I never thought this day would come, but I *think* this is the last post I can squeeze out of the four-day road trip that my mom and I took back in October. We made 30+ stops through eight states over four days—and I made sure that we were kept busy right up until the end. After touring the Haines Shoe House, we drove 30 minutes east through southern Pennsylvania to Amish country. Lancaster County has the largest Amish population in the world, followed closely by Holmes County in Ohio.
By this point in the trip I had mostly forgotten why I had put certain destinations on the map, so our stop at Hershey Farm Restaurant and Inn was just as much of a surprise for me as it was for my mom. When we pulled into the parking lot and spotted Amos—the barefoot Amish giant—I immediately remembered that he was the reason that I had put the Hersey Inn on my list. Amos, a 15-foot-tall fiberglass figure—similar to a Muffler Man—stood outside of Zinn's Diner in Denver, PA from 1969 until the diner was sold in 2003.
Amos ended up at the The Heritage Center of Lancaster County, but he was too big for them to display, so he is currently "on loan" to the Hershey Farm Restaurant. Apparently the loan period was scheduled to end in 2009, but as of October 2017 Big Amos was still standing in the parking lot, near a pair of Amish buggies.
Less than half a mile from the Hershey Restaurant, we happened upon another statue outside of the former Freeze and Frizz—now Katie's Corner restaurant. This one features an Amish boy (also barefoot) and two pigs. The boy holds an enormous twist ice cream cone, one pig holds a hamburger, and the other has a banana split. The statue has obviously seen better days, with several layers of paint visible beneath the peeling top layer, but it's just strange enough (and surprisingly large) to warrant a quick stop.
Located two miles from Katie's Kitchen is Dutch Haven, the official last stop on our epic road trip. Originally this windmill-topped building housed a Pennsylvania-Dutch style luncheonette. In 1946 it became Dutch Haven, which bills itself as the "largest Amish souvenir store in Lancaster County." In addition to selling furniture, t-shirts, candy, glassware and other "Amish stuff," Dutch Haven is also famous for their shoo-fly pie—they offer in-store samples and ship their pies anywhere in the country for a flat rate. I'm not crazy about shoo-fly pie (it tastes like a soggy brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart?) but it's my friend Jim's favorite, so I got my money's worth by shipping one to him in California.
Dutch Haven made my list because of its novelty building, but I didn't expect it to also be a treasure trove of hand-painted signage and lettering. When I was a kid, I used to go to Ohio's Amish country frequently with my mom to do a little antiquing and a whole lot of cheese sampling, so Lancaster County was a fitting end to our short but mighty road trip.
Other stops on our road trip:
Muffler Man: Pink Pants // Muffler Man: Cowboy // Enchanted Forest // Hills of Snow // Muffler Man: Bunyan + Babe // Muffler Men: White's Tire // South of the Border: Night + Day // Dinosaur Land // Muffler Man: Homer // Divine // Chang and Eng // Main Street of Yesteryear // Shell Station // Haines Shoe House // World's Largest things // Grahamland // Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery