Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Fashioned Christmas Festival - A Fun Family Outing

Children's FREE train ride
 Tuesday night will be your last chance to experience Richmond, Indiana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Festival held throughout the historic Depot District from 5pm-9pm. This is a free event and a perfect opportunity to get into that Norman Rockwell holiday mood. 

I had come to Richmond’s Christmas Festival with friends on a particularly damp night. In spite of the chilly weather, we were soon warmed by a community of smiling faces and heartfelt welcomes.

We saw live reindeer and “miniature” reindeer, and then watched as merry makers of all ages lined up for a ride on Wayne County’s double decker bus.  Inside, the windows were festooned with white lights and greenery and the air soon filled with carols sung by the upper deck riders.

The patina-red bus pulled away from the curb as a horse-drawn wagon clip-clopped along the luminaire lined thoroughfare.  The delightful jingle of bells was heard throughout the streets, preparing the littlest ones for their visit with Santa Claus in the three story Richmond Furniture Gallery. Located in a handsomely restored 1880’s era building, this is not a typical furniture store. Each floor is filled with an eclectic assortment of antiques, curiosities and new furniture. We paused for a moment to listen to Somebody’s Brothers, knowing that the Boys and Girls Club Choir will fill the store with music again on December 20th.

On the first floor, Santa carefully listened to each whispered Christmas wish. And in case you forgot to tell Santa just one more thing, there was a special mailbox for those all-important letters heading to the North Pole!

The three of us walked up the stairs to the third floor. We were enthralled with the model railroad display. Everyone from the very young and to the young-at-heart watched the chugging HO scale trains at the top of the landscaped mountain and the sleek O and G-scale passenger trains racing along the base.  The knowledgeable model railroaders were available to answer questions while sharing their love of this year-round hobby.

On the other side of the room was a child-sized train ride with a circular track and an engine chugging through an indoor winter wonderland filled with stuffed snowmen, happy elves and oversized candy canes.

We went outside in the crisp night, looking into cheerful store fronts and exchanging holiday greetings in the frosty air. Every merchant offered free hot chocolate or fresh cookies; a warming cup of cider or tasty candy canes to window and gift shoppers alike. 

Escaping the nip in the air, we stepped into the Atlas Senior Apartments and browsed through tables of the residents’ handmade crafts. Everything from jewelry, wood work and needle crafts were displayed and reasonably priced making our holiday shopping a snap!

Before leaving Richmond, we walked to the Firehouse BBQ and Blues to see the restored building and learn about their official opening on January 1, 2012. Look for more news about this great venue in the weeks to come.

We reluctantly headed for home with a fresh enthusiasm for the coming holidays and plenty of terrific ideas for return visits. When looking for the best place to spend an evening with friends, or getaway for the weekend anytime of the year, check

Susan Ray is a freelance writer and co-founder of a local writers’ group. She loves her life in Indiana and is passionate about discovering and sharing the little known treasures and the unexpected beauty of the Hoosier state with newcomers and natives alike. "When I first visited Indiana, I expected the stereotypical corn and beans and flat landscape. What I found instead were acres of history, culture and adventure!" Susan often shares these forays into the wonderland of Indiana with her companionable husband and sends far too many postcards to her Tar Heel son and daughter-in-law. Visit her blog at and take a look at the latest news from the writers’ group at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Veach's Toy Station - An Amazing Adventure

The holidays bring out the kid in all of us so there’s only one place to go when you’re in the mood for fun – Veach’s Toy Station at
715 East Main Street
in Richmond, Indiana. Walking in the front doors, visitors are warmly welcomed by the third generation of the Veach family.
“Service, service, service,” is what John Veach offers customers of every age.  “We focus on small companies; American made toys.”
Full scale stuffed animals, oversized marionettes and kid-sized rocking chairs mingle with adorable dolls, magic kits and heavy-duty construction sets. The cheerful shop boasts a great selection of exciting board games, intriguing books and artistic crafts that enable children to be imaginative and creative.
“We know our products,” Veach continues. “We’ve been here for … hmmm … 73 years!”
Customers are encouraged to ask questions when searching for that perfect gift. The friendly folks at Veach’s are happy to explain and demonstrate everything from developmental baby items to rugged outdoor toys.
For the model railroader, the second floor is a wonderland of all kinds of electric trains, track, and accessories. Listen for the clackity-clack as the locomotives chug along, and watch as the passenger cars race alongside freight lines.
Ever since 1938, doting grown-ups have shared this inspired toy store with the youngsters in their lives. Birthdays are especially memorable when a child enters the Birthday Castle to choose a special gift, receive a lollipop and make good use of the 10% off coupon.
Free gift wrapping is one more way that Veach’s shows it appreciates every customer. Gift givers can choose between Christmas or birthday themed paper, then browse among the American made jigsaw puzzles and motorized Coast Guard boats until the professionally finished gift is ready to take home.
While enjoying the festivities in downtown Richmond during this special season of heartfelt giving and enchanted memories, be sure to stop by Veach’s Toy Station From 9:30am until 6:00pm Monday through Saturday; from 9:30am until 9:00pm on Friday, and from noon until 5:00pm on Sunday.
With so many toys, games, books, kits, trucks, balls, dolls and more, the entire building is a celebration!
Be sure to check out the Dec/Jan issue of County Living Magazine to read more about Veach's Toy Station! 

