Although contributor Allison Ervin wrote this a few years ago, you’ll still find all the Amish country institutions she mentions below, many better than ever. But plan to spend at least half a day at our Kidron store–it’s bigger now than it was when this first appeared!–Editor
By Allison Ervin, writer, age 10
So you’re in Amish country, looking for something fun to do. Here are some of the great things that I enjoyed when I visited Wayne and Holmes County recently. A good way to start your day in Amish country is by visiting the store Lehman’s, in Kidron. There’s lots of unique and fun things you can buy there that are sure to brighten up any day. If you are a child, or have children with you, there’s a huge toy selection and there are toys you can play with. Lots of their products are non-electric and eco-friendly like their wood burning stoves. The store is very big, which means there is a lot you can look at. You will see many things you thought weren’t made any more.
After you leave Lehman’s, head up the road to the store P. Graham Dunn in Dalton, where they make inspirational wood carvings, which are very detailed and beautiful. You can even watch the magnificent items being made with lasers. You can make a homemade puzzle by coloring on a piece of wood, then putting it into a machine where a laser carves it into puzzle pieces. When you walk into their store they have a magnificent lobby with beautiful furniture, and a floor to ceiling mural drawn by a local artist.
As you are walking out of P. Graham Dunn, you realize you are kind of hungry. As you’re driving, you see a sign that says Amish Door Restaurant, one mile ahead. So you stop in for some lunch. The fantastic restaurant was awarded the best chicken in the country award. Their food is homemade by the Amish — such as mashed potatoes, corn, bread and drumsticks. They also have pies, cakes, cookies and other pastries. I even got a free cookie. I ate lunch at the Amish Door in Wooster, but there is also an Amish Door Restaurant and Inn in Wilmot. As you’re walking out, you notice the gift shop, so you can stop in and look at the wonderful things like the wallets, quilts and pencils.
The next stop on your day in Amish country is Homestead Furniture in Mt. Hope to purchase some of the beautiful furniture they have there. When I was there recently, a lovely v-shaped couch caught my eye. The store is very eco-friendly because instead of a normal heater, they have a solar-powered heater. To go upstairs there is a larger, curvy staircase that you walk up. They have children’s furniture, too, such as a pink girl’s bed and a crib. If you see a piece of furniture you like, you can customize it and Homestead will build it for you. They get the trees to make their wooden furniture from close-by states.
After you leave Homestead, you take a trip to Coblentz Chocolates in Walnut Creek, where they make delicious chocolates. Some of the chocolates are very fun shapes, such as golf clubs, motorcycles, or even trains. A lot of them have fun fillings such as fruit or caramel or nuts. There was a little house inside of the store for the young children’s entertainment. Coblentz doesn’t just have chocolate, they also have wind chimes and stuffed animals. When you walk in a yummy aroma of chocolate and other candies fills the store.
About a minute away is Walnut Creek Cheese, where tasty cheese and meats are sold. A lot of the food there is locally made. We were planning to just buy a little, but when I saw all the delectable choices they had, I couldn’t help but buy a lot. Above, on a large shelf, they have decorations set up to look like a market from the olden days. They also have a huge selection of candy and a room designed like a cave filled with cheese. They carry a lot of bulk food and a lot of people buy food from here for parties, like graduations, weddings and other type of events.
The last stop was Keim Lumber in Charm (cute name, huh?). If you’re building or adding on to your home, Keim Lumber is the place to be. They have a really big, fancy new room where they can show you their kitchen and bathrooms. I’ve never seen so much pretty wood. They are the experts in building so they can help you decide what looks nice.
Now your day in Amish country has come to an end. But it certainly was the best day ever! :) You can find out much more and take virtual tours of all the places mentioned above by going to www.bestofohiosamishcountry.com!