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Janetmae Weaver

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Haven or Hex? Memoirs from Lancaster County, PA
by Janetmae Weaver   

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Publisher:  1st Books Library ISBN-10:  0759676313 Type: 


Copyright:  Apr 1 2002

This book depicts the birth of a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania business,and the effects that it had on the author, her family and the local culture. Not incidental is a teenager gone astray in the nineteen-fifties, and a one room Amish school that burned to the ground.

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Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was idyllic rolling farmland back in the early nineteen-forties. Then a young couple with a small budget and big ideas settled in. They opened a little restaurant and gas station beside Route 30. How, they wondered could they get all those passing travelers to stop for a while and share their money with them. Good food was one idea. Using the gentle local Amish culture as a curiosity was even better.

Dutch Haven was built on a foundation of wonderful food. Travelers on Route 30 were first served huge portions in the cozy dining room. Later the owners would initiate the first family style dining room. Eventually the little business would become a sprawling giant, with many specialty gift shops, a museum and world famous bakery. It would be known throughout the eastern area of the country and beyond as "The Place that made Shoo-fly Pie Famous."


Many a Sunday, after the business shut down at 10 p.m., some Amish stragglers would linger. Dad would close the shades and they would retrieve banjos and guitars that were hidden in their buggies. Dad added a harmonica and the group would gather in one corner of the dining room playing and singing into the wee hours. This was a highly illicit activity for the Amish boys as they were in danger of being shunned if they even played an instrument, let alone owned one.
In those days shunning was a terrible fate. A funeral would be held for the sinner and no one, not even parents, would ever again acknowledge their existence. In future years we would often give lodging to boys who were shunned.

Professional Reviews

Delight to Read!
Delight to Read!, June 22, 2002 Reviewer: Angela D. McCravy from Daytona Beach, FL Janetmae's first book is a delight on several levels. In Haven or Hex, the reader is able to glimpse the simple lifestyle of a time gone by in Amish Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the same time, Janetmae's life story shines a spotlight on the loss of that lifestyle due to the growth of tourism in this small town in the 1950's. Haven or Hex will transport you to a different time, a different culture, and a different way of life. It's thoroughly engrossing!

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