Susan Ray is a freelance writer and co-founder of a local writers’ group. She loves her life in Indiana and is passionate about discovering and sharing the little known treasures and the unexpected beauty of the Hoosier state with newcomers and natives alike. “When I first visited Indiana, I expected the stereotypical corn and beans and flat landscape. What I found instead were acres of history, culture and adventure!” Susan often shares these forays into the wonderland of Indiana with her companionable husband and sends far too many postcards to her Tar Heel son and daughter-in-law. Visit her blog at and take a look at the latest news from the writers’ group at

Monday, December 12, 2011

Clear Creek Food Co-op and Unwind Yarn Shop are Student Favorites

Our student blogger, Abby Primack from Earlham College, shares a few Downtown Richmond favorites in her latest blog post.

Almost every Saturday morning, my friends and I walk the mile and a half into downtown Richmond to get our fix of local food. Finding locally-produced/grown food in Richmond can be difficult at times, especially after the local Farmer’s market ends in October, but the Clear Creek Food Co-op provides the perfect solution. Once located on Earlham College’s campus, Clear Creek now makes its home on Main Street in downtown Richmond. With a mission “to provide healthy food and high quality products to our members and the local community” while making a “reasonable effort to buy and offer locally grown and created products[1], the food co-op makes itself an invaluable part of Richmond
Beyond the artfully decorated window display lies a small goldmine of local produce, bulk foods, local meats, prepared lunches, vitamin and mineral supplements, and beauty and home care items. My first stop is the local produce section, which holds an affordable seasonal offering of fruits and vegetables, such as organic and local garlic, apples, squash, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes. Once I have my fill of fruits and vegetables, I head over to the bulk section and load up on popcorn kernels and red and green lentils.
The bulk section is filled with an impressive selection of dried beans, dried fruits, pasta, TVP, GORP, local honey, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, raw nuts, chocolate covered nuts, and nut butters. Lining the walls is a beautiful assortment of powdered and whole spices, sure to please even the pickiest cooking enthusiast. Lastly, I move onto the refrigerated section, which includes local eggs, cheeses, milk and dairy products, and grass-fed meat. There is also a wide array of sodas and kombucha, non-local organic breads, such as Ezekiel bread, and my personal favorite, ice cream and sorbet. After checking out, and on the walk home, I think about all of the home cooked meals that I will make that week with my friends, and start planning for my next trip.
If you find that are you one of the many creative people in this world, Unwind Yarn Shop is the perfect place for you. Just five years old, this locally owned knitting store strives to “revitalize the downtown by putting in businesses people want to come to”. Owner Vicki Hair has been a voracious knitter her whole life and loves to share her passion with others through classes. Unwind offers year-round classes in knitting and crocheting, such as the Basic Sock ($45 + materials), Beginning Knitting ($35 + materials), Chinook Scarf ($30 + materials), and the Vintage Cardigan ($55 + materials). On top of the numerous classes offered, two knitting clubs meet every week. Loops of Love, the charity knitting group, meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month, and the Selfish Knitters, those who desire to knit for themselves, meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
As one first notices from walking in the door, the shop is literally covered wall to wall with yarn.  The cozy knitter’s haven offers an astounding variety of yarn, with brands ranging from the beautiful Japanese Noro yarn, incredibly soft Ecco Cashmere yarn, and even a local Richmond Alpaca yarn. Both metal and bamboo needles are sold as well, along with a variety of instructional knitting and crocheting books and magazines. With winter coming around the bend and the holidays approaching fast, a trip to Unwind Yarn Shop is all you need for a fun, memorable holiday gift.
Clear Creek Food Co-op
710 East Main Street
Richmond, IN 47374
Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm
Closed Sunday
(765) 939-4390

Unwind Yarn Shop
921 East Main Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374
Monday-Friday 11am-5pm
Saturday 10am-pm
Closed Sunday
(765) 966-2500

Monday, November 28, 2011

Decking the halls in Wayne County
By Amy Lynch

Richmond and the surrounding area are serving up a whole batch of seasonal activities and events sure to make your holidays a little happier.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival

Head on down to the Historic Depot District on Tuesday nights between Nov. 29 and Dec. 20 to enjoy lots of festive fun including lights and luminaries, horse-drawn carriage rides, a fantasyland train display, caroling, visits with Santa and live reindeer. The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each week; admission and parking are free.

