of Lancaster and to serve as the main transportation route west for settlers. Conestoga wagons, pulled by six to eight horses, hauled supplies and freight back and forth between the two towns. Taverns sprouted along the way, providing rest for travelers and horses. As is the case with turnpike exits today, towns and businesses often grow up around such “stops.” In the old days, the taverns were centers for news, gossip, and business transactions.

And that is how the town got started when the first building, a log tavern, was constructed in 1754. The Newport Road, a former Indian trail, came from Newport, Delaware to the south and went to Mount Hope, near the Cornwall ore mines. It is believed that because this north-south road intersected here with the east-west highway, the tavern took “Cross Keys” as its name. That was true at least until 1814, when it was named Intercourse in a real estate scheme to establish a more sizable town. George Brungard had acquired 48 acres of land north of the roads in 1813. He attempted to lay out a town site and divide it into sections for sale by a lottery, advertising “151 handsome building lots of $250 each to be drawn for by number.”

As to why Brungard chose the name Intercourse, if he did, perhaps an explanation is in the wording of the newspaper advertisement, which noted “the great importance of so many turnpikes and great leading roads intersecting at and near this place.” As one writer has noted, “in the written annals of early days, ‘intercourse’ had a common usage referring to the pleasant mutual fellowship and frequent intermingling which was so much more common in the informal atmosphere of the quiet country village of that day.”

And this brings us to yet another theory on the town’s name. From the east end of town, on a mile long straightaway, horse races were conducted. Since the races began at that end of town, this was the “Enter Course,” and this name eventually became Intercourse. Indeed, a postal historian, Arthur B. Gregg claims that the town’s name was actually changed from “Entercourse” to “Intercourse,” and notes that “there was no hesitancy on the part of the United States Post office Department to accept the name ‘Intercourse’ since it meant a commercial or trading site.”

But back to our story and Brungard’s scheme. Although lotteries had been used for many years to sell various things, his real estate lottery failed, and most of the land was combined into one tract. More recently, in 1971, another person tried to take advantage of the town’s name and sell one-inch square plots of property to visitors. This plan proved to be a flop as well.

In the old days, there were only five houses, counting the inn, and the town grew slowly. Another tavern, the Travelers Rest Inn, was built in 1827, on land that was part of the original William Penn land grant. (One story associated with this inn is that when the building was purchased in the 1930’s, Amish church leaders requested the deed state alcoholic beverages would never be served there again due to problems that had arisen in the past.)

Two other taverns were just outside of town, the Hat Tavern to the east and the Duke of Wellington to the west. A store was built in 1833, and more houses were constructed on the north and south sides of the road. In 1857, a brick schoolhouse was built at a cost of $699. The Intercourse School, a one-room school built in 1882, is today the area library, but over the years was used for public meetings, spelling bees, and even for Mennonite Sunday School classes.

Getting the aforementioned post office up and running was another matter. The main problem was finding a building and someone willing to perform the duties of a postmaster. The first postmaster, Benjamin Fraim, performed his duties from the Cross Keys Tavern, and may have had a job working there, since “his income, based on a percentage of the postal transactions for the year ending 1829 was only $8.21.” And so it was that over the years, the post office moved to stores or restaurants whose owners hoped visits by local residents would increase their business as well. (After a great deal of work on the part of many citizens, Intercourse was designated a first class post office in 1990.)

By 1880, Intercourse had 54 homes and a population of 280, and transportation continued to play an important part in town history. The local stagecoach service apparently started around 1898. It was “a single horse conveyance similar to a market wagon, with a roll-up curtain and double set of seats.” The stagecoach brought items from Lancaster City for local Intercourse businesses, and even picked up milk, butter, and eggs for delivery to Lancaster restaurants and industries, including an ice cream plant. One history of Intercourse notes that when it snowed, a bobsled was used instead. “When the driver knew of passengers beforehand, their comfort was added to by many a hot brick heated the night before in the oven, and wrapped in newspaper to preserve its warmth.”

By 1910, the road through town improved with a stone bottom until is was paved by 1920. As the days of the dirt road drew to a close, so too did the stagecoach days with the Rowe Motor Truck service started by Coleman Diller in 1910. In 1923 the Penn Highway Transit Company was organized and initiated bus service to Lancaster. It is noted that “many of the Amish residents of the area were anxious to see the line started, but did not care to subscribe to stock. Instead they liberally bought books of tickets which were really prepaid bus fares.” By 1924 enough money was raised to buy a Mack Auto Bus for $6,800. It held 25 passengers and even had solid rubber tires! The business was soon purchased by John Burkey, and a bus with pneumatic tires was purchased. He named it “Miss Lancaster,” notwithstanding objections from the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.

Perhaps the biggest date in Intercourse town history was November Election Day, 1892. Folks arrived at the Cross Keys Tavern, still the social center of town and the place to cast ballots. The exciting political events were soon overshadowed by a cry of “Fire!” A barn fire, possibly started by children playing with matches, soon went out of control. Bells rang and volunteers with buckets came running, but the wind blew sparks to other buildings and the fire spread. Barns, warehouses, homes, and the town store were soon in flames. One story claims that the store’s watchdog refused to leave it post and died in the fire. People tried to salvage what they could, piling things along the side of the road. One family cut off the legs of their Grand Piano to remove it from the house.

Nearly twenty years later, in 1911, the residents finally formed the Intercourse Fire Company. This was no small project for the town, as it meant constructing a building and buying fire apparatus, two 45-gallon fire engines costing $500, a considerable sum for a small town in those days. Unfortunately, before the equipment arrived a barn was destroyed by fire. Still, it was difficult work, as the engines had to be pulled by manpower through the streets. Later motorized vehicles and an electric siren improved the company’s response time. (The old bell, however, is still a fixture in front of the fire hall today.) Continuous improvements and upgrades followed, including the purchase of a tank truck so that sufficient supplies of water to fight fires would be on hand. The volunteer fire company remains a fine example of small-town community spirit and cooperation, and is currently building a much larger firewall on the east side of town.

