What Happens in Intercourse

Jason English

I just returned from a very enjoyable weekend in picturesque Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is the heart of Amish Country, the mecca of sexually suggestive towns, and -- for one day in 1777 -- home of our nation's capital. Let's tackle those in random order.

Our nation's capital. On September 27, 1777, after fleeing Philadelphia, the Continental Congress set up shop in Lancaster. But only for a day. The mobile capital tour moved on to York, PA.

Sexually suggestive towns. On the way to Intercourse, we passed through Virginville and saw signs for Blue Ball and Paradise (admittedly less suggestive than the others). Intercourse historians are split on the origin of the name, which became official in 1814. Some say it was derived from "Entercourse," the name of a nearby racetrack. Others say the name was an attempt to position the town as a center of commerce, as "intercourse" had business connotations in the parlance of the times.

The heart of Amish Country. The movie Witness was filmed in Intercourse; the movie For Richer or Poorer was set there. As a window into Amish culture, Lancaster thrives on tourism. Buggy rides are everywhere, and so are farms, as illustrated by Google Maps. Farming and outlet shopping.

All in all, a good weekend. I'll be back, and promise an Armchair Field Trip next time around.