Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thrift Stores In Ohio Amish Country

Guests to the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast often ask about thrift stores in Ohio Amish Country.  In this post, I will list many thrift and resale stores.

Save & Serve Thrift Shop in Millersburg:
   Whether you are looking for a new outfit, a unique vintage find, or a great bargain, there’s something for everyone at our Thrift Shop! Our MCC Thrift Shop provides quality thrift items at reasonable prices and strives to be a caring, friendly presence in our community.

MCC Connection Thrift Shop:
     MCC has thrift or resale stores in 18 states and in 5 Canadian Providences.  This particular store is only one of many that a portion of each purchase is designated to the global relief work of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee)


Share and Care in Berlin;
         If you are shopping for gently used clothes, dishes, appliances, books and antiques, thrift stores are your go-to. When shopping in these stores, you never know what treasures you might come across.


Harvest Thrift Store in Sugarcreek and Wilmot.

    In 2006 a small group of Holmes County residents met to discuss a vision they all had in common. With hearts geared toward area youth, they discussed ways to provide resources for those who need a hand, not just in third-world countries but in the local community as well. Through these brainstorming sessions, Harvest Thrift Store was conceived with a mission statement promising that the store will provide “quality merchandise to support local and international missions,” while “honoring God with compassion and integrity” and “assisting our employees and volunteers to reach their full potential.”
The Harvest Thrift Store opened for business in November, 2006, debt-free. What began with a leased space in Sugarcreek has since expanded to a second location in Wilmot, made possible by the generous donation of a vacant building at the intersection of Routes 62 and 250. And now it has grown again by recently moving the Sugarcreek location into a new, expanded building.


The Trading Post Thrift Store in Mt. Hope, is a large thrift store that is well displayed. A unique character of this thrift store is the amount of HIGH VALUE items, NEW & USED. There is also a large selection of clothing and wares as well as a section that is sure to capture masculine interests with outdoor gear and things that would appeal to men.
The Trading Post Thrift Store was organized to support the Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp. The Ohio Camp is an organization in South-Eastern OH that helps boys work through emotional handicaps that keep them from enjoying life in their family and a normal school setting.
All support generated through the Trading Post goes to help families who have a boy at camp. The scholarship is a must for single parent families and families who are already struggling financially to be able to help their boy.

Submitted by Amy Yoder
November 2, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Identify Original Marine Seascape Oil Painting

I, here at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, have personal contact with someone who owns this large, signed, original oil marine seascape painting. I would like to identify the artist.  I failed to measure it, but would estimate it be at least 48" x 36", but would say it is larger than that.

Obviously, this is a seascape.  I believe it is in it's original frame.  Is there anyone out there who could identify the artist and direct me to someone who might have interest in it?

Impressionist Sailboat and Boat House Painting

Here is a closeup of the signature shown in the lower left side of the painting. It is a distinctive signature where it appears as though the artist wrote his or her first name over their surname. This piece, by all appearances is in excellent condition.  I am guessing that it would be classed as mid century modern and impressionist.

Signature on original painting
Please email me at

If you travel to Ohio's Amish Country, consider a stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast here in Millersburg, Ohio.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
October 31, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Boo! in the Burg and Ohio Wine Tasting Offers Attractions for All Ages

Hosted by Historic Downtown Millersburg, Boo! in the Burg is expanding based on the success of last year's addition of the Ohio Wine Tasting, and will now feature it as a permanent event. Guests of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast and visitors to the area are invited to celebrate the Harvest season with beautiful Amish Country Autumn foliage and Ohio wines.

Located behind the Old Jail in Millersburg, the Ohio Wine Tasting is featuring eight unique Ohio wineries, including Raven's Glenn, Troutman, Doughty Glen Winery, and Baltic Mills Winery, among others. Tickets for tours of the Old Jail are $5 per person, but the price for the Ohio Wine Tasting is yet to be determined. Tours and Tasting will star at 6pm on Saturday, October 29th.

The Old Millersbug Jail

The annual Halloween Parade and Downtown Trick-or-Treat will also be held that evening, with the addition of a Wings Tasting Competition on the Millersburg Courthouse lawn. Proceeds from the Wings Tasting will benefit Friends and Neighbors of OneEighty (formerly Every Woman's House), a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter.

Part of Historic Downtown Millersburg

Local shops will be offering sales, promotions, and other special events for this night, so this is not to be missed on a late Saturday evening! More information on this and other Historic Downtown Millersburg events can be found on their website or by contacting the director, Judy Lamp, at 330-674-2412.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

9th Annual Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns Brings Carols to Life

Image result for christmas cookie tour of inns

The Innkeepers at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast in Millersburg, Ohio have been involved with the Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns since its first itteration in December of 2007. Scheduled for Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, the 2016 Cookie Tour will feature beautiful local inns in Ohio's Amish country.

