Since my internet friends can’t visit me because of lack of vacation days, here is a virtual tour of my hometown!
Welcome to Bowmansville!! A small village amongst the corn fields, cows, and Amish of Lancaster County, which happens to be the place where I grew up for the most part. It is so small we don’t even have a police force. However, while there’s not much to do, the culture is interesting and unique compared to most places throughout the world.
In Lancaster County, it not uncommon to be held up by buggies, bikes, and scooters, that’s our traffic. Sunday mornings it is necessary to add an extra five minutes (at least) to any commute because of the old fashioned travelers. The county is complete with one room school house, buggy hitches, and roadside farm stands. It is basically what you would expect to find in Amish Country, just not everyone is Amish.
There’s not much to our little corner of the world, if you blink you might miss it to be quite honest. The main street of Bowmansville is very small and there’s not much there. We have an overpriced gas station, mostly everything in it costs less on the Turnpike, I would never take you there if you came to visit. However, they do have free range chickens and roosters that roam around the parking lot which is a sight to see.
I did start my life in New Holland, Pennsylvania, where the high school I attended is located. I moved here in mid 2000 and at that point we had a little general store where you could get the things you forgot at the grocery store. It burned down suspiciously a few years later. There, they put a family restaurant, which serves mediocre food to this day. We also have a petite bakery, that is very good despite the constantly empty parking lot. So I’m assuming that most people forget it’s there until they make burgers and realize they don’t have any buns. Up until the very end of 2014 we also had a very gross and dingy bar. I never entered it, but it was the one place in town that always had a full parking lot, what has taken it’s place is a pizza shop.
Now let me tell you about this pizza shop- the pizza shop that we waited a very long time for this pizza place. I lived here for nearly 11 years and we never had a pizza shop. Let me tell you, this was a huge deal, probably some of the biggest news that’s happened here in the 15 years that I lived here. Since moving from the apartment it was located in and taking over the huge bar it has turned from little pizza shop to more of an Italian restaurant.
In a small town like this, we don’t have a high school. We have one elementary school, a few one room school houses, but no high school. This is common for our area, most elementary schools are in smaller towns and then meet up to go to middle school and high school together. The middle school and high school in our area still stands out a little though: the middle school and high school are combined in one building. So for six years, you attend on building, ride the same bus, and see the same people. Although, Middle schoolers aren’t allowed on the high school side, and vice versa.
Now our little town isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. In 2003 a State Prosecutor from Baltimore was stabbed 36 times in our little area, the case has gone cold and, by the locals it was assumed to be murder but a conclusion was never resolved. Then in 2005 a tire shop owner was murdered in a robbery gone wrong, however, was quickly solved. Petty crime happens everywhere, so of course it happens here but nothing to make me afraid to walk around alone at night.
Bowmansville is the kind of place where you have neighborhood picnics and you actually borrow sugar and milk from the person next door. It’s the picture perfect version of the small town, but almost smaller than anyone would even picture. All of this has been a brief glimpse into my life that I have lived for so long and so much of what I see on a day-to-day basis.
Thank you for visiting Bowmansville!