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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Witness movie location tour: As i tour the now Amish owned farm where the movie Witness was filmed staring Harrison Ford in 1985.




Some of the newer folks who are now readers to Amish Stories may not remember the contest that i had last year the revolved around the 1985 movie "Witness". In that contest i was looking for someone to come up with a sequel to that movie, and give us an update and a new twist for a "Witness part two". I was looking for something around 300 words so not very long but just to give me an idea on the direction for a new movie, as if they were writing the movie themselves
The new movie was to have as many of the original actors in it as possible otherwise to me it just wouldn't work, so a long story short 2 people won that contest with our own Marilyn being one of them. I did not judge this contest myself which is what i requested from Brad Igou of the tour company "The Amish experience" based in Lancaster county and publisher of the Amish country news who was this contests sponsor.Marilyn was not able to attend this tour with her being in New York state so she offered that winning ticket to me, and to be honest since this may be the very last tour of this farm where a lot of the movie was filmed i was going regardless before it ended last October. So i thank Marilyn for helping kick off what would be this very post about what it was like and what i saw. Another thing that's most likely coming to an end would be this post about the movie itself on Amish Stories, so since we had that contest and I've posted another thing or two about this really great movie this should be the last major post about it on here. Unless i can get an interview from someone who was in this movie ( tried with Kelly McGillis) but with no luck) the movie as a main post pretty much stops here on Amish Stories.      Richard
The long road: After driving over a covered bridge the tour bus headed over to where the farm is located, and its interesting to note that when this movie was filmed at that time the folks living on this farm were English and now its Amish owned. I'm sure this very long driveway looks very familiar because its the same road that Danny Glover and the other 2 Philadelphia police officers walked down with their weapons drawn, and who were about to inflict harm to John Book and maybe this Amish family as well. 
The driver of this van had asked if anyone wanted to walk this road before heading down, i jumped out of my seat along with a gentlemen from Australia and we both walked down together taking pictures and talking about the movie.
Not the original house as it was torn down to make way for this new Amish home.
The same barn that Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis were dancing in while listening to music on John Books old Volkswagen car radio, part of the original barn has since been updated after the movie was made.
I know everyone remembers this bird house, well its not the original but was built and placed in the same spot for the tour.
Not a prop folks just owned by the Amish family living here.
A better view of the barn, you can kind of see where the addition was added to the original from the movie, with Amish owners buggy in the back ground.
The original section of the barn and finally looking very much like in the movie, we were asked not to go into this part of the property which i found disappointing.
And now to the most famous perhaps and still intact building from Witness, this small building is where the all of the kitchen shots were filmed as well as the funeral. This building was only meant for the movie and was supposed to be taken down after it was all shot, but the original owners decided to leave it as it was. Which is a testament to how well it was made by the set builders. The original bell that young Samuel Lapp was ringing that was used to bring help, and we did ring it!
Now inside the kitchen area, with everything being the same as we remember it from the movie.
As the kitchen looked in the movie with the actors
I was really surprised how small everything looked in person, this is where the family ate breakfast at 5am or so, and with Harrison Fords character saying " honey now that's darn good coffee".
Image that was on the wall in the kitchen is of actor Jan RubeŇ° (Eli Lapp) taking a walk during filming.
The Amish family who own the farm now sell canned items to the tour like these peaches, reminds me very much of when Rachel Lapp had some on hand in the movie.
Dont they look so good!
Its amazing to me that this little make shift movie house was used for the funeral in the movie and as well as some other scene's in Witness, I'm still blown away by that and how they pulled that off when we all saw this movie in 1985.
Image that was on the wall of the film crew painting this was was supposed to be a temporary building for the movie. 
Leaving the building
This was here when the movie was made
Samuel Lapp's favorite fishing hole seen in the movie
A better view of the pond from the movie
Looking out towards the main road from the farm
One could almost hear the bell ringing as we left this farm...........
The long road 
That Harrison Fords character (John Book) took  as he left for the very last time, and he left a woman who was very different than himself yet both shared something that transcends  all cultures..................................Love


Sunset over an Amish farm that i took at the end of this tour, and a fitting end to this last "Witness" post on Amish Stories.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Casserole





Cut bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp. Cut bread slices in cubes and place in a greased 2 qt. casserole dish. Cube cheese and put on tip of bread. In mixing bowl beat eggs, milk, salt, and mustard. Pour over bread and cheese. Sprinkle bacon pieces on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. bake covered at 350° F. for 50-60 minutes or until puffed up. Serve immediately. 1/2 lb. bacon


6 slices white bread


1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese


6 eggs


2 cups milk


1/2 teaspoon salt


1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes Beat egg, buttermilk and soda with wire whip. Then add rest of ingredients, beat until smooth. Fry on greased skillet. Makes 10 - 4" pancakes. 1 c. flour 1 T. white sugar 1 t. baking powder 1/2 t. baking soda 1/2 t. salt . 1 egg 1 c. buttermilk 1 T. vegetable oil




Beat egg, buttermilk and soda with wire whip. Then add rest of ingredients, beat until smooth. Fry on greased skillet.


Makes 10 - 4" pancakes.




1 c. flour


1 T. white sugar


1 t. baking powder


1/2 t. baking soda


1/2 t. salt
                                                                          1    egg                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                      1 c. buttermilk


                                                                     1 T. vegetable oil
To order these Amish recipe cook books please visit our freinds at www.Amishshop.com
For Amish related tours in Lancaster county www.amishexperience.com

www.PureCountryLiving.com

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