8-9 October 2009
Old Order Mennonite Buggy
Sold for $1,100
The horse-drawn buggy is undoubtedly the most recognizable symbol of the Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities in North America. Various types continue in use today, reflecting the specific needs of their owners. Market wagons, with their lifting rear panels, represent the equivalent of automotive station wagons, while the spring wagon or cab wagon closely approximates a pickup truck in its basic layout and function. As such, the covered passenger buggy is akin to today’s family sedan.
While these vehicles are often collectively referred to as “Amish” buggies, one basic distinction is based on their top color. Particularly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, buggies with grey tops are used by Amish populations, while Old Order Mennonite communities generally specify black tops. The features and passenger amenities of these vehicles can vary quite widely, depending on the level of conservatism espoused by the leadership within each church district. For example, buggy features can include such items as windows, window wipers, battery-powered head, tail and directional signal lamps, as well as a choice of rubber or steel-rimmed wheels.
Coexistence with faster motorized vehicles on today’s roads has predictably led to a number of unfortunate accidents over the years, resulting in the adoption of reflective tape stripes in some Amish communities, while other groups have installed battery-powered lights and slow-moving vehicle signs. Some communities, however, have steadfastly refused these modern items. Interestingly, the question surrounding the addition of safety equipment proved most contentious within the Amish community of Harmony, Minnesota. As the case progressed through several judiciary levels, a State Supreme Court decision ultimately supported those who refused to add lights and other reflective items to their buggies.
This very interesting Old Order Mennonite Wagon is a two-passenger example that is completely finished in black, with an indeterminate build date and age. However, it remains quite attractive today, with careful maintenance, storage and use in evidence. Equipped with wooden yokes, as well as a Miller & Yoder steering arrangement, this buggy features equipment that is representative of a progressive community, with rubber-tread wood-spoke wheels, a tan velour seat cover, sliding side windows, battery-powered head and taillights as well as a rear-mounted slow-moving vehicle sign.
AddendumPlease note that this lot is being sold on "Bill of Sale Only"
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