There have been some interesting organizations in the town’s history. One of these was the Horse Thief Association of 1870. Annual membership cost 25 cents and rewards were offered. The members were organized into classes, which oversaw “routes.” Members met when a horse was stolen, and there was great secrecy so that the offender might be apprehended. With the arrival of the State Police, the group disbanded.

We cannot forget the Intercourse Glider Club, formed in 1931. They bought a glider, and self-taught themselves to fly after being launched via shock-cord or pulled by a car. In one national competition, two-hour flights were achieved. It is said that in exchange for storing the glider in the firehouse, they polished the fire engine brass.

Community banks were another feature of town life. The First National Bank was opened in 1908. The building with its Colonial Revival architecture, is on the National Historic Register and is now the home of one of the town’s unique attractions, the American Edged Weaponry Museum. A new community-based bank opened recently to serve the needs of area residents. The Hometowne Heritage Bank is located in the new series of shops opposite Kitchen Kettle. The Intercourse Post Office has relocated to this area as well.

Communications improved with the formation of the Intercourse Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1909, and operators worked the exchange, often out of their homes, until the dial system came along in 1951.

There have always been a lot of businesses in the town in relation to its size. The two well-known stores in town were Wenger’s General Store and Zimmerman and Sons. Opened in 1833, Wenger’s was the first store in town. It was later operated by the Eaby family and a hardware store annex was built featuring a hand-operated elevator, which remains to this day. Ultimately, it was owned by a family named Worst, resulting in jokes about “the Worst store in Intercourse.” Today these buildings are the Old Country Store, housing the Quilt Museum on its second floor, and the Village Pottery.

Zimmerman’s gained fame when Harrison Ford made a phone call from its porch in the movie WITNESS. The present store was built in 1892 after the famous town fire. In the old days, there was lots of trading, with farmers exchanging items like hides, butter, and even soap for store merchandise. April 1st was the yearly date when each party paid the other whatever the balance was in the exchanges of the year. On more than one occasion the store ended up with too much of an item, and sometimes excess soap and rags were sold to the Lancaster County Prison. Over the years, the store had the town’s first mechanical refrigeration, first radio set, and first gasoline pump. Because of the many Amish customers, there is still a hitching rail out front, buggy parking in the rear, and a mix of foods on the first floor and other items upstairs.

Other businesses around town over the years included harness and buggy shops, a hosiery mill, blacksmiths, bakery, furniture, brick kiln, and farm equipment, with Smoker Elevator Company known nationally. For a while, a large pond near town provided ice to five area businesses. “The ice was stored in chopped straw and sawdust… Filling the ice houses in the cold winter events was quite an event and took on a holiday aspect.”

To give you an idea of how the uses of a building changed, the current Family Creations shop was formerly an International Harvester dealership, barbershop, income tax business, and hardware store. The Old Woodshed, on the other hand, was originally a wagon maker’s shop, then a hardware and implement business, followed by furniture making and repair, before it became the “Old Cabinet Shop Museum.” Some of the old items from the cabinet trade are still on display in the store. Indeed, today there are two stores in town that are known nationally for their superb furniture reproductions, Martin’s Chair and Old Road Furniture.

Just as stores changes, so did occupations. John Bearn, for example, was a village baker, restaurant owner, postmaster, justice of the peace, and electrical inspector!

Today, visitors flock to Kitchen Kettle, a name recognized in many parts of the world for its delicious jams, jellies, relishes and other products. Started nearly 50 years ago with some gas burners and kettles in the garage to cook and sell jelly, it has grown into a village of shops with a busy mail order and internet business for visitors who want some of those goodies after they get back home.

The Peoples’ Place owns a complex of historic buildings on main street, offering visitors two museums, one on Amish culture and another with changing quilt exhibitions, as well as quilt, furniture, and art galleries. They also publish Good Books, with many highly respected titles focusing on various aspects of Amish and Mennonite culture.

Since the town never really got to be “too large,” it has retained much of its sense of community, from the little public library in a former one-room school to the volunteer fire company. Over the years there have been an Improvement Association, Literary Society, Death Benefit Association, Debating Society, and Merchants Association. Surrounded by farms, the town has grown little and retains much of its former charm, even when thousands of visitors descend upon it during the tourist season.

Religion always played an important part in community life, as could be seen by the various nearby churches — Episcopal, German Baptist, Mennonite, United Brethren, Presbyterian, Methodist and Reformed. The Amish, of course, comprise a large percentage of the area’s residents, but they worship in each other’s homes. Even today, most Intercourse businesses are closed on Sunday, and one can walk the streets as the Amish carriages go by.

Most of the information in this article came from the Intercourse 200th Anniversary Souvenir Book (1954) and the 1965 “History of the Village of Intercourse,” by Miles Zimmerman and Barry Rathvon. There are some interesting comments here concerning living in a small town, a place where family, religion, and hard work are still important values. They write, “The sense of being close to the realities of nature, the sense of belonging to a group in which one is known and needed and appreciated, the sense of being an important part of a community or organization, these are the undergirdings that Society needs if it is to be free from tension and conflict.” The village of Intercourse has certainly changed over the years, but it has changed slowly, and “sometimes the things that grow the slowest are the ones that endure the longest.”

 From the Amish Country News Article by :  Brad Igou

www.Amishnews.com            History  published with permission from Amish Country News. Richard from Amish Stories.                    

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