By David Walbert
Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors are attracted to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to adventure first-hand the necessary pastoral--both as an get away from city existence and as a unprecedented chance to develop into immersed in heritage. the realm has attracted viewers desirous to seize a glimpse of the exact spiritual neighborhood of the outdated Order Amish, to understand the wonderful thing about the farmland, to benefit from the ample and scrumptious foodstuff of the Pennsylvania Dutch...and, so much lately, to buy on the area's outlet department stores. for almost 300 years, Lancaster county has been a version of agricultural prosperity, rooted within the family members farm. the agricultural personality of where is still Lancaster's essential vacationer appeal, yet is at odds with its speedily emerging inhabitants and the economic and home progress that has introduced. it's the stress among rural culture, growth, and urbanization that lies on the center of backyard Spot. David Walbert examines how 20th century American tradition has come to outline and take pleasure in rurality, and the way progress and monetary growth can co-exist with protection of the normal methods of lifestyles within the quarter. Will small farms fail in a tradition that has more and more come to price productiveness over caliber of lifestyles? What effect will additional improvement have on preserving this region's personality? Can rurality and growth co-exist within the twenty first century? A shiny portrayal of the land and other people, citizens and outsiders alike, backyard Spot narrates the background of this zone and considers the demanding situations Lancaster County and its humans face with a purpose to protect their specific position.
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Extra resources for Garden Spot: Lancaster County, the Old Order Amish, and the Selling of Rural America
Europeans and Americans alike considered Pennsylvania “the best poor man’s country in the world,” and it was indeed as affluent an agrarian society as could be found in Europe or America. Although farmers were never quite selfsufficient, they created a varied agriculture, growing grain for market and feed, a fair variety of vegetables, an array of livestock, and apple orchards. 17 Although Pennsylvania’s temperate climate, gentle slopes, rich soils, ample water supply, and abundant flora and fauna all impressed observers, most praised the settlers themselves, particularly the Germans, for the region’s agriculture.
Like most of the first European settlers in what became the United States, immigrants to Lancaster County settled not in villages but on separate farms. 4. The Jacob and Elizabeth Miller barn, built in 1804, is typical of the Pennsylvania German bank barns that still make Lancaster County’s agricultural landscape distinctive. Photographed in 1941 by Charles H. Dornbusch for the American Institute of Architects Pennsylvania German Barn project. Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, HABS,PA,36–LANC.
But this pure form of agrarian republicanism had a major flaw. It assumed the existence of cities and factories elsewhere to supply farmers with the manufactured goods they craved; the moral costs of the farmers’ dependence upon manufactures were merely externalized, not eliminated. And to avoid that problem was to assume, even worse, a static society in which there could be no material progress at all. Most Americans, however committed they might be to an agrarian way of life, also wanted progress, material improvements that would make their lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.