When big news happens in Ohio's Amish country... you'll find it here...
April 19, 2009 Please keep an eye on our covered bridge Construction is underway on a covered bridge just south of Walnut Creek, and while we'd love to have you stop by to see it in person, you can watch construction anytime.
Except today, because it's Sunday, a day of rest in this part of the world.
But other days, you can watch construction via a web cam placed nearby by the county engineer. The camera sends streaming video to the engineer's web site.
April 19, 2009 Bakery expansion nearly completed Expansion of the Der Dutchman bakery is a few weeks away from completion. It's been a little crowded in the dining room this winter since the bakery took over part of that space.
But it will soon move out of the dining room and into a larger space on the west side of the building. We can't wait for fresh strawberry pies in a few months.
Jan. 10 CONSTRUCTION AT DER DUTCHMAN Sweet baby pies! The folks at the Dutchman are remodeling the bakery. The bigger, better bakery is scheduled to reopen in mid-April. In the meantime, the bakery is still open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and you're advised to use the Dutchman main entrance to get to the baked goods. Speaking of Der Dutchman... this is the 40th anniversary of the restaurant that virtually single-handedly transformed Walnut Creek from a sleepy farming town into a bustling tourist attraction. Big doin's are planned this year, starting May 1.
Jan. 9 TWO AREA RESTAURANTS CLOSE We hear that Grandma's Alpine Homestead is closed and for sale. The restaurant and collection of small shops on Rt. 62 between Wilmot and Winesburg offered a tasty buffet and occasional entertainment. It also sported one of the largest collections in the land of Alpine paintings by our late uncle Tom Miller. We're hopeful that someone will find a way to preserve the building and his paintings. Grandma's Homestead in Charm remains open. And we also hear that Troyer's Country Dining, the restaurant formerly known as Dutch Harvest on Rt. 62 on the west side of Berlin has closed. The hotel and fitness center at the same location are still operating.
Jan. 8 BIG NEWS IN TRAIL The big news for 2009 in the village of Trail is that the Trail Bologna store still looks exactly like it did in 1940. It's a old-style grocery store with a lunch counter that features unique bologna smoked in a building out back. Thank God some things never change. The store is our favorite place for a trip back in time ... and those hot Trail Bologna sandwiches with the melted Swiss or pepper-jack cheese. Speaking of good food, our other favorite meat store is Winesburg Meats, just up the road a few miles in Winesburg. The family-run store has a wonderful selection of meats and cheeses. Our latest favorites are the jerky and fully cooked pork tenderloins. (We thin-sliced one of the tenderloins and set it out with crackers on New Year's Eve, which everyone loved.) They also have some tasty cheeses, and their smoked chickens are the most tender you'll ever eat.
Dec. 17 MUSEUM MOVE DELAYED The move of antiques and artifacts to Walnut Creek’s new German Culture Museum has been delayed because of construction. Construction, that is, of displays and cases to best show off all the pieces of this community’s history. Actually, we waited an extraordinarily long time during tedious negotiations for ready-made displays from an antique mall in New Philadelphia. The display units would have been perfect, but they never materialized, so we lost months in the process. Now we’re doing what the people of the Walnut Creek community know best:“If you want it done right, do it yourself.” We’re shooting for a Spring 2009 grand opening. Stay tuned.
Nov. 27 RISING LIKE A PHOENIX The Flea Market, which I suggested might go away in an earlier note, is not dead . . . just changing. Actually it’s rising, like a Phoenix, on property behind the Berlin car wash.So not to despair, flea market browsers, you’ll have plenty of poking, pondering and peering to keep you occupied on your next visit to Amish Country. Oh, and I was KIDDING about the used denture swapoff in that earlier note, when I discussed the possibility of a new flea market materializing. But then again, items of that sort are just what makes a true flea market interesting.Who knows, maybe used choppers will show up someday.Hey, in 1957 when I graduated from Walnut Creek High School, who would have guessed that someday I’d pay $4 per gallon of gas . . . or that someday I’d be typing on an ELECTRIC typewriter much less a keyboard on a device smaller than a stadium cushion that could send my articles AROUND THE WORLD in the blink of an eye! So . . . don’t toss out those old plastic chompers, there may be a reuse, renew or recycle function in their future.
July 16 COULD THE FLEA MARKET BE DOOMED? The legendary Amish Country Flea Market is teetering on the brink . . . Rumor has it that financing dried up for construction on the relocated flea market. Land has been cleared and scraped near Berlin (behind the Christmas store "Tis The Season") but there's been no progress for several weeks. Someone with deep pockets needs to step up! At the end of this season (late autumn - early winter) the existing flea market less than a mile west of Walnut Creek, will become the Holmes County Expo Center (swap meets, gun shows, old denture swapoffs, quilting expos and the like).
