Eleven years ago today I headed to one of the count ’em on the fingers of one hand things I missed (and still miss) about the Midwest, the Amish country of Ohio.
Most people associate the Amish and Mennonites with Pennsylvania, but there are Amish communities scattered all over the place (including not far from Libby, Montana), and the largest Amish community in North America is actually in Ohio, sort of between Columbus and Akron.
On my way there I stopped in the town of Coshocton, to do my weekly email at the library and to find an AAA office so I could pick up my next installment of maps. I also wanted to revisit Roscoe Village, which is sort of like Williamsburg, only as a small Ohio canal town. I love reconstructed historic villages, especially with living history exhibits and historians, and, well, Roscoe Village does a pretty good job of such things. I wandered up and down the main street for an hour or so before heading on to the Amish country.
When I lived in Ohio, my favorite overnight getaway was to the Amish country. I learned to quilt while I was living here, and the Amish country, with its fabric shop (sometimes more than one) in each little town is pretty much a quilter’s fantasy. The restaurants and bakeries are nice, too.
And the countryside is beautiful, in a serene and bucolic sort of way:
One of my favorite places in this area is the town of Berlin (BURR-lin), where the Helping Hands Quilt Museum is located, as well as a nice little cross-stitch shop. Oh, and the bakery here, well… Yum.
Another favorite place is the tiny town of Charm:
The last must-stop for my tour of the Amish country was Der Dutchman, a Mennonite-run restaurant that makes some of the best pie I’ve ever had.
It was a fun day. Probably the day that was the hardest on my credit card for the entire trip, but I had no idea when and/or if I was ever going to get back there again (I haven’t been able to swing it again yet), so I sort of splurged.
That evening I drove on over to New Philadelphia to find an inexpensive motel (the one I’d always stayed in when I lived in Ohio had gone way upscale, as had everything else I found), and got ready to see if Ohio really would grab onto me and not let me go the next morning.