Shopping for the Home in Holmes County’s Amish Country
Like most homeowners, my wife and I are constantly spending weekends on home improvement projects. It can be a drag after a while, so sometimes, it’s great to get away from home, and get some inspiration with a road trip. One area that’s full of unique places to shop for home goods and supplies is Holmes County’s Amish Country.
Keim Lumber, in Charm, carries a huge variety of hardwoods that you won’t find anywhere else in one place. We’re planning on adding some wood-plank shelves in our kitchen, so we checked out the selection to find out what type of wood would be best. This place has everything I could think of – walnut, mahogany, quarter sawn oak, sycamore – and some I had never heard of – wenge, rosewood, leopardwood, yew. When we pick a type of wood (we have it narrowed down to walnut and wenge,) we’ll come back and pick boards from the warehouse and get them custom milled on-site.
The Berlin Village Antique mall is another worthwhile stop. With two floors of antique furniture at great values. We found a pair of wooden folding chairs and two wall mirrors – less than $20 each! Downstairs, there’s a furniture business (one of dozens in Holmes County) that makes high-quality, custom pieces to order.
Miller’s Dry Goods, just north of Keim Lumber on Route 557, was a surprise find. The modest building houses a huge variety of fabric at unbeatable prices, which my wife had a great time looking through. We found some nice oilcloth to recover those chairs we got at the antique mall. We also got some linen for kitchen towels for only $4 a yard!
No shopping trip is complete without a bite to eat. The problem is, and I’m embarassed to say it, I don’t really like traditional-style meat-and-potatoes Amish food. Until fairly recently, I would have been out of luck, but Heini’s Gourmet Market in the Tuscarawas County town of Sugarcreek is a welcome addition to the dining scene. They’ve got the biggest selection of Ohio wines I’ve ever seen in one place, and a fair number of Ohio microbrews, too. That’s important to note if you’d like a drink with dinner, as not a lot of restaurants in Amish Country serve alcohol. When we were there, a guitarist was singing classic rock, and we tucked into a panini and some top-notch roasted red pepper soup. I also picked up a jar of sassafras jelly – I have no idea what could taste like, but that’s part of the fun of traveling – you can always find something you’ve never seen before.
We only scratched the surface on this trip – we’ll be back for a weekend visit soon. And when we come, the Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg is my favorite place to stay. It’s convenient to the heart of the world’s largest Amish Country, but the comforts are all modern. As you drive up the steep hill to the Inn, a canopy of trees envelops you, and a sense of serenity overtakes you. The rooms are the definition of cozy, and the restaurant is another choice for people looking for a break from Amish food. Unique “honeycomb” rooms, built into the side of a hill, and a luxurious spa are two more bonuses about the inn.