"Songs in the Air, Christmas in My Heart!" is the theme for the 9th Annual Cookie Tour, and these inns are participating:
Since 2007, the Cookie Tour has given all of its net proceeds to local charities, such as the Holmes County Education Foundation and LifeCare Hospice. Tickets are $35 for a single day, or $50 for a two-day pass, and went on sale on the Cookie Tour website on October 3rd. Visitors are free to travel to as many inns as they choose during their tour, from 1pm-7pm on Saturday and 1pm-6pm on Sunday. Each inn will have a different cookie, and the recipes for those cookies will go into the Cookie Tour Cookbook, which every guest will receive along with their tickets.

 This tour is a chance for these local inns to decorate, dress up, and show off the very best they have to offer. The Amish Country Lodging Council, operating under the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce for this event, is a network dedicated to excellence in hospitality. If you plan to be in the area in December, this event is a must-see! Tickets typically sell out within the first week or two of sales, so it is recommended that you purchase them as soon as possible. As one of the featured inns, The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast looks forward to hosting and greeting guests warmly as we enter the winter Holiday season!

For more information, visit the Christmas Cookie Tour website, or call the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Bureau at (330) 674-3975.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Holmes County Ohio Tesla Recharge Station and Plug in for Hybrid Automobiles

The Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is now a Tesla destination inn; providing the only recharge station in Holmes County, Ohio. We have recently installed the Tesla High Power Wall Connector which serves Tesla Model S and Model X cars.  Also installed is the Clipper Creek "Universal" J177S2 standard, compatible with any other battery electric and plug in hybrid automobiles for other major auto manufacturers.

Now electric car owners and their cars may recharge while visiting Ohio's Amish Country.  Electric car owners receive a free auto recharge while staying overnight at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast. It is interesting that here, where we have horse and buggy transportation, we also have the most modern application of technology. For travelers not staying as Barn Inn guests (overnight stay), there is a recharge fee of $15.

Tesla Recharge Station
We are excited every time a Tesla car owner reserves a room.  What a delight it is to see these glorious autos and to meet the owners who so kindly let us ooohh and aaahh over these incredible technical "Works of art and design".  One can only observe in awe at the array of features embodied in these autos. Most noticeable is the quiet ride and great utilization of space because there is no motor.  Actually, you could say it's a love affair at first sight.  Check out the features of both Tesla Model S and Model X cars.

Tesla  Model S at Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

With a full charge, our Tesla owners can travel 250 miles. is a site where residential, public, high power, and in-use stations are indicated.

Electric car owners, consider a stay at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast for a recharge for both you and your car, and of course, enjoy some of the most beautiful countrysides in the United States.

Tesla Model X at Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Organizations are working to install more charging stations along major routes.  Tesla car instruments and other sites indicate recharge locations.

Owners have told us that along most major arteries a recharge station may be found about every 100 miles, usually located near a restaurant and/or hotel, shopping centers, and WIFI hot spots. 

Tesla has Supercharge Stations that will charge Model S and Model X in minutes rather than hours.

Come enjoy Ohio's Amish Country and know that whether you are driving a gasoline powered car or an electric car, your car's resources are readily available.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is a licensed hotel, but operates with the finer touches of a B and B. We serve a full country breakfast daily, included with the price of the room. Additionally, we provide a morning information that will help you best utilize your time in Holmes County.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
September 20, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Best Choice To Buy Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates and Gift Cards

Make the best choice to buy bed and breakfast gift certificates or gift cards.  There are several points you should consider before making a bed and breakfast gift certificate or card purchase. Will you want to purchase a gift certificate from a nationwide directory, a bed and breakfast association, or a specific property of choice?

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
My first recommendation for buying a gift certificate is to find an inn or bed and breakfast where you yourself might like to stay. Call the innkeeper and ask questions, or better yet, if it is possible, make an appointment and drive to the inn to see a few rooms. Most innkeepers are gracious and love to show off their property. Ask yourself if the innkeeper exhibits enthusiasm for hospitality.  Are they excited about their property and their locality?  Do they inspire you to come?  Do they have suggestions for touring, eating, entertainment, or relaxation?  Check the property's reputation on tripadvisor.  Consider all aspects of the property. Be sure to ask about their cancellation policy. Do they serve a breakfast? Make sure your questions about privacy and comfort are answered.  If this is your property of choice, ask if they sell gift certificates, if they have an expiration; are they transferrable, and how do they handle the extra money if the certificate is more than the room cost?  Your thoughtful choice will make it a uniquely personal gift for your loved one.  Buying directly from the inn will insure that they will go to your inn of choice. Of course, your family or friend will reserve the date of stay.

Buying directly from the inn or bed and breakfast greatly helps the inn's bottom line.  Buying through a directory pays a commission of perhaps 10%, 15%, or 20% to other sources. We sell many certificates to family members of guests who regularly stay with us. Many adult children purchase gift certificates for their parents.

Relax at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

It might be a "Quick Fix" in a busy season to purchase a gift certificate from a directory, and where the recipient can choose the inn of their choice.  On the other hand, it might be a more meaningful gift to do the homework to find that special get-a-way that you believe they would most enjoy.

