Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Celebrate Independence Day July 1 & 2, 2016 Fireworks, Thunder Over Holmes County, Millersburg, Ohio

Celebrate Independence Day in Ohio Amish Country with "Thunder Over Holmes County" fireworks and games and fun in Historic Downtown Millersburg, Ohio; festivities beginning Friday, July 1, and concluding with a fireworks show on Saturday, July 2, 2016.  Traditional July 4 celebrations begin Friday evening, July 1 with live music by a swing band, Jericho, from 7 to 10 pm. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be available. On July 2, the band, Borderline, will perform from 8-11 pm.

Millersburg Ohio Fireworks
Good family fun is planned with such items as large bounce houses, an obstacle course, a surfing simulator, a giant slide, face painting, and a host of games will be orchestrated by the staff of Skyview Ranch.  The Skyview Ranch staff have received great reviews for previous years of children's activities. The children's activities and music are free of charge.

Plan a two night stay at our Apple Hill hilltop location, where after sunset on Saturday, July 2, you can enjoy the fireworks show simply by sitting in the back yard of your accommodation!  The Gardener's Suite and the Blossom Suite are your perfect location for "Thunder Over Holmes County."  Both suites are available June 30 through July 4, 2016.  Rent one or both.
Apple Hill Accommodations
A grill and picnic tables are available for guest use.

Each accommodation has it's own private entrance, fully equipped kitchen, living room, TV, free WiFi, central air, bedrooms and private baths.

Apple Hill, located only about one mile from downtown Millersburg will serve as a perfect base for all of Amish Country touring.

Call The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast at 330-674-7600 to make reservation or book on line. 

The newly renovated and spacious Blossom Suite features two private bedrooms each with a bath and a queen bed.

Apple Hill Blossom Suite

This is the first time that I am showing so many photos of the Blossom Suite.  We are very happy with the renovation of this suite and many guests have especially enjoyed the spectacular view and the luxury shower.

Bath in Blossom Suite

Living Room Blossom

The two-story Gardener's Suite features two bedrooms and two baths.  The upper bedroom has two queen beds.  The second bedroom has one queen bed.  There are two bathrooms in the suite.
Gardener's Suite Apple Hill

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
June 28, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Amish Vote Holmes County Ohio townships Dry

Many guests of the Ohio Amish Country, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast ask, "Do Amish Vote?" The answer is "Some do and some don't".  Much hinges on the issues. There are approximately ten sects of Amish in Holmes County. The stricter sects such as the Swartzentruber, the Dan Church, and other ultra conservative groups do not vote; however, others do.

Amish Farm

I was surprised to learn from both my mother and father that both sets of my grandparents voted, and viewed it as their civic duty to do so. My mother's parents were strict Old-Order Amish in Geauga County, Ohio, and my father's parents, from Holmes County, Ohio, were also Old Order. I find that my Amish relatives really don't feel comfortable talking about voting. Typically Amish do not vote unless there is a local issue that will impact their lives. In Holmes County, the Amish are major land holders. They are a people group who educate their children only through the eighth grade. For this reason, many Amish will register and vote against levies that would increase taxes for such  things as higher education. Amish participation in the political process is often guarded and minimal.

 In 1946 a devastating event in Holmes County polarized the Amish community, which led to their voting several townships "dry." For those not familiar with the term "dry", it's a reference to a township that does not permit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Once was Old Time Tavern

The tragedy began Saturday night, March 9, 1946, when three Amish boys were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning as they slept in their 1936 Ford after it became mired in a muddy ditch on County Road 235. A fourth boy, Emanuel Schlabach, survived because he was near a window that was cracked open. They had attempted to free the car, but were unable to, so decided to sleep in the vehicle until morning. The car was missing a muffler and fumes filtered into the car until it ran out of gas. As was typical at that time, the boys enjoyed a time of merriment at the Old Time Tavern in Winesburg, then traveled back to Mt. Hope, where they dropped off John "Hans" Yoder, who asked to be dropped off at his home.
Amish Horse and Buggy

My father, Levi A. Miller, recalls the day. Driving his horse and buggy, he rode past the stuck car on Saturday night, not realizing that his friends were in danger. At that time CR 235 was not graveled.  It was the spring of the year and very muddy. Many Amish buggies passed by on the way to church on Sunday morning, but did not notice the boys inside the car. It was not until Sunday afternoon that someone made the gruesome discovery. It was the loss of these three boys that prompted the Amish to present petitions to vote Salt Creek, Plain, Mechanic, Berlin, and Walnut Creek Townships "Dry". This vote had several components and prohibits, to this day,  the sale of beer, wine, whiskey and the establishment of a state liquor store in all of these townships. The hotel/bar in Mt. Hope folded. It is the solidarity of the Amish vote that has, to this day, changed the face of the Holmes County Amish culture.

