Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pinecraft Florida

Pinecraft - Sarasota Florida in summer
 Pinecraft in Sarasota, Florida, a sleepy little village during the summer, comes to life each fall as northern Amish and Mennonites descend by the hundreds to their winter playground, a mecca of socialization seen everywhere; in homes, at the shuffleboard court, the post office, along the streets, at the markets, restaurants, and churches.  I just passed through the village yesterday where it seemed to be almost a ghost town, but by October it will begin to bustle when Pioneer Trails begins their weekly shuttle service to the south.

Pioneer Trails provides Amish Transportation

With a fleet of busses, Pioneer Trails provides shuttle service for the Amish from Indiana and Ohio to Florida, and returning shuttles back north.  During heavily-traveled winter months, three busses headed for Pinecraft depart the north every week.  My husband's grandfather, Enos Miller, an Amish preacher, once said, "There are so many people in Pinecraft, we
have to take turns breathing."

Pinecraft Post Office/Message Board

Many Old Order and the New Order Amish enjoy the opportunity to bask in the Florida sun during the winter.  Often men fish during the day, gather for daily coffee at Troyer's Dutch Heritage or Yoder's Restaurant, or play shuffleboard.  The ladies have their quilt houses, or quilt garages, where they quilt the quilt tops they assembled while in the north.  Usually the ladies are quite peticular who may come and quilt at their place.  They have specific guidelines about the quilts and the order in which they will be quilted.  Sometimes a lady is specifically invited to quilt if it is known that she is a good or fast quilter.  Often, when the quilt frame is seated on all sides with ladies, it can be finished in three days.

Mural on Yoder's Market in Pinecraft
Pinecraft, located on the east side of Sarasota, borders Bahia Vista streets and Beneva Road, offering easy access to nearby plazas, Troyer's Dutch Heritage, Yoder's Restaurant, Alma Sue's Quilt Shop, and other services provided by skilled persons enjoying a southern reprive.  The local SCAT bus, Sarasota County Area Transit, provides transportation to points throughout the county, including Sarasota's beautiful beaches and the malls.

An Amish church meeting house and an Amish/Mennonite church serves year-round residents. Attendence swells to great numbers in the winter. They do not use horse and buggies in Florida, and their church permits the use of electric and telephones.  Membership in the Pinecraft Amish church allows those same members to use electric in their northern summer houses.

Scene Yoder's Restaurant

More information about the culture may be learned while staying at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, where cultural information is shared daily at the conclusion of the morning hot country breakfast.

The Amish life depictions are the work of artist, Bill Browning from Gibsonton, Florida, usually a circus illustrator.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 31, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crazy Quilt

Crazy Quilt dated 1883
As many of you know, I, the "Lady in charge of all things beautiful" at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, am an avid quilter as well as a lover of quilt history.  Quilts are records of a maker's life, leaving clues, sometimes of daily life, depicting images of such things as significant people in their lives, landmarks, symbols, or objects relating to occupations or events.  Such is the case with a crazy quilt I acquired from a thrift store in Sarasota, Florida.  A note kept with the quilt (from her great-great niece) says that many of these fabrics were, "Cuts from her ball gowns."  I was able to obtain the name and contact information of a family member of the donor.  More than a year after acquisition, and after numerous viewings of the quilt, for the first time, my eye fell onto a patched-over area.  Before I introduce the "History Mystery,"  I will tell you a little bit about this quilt.

According to the family source and the hand-scrawled note kept with the quilt, the maker, Margaretta Burd Goodwin, was born on May 13, 1840 and married Frederick Augustus Goodwin, a wealthy dentist in New York City.  According to the note, they lived on 58th Street near the Astor Hotel.  Her parents were George W. Burd and Clara of New York City, and she married Fred Goodwin on April 10, 1860.  Her relative could find no record of them having had children, and they are said to have had a servant and their neighbors had several.  Both Fred and Margaretta apparently died between 1920 and 1930.  The relative finds them in the 1920 Census but not in the 1930 Census.  Because they did not have children, the quilt went to Fred's niece, Anna Elizabeth Root Hall Pierpont.  Anna's parents were Mary Jane Goodwin (Fred's sister) and Timothy Root.  Fred Goodwin originally was from Connecticut.  I am told that the Halls and the Roots were from Wolcott or Wallingford, Conneticut.

Flag with 13 Star
Another most exquisite detail on the quilt is a flag with 13 stars, a tribute to the early colonies.  My source tells me that Fred Goodwin's great grandfather, Ozias Goodwin served in the Revolutionary War.  She also stated that Fred's brother, Nelson Goodwin, filled out the Sons of the American Revolution paperwork in 1913.   Also note the initials of husband, Fred Augustus Goodwin and the date of 1883.  Below is an exceptional example of fine period needlework.  While these examples are intact and beautiful, the overall condition of the quilt is fragile, as many of the fabrics have deteriorated over time.

Margaretta and Fred appear to have moved up in society after 1870.  Fred was a box maker in 1870 and was retired before 1900.

