Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amish Furniture Ohio

Historic Mural by Heinz Gaugel

Peasant European immigrants fled religious persecution to settle William Penn's Pennsylvania.  As western lands opened for settlement, the first Amish came to Sugarcreek, Ohio in 1809, and by the 1815 census a large group of Amish had moved to the verdant hills of Holmes County, Ohio, which must have reminded them of Switzerland.  With them they brought old-world craftsmanship, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to God and community.  To learn Amish and Mennonite history and view the 265' mural, visit the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio.

The Amish staunchly guard their autonomy and separation from the world.  For generations they have eked out a living off the land, supporting their families and crafting the goods and products they have needed.  Today, as descendents of these early settlers, they continue to follow the traditions of their forefathers, creating beautiful, high-quality solid wood furniture.

Today there are more than 30 retail stores and over 450 manufacturers in the Holmes County area.  Some guests at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast have mentioned how they have appreciated the service and personal attention given them by Marvin Yoder of Yoder's Oak & Cherry, located at 6018 County Road 77, located across the road from Heini's Cheese Chalet in Bunker Hill, just north of the town of Berlin, Ohio.  Their hours are Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Because they are Amish, they have no website, no telephone, but have next day fax at 330-698-3200.

wood stain samples
 At Yoder's Oak & Cherry, shoppers may look through their many furniture catalogs for inspirations and optional furniture choices.  Whether it's formal or casual, oak or cherry, you may order your selection in the style and stain of choice.  They deliver and ship.

For much of Ohio, Amish Country is an hour or two away.  A trip to Amish Country will give you the opportunity to shop among the best and largest concentration of solid-wood, handcrafted furniture makers in the country.  Come, discover the romance of a peasant-style people living in a seemingly bye-gone era.  The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, whose owners are direct descendents of the first settlers to Holmes County, is rated among the best of the nation's best B&B's and takes great pleasure in showing true "Olde-Country Hospitality".  Paul and Loretta Coblentz are very familiar with different furniture makers and would be happy to help direct you to the furniture artisans who can best meet your needs.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 28, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ohio Amish, Shops Open Sunday

Amish Boys Walking Home From Church
Sunday is a day of rest and worship for the Amish; thus, they close their shops for the sabbath day.  The Amish walk or drive their horses and buggies to the church service in their district.  They have church every other Sunday.  On their off Sundays they visit friends, relatives, or the elderly.

We here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, invite our guests to join us at our church, Gateway Fellowship, a non-denominational church where the music is contemporary and you can come as you are.

For those wishing to shop on Sundays, many stores are open in the three-block area of Historic Downtown Millersburg Ohio.  Each Sunday morning Paul and Loretta Coblentz, owners of the Barn Inn, share cultural information and inform guests about shopping and tour options.  The following Millersburg shops are open on Sunday:
Amish Country Essentials, 70 East Jackson St., sells their products over the internet and from this downtown storefront.  They specialize in selling their own handmade soaps and lotions while also featuring candles, decor items, pottery, and more.  Sun 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Mon - Fri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Antique Emporium, 113 West Jackson St. carries more than antiques.  They also feature wagon wheel weaving, primatives, books, and collectibles.  Now free coffee in book area.  Open Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Pioneer Loft, 65 W. Jackson Street features their own furniture sold in national catalogs.  They carry antiques, vintage items, primitives, colonial, cottage and shabby chic decor, upcycled and repurposed items, and more.  Open Sunday 12 - 4 p.m.  Beginning May 1, 2011 hours are Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Starlight Antiques, 66 W. Jackson Street carries antiques and collectibles specializing in Victorian, country, and primitives; also folkart and accents to compliment antiques.  Open Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m, Mon 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thu - Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Village Antiques, 127 W. Jackson Street, a recently opened store offering an eclectic mix of unique items from the past.  Selection is varied and prices are reasonable.  Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., otherwise by appointment.

A most significant attraction open on Sundays is the Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio, only 25 minutes east of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Make the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast your lodging choice, where every day of the week guests are served a lovely full country breakfast. 

April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ohio Bike Trails, Holmes Bike Shop

Trail Accommodates Buggy Traffic

The Holmes County Trail, a 29-mile multi-purpose corridor is part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy which has established a statewide, interconnected trail network, providing solitude and breathtaking beauty to citizens, friends, and visitors.  It is a part of a cross-state trail connecting Cincinnati to Cleveland through Columbus.  The current 15 miles of completed Holmes County trail accommodates Amish buggies and equestrian riders on a "chip and seal" surface, with an adjoining asphalt lane for walkers, runners, bikers, roller-bladers, or wheelchair visitors.  The Holmes County corridor is the first in the nation to accommodate Amish buggies, providing Amish travelers between Fredericksburg to Killbuck safe passage without motorized traffic.

Hipp Station
 Make the Holmes County Trail one of your vacation stops.  If you are a bicyclist, bring your bicycle or rent one from Raber's Bike Shop, which operates their smaller location inside the Millersburg Hipp Station Depot.  The depot store is open during summer months, Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Restrooms are provided at the depot station.