Directories -  Property owners list with directories for the advantage of exposure to the thousands of persons seeking unique lodging experiences. Examples of bed and breakfast directories are:,,,, and, to name a few.  Of course, we owners need and love our online directories.  Most directories offer gift certificates or gift cards. Keep in mind that cards and certificates purchased from a specific directory can be redeemed only at those directory properties that are participating in that directory's gift certificate program. If you have a bed and breakfast in mind for your loved one, check to see if that property is a participant in the directory's gift program before purchasing from the directory.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
Example:  The Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is listed on; however, we do not participate in their gift program. Notice on this local page, that participating properties have the word "Accepts" and a gift card icon shown below the room rate, on the right side of the listing. Often people with gift cards call us to make a reservation. They are saddened when they learn that we are not participants; and that only the inns displaying the gift card icon are participants in the gift program. has a FAQ page that specifically shows properties that accept gift cards. has a gift certificate information page on their site that explains requirements, this being available to the purchaser prior to clicking the link to make the purchase. Here is a link of participating properties.

Associations - You may also discover many bed and breakfast associations that offer gift certificates or cards. In searching; however, I find that few associations give much explaination about gift certificate redemption.  Some sites say they may be redeemed at their member properties.  I suggest that you inquire of the association prior to making a purchase. Associations typically are well managed and commited to serving their clients.
Holmes County, Ohio

It's the law in Ohio - All gift certificates issued in the state of Ohio (in any industry) must be honored for two years.  Here at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast we honor gift certificates for two years.  After the two-year expiration date, we will, as long as we own the inn, continue to honor expired gift certificates for a Sunday through Thursday stay, but not during the peak season which runs mid September through the month of October.

We, here at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, accept gift certificates issued by We especially like our partnership in the because they charge us only 10% commission on their certificates. charges redeeming inns a 15% commission, and yet another leading directory charges 20% commission, (with some additional rebate to property).

Innkeepers like myself must assess whether or not it is advantageous to participate in directory or association gift programs.  Several factors impact the decision.  We here at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are located in Ohio's Amish Country. Holmes County Ohio which hosts over 4 million visitors annually to our area.  Typically we are able to fill up most weekends around the calendar, so we do not rely on directory gift certificates to fill our rooms.

Visit Ohio's Amish Country in Holmes County, Ohio.  If it's mid-day, stop by for a tour of open rooms.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
July 30, 2016

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

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ohio Amish Country Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast Update Accommodations

In maintaining a standard for excellence, luxury, and comfort, we at the Ohio Amish Country Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast yearly update our accommodations.  January is the month in which we deep clean, paint, and make major improvements; all to create added value and contribute to guest experience.

Vintage Rose Mural
Since I am in charge of "All Things Beautiful" at the inn, I have a license to do whatever I wish to create beauty.  I had never before done a mural with clouds, so this was an exciting experiment that resulted in much satisfaction and pleasure.

This mural, in the Vintage Rose Suite, proved to be a dramatic, yet soft transformation. My first step was to change the vanilla-colored walls to Sherwin Williams color number 6213, Halcyon Green.  For the mural I drew a base line 36" from the floor.  I also determined the width and placement of the background.  I researched how to paint clouds on then began my adventure.  I hand painted the clouds, hills, and foreground, then stenciled the trees with a mural stencil set from cutting edge stencils. Their video for the mural stencil set, on their website, is very helpful.

Mural Clouds
I am not an expert, just brave enough, or foolish enough, to try something challenging.  For the clouds I used white paint to which I added some of the SW Halcyon Green.  I also added glaze. Glaze will extend the window of time needed to work the paint.  In other words, with glaze added, paint dries slower, allowing more time to manipulate.  For the clouds I mixed three different values of white and green; the lightest had just a little bit of the Halcyon Green in it. I discovered that it was best to paint the clouds starting at the top, pouncing with a round stencil brush that measured about 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  It is important to allow some of the background  color to peek through the clouds.

Close up Mural

The clouds and landscape background were the most challenging.  By following the steps on the video on the cutting edge stencil site, you will learn to place smaller images to the rear and larger image in the foreground. Another important element when painting murals is to paint distant images in a lighter color.  Larger images in the foreground should be painted in a darker color.

Rose Garden Bathroom
Additional 2016 updates include new tile flooring and tub surround in the Rose Garden Room.  It was exciting to remove the bland white tile around the garden tub and replace it with elegant, beautiful tumbled marble.

Additionally, the old vinyl flooring, installed in 1997, was removed - hallelujah!  For the flooring tile, we chose tile that looks like rough sawn barn planking. It's just fun to look at!  Finally, I stenciled the back wall for a truly garden feel.

Tile that Looks Like Wood Planks

 Additionally, we installed new carpets in several other guest rooms.

Take the opportunity to visit  Ohio's Amish Country.  When doing so, be sure to visit the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast.  We will be happy to give you a tour through any unoccupied rooms.

Stays at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast include a hot country breakfast and an area orientation.  Plan several days in Amish Country, as there is much to see and do.  This is the largest community of Amish in the world.  There is no zoning in Holmes County, so Amish entrepreneurs can be found on many of our back road county and township roads.

The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
February 11, 2016