The Colorful Amish Buggies

Love learning about the Amish culture? Want to know "everything" Amish?

This post might be your fave.

Have you always thought Amish buggies are black? Here's a surprise!

 The Old School - also called Nebraska Amish - have white-topped buggies! Any exterior lights or reflectors are considered vain "ornaments." I'd think a white-topped buggy would be easier to see on the road at night. Interestingly, this is one of the few orders that prohibit women from wearing a bonnet!

Nebraska Amish were named for Yost B. Yoder, an Amish bishop from Nebraska, who helped start this group.

Ready for more?

An Old Order Amish group uses yellow tops. The Byler Amish group uses this color. You might see a tiny window on the rear of this buggy.

Those who live around or know Byler Amish call them "yellow-toppers."

Some of the Lancaster Amish have gray toppers.

Many Old and Swartzentruber Orders have the more familiar black-topped buggy. In parts of Kentucky all Amish buggies are black. Here's a picture of Harvey -  who I posted about - of the Abe Amish. The Abe is "basically Swartzentruber but disagree with the bed courtship."

My friend, Deb, who lives in PA, in what they call the "Big Valley, says, "I can stand on my street and see all three types of buggies go by."

And then . . .  The Swiss Amish in Berne have topless buggies! You might see these buggies if you're visiting southwest of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Hmm, I think that'd be an interesting ride during the cold and wet months. Good thing they're not in Ohio, where we've had rain nearly every day this summer!

Were you surprised? The Amish are complex and diverse. What do YOU have to say?


  1. I used to deliver pizza in the southeastern part of Knox County, Ohio. All of the buggies I've seen around there are black, and they are harder to see at night than deer. In case people don't realize, the Amish don't necessarily go home by dark. Lately I've seen a few in or near the Coshocton County line that have lights, but not around Bladensburg when I was delivering there. White or yellow buggies would be easier to see, but not enough to be as safe as lighted vehicles.

    I have seen gray buggies on TV and I think a few in Holmes County, and lighted buggies as well in Holmes County. I have not been in places with white or yellow buggies. You startled me with the colors other than black or gray.

  2. Yes, in Knox County, Ohio there are Swartzentruber, Old, and a few other orders which use black buggies. The Swartzentruber buggy is the hardest to see at night bc they don't allow the SMV triangle and use only 2 small, kerosene lanterns.

    You're right, white or yellow buggies would be easier to see.

    So my post "startled" you Calvin? Well, it's always good to learn new things about the complex Amish culture. Thanks for reading! :-]

  3. I was told that the yellow buggy Byler Amish who came to upstate, NY from Wilmington, PA changed the color of their buggies to a mustard color...a darker yellow light brownish. Reason being that the transplants decided the yellow was too showy since the new settlement is more conservative. They also do not like being referred to as Byler Amish in NY. What they call themselves now, I have no clue and still trying to find out.

    1. thanks for reading & leaving your comments Linda. I have heard of the burnt orange color and some are in the New Wilmington area. Some Amish in the New Wilmington & Orange County, IN area drive open buggies . . . in all weather.
      It's all so complex and confusing. That's why I don't care for most Amish fiction bc it paints the Amish in broad strokes as if they're all the same. Your book, Linda, will be more accurate as it focuses on one order.