The Amish owned, main location of Raber's Bike Shop is located at 6515 SR 241, and has expanded it's inventory to include brands such as Pinarello, Eddy Merckx, S-Works, and Specialized.  Owner, Alvin Raber, who is comitted to professional quality service and repair, provides to all new bike purchasers, a free basic fit, 10 percent discounts on all accesories for a year, a free four-month checkup and a free lifetime of minor bike adjustments.

Plan a Holmes County, Ohio visit and include the Holmes County Trail and Raber's Bike Shop in your plans.   Make the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast , your lodging choice, where you will be served a hot country breakfast and where the owners can safely store your bicycles inside.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 24, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Amish House, Hotels Berlin Ohio

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
 Among hotels in Berlin and Millersburg, Ohio, The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast stands unique in that it is both a licensed hotel and a bed and breakfast.  Offering the familiarity of hotels, but amenities expected at a bed and breakfast, the Barn Inn delivers a high measure of comfort, and hospitality to new and returning guests.  Owners, Paul and Loretta Coblentz, raised Amish and Mennonite, are committed to providing correct information about both societies which sometimes have been referred to as "First Cousins" since the Amish and Mennonites have the same European roots, language, and many other similarities.  Paul and Loretta Coblentz recommend The Amish Home at Yoders as a reliable and authoritative source for Amish social and cultural information.

Doughty House on Right
 In 1983, the Yoder family opened to the public, their ancestorial home, the Amish Home at Yoders, showcasing both an older generation home (doughty house) as well as a house that is more reflective of today's Old Order Amish.  Because the Amish Home at Yoders' staff and guides were raised in the Amish (and sometimes Mennonite) society, they dispense accurate information and are aptly qualified to speak with authority on all matters pertaining to the culture and lifestyle of their anabaptist people.  The Yoder homestead offers buggy rides, a tour through a replica parochial school house, a barn housed with farm animals, and their highly recognized house tour, which concludes with an opportunity to purchase pastries from their bakery.  The Amish Home at Yoders is located on a designated scenic byway, State Route 515 in Walnut Creek, Ohio.

circa 1866 kitchen
Other sources for authoritative Amish information is The Farm at Walnut Creek and the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center, also called Behalt.

This post is brought to you by The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, your top choice in hospitality.

April 22, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Berlin Ohio Bed and Breakfast

Buffet or Family Style Breakfasts Served Daily
Offering fine lodging and exceptional breakfasts in the Berlin and Millersburg Ohio area is The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, where fresh fruit cups, locally made old-fashioned sausage, country eggs and hashbrowns, homemade breads, cinnamon rolls, apple crisp, or specialty dishes tailored to the food-restricted diet are all part of the guest experience.  Some of Loretta's entrees are original creations, such as her carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese sauce.  Other recipes are Amish family favorites or one of many recipes collected over a life time.

Nature and Serenity
 The Barn Inn gardens and grounds are as much a part of the guest experience as the historic setting, accommodations, and fine services provided. With the emergence of sunny skies and warm temperatures, the staff is preparing the grounds for the season.
The Barn Inn is the perfect setting for an intimate wedding ceremony or for small weddings with up to 20 guests.

Last week I had the priviledge to visit Fieldrest of North Canton, the 55-acre property which originally was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hoover of the Hoover Company.  Today it is a bed and breakfast offering Sunday buffets and wedding services.  The grounds and the lodge are exceptional.

Fieldcrest of North Canton

Another fine bed and breakfast property you may wish to patronize is Heartwood Place in Adrian, Michigan where proprietor and hostess, Mary Alice Thompson, like a bottle of uncorked wine, flows with hospitality and genuine care, offering holistic and wellness therapies to her guests.  We've known her for many years and recommend her highly. 

Submitted April 18, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Animal Rights, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Matilda is the boss and does not hesitate to usurp her "Animal Rights", as she controls our motley animal family here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.  I believe that all but Matilda have lost their identies as individuals due to her head butting and controlling dictates.  Since being together, they all seem to do the same copy-cat things.  Earlier this evening, as though playing a game of "King of the Hill," all of them tightly crowded together atop this small pile of dirt, but upon seeing me, moved and Matilda went back to her bullying ways. Come to our charming country setting where you can meet our animal family and experience modern comforts and hospitality as it should be.

The daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips have made their annual appearance.  This week's agenda will include cleaning the fountain and beginning the beautification of our gardens.

Consider purchasing your garden supplies while here in Amish Country.  Our local garden center in Berlin, Ohio, Raber's Greenhouse, will open it's main garden center for the season on or about April 29, 2011.  Already open is Country Corners Greenhouse, 4401 Twp. Road 606, located off of SR 241 north of Mt. Hope and north of the Stone Barn.  Another wonderful Amish nursery is Yoders Greenhouse on Cutter Road, northeast of Fredericksburg. These are places I'll be visiting in the weeks ahead since I am the person in charge of "All things beautiful around the inn."

