Friday, December 21, 2012

My visit with Amish buggy shop owner AARON LAPP

Story by: Richard of www.PureCountryLiving.com

I had no idea at the time these pictures were taken that this post would be the last one that I would be doing, so this one will be the last for Amish Stories in this original format as Amish Stories will  return as a photography only blog . Always wanting to see how Amish buggies were made and never really seeing any information (in pictures) online or even in books I decided that it was time I tried getting inside one for a post on this blog. 

Lapp's buggy shop is located in Lebanon county and the owner is named AARON LAPP , and I believe it may be the only Amish owned and run carriage shop in this county. Since Lebanon county is right next to Lancaster I would say most of the buggies seen on the roads in my area would be made there, so it was a pleasant surprise finding out (I talked with some of the Amish) that Lebanon had a shop. This is a family operation with AARON'S wife and son helping, so his wife does all of the sewing while his son does most of the electrical work and painting. 

At the time these pictures were taken AARON'S son was finishing up Rumspringer and was about to join the Amish church, during my stay there I was very surprised in finding out that Lapp's offers among the many options "air suspension" on their buggies. AARON told me that this set-up gives its owners a better ride and handling (makes sense), but because its more expensive most of his Amish customers will stick with the tried and true method of using leaf springs. 

Something that's been around for a very long time on buggies, and is also still used on many new pick-up trucks sold today like the very popular Ford F150. Enjoy folks and I hope to be back occasionally sharing my own images on Amish Stories sometime in Spring.    Richard   
New buggies waiting for their owners

                                     Reminders of AARON'S rural roots

The front of Lapp's buggy shop

Some materials for making the wheels

After painting and now needing electrical work (lights)

Inside being worked on

The sewing area where AARON'S wife mostly works

Electrical parts

 A view of AARON'S farm that's next to his shop

Material for the buggy tops

Wiring work being done

Different types of mirror options

A fairly simple but effective form of air suspension (I love that), a very nice option that's hardly seen!

The beginnings of an Amish buggy

Disk brakes as an option, much better than using drums!

                                                                Wheel making area

A view of how everything first started, yet still remains

As many know the Amish love these bird houses

Another look at those disk brakes

And of this really nice shot of the air ride suspension, a must have for me if I were driving a buggy myself!

So simple yet offers a lot in comfort!

AARON'S son working on a wheel

Painting area, and like the very early days of Henry Fords cars black would be the dominate color used

Conventional buggy leaf springs

Painting area

More of the parts area

Finished buggy wheels needing the steel bands,some of the Amish do use rubber. (depends on the rules of that particular church) 

AARON'S clean but modest home from the back

The barn

Full view of the buggy shop

Front view of AARON'S home

Got to love those bird houses, and I bet the birds are happy staying in them!

Part of a price list of options from Lapp's, with the price of a brand new buggy starting at $6,200. With options the price of a standard buggy goes up considerably. I have seen pin striping done by hand along with fancy lights among those options desired by the Amish and old order Mennonites, and some bigger side and rear windows that were tinted.
 The End  


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