National Geographic : 1984 Apr
OMFORTABLE CLUTTER and customers she has known all their lives keep Florence Fair company in the building where she was born in 1902 (right). Though she is a Lutheran herself, most of her customers are Team Mennonites, for whom the Hinkletown store, within a carriage ride of their homes, is a great convenience. "The old folks pass away and the young ones take their place," she says. An antique shop in Intercourse (below right) keeps the folksy look of the hardware store it once was. Formerly a sleepy village where blacksmiths shod Amishmen's horses, Intercourse today caters mostly to tourists. As fewer "English"-the Old Order term for outsiders-provide the specialized parts and skills needed to build and repair machinery for Old Order farms and homes, home shops have become increasingly widespread. As a happy side effect, Old Order craftsmen have discovered a demand for their work outside the area: At Edwin Shirk's carriage shop, eldest son Earl fastens a rubber rim onto a wheel (below) for a customer in the tourist trade in Philadelphia. Wenger Mennonites, the Shirks use only steel rims on wheels of their own buggies.