`HISTORY HANDOFF' GETS YOUTH INVOLVED A "fire brigade" of Amish youth as well as some non-Amish local teenagers, will hand off precious artifacts along a 100-yard-long procession stretching across Olde Pump St. in August, as the German Culture Museum moves its displays to a new home. More than 25 Amish youth have already volunteered and others from the area are adding their names to the list daily. Date for the "Walnut Creek History Handoff" will be set by early August, as museum officials chart progress of display material assembly and construction.
July 1 NEW LIBRARY POPULAR, MUSEUM ON THE MOVE Our librarian reports attendance and usage of the new library (across Olde Pump St. from the post office) is way above expectations. The building, finished late in 2007, is a new bright spot on the Walnut Creek landscape. The German Culture Museum, to be located on the bottom floor, is taking shape as volunteers assemble display cases recently discovered and purchased from the New Philadelphia Antique Mall. Among plans for the new museum is construction of a model of the log cabin built and lived in by pioneer, Amish Country founder Jonas Stutzman. Stutzman, known locally as "Der Weiss" (meaning "The White One") because of the all-white clothing he wore, built the first cabin in the region after hiking here in 1809. Guests staying at Indiantree Farm B&B need only ask and will be given a free, privately guided tour of the current (and the new one if you like) museum. Currently, exhibits are housed in one of the oldest houses in the county (a house in which Pres.-to-be Wm. McKinley once slept) located next door to the post office.
An Amish builder does a handstand over the new Walnut Creek museum and community center.
Nov. 2, 2007 Builder does handstand over new center An Amish builder did a handstand on the peak of the roof of the new Walnut Creek community center and museum. It's a little-known and rarely photographed tradition among Amish builders to celebrate the completion of a building with a rooftop handstand. The anonymous worker quickly disappeared after his performance. After some finish work, the new 10,800-square-foot building on Olde Pump Street just south of Der Dutchman restaurant will house the German Culture Museum on the first floor. The top floor will house a new branch library, a community room and offices for the Walnut Creek Township trustees. Donations and some government funding made the building possible. It also required a bank loan to complete the work, so donations are now being sought to pay off the debt.
July 28, 2007 Community Center going up fast The Walnut Creek Community Center (museum/library/community room) is now much more than a hole in the ground. We have a building that is framed, many windows have been installed, sheeting and roll roofing is down and volunteers will be installing shingles in the next few days.
Brick work is about half finished and workers will be insulating and drywalling before the framers' skillsaws cool down.
Cheese house is growing like topsy The new addition for Walnut Creek Cheese is progressing rapidly. It will greatly expand both the cafe dining areas and the grocery sales areas.
Workers are buttoning up the roof and siding and are finishing the sales area flooring. A genuine antique threshing machine sits high up on one wall. Can you imagine a full-size threshing machine hanging on the wall like some Lilliputian ornament?
Oh, there's also a panel truck parked on another wall. Yes, a real, antique, drive-it-down-the-highway panel truck!
Expect to see the new addition open to the public by mid-August.
We're getting sidewalks in Walnut Creek According to The Journal newspaper of Millersburg, the Holmes County Commissioners have approved construction of new storm sewers and sidewalks along Olde Pump Street. That's the street that goes straight south from the front door of Der Dutchman, past the Post Office and down the hill past Walnut Hills retirement community. The new sidewalk will go from the Post Office to Walnut Hills.
Lehman's expansion complete We saw in Mike Harden's column in The Columbus Dispatch that Lehman's Hardware store in Kidron is a lot bigger now. The owners hauled an old barn from down the road to their site and rebuilt it, using it to house the vast stove display there. That's only part of the work the Lehman family did to grow the business. They also added parking, which is a plus.
June 19, 2007
Covered bridge coming south of Walnut Creek
The Holmes County Hub newspaper reports on June 14, 2007, that the Holmes County engineer plans to use more than $500,000 in federal funds to build an 85-foot covered bridge across Walnut Creek (there really is a Walnut Creek!) at the bottom of the hill on the old road to Sugarcreek. (Down the hill from the elementary school and Walnut Hills retirement center.)
Another $50,000 in local funds will be used for the project, according to the newspaper, which says that the engineer expects construction to begin in 2008. The goal is to promote tourism in the area, according to the Hub report.
New shop opens in Walnut Creek The Holmes County Hub newspaper also reports on June 14 that a P. Graham Dunn shop has opened across the street from Der Dutchman restaurant. The company makes and sells carved wood plaques and wall hangings. The company is also opening a factory off of U.S. 30 near Dalton, according to the Hub.