Madrigal Dinners

Feast on fine holiday fare while enjoying a performance of Medieval Christmas carols sung by the Madrigals dressed in period costumes. Dinners take place at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church on Friday, Dec. 9; Saturday, Dec. 10; and Sunday, Dec. 11; each night’s event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $24 per person. Call early to make arrangements — there’s only space for 60 attendees per dinner and the reservations deadline is Nov. 30.

Christmas Festival and Silent Auction

From Nov. 25 through Dec. 11, the Wayne County Historical Museum hosts its annual Christmas Festival and silent auction. With dolls on display, dainty nibbles, punch and hot chocolate, the Doll Tea on Dec. 10 is a perfect party to share with daughters and granddaughters. The tea starts at 1 p.m.; guests are urged to dress for the occasion and bring their favorite dollies along! (Tea admission is $10 per adult, $4 per child; museum members can enjoy a discounted rate of $5 per adults and $2 per child.)

Lighted holiday festivities

Light up the night by attending one of several area holiday parades — Downtown Richmond’s parade steps off at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, and Centerville’s parade takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Also, check out the thousands of holiday lights at Cambridge City’s Christmas Wonderland Celebration of Lights in Critz Park.

The Texas Tenors

The popular “America’s Got Talent” vocal group comes to town Saturday, Dec. 10 for a holiday concert at Civic Hall. By blending country, classical, pop and gospel musical styles, this Houston-based trio has a unique sound all its own, and one that lends itself perfectly to all the best seasonal standards. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $20 for students; group rates are available. For more information, call the Civic Hall box office at (765) 973-3350, or visit

To learn more about these and other local holiday events, call the Richmond/Wayne County Welcome Center toll-free 1-800-828-8414, or go to

Born and raised in Richmond, freelance writer Amy Lynch now makes her home in Indianapolis with her husband and three-year-old son. Read more about her food and travel adventures at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Italian Market is a Favorite of Richmond's Many College Students

Parker's General Store, Maria Mitrione's and Richmond
Hardware share this interesting building in Richmond's
Historic Depot District. Photo is courtesy of Jana
Haustetter Angelucci and was submitted to our
Maria Mitrione’s Italian Market is a favorite spot for a late afternoon lunch for many Earlham students and people of the Richmond community. Located in the Historic Depot District of Richmond, Indiana, the Italian market is easily accessible and is located inside Parker’s General Store, near the French bistro Ghyslain.

My friends and I venture to the Italian Market a few times a month for our much needed breaks from the cafeteria food at Earlham. Upon first entering the Italian Market, we notice the toasty smell of fresh coffee and grilled sandwiches. As we approach the deli counter that holds a large variety of imported and local meats, cheeses, olives, and pasta dishes, our stomachs churn with indecision over what we want for lunch. An unanimously-voted favorite sandwich among my friends is the Mile High Grilled Cheese sandwich, which includes melted colby, provolone, and mozzarella cheeses with tomato, oregano and mayonnaise layered perfectly on top. My personal favorite is the prosciutto panini, which includes thick layers of salty prosciutto and mozzarella grilled to perfection. If I’m feeling like I need a little green in me, there is a wonderful salad bar, as well as made-to-order salads that I wish I had access to 24/7.

Along with a variety of sandwiches, the Italian Market offers natural casing hot dogs, delicious homemade soups that will cure any degree of homesickness, homemade pizza, a full espresso bar, and of course, desserts.

While we wait for our sandwiches to be made, we walk straight to the front of the store where the exotic drinks are kept. My East Coast friends usually go for Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade or Ginger Beer, a staple at home, while I go for the natural root beers or cream sodas. If you’re of the legal age, a selection of local and imported beers and wines are available. After choosing our drinks, we explore the food section of the market, which includes almost all of the Bob’s Red Mill grains and bread mixes, beautiful imported pasta from Italy, fresh baked breads, pasta sauces and olive oils, and a shelf of hot sauces with noteworthy names.

Parker's General Store - Photo by Julie Dishman.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the Italian Market offers a small candy store’s worth of sugary goods and chocolate, and if you’re a coffee connoisseur, there are more than a dozen varieties of coffee beans available to grind. 

