Banned Articles By The Amish
Telephones and window curtains are not allowed in the home and you won?t find any rugs unless they are in a spare room or parlor. Carpets and other comforts and conveniences involving extravagance are avoided, this includes electricity.
There are no musical instruments, and photographs or taking of photographs are forbidden by the old families especially. Children's dolls have no facial features. Full sized bicycles are also not allowed as they are seen to bring too much mobility and freedom.
Good Food, New Friends
It seems like smorgasbords are all over the place in Lancaster, and this one is not to be missed. The line that you have to wait on seems daunting but moves quickly and what awaits is family style/ communal dining experience where you are seated with strangers and get to know them while passing the mashed potatoes and shoofly pie. Definitely check it out for a taste of some of the local cuisine. This place has been around for decades, so they know what they're doing.
Bike through farm country
Don't get lost! On our buggy tour, these bicyclists yelled out to our driver to ask for directions....later we saw them miles from this intersection. They covered a lot of countryside. Of course getting lost in this farmland could be a real joy. Notice the fringe on the top of our surrey.
Green Dragon Farmers Market & Auction
Largest Farmers Market in the area, located on a thirty acre site in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Visitors will be sure to find locals in this country town of Ephrata, in Lancaster County.
Open Every Friday, 9:00 A.M. TO 9:00 P.M., including Holidays *
*( Only exception is if Christmas falls on a Friday, then Market is closed that week entirely)
LANCASTER - CONTRASTING POLITICANS
At one time, Lancaster (emphasis on the first syllable) was the capital of Pennsylvania - 1799-1812. You can read all sorts of interesting odds and ends at the Wikipedia entry for Lancaster. Robert Fulton, Meriwether Lewis and F.W. Woolworth, for example, all have Lancastrian ties. The Conestoga wagon is named for the river which runs through town. Presently, the city is trying to reinvent itself with the development of a large convention center - including a 300-room Marriott Hotel - smack dab in the center of town. That brings me to one of the two men of Lancaster who sharing humble origins elsewhere, played prominent roles in American history during the middle years of the 19th century - Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens’ home and offices were slated to be demolished for the new convention center, but more intelligent minds prevailed. His home, along with the home of his housekeeper, Lydia Hamilton Smith - a mulatto and a fascinating story in her own right - are now slated to become the centerpiece for an $18 million Thaddeus Stevens-Lydia Hamilton Smith Historic Site.
Stevens is a strong figure in history and people have strong feelings about him. He was despised by Southerners for his hatred of both slavery and the political power wielded by Southern slave owners. Southern-oriented historians painted Stevens as a sort of mad attack dog bent on the utter destruction of the South. Stevens certainly did argue for a hard line against slavery. He also argued for the break up of large slave-owned estates with the proposed recipients of the lands to go to the still impoverished former black slaves. These same historians claim that Reconstruction as proposed and initiated by the Radical Republicans in Congress to be both wrong-headed and basically simply a continuation of the Civil War. Reconstruction was certainly a continuation of the war - an attempt by the Radicals to bring about the destruction of antebellum Southern political power, meaning the preservation of Northern Republican power. But because this process also championed basic rights for equality and the vote for freed black slaves, wrong-headed it was not. Simply look at what happened. Reconstruction was eventually defeated with the restoration of antebellum Southern white political power enabling Southern States to block the enactment of the 14th and 15th Amendments - Stevens played a major role in the drafting of the 13th (abolishment of slavery), 14th (all have equal rights and protection under the law) and the 15th (equal voting rights for all) Amendments though he died before the 15th became law - meaning equal rights had to wait for another century.
Stevens’ life in Pennsylvania began in Gettysburg where he built a successful law practice and initiated his political career. He moved to Lancaster in the 1842 to increase his ability to earn - bigger and more prosperous town - to becoming the area’s congressman for one term in 1848 and then again from 1858 until his death in 1868. In the first step in the preservation of Steven’s buildings, archaeologists have uncovered evidence that Stevens and Smith may have run an actual Underground Railway station for runaway slaves as they made their way to freedom. The focus of the historic site has shifted, as a result, to focus the new historic site underground to bring attention to this fascinating aspect of American history.
The other famous Lancastrian was the fifteenth President of the United States, James Buchanan. Old Buck got to town earlier than Thaddeus - in 1812. He also found Lancaster to make a good living as a lawyer, using that as a foundation to be a successful land speculator, too. Buchanan had been in town just long enough to join the local cavalry as they went to chase the British out of Baltimore in 1814. The British left of their own accord and Private Buchanan was mustered back into civilian life. Besides his law and business dealings, Old Buck lived for politics starting out as a Federalist congressman in 1820. Being ever adroit, he switched allegiance to Andrew Jackson and the nascent Democratic party in 1828 - Jackson still considered Buchanan as a ‘Miss Nancy”, but that opens an entire other story - serving five more terms in Congress. Next, he served a stint as Minister to Russia, then the U.S. Senate and finally Secretary of State under James Polk. The Presidency was the next obvious step, but he was outflanked by Franklin pierce in 1852. At 61 years of age, Old Buck became Minister to England and his career seemed over. His luck held, however, as other Democrats were damaged by the stances they took on whether slavery should be extended to Kansas Territory. Buchanan’s views were kept private and he kept them even closer to his vest after becoming the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1856 - more or less by default.
Buchanan regarded slavery through legalese glasses. He condemned the idea in the abstract, but was convinced the Constitution allowed the practice where it already existed. He - along with Pierce - was known as a ‘dough face’ meaning a Northern politician who worked to preserve the South’s antebellum situation. Unlike Stevens, Buchanan was opposed to abolition and wanted to protect it as it was. Stevens was strongly in favor of abolition and when the time came, he pushed the country away from a possible compromise that would have still allowed slavery to exist. As President, Buchanan stated that since the Constitution allowed States to decide on slavery for themselves, there was nothing people from outside of those States could do. The problem was both sides were polarizing and, quickly, there was no more room for a man in the middle. With Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 election - Old Buck had enough with one term as President - Southern States began to peel off. Buchanan declared that they didn’t have the constitutional right to secede but he also said he didn’t have the right to keep them in the Union.
So, two very successful men standing on the opposite side of the aisle. Buchanan has the edge in the memory department at the moment - his home at Wheatland makes for a very fascinating visit - though it appears that Stevens may get his day in the near future.