Editor’s Note: Today we’re sharing with you an excerpt from “Ohio’s Amish Country: 6 Counties to Explore this Season,” courtesy of our friends at Ohio Magazine. Enjoy!
Just north of Holmes County, travelers cross into Wayne County, where they can enjoy the sights of rolling hills, picturesque farms and one-of-a-kind locations that make the area a draw for tourists. When traveling through Ohio’s Amish communities on the weekends, do keep in mind that most businesses are closed on Sundays.
“They want to give their employees time to go to church,” says Glenda Lehman Ervin, director of marketing for Lehman’s. “That’s just something that’s important in this area.”
Ervin’s farther, Jay Lehman, founded Lehman’s in the community of Kidron in 1955. Today, it is a sprawling 40,000-square-foot market that feels like 10 stores in one. Lehman’s, which started as a small business serving locals, is dedicated to preserving tools and techniques of the past and now focuses on a wide range of nonelectric items, ranging from gardening supplies to gas-powered refrigerators.
“What we want to do is help customers take the next step on their journey to a simpler life,” says Ervin. Customers include those who want to be more self-reliant by learning new skills like soap- or candle-making. Lehman’s also offers products for folks who want to depend less on electricity or live off the grid. If you’re visiting on a weekend, sign up online in advance for classes on do-it-yourself topics that include cheesemaking and beekeeping. If you’re planning to explore the whole complex, expect to spend several hours browsing the store’s extensive offerings.
Across the street from Lehman’s, enjoy a peaceful getaway at The Storybook Inn of Kidron. This 1900s farmhouse was fully updated and renovated to open for overnight stays in March 2021. The rooms are themed and decorated to reflect favorite stories from childhood, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. The space is perfect for large family reunions, family vacations or anniversary getaways.
Visitors rent the entire inn, which sleeps up to 10 people and has a keyless entry. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a rain shower. The full kitchen has everything you need to prepare a meal during your stay.
“We usually provide a loaf of bread that I get from a local bakery down the road,” says Toni Studer, co-owner of The Storybook Inn of Kidron. “Just to give guests a little touch of Amish Country.”
Visitors can also relax on the large front porch, which has Amish-made seating and a beautiful view of the road to watch buggies roll past.
Drive 10 minutes north on Kidron Road to U.S. Route 30 and you’ll find the Dutch Kitchen in Dalton. The new owners renovated the original 1858 Victorian-era restaurant, giving the interior a modern farmhouse-style makeover. With the updates, visitors will find an expanded buffet with double the space for hot soups and fresh salad bar options. The restaurant still offers all your favorite comfort foods in a family-friendly setting.
“We’ve got home-cooked type foods,” says Delight Howells, director and owner at Dutch Kitchen. “It’s something people crave but don’t really make so much anymore at home.”
• Lehman’s: 4779 Kidron Rd., Kidron 44618, 800/438-5346, lehmans.com
• The Storybook Inn of Kidron: 4680 Kidron Rd., Kidron 44618, 330/828-1126, thestorybookinnofkidron.com
• Dutch Kitchen:14278 Lincoln Way E., Dalton 44618, 330/683-0530, dutchkitchen.net
Stop Here, Too!
From jams and jellies to pies and cakes, here are a few other great Wayne County spots.
J.M Smucker Co. Store & Cafe: Step inside the white wooden barn and browse a variety of Smucker’s fruit spreads, peanut butter, kitchen accessories, apparel and custom gift baskets. 333 Wadsworth Rd., Orrville 44667, 330/684-1500, jmsmucker.com
Troyer’s Home Pantry: Dating back to the early 1960s, this bakery and coffee shop makes tasty pies, rolls, cakes, cookies and breads. Wooster and Apple Creek locations; troyershomepantry.com
Marshallville Packing Co.: Choose from a line of old-world sausages and meats, including fresh locally raised beef, pork and chicken, at this family spot founded in 1960. 50 E. Market St., Marshallville 44645, 330/855-2871, marshallville-meats.com
You can read the full article here.