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 15, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stores Open Good Friday, Amish Holidays

All Amish owned business will be closed on Good Friday.  As a service to visitors to Holmes County and guests of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfastwe have compiled a listing of all of the local businesses that we have confirmed to be open on Good Friday, April 22, 2011.  This listing is not comprehensive, as we were unable to contact all businesses. The businesses that we have confirmed to be open Good Friday are:

Coblentz Chocolates, 9 a.m - 5 p.m.
Guggisberg Cheese, Normal Hours
Berlin Village Gift Barn, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Country Craft Cupboard, Normal Hours
Heini's Cheese, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Holmes County Flea Market
Walnut Creek Cheese (Walnut Creek & Berlin Locations), 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Kaufman's Kountry Accents, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Nature's Health Foods, Normal Hours
Stone Barn Furniture, Normal Hours
Walnut Creek Furniture, Normal Hours
Warther's Museum, Normal Hours
Many or Most Shops in Berlin
All Shops in Millersburg

Restaurants Open:
Amish Door, Normal Hours
Berlin Hickory Smokehouse, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Der Dutchman 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. (Breakfast only)
Dutch Valley, 7 am. - 8 p.m.
Farmstead Restaurant, Normal Hours
Rebeccah's Bistro - Normal Hours
Beachy's Chalet, Normal Hours

Good Friday is a fast day for the Amish.  In addition to Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, the Amish, to a greater degree than the Mennonites, observe specific other religious holidays.  They are Epiphany (old Christmas), Good Friday, and Ascension Day.  The manner in which they observe these holidays differ from one community to another.  In the past, various Amish did not give much heed to national or patriotic holidays such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Armistice Day.  Today, here in Holmes County, we are seeing Amish families making a few of these national holidays a family day which may include seeing fireworks and having a picnic; however, never included in their gatherings are there any patriotic mentions or symbols, as they are conscientous objectors and strongly oppose military service.  The strictest sects typically do not give heed to any patriotic holiday; much less, take off work for such a day.

Amish holy days are not observed with any church services or preaching, but rather by refraiming from work, typically as they would on a Sunday.  They fast until noon then conclude with a huge meal celebrated with family or friends.  A source for more information regarding the Amish, is "The Riddle of Amish Culture" by Donald B. Kraybill.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Amish Tour, Berlin Ohio Amish

In an effort to provide our guests maximum enjoyment and rich cultural experiences, we at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, continually seek new and memorable points of interests.  Newly available is the Cast Iron Stew Over the Campfire Package, provided through Amish Heartland Tours, a highly-respected and most recognized tour company in Berlin, Ohio.  This unusual package will give you two and a half hours of personal time chit-chatting with an Amish family.  The evening will begin at their farm where guests will gather around an open fire on which a cast iron skillet, filled with homemade beef stew.  Also on the menu is corn bread, fruit cobbler, and beverage.  Evening fellowship includes roasting marshmallows, making s'mores, and playing corn hole games.  The elders are very hospitable people and are eager to include their grandchildren in the cookout. The father will take tours through his barn, woodshop and provide horse-drawn wagon rides after the meal.  A heartwarming addition is their 12 year-old grand daughter who, around the campfire, will play the harmonica and sing songs with her five other sisters!

This experience is available May - August, 2011 and with hours from 6 - 8:30 p.m., Daylight Savings Time. Closed Sundays.  We may need to add you to others to meet the 10-person minimum requirement.  Call the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast at 330-674-7600 for details and pricing.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Maple Butter Recipe, Bed and Breakfast Millersburg Ohio

My mother, raised in an Amish family in Geauga County, Ohio, along with her siblings recall the spring thaw and sugar maple time as the most exciting time of year.  In keeping with the ways of the Amish, children are taught at a very young age to work and accept responsibility.  Such activity is an effective socializing agent, teaching children their self worth and value within the family unit and in community. It is in such tasks, where children contribute to the economic and physical needs of the family, that family solidarity is seen.

Each spring my mother, her siblings, and parents collected sap from wooden buckets suspended from maple trees and poured the sweet and valuable liquid into the sap tank.  The large tank was mounted onto a sled outfitted with runners and was pulled by their team of horses throughout the sugar bush. Her father took great care to make what he considered the best syrup in the area.  They sold syrup to the "English" and to their own people.

The above photo is of an Amish farm north of Mt. Hope, Ohio, set with sap buckets.  It takes up to 50 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.  Locally, the per gallon price for maple syrup ranges from $49 at some of our rural markets to about $60 at other markets.  Maple syrup offers about three times the sweetening power of cane sugar, with a calorie count of only 40 calories per tablespoon.  Additionally it is a great source of manganese and zinc and helps maintain proper blood sugar levels.

At the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, we serve maple syrup with our pancakes and french toast.  The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast offers a full country breakfast daily, always serving fresh fruit, locally made sausage along with yogurts, hot entrees, and specialty breads.  Here is my recipe for maple butter, a delectible, woodsy treat that spreads luxuriantly on muffins or toast.

Maple Butter

1/2 Cup softened butter
1/4 Cup maple syrup, room temperature

With an electric beater, whip the butter and maple syrup together until blended.  This is so simple, yet seems so elegent when served to guests.  Enjoy.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
April 2, 2011