In 2004 there was an ambitious campaign in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to gain Amish support for the re-election of George W. Bush. During this race, President Bush visited Lancaster County and great numbers of Amish people lined the roadside to wave as the president passed. Some people did not get too concerned about the interest in the president, after all, a presidential visit was unusual. An aggressive drive was made at a local fire station to register as many Amish as possible. Free transportation to the polls was offered. At the fire station, where Amish were registering, was a life-size image of President Bush. While many Amish registered and voted, others were guarded and wary. The Amish appreciate the protections offered by our government; i.e., freedom of worship and military exemption. Many cite arguments stating that God's authority supercedes that of the government and that they should refrain from participation. For many, participation in politics is minimal.

Miller's Buggy Shop Mt. Hope

This 2016 presidential race again is focused to drawing in the Amish and Mennonite vote in both Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Holmes County, Ohio. Conservative Republicans are organizing a new Amish PAC in support of Donald Trump. Check out this interesting Lancaster, Pennsylvania news article regarding our current race. I don't know of any instance where the Old-Order Amish churches have pronounced an edict against voting. I believe it's a personal decision; kind of "Don't ask, don't tell" and the preacher probably won't say anything if a member votes, and in the above detailed historic experience, probably most ministers "silently" approved and voted.

Quoting, from "A Taste of the Backroads" book by LaVonne DuBois, "Voting is not common in political elections. Interest in politics extends to the local township trustees who maintain the back roads. County commissioners have to approve the location of the cemeteries in order to allow for proper drainage. Voting on the local issues promotes more interest than the Federal elections. Example: Library's book mobiles and issues that pertain to them within local jurisdiction. Very few Amish women vote. They seldom (if never) hold political office."

It is my opinion that if the Amish vote in 2016, they will vote for Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee.  They certainly would support the idea of the American work ethic, a balanced budget and opposition to governmental waste. The Amish do believe in helping widows, elderly, and the needy. Perhaps we should have an Amish man for President! Every last dollar would be accounted for! Grab your bonnet and hat and go vote!

Come see us at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
May 27, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ohio Amish Country Source for Seeds, Plants, and Garden Supplies

Spring brings us to gardening time. Guests and residents of Ohio's Amish Country are seeking sources for seeds, plants and garden supplies. We here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, have some excellent recommendations for suppliers, nurseries and green houses for both the home grower and small to medium agricultural operation.

Amish Greenhouse
We have compiled a listing of some great places to shop in Amish Country. In most cases, you will find a great selection and competitive prices. Here is a listing of some of the places we recommend along with what they specialize in. This by no means is not a complete listing; there are many more places in the area. Most of these businesses are Amish owned; therefore, have no website presence.
  • Backyard Blooms Greenhouse - Amish owned business offering hanging baskets, bedding plants, and vegetables. Tel: 330-359-5195, Ad: 2998 CR 200, Dundee, OH 44624
  • Berlin Seeds - Comprehensive gardening store, seeds, supplies, order trees to be shipped to your home, Hrs: 8-5, Tel: 330-893-2091, Ad: 5335 SR 77, Millersburg, OH  44654
Berlin Seeds Company
  •  Bowman's Greenhouse - Owned by Alvin Bowman, Sell Organic Vegetable plants, openly mainly in spring. Ad: 7633 TR 601, Fredericksburg, OH 44627
  • Country Corners Greenhouse - Ad: 4401 Township Road 606, Fredericksburg, OH 44627. Corner of Twp 606 and 241.
  •  Fredericksburg Greenhouse & Nursery - Amish owned. This is Loretta's favorite greenhouse. Ad: 8645 Cutter Rd, Fredericksburg, OH 44627
  • Merit Seed - Serving small farmers, Merit Seed offers many different types of hybrid seed corn to meet the various planting needs of growers. Tel: (330) 893-3196, Ad: 4759 Township Road 366 Millersburg, OH 44654, Mailing Ad: PO Box 205 Berlin, OH 44610, Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Flowers - The Barn Inn

  •  Mt. Eaton Greenhouse - Family owned since 1988. Provides bulk seeds, potting soils, fertilizers & more; Mon-Sat 8 - 5 pm, Tel: 330-857-0341, Ad: 15172 Harrison Rd, Apple Creek, OH 44606. 
  •  Pleasant Hill Surplus -  Providing composite decking, broad selection of stones for walls, borders, patios, edges, firepits; stepping stones and bagged stones. Ad: 8500 TR 656, Fredericksburg, OH  44627
  •  Troyer's Flowers - Amish owned offering haning baskets and bedding plants. State Route 241; between Mt Eaton and Mt. Hope, on the east side of the road. 

