This time of the year has people from all over the world flocking to see the fabulous foliage and lovely landscapes of my beloved home, Holmes County, Ohio. Folks often stop into our Millersburg shop asking for recommendations on what to do and see while they are here. Lucky for them, I have a bunch, and I thought now would be a good time to share them since the leaves are at their absolute peak this week!
We have some terrific thrift shops in Holmes County, each with their own style and feel. Three of my favorites are Save & Serve Thrift Shop on South Washington Street in Millersburg, Share & Care on SR 62 in Berlin, and The Trading Post near Mt. Hope on SR 241. I can’t get enough cool, vintage stuff, and all three of these places have an ever-changing inventory of interesting things at very reasonable prices. I also know that when I buy from there, my purchase aids three great causes. Be sure to visit the links and check them out when you’re in town!
I’ve traveled to a lot of different cities, but I can honestly say that the antique malls in Holmes County are terrific in comparison. The selection and prices are great, and they are loaded with original antiques not cheap reproductions or imports. My favorites are the Walnut Creek Antique Mall with thousands of square feet of booths by some of my favorite antique dealers. Another favorite is the Antiques Trading Post in Berlin near the Farmstead Restaurant. They have more than 30 dealers specializing in everything from pottery and glassware to linens and books. They have some of the best prices, too, in my opinion. There are plenty of other antique shops and malls in both Berlin and Millersburg, too. You could keep busy all day wandering through each of them!
If you’d love to get a glimpse of authentic Amish culture, there’s no place to do that like our local produce, livestock, and benefit auctions. These weekly events are social gatherings for those in the Amish community and are a great opportunity for people-watching and getting a first-hand look at the Amish culture. I’ve been attending these auctions most of my life and never get tired of the busy, bustling atmosphere and the chance to buy beautiful mums or a few Rhode Island Reds! You’ll find the Sugarcreek Livestock Auction on Mondays, the Farmerstown Livestock Auction on Tuesdays, The Mt. Hope Auction on Wednesdays, the Kidron Hay, Straw, and Livestock Auction and outdoor flea market on Thursdays, the Sugarcreek Horse & Tack Auction on Fridays, and the Mt. Hope Auction Horse Sale on the second Saturday of each month. I especially love Wednesdays at Mount Hope Auction. I'm like a tourist in my own town! It's about as original as you can get.
Grab a Back Road Bite
If there’s one thing we have in Holmes County, it’s delicious food. There are more places to grab a bite to eat than you could visit in a month. My very favorite is Rebecca’s Bistro in Walnut Creek. It’s such a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy. Be sure to try their fantastic tomato basil soup and their scrumptious quiches. Save room for a piece of Rebecca’s amazing carrot cake!
And if you’re someone who loves to cook, like I do, there are also some wonderful local places to score great ingredients.
I love visiting Doughty Valley Meats just north of Charm. All of their meats are locally raised and their beef is grass-fed. The Amish owners are dedicated to their craft and very knowledgable. They’re thick-cut bacon is amazing, and they advertise daily specials. When friends visit from the city and join us for dinner, they say Doughty Valley Meats has the best steak they’ve ever tasted.
Another favorite stop for food shopping is Blessing Acres Produce operated by the Mrs. Paul J. Miller family at 6728 TR 362 in Millersburg. They have the freshest product, sometimes coming straight from the field and into my shopping bag! It’s a small stand, but it’s packed with not only seasonal produce, but home-canned fruits, pickles, jellies, real maple syrup, and more. Her cookbook is one of my favorites. The introduction describes every one of her children.
Harvey's Market is in western Holmes county near Big Prairie right on SR 39, and like Blessing Acres, it operates on the honor system during their off hours. I love to take a trip over there in the evening after my bath to pick up a few juicy plumbs. It’s a beautiful feast for the eyes, too, with their rushing spring and heaps of fresh produce at excellent prices.
Heading out to the eastern part of the county, you’ll find Mt Hope Country Health Store just past the square of Mt. Hope on State Route 241. This is where I buy most of my deli meats and cheeses. Their prices are amazing, and they’re so busy that you know the goods are fresh.
Of course, I also love wandering the back roads to find the homestead shops of the Swartzentruber Amish where I can buy eggs, jams, jellies, garlic, honey, syrup, and non-food treasures like baskets, rugs, and soaps. Some of my favorites are in the Kidron and Applecreek areas. Just get lost then set your GPS to return to your Bed & Breakfast or hotel when you’ve had your fill.
The Pine Tree Barn in Wooster is an inspiring place to shop and to munch. A third generation family business, Pine Tree Barn is filled with full-room settings and vignettes. Their view overlooking the lake is so peaceful! Be sure to try their lemon poppy seed muffins and a bowl of their yummy french onion soup, their house specialty, from their in-house eatery, The Granary Restaurant.
Don’t forget to stop by Troyers Market on State Route 62 in Berlin for all kinds of goodies, and, while you’re there, enjoy their free samples. Finish the fun with a trip to Der Bake Oven on the square in Berlin for their amazing sticky pecan rolls.
And, of course, while you’re in town, be sure to visit us at Farmhouse Frocks and our neighbors in historic downtown Millersburg. We love meeting new friends!
Photos by Denice Rovira Hazlett of Sprouted Acorn Photography.