Intricately Embroidered Horse and Rider
There is no indication that the parents of Fred or Margaretta had servants when they were growing up.  Both of their fathers appear to have been blue-collar workers.  In 1870 the Burd's had an African-American servant living with them, but it was a large family with Margaretta, along with her husband, Fred, and Margaretta's sister Kate and her child living with them.

Covered lady

Original shiny fabric beneath
Now for the "History Mystery."  I recently noticed a patch on one of the silk pieces, and seeing that someone before me had lifted the curious patch, I too lifted it to find an embroidered lady.  Was she a servant since she is wearing an apron?  Why was she covered over?  It is obvious that she was patched over early on in time, as the silk underneath the patch has not been exposed to light.  You can't see it in the photo, but the patch was secured on all sides.  The stitches are still on the patch.  Obviously, this lady, or servant, whoever she was, originally would have been held in very high esteem to merit having been depicted on Margaretta's quilt.  So what happened that she was "Blotted out?"  I'd like to hear some ideas.  What do you think?

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 24, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Amish Book, Amish Writer, Ohio Amish

The Healing by Wanda Brunstetter
 Award-winning and best-selling romance novelist and Amish writer, Wanda Brunstetter, will be presented in an Amish home in Ohio Amish County, September 17 & 19, 2011 for a book signing and sharing over an Amish meal.  She has authored nearly 50 books, with more than 5 million copies sold and has been recognized by the New York Times as a best-selling author.

Make it an award-winning evening either Saturday night or Monday night, when you attend the Wanda Brunstetter book signing.  The evening event features a traditional Amish meal, which includes mashed potatoes, gravy, two meats, noodles or dressing, a hot vegetable, salad, dinner roll, and choice on desserts.  In addition to introducing her latest Amish book, "The Healing," Wanda will share about her love for writing, the Amish culture, and the simpler way of life.  Copies of her other best selling books will be available for purchase.  The book signing will begin at 4:30 p.m., with dinner served at 6 p.m. 

A Cousin's Promise

A memorable evening can be yours when you reserve a room at the award-winning Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, recently the recipient of a "Certificate of Excellence for the year of 2011" from TripAdvisor and a distinguished inn on  Specially packaged for guests of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, the book signing and Amish meal is only $25, added to the price of your room of choice.   Call The Barn Inn at 330-674-7600 and mention "Book Signing" to create your memorable evening.

Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast - Queen Suite

A stay at Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast includes a full, hot, country breakfast, served in the inn's dining room.  Owners Paul and Loretta Coblentz take time each morning around the breakfast table to talk about some of the most interesting and out-of-the-way Amish businesses and homes to visit.  I have often stated, "Many people take off work, drive long distances, spend money at hotels and wake up the next morning wondering what there is to see and do. The information we give and the places we direct people to, enhances our guests' experiences."  An excerpt from a guest thank you letter states, "Thank you for taking the time yesterday morning during breakfast to give the little talk about the area.  I had been to the Berlin area twice before, but never stayed overnight because what I found was very commercialized.......I wanted to see the culture and the things the Amish had to sell.  Your talk made me change my plans and go adventuring in the area.  I am SO glad I did!!!"  She went on to say that the highlight of her vacation was her visit to an Amish home I directed her to.  She continued, "I've thought of nothing but of this family since I left their home yesterday morning!  They've touched my heart and made me a better person for having met them!"

 Create a memory with a stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 21, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ohio Amish Country Lodging, TripAdvisor

The Millersburg Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence for the year of 2011 by TripAdvisor, continues it's tradition of exceptional accommodations, outstanding breakfasts, and daily area orientations presented at breakfast time.  One TripAdvisor guest reviewer said, "Since we've traveled to Holmes County and the Amish Country many times, we thought we knew everything there was to know about the area.  Boy, were we wrong!  Not only was the atmosphere of this B & B more relaxed and conducive to our group's gathering, but the proprietors' knowledge about the Amish and Mennonite religions gave us a true feel for the region......."

Dining Room
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, located  between Berlin and Millersburg, is ideal for individual couples or for small groups of 11 or 12 couples.  The grand lobby and front room, ideal for "Making yourself at home,"  provides the perfect setting for table games, fellowship, or relaxation on our sofas or front room recliner.  Consider The Barn Inn for an entire family rent for this Christmas, 2011.  Please call us for a quote.

VIP Suite Jacuzzi
All guestrooms have their own private bath, air conditioning, satellite TV, and an entrance onto a porch or balcony.  Others feature fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs.   Special services at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast include:  Couples Massages, Reflexology, Cheese and Sparkling Juice Packages, Amish Tours and meals in Amish homes, and more.

Fred Gehrig Farmhouse
The renovation of the farmhouse, originally owned by farmer and cheese maker, Fred Gehrig, who lived from 1874 to 1940, provides ideal accommodations for a family or friend group.  A stay in the house also includes a full country breakfast. Some of the Fred Gehrig House features include satellite TV, 2 baths, accommodations for five, plus an air mattress for a 6th person, a deck and grill.  The house is rented to only one family or friend group.  It is never shared with other guests.