Guest Room - The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
Submitted by Amy Yoder
May 16, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ohio Amish Country 2016 Guided Tour

With the 2016 summer approaching, guests of the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast again are asking about Amish tours. To experience our Ohio Amish Country to the fullest, we recommend LaVonne's "A Taste of the Backroads" guided tour. 

Holmes County Ohio
This 28-mile scenic back road tour includes stops at two local Amish home businesses and a detailed narration about the Amish way of life. The pleasure is all yours as you sit back and enjoy the tour in a comfortable climate-controlled Mercedes Benz, 11-passenger vehicle. You won't miss a word, as LaVonne's shares over a PA system; connecting you to the folkways and mores of the culture from which she came and the people she loves. LaVonne invites tour goers to bring a soft drink of choice.

Amish Milk Cans
The tour departs from the Berlin Grande Hotel located at 4787 County Road 366 in Berlin next to the Farmstead Restaurant.  Meet behind and depart from the hotel.  Advanced reservations are suggested.  We, here at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast promote this tour as a package to our guests. Consider a stay at The Barn Inn and let us know if you are interested in the tour. Simply call us at 330-674-7600 to add this package to your room stay. Whether or not you are a guest at The Barn Inn, you may wish to book a tour by calling LaVonne directly at 330-340-7343. You may contact her via email at info@atasteofthebackroads.com.

The Barn Inn Suite

The price per person, ages 12 and over is $45.00.  Payment by cash, Visa, or Mastercard

Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 - 1:30 and 2:30-5:00. No tours are offered on Sunday or Monday.
With over 30 years of experience and local roots, I consider LaVonne the area's leading tour guide. We have been recommending her for 18 years.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
May 9, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

MAP Ministry Helps Amish Transition to Modern-Day Society

Each morning, we, the owners of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast share information about the area, places to go and things to do; additionally, we often share social aspects of the society. We are supporters of MAP Ministry, (Mission to Amish People), an Ashland area ministry that assists people who wish to transition from the Amish religion into modern-day society.  Director, Joe Keim, along with his wife, Esther, grew up in the strictest sect of Amish, the Swartzentruber.  MAP Ministry offers the most comprehensive transition program for formerly Amish that I know of.  It is not surprising that Joe has become a leading resource for writers authorities, as he understands the mores that govern their social behavior.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
 In the March, 2016 MAP Ministry newsletter, Joe shares a most difficult story of a  formerly amish lady and her challenge to get identification.  Within the Swartzentruber sect, most babies are birthed at home, with or without a midwife.  Sometimes birth certificates are not obtained, and even more common, social security numbers often are not applied for.  Increasingly, it is becoming more difficult for these people to secure identification since so much time has lapsed since birth. I am printing the following article with permission from the MAP:

Wedding Bells Ring Again
Amish Corn Shocks

More than a year ago, September 07, 2014, Henry Lee and Katie Shetler were married by a minister, but due to circumstances, there was no official marriage certificate filed with the state, and so Katie's legal name was still considered Shetler. Since then many have been involved in helping Katie get her birth certificate and Social Security number.

Since Katie has never had a birth certificate, progress was slow. Finally we were able to provide a census report that showed her birth name and parents' names dated in the year 2000.  This census report, along with a letter from a relative and a medical record, allowed Katie to obtain a birth certificate.  Still, her photo ID would still have been done in her maiden name, Shetler, instead of Lee. After nearly one hundred phone calls and many trips to the BMV, the courthouse, and the Social Security office, she was told she still needed a legal marriage to get her new name on her documents.
The Lees wanted to correct this situation, so on February 13, 2016, Henry and Katie went through their marriage vows again. This time they became legally married with their son, Michael, present.
They chose to have a small wedding at the MAP office, attended by 22 of their close friends.  Henry said he was going to wear jeans, but surprised Katie by wearing a suit and tie. Katie wore a long red dress with a black shawl.  Both were late for their own wedding!

After a whole year of agony and sweat, we finally drove back to the Social Security office with all the identification records and the newly filed marriage license, only to be informed by the Social Security office that they have decided that Katie's birth certificate is too new; she will need to wait five more years before they will acknowledge her as a US citizen.  Please pray for Katie an others who are in the process of being recognized as human beings in the United States. - Rene' Budd

I find it appalling that someone who was born in the US and has a US birth certificate is not recognized as a US citizen.  I spoke with Joe Keim about this and he said that it seems today, a copy of a birth certificate no longer carries the credence as it once did. I brought this to the attention of our state representative Dave Hall.  Perhaps he can give assistance in this matter.

I should add that most Amish get birth certificates and Social Security numbers for their children. Amish, as a rule, file income taxes.  If they are exempt from paying into Social Security, they get no benefits.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 3, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Elephant Dinner Rolls for Easter or Any Occasion

Because I volunteered to take dinner rolls to our family Easter dinner and my granddaughter loves elephants, I decided to get creative making pachyderm rolls.  It was a huge success - elephant dinner rolls for Easter or any occasion!  These are very easy to make and no two are alike.  If you have any playdough experience, you can do this!

