The Long Way Home

Ohio Amish Country Weekend
June 15, 2010, 8:22 PM
Filed under: Ohio | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve always been curious about our Amish neighbors to the west, so Jeff, Bill, Beth, Dan and I trekked two hours out to Holmes County, Ohio to get our fill of horse-drawn buggies, patchwork fields, and a shoefly pie or two. 

starting out in the early morning


Most of our road trips are flea market motivated, and Holmes County Flea promised the largest and best in the area. But this one disappointed us. Picture rows of endless dollar store aisles selling tube socks, bamboo gardens and vanity mugs. Jeff and Dan did find some awesome Amish straw hats for only $5 (made in China) and an armful of Devo-looking white coveralls. 

enjoying a snack from Berlin Chili Traders


Berlin, the Holmes County seat, is the New York City of midwestern Amish country. It was mind-boggling how busy the streets were, a mix of buggies, mini-vans and motorcycles. We bought lemonade from a group of brightly clad Amish children posted outside of a boot shop and were lucky to find free hot dogs, courtesy of Berlin Chili Traders, which we washed down with tiny cups of locally-made shagbark hickory syrup. I was digging the local foods, but the crowd and the heat made us crabby. I was also curious to check out our haunted hotel.  

the only Amish photo I felt comfortable taking


Hotel Millersburg is a beautiful Victorian building right on a main street filled with little antique stores, my favorite — 55 West and Co., filled with drool-worthy, affordable retro furniture and clothing. It’s a sleepy town, and once the shops closed at 5, it was as if everyone disappeared into the walls.

I harbor dreams of small town living in a cottage, or a giant Edwardian home, with an overgrown, shabby English garden. Lots of quiet to get projects done. But then I wonder, where the hell would we go to watch freaky Spanish horror films or eat Indian food? A long way I’m guessing since this part of Ohio feels cut off from the world. 

lost on the side of a road and I saw this


While one cannot get a bowl of mattar paneer in this neck of the woods, one can “have dinner in Switzerland today!” at Chalet in the Valley. We wanted Amish kitsch, but Swiss-kitsch did just fine. Our waitress, dolled-up in a red dirndl and Heidi-braids, encouraged my camera-clicking as we dined on bratwurst, fried chicken and sauerkraut balls, which I have to hunt down the recipe for because they are so amazing. We even had an accordion serenade for our table. And while we spent the rest of the evening getting lost on back country roads, thanks to Bill’s GPS navigator, we still had a hilarious time in Holmes County.

No shoefly pie though. That’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thing. 

Al Zimmerman, polkas and waltzes from the Olde World


Amish hat


Hotel Millersburg lobby


55 West and Co.


cuckoo gallery


Guggisberg Cheese


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Very descriptive post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a second part to this?


Comment by Judy

[…] Ohio Amish Country Weekend « The Long Way Home […]


Pingback by Ohio Amish Country lets you help with chores – Chicago Tribune | Gambling Buffets

I also have a great photo of everyone hanging out in the room.


Comment by Allegheny Eats

we weren’t lost dude! =)


Comment by Allegheny Eats

Dude. We ended up at a gas station that may or may not even be open anymore. Lost!


Comment by Lisa

Let’s do it again!!!


Comment by jeff

Let’s go back with a truck and buy crazy furniture and wedges of baby swiss!


Comment by Lisa

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