Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Lancaster county: An Amishman and his mobile horse shoe business
You never know what you might bump into when your looking for something else. While driving through part of Lancaster county with my Kodak digital camera, I had seen a sign for a Amish wood working shop. I really wanted to get a story along with some really good pictures of an Amish business this day, so I made that turn and followed the sign until I arrived at the wood working business. So here I was thinking "great", now ill finally get what I've been looking for today". This particular shop deals in the tourist trade, and I'm sure some of you have even seen some of their items in shops across Lancaster county. I got out of my car and walked into this Amish business and someone greeted me at the door, I told him I was looking to do a story on a Amish business for my blog, and was wondering if he had a little time . I was told that the owner was not in, and that he was not sure when the owner would arrive back. As I was walking out the door I was thinking "here I go again", and it had looked like another lost opportunity. After getting back in my car, I had just decide to salvage the day by taking some pictures for the blog, at least id feel like I was accomplishing something although not what I originally wanted. I was about a half a mile from that Amish shop when I saw something in the corner of my eye, it was this buggy kind of in the middle of no where. As I drove a little closer I noticed a Amish man working on a horse inside a shed, so I had to get out of the car and find out what he was doing. It turns out that he's a Amish mobile horse shoeing business, he goes where the work is and on this particular day he was working on a customers horse. First his name is Fisher, I tried to get a first name from him, but he felt more comfortable just giving me his last name. I could kind of see his point because I was this guy with a camera who has just pulled out from no where asking maybe strange questions to him, so I went on with our conversation. The horse that he was working on is owned by an Amish gentlemen that works very close to this shed, the buggy that this horse was hitched is the buggy in the corner of the shed. This horse needed its horse shoes to be re-fitted because of the growth of its hoofs. For those that don’t know, a horses hoofs grow much like our own nails, and they need trimming at certain times, this horse was over -do at 10 weeks. Mr. Fisher told me the average horse should get trimmed at around 8 weeks. I was amazed really at how comfortable the horse looked as he was being worked on, so he really made it look very easy. All the horse shoes were now off this horse, after inspecting all the horse shoes he then placed them in a oven. The little oven which you can maybe see on the floor in the picture is used to help make the horse shoe a little easier to put back on the horse, and will help in making a better fit. Our conversation shifted pretty much all over the place, with both of us talking about the year 1972, and the floods that was a result from hurricane Agnes. The Susquehanna river over-flowed as a result, and I remember it because I was here in Lancaster on vacation with my family. My family saved every year for a vacation to get away from New York city, and when the hurricane hit this area it was our normal time to take it. We really had very modest means living in a city projects at the time, but we were still able to find some cloths to bring with us to Lancaster in 1972, which were donated to local families affected by the floods. We then shifted back to his mobile business, and as you can see from the pictures, his work buggy is pretty crowded after he puts everything back inside it. In fact there's so little room he does not have any room for a seat. He will just use his wooden tool box to sit on when driving. His buggy may seem like a standard model, but if you look closer you will find that he has added rear brakes in addition to the front brakes that came with his buggy. The rear wooden wheels have been replaced by expensive fiberglass ones. This buggy is only really used for work, so he uses a more traditional Amish buggy with a real seat when not working . I left telling him that I thought he was ahead of his time,lol, with his mobile business and thanked him for his time with me. It was a very pleasant surprise pretty much bumping into him like I did, so you never know what you will find while your looking for something else. I'm sure Mr. Fisher is out there somewhere as I write this, traveling down some country road on route to another customer. American innovation is very much alive in this country, and the Amish being very much a part of it, weather they realize it or not. Richard from Amish Stories.
Image Posted By: 2nd amendment guy
I've created this website out of my own interest in the Amish/Mennonite culture and of living in the country. Its a place for people who are interested in the Amish like myself, and its also a place to share Images of the beautiful country side that is all around me. my name is Richard, and I live very close to an Amish settlement here in Pennsylvania. This site is dedicated to my mother, who had started all of this by taking me as a child to Lancaster,pa from our apartment in the Bronx projects..........THANK YOU MOM............... Richard