Elephant Rolls

Refrigerator Roll Recipe
This versatile dough is what I use for dinner rolls. This dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a week and used as needed.

2 eggs
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tbsp salt
2 ¼ cups warm water
2 pkgs yeast (2 tablespoons)
7 ½  cups bread flour

I recommend a heavy-duty mixer for bread making. This will eliminate the need of hand kneading. With a heavy-duty mixer I can mix a batch of this dough in 10 minutes.

Beat together the first four ingredients. Add yeast which has been dissolved in the warm water then add 4 cups of flour. Mix very well for about 5 minutes. Stop the machine and let the dough rest for a few minutes. Continue mixing the dough, adding flour until the dough is still tacky to touch, and slightly clings to fingers when fingers are drawn away.  Depending on humidity in the air, it may be necessary to add a little more flour. It is not necessary to knead. Place in a greased bowl and cover tightly. Store in refrigerator over night or until needed. Punch down daily.

If making rolls after mixing the dough, place in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and set at room temperature and allow to rise until double in size. Shape the dough into balls and place in greased pie pans or 8” cake pans. Cover and allow to rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes on the bottom shelf, then carefully move to the top shelf and bake for another 11 minutes.

Here are my step-by-step instructions.

Shape a piece of dough, hand roll it into a ball approximately 2" in diameter and flatten slightly.  Place onto a greased baking sheet.  You can see, pressed down a little, it measures about 2 1/4".  Next take a smaller piece of dough for the head.  Here is where your playdough skills come into play.

Elephant Head and Body

The dough will have a lot of elasticity.  It won't be too sticky, so you won't need flour to form your masterpiece.  Just roll limbs to the proportion you need and stick them onto the elephant body.

These are simple and fun.  For the elephant's ear, take a small piece of dough and flatten it to about the size of a quarter.  If the ear droops, wad up a small piece of tin foil and prop it up from behind.  Of course, leave the tin foil prop in place until after the elephant is baked.

For eyes, use about 1/3 of a raisin, ball it up and with a sharp object poke the eye into position.

Dough Elephant Construction
Fill your pan with elephants, cover with a clean kitchen towel, set at room temperature for an hour or two or until raised.   I lightly placed a small piece of tin foil over the elephant trunks so they would not bake too dark.  If you want the trunk lightly browned, remove the foil half way through baking. Bake elephants at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Because oven temperatures vary, I suggest you keep an eye on them to make sure they they bake until lightly golden in color.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
This blog is brought to you from the kitchen of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country and the largest community of Amish anywhere in the world.  We are a destination community, full of culture and beauty.  Plan to visit, and when in the area, stop by The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast for a tour of unoccupied rooms.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
March 28, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ohio Bed and Breakfast Re-Purposed Shutters and Patchwork

I, the quilter and proprietor of the Ohio Amish Country, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio, have re-purposed antique shutters with a framed patchwork primitive horse quilt block inspired by an antique weather vane. For an interesting wall feature, I joined two colonial-era shutters with hand-wrought hinges and dry brush painted them with an off-white paint. I use these shutters to feature seasonal decor.

Quilted Primitive Horse Block

I design my own patchwork with whatever inspires me.  This block is made of 100% cotton except for the horse, which was cut from hand-dyed wool.  The tail and mane are made with some type of yard that has hair-like characteristics, something I picked up at a shop, some time in my past.

 To create interest, I like to incorporate geometric and curved elements in my patchwork as well as embellish with embroidery or dimensional applique.

Weather Vane Quilt Block

For additional interest, I always use a combination of light, medium, and dark colored-fabric, and I like to use one fabric that is larger in scale.  It is fun to incorporate a fabric that has writing on it or something of interest.  Keep in mind that contrast can be achieved with the use of complimentary colors.  Here, a red-orange triangle compliments the greens in the block.

This 12" block (plus 1/4" on each side) fits perfectly in a shadowbox frame that I purchased at Michael's.  This frame has the capability of adjustment to whatever depth you desire, and is perfect for dimensional patchwork blocks.

The frame was white, which I sprayed with Rust-Oleum brand
Camouflage 2x Ultra Cover spray paint, which has the capability of bonding to plastic. It is a flat paint with a non-reflective finish, which I picked up at my local Walmart.

If you have occasion to visit Holmes County, Ohio, plan to stop by the Millersburg, Ohio,  Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast to view rooms and some of the creative works.  Here at the barn, we serve a full country breakfast with each night's stay, and each morning I share an information orientation to the area and/or announce special events taking place.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
February 27, 2016