Deck and Patio Table at  Fred Gehrig House
Guests especially enjoy the deck and patio table where they watch Amish buggies pass by and enjoy a quiet, natural setting.  The property is abundant with birds because it is located only about three miles from Ohio's largest inland natural wetland area comprised of 5,671 acres; locations being Killbuck Marsh, Shreve Lake, Brown's Lake Bog and Funk Bottoms Wetland Area.

The next time you visit Ohio Amish Country, make The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast your lodging choice.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 18, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Holmes County Ohio Farm Tour

Guests of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, or simply anyone interested in exploring the culture and economy of Holmes County for several hours are in for an exceptional experience.  The 2011 Holmes County Farm Tour, a self-guided tour, offering 10 stops is offered on August 20, 20ll, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and starts at the Holmes County Fairgrounds where tour goers will be provided maps of all of the locations.

Stops will be vaired, covering a wide range of land uses and farm related businesses.  A wide variety of animals will be featured; various breeds of cattle, alpacas, and sheep.   The tour will feature traditional and non-traditional vocations such as a stop at the Holmes County Pottery, where the artisan, owner develops his art from the earth (clay).  Other stops includes a market which focuses on sustainable farming and the production of honey, a greenhouse, an Amish school, and Oak Bridge Timber Frame, a timer frame manufacturer.  The Amish school was put on the tour as a response to popular demand.  Springhill Farm, a 500-acre dairy farm with more than 300 head of Guernsdy and Holstein catle, will showcase their operation and Paint Valley Farms will offer a close-up look at short-horn cattle.

Barbecued chicken will be available at one location, beginning at 11 a.m.  This will prove to be a lovely tour for adults and children alike, as visitors may go at their own pace and pick and choose the locations of their choice.

French Country Room at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
 As a part of this tour experience, it would be appropriate to sleep in a converted dairy barn, where mid-west hospitality includes a full country breakfast with your stay.  The last that cows were milked in the barn, now the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, was in the mid 1970's.  Call for a reservation, 330-674-7600, or reserve on line

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

TripAdvisor Bed and Breakfast

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
We, at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast were pleasantly surprised yesterday, August 5, 2011, to have received the distinguished "2011 Certificate of Excellence" award from TripAdvisor.  This prestigious distinction is awarded to member properties who consistently receive excellent reviews from travelers who have stayed at TripAdvisor member properties.   The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast has achieved a TripAdvisor rating of 5.0.  To qualify, a property is expected to maintain an average rating of 4 or higher out of a possible 5.  Other factors considered are the volume of reviews submitted and how recent these reviews are.

The 11-room inn, a former dairy barn which was renovated in 1997, continues to be the top-rated TripAdvisor Millersburg, Ohio property, rated #1 in their popularity index.  "Paul and I consider this to be one of the most outstanding achievements in our years of serving people.  It is such an honor to receive this award."

VIP Suite with whirlpool
 The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, located between Berlin and Millersburg, in Holmes County, Ohio, offers standard rooms, VIP rooms, upscale VIP Suites, spa packages, and accommodations in the original 1900's farmhouse which will serve a family or group of 5 people. We can also arrange a meal in an Amish home so long as their are enough people for the meal.   Each morning guests receive an exceptional country breakfast, included with the price of the room.  Additionally, the innkeepers, daily, share cultural stories and area information, a service that enhances the guest experience.

Amish Washday
 One of the stories that we tell is why my husband, Paul, is no longer an Amish church member.  I tell people that he once was Old Order, but now he is "Out of Order."  Among other stories, we share about Amish washday, wash lines, secrets about who and when someone is getting married, and many other topics.

TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to research and plan for the perfect trip.  See Barn Inn reviews on TripAdvisor and plan a trip to Ohio's Amish Country, where there is much to see and do.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 6, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Steam Engine Show, Holmes County Ohio

Capturing the spirit of centuries past, the public will again be offered the experience of celebrating a by-gone era at the August 4, 5, and 6, 2011 Holmes County Ohio Steam and Engine Association's 19th Annual Summer Show, taking place at the Mt. Hope, Ohio auction barn property.

Fun for the entire family, the three-day event will include contests for adults and children; such demonstractions as chain saw art, threshing, horse and pony pulls, horseshoe contest and lots of action from steam engines that will power a sawmill and threshing machine, and much, much more.  Over 130 tractors will be on display.

With over 400 members, the Holmes County Steam and Engine Association is dedicated to the preservation of antique farm equipment as well as teaching early farming methods to younger generations.  Young and old are captured by the chug-chug of these early "work horses" that preceded the gas combustion engine.  The gasoline engine was introduced from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's. 

The Minneapolis Moline tractor will be one of the main features of the 2011 show, and the Fairbanks Morse will be the featured smaller engine.  Paul and Loretta Coblentz, owners of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, located only seven miles from Mt. Hope, have found this show to offer an exceptional experience for family, friends, and guests.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
August 1, 2011