You may remember, last year I spent my birthday on the beach. For my 50th birthday my husband took me to Vancouver, BC. Alas, a trip of that magnitude was not in the cards for this year, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t take a trip somewhere. Since my mother and I always celebrate our birthdays together (her’s is Oct 24, mine the 29th) I asked her where she would like to go and she suggested we visit Waynesville, Ohio.
Waynesville dubs itself the “Antiques Capital of the Midwest” and is the home of the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. Older than the state itself, it was settled by Quakers and laid out in the manner of an English village with formal parks and a central public square. Many of the old buildings remain though the public square is gone. The “action” lies mostly along North and South Main Street and along some side streets. Antiques, art, crafts and food are in abundance. The merchants have put together a nice brochure with a list of shops and a map. One very nice feature of this shopping experience is that right in the middle of it all are public restrooms!
A famous Amish restaurant in town, Der Dutchman, recently had a fire and was closed. My mother and I chose instead to eat at the Hammel House Inn. Be prepared to wait for a table at this historic restaurant but it’s worth it. While you wait you can shop in their gift shop or leave your name and wander to some nearby shops. There are outside tables and if the weather permits it would be fun to eat on the porch and people watch. There was a cool breeze during our visit so we chose inside dining. The special for the day was an open-faced sandwich called a “Hot Brown”, you may also know it by the name “Kentucky Hot Brown.” This is a dish I never see in Northern Ohio and the Hammel House version did not disappoint. Sourdough toast smothered in ham, turkey, tomatoes, bacon and a decadent cheese sauce, obviously a dish one should not eat every day, but hey, we were celebrating making it through another year. We topped our luncheon with a shared slice of Chocolate Ghirardelli Pie! Yum, yum! Note – my mother thought the Hot Brown was too salty, but that is the nature of the dish. If you are salt sensitive you might want to try one of their other delicious offerings.
My mother wanted to go to Waynesville because she hadn’t been there in a while and she was also looking for a yarn shop someone told her about. We did find a yarn shop that had some lovely yarns but just not what we were looking for. We prowled through several antique shops and malls and looked in on an art gallery where an artist was signing her works. While admiring a striking outfit on the street, we met Donna Blackmon who “lured” us into her boutique, Heaven on Earth Emporium, behind the fudge shop. And we were so glad!
My mother found two beautiful jackets which I bought her for her birthday. I bought a selection of “fat quarter” 70’s vintage fabrics to use in making a pair of “elephant bells” for a Halloween hippie costume. We had a great time talking to Donna about her shop. She said she has a larger shop in Xenia and my mom and I have plans to visit it when I get down to southern Ohio again.
We had a lovely time in Waynesville. The shops were all decked out for Halloween and soon they will be gearing up for Christmas. Visit the merchant’s website at http://www.waynesvilleshops.com/ for their holiday schedule. I recommend a trip to this quaint village in Southern Ohio. The merchandise is first rate as are the people. Here is a slide show of our day.