I often feel that the best part of our visit is just how affordable it is. As many college students know, going out to eat often can be quite costly, but the Italian Market makes it easy to enjoy the small luxury of homemade food. You will be surprised to find a meal over $10, and most are large enough that they can be easily split between two friends. Once the sandwiches are perfectly grilled, they are brought to our table, along with a small side of olives, pickles, and Uncle Ray’s potato chips. Once finished, which usually doesn’t take long, we leave with a nice content feeling and a happier state of mind. 

Maria Mitrione's Italian Market
450 N 10th St
RichmondIN 47374
Open Monday - Thursday 7:30 AM - 7 PM
Friday and Saturday 7:30 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM
(765) 939 – 4152

Abby Primack is a Biology major, Chemistry
minor from Oak Park, Illinois, and currently a
sophomore at Earlham College. She loves
reading, cooking, exploring, playing scrabble,
and anything to do with peanut butter and chocolate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Dawg bites into local brewing scene
by Amy Lynch 

Something big is brewing on Richmond’s west side — J&J Winery has recently added Das Bier Big Dawg Brew Haus to its picturesque location on U.S. 40, giving it the very unique distinction of being the only winery/brewery combo in Indiana.

The new brewing enterprise unveiled its wares at a chili cookoff in October to great response, promptly selling out of seven kegs worth of beer that included IPA, dry Irish stout, Imperial oatmeal stout, Oktoberfest and pumpkin-spiced ale.

The process of creating new beers for Das Bier Big Dawg is definitely a collaborative team effort. J&J Winery owners Jeff and Melody Haist oversee all the brewing operations and marketing efforts. The winery’s live music coordinator Mike Miller plays a big role in brewing and distribution, and Richard Shroyer, a local science teacher and award-winning home brewer, consults on recipes.

“I have friends who’ve brewed for years, so I was around it and was always interested,” Miller says. “I spent a lot of time at the Heorot (in Muncie) and really gained an appreciation for craft beers. I had been to Shroyer’s home brewery, drank his beers and really liked them. He and I brewed together and two weeks later, Jeff, Melody and I started a brewery. Jeff and I brewed many experimental batches and had a few different tastings over the ten-month period while waiting on our approval.”

Rounding out the team, Shawn Mead takes care of all IT responsibilities and technology for the brewery, and artist Jon Terzini of Terz Design created a series of clever eye-catching beer labels for the finished products. 

The Das Bier house lineup includes a range of styles to please different tastes, including a dry Irish stout, hoppy Trippel IPA and a fruity raspberry wheat. Additionally, a continually evolving rotation of seasonal beers might include creatively flavored offerings like cerveza amber with lime, a Christmas-themed chocolate peppermint stout or a summery apricot IPA. The roster changes all the time, making each trip a potentially new tasting experience.

“We just play around with different flavors, try them out and see what tastes work best,” Miller says.

Customers can try out Big Dawg beers for themselves at the J&J tasting room by ordering a “flight” of four samples for $10 or a pint for $3.50 to enjoy on site, or filling up growlers to take home (expect to pay $12 to $15 per fill). Miller estimates the brewery is turning out 100 gallons of beer a week, and anticipates making Das Bier products available at local restaurants and liquor stores in Richmond, Muncie and Indianapolis in the future. Look for beer dinners to make an appearance on the J&J calendar before long, too.


For more information about J&J Winery or Das Bier Big Dawg Brew Haus, call (765) 965-9463 or visit

Born and raised in Richmond, freelance writer Amy Lynch now makes her home in Indianapolis with her husband and three-year-old son. Read more about her food and travel adventures at

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paulee Restaurant — a Richmond tradition

By Amy Lynch

Lifelong Richmond resident and Pearl Harbor survivor Paul Brittenham passed away on Oct. 5, 2011 at the ripe old age of 94, but his legacy lives on at the popular northside diner he founded back in 1948.

Brittenham opened Paulee Restaurant several years after returning home from his military service tour. A businessman first and foremost, he knew his profits depended on frequent turnover. With just 10 seats to work with, Brittenham discouraged dawdling, often telling customers to “eat and get out!” His loyal patrons didn’t mind, and the winning combination of good food and fair prices kept them coming back. The restaurant still draws crowds of devoted regulars, some who’ve been known to come in for breakfast, leave and then return a few hours later for lunch.

An on-site fixture for decades, Brittenham retired just a few years ago at age 89, passing the torch to Jenny Orbik, a loyal employee who had worked for him for 20 years and didn’t want to see the restaurant close. Orbik has made the business a family affair; her son Josh and daughter Jessica can be found helping out behind the counter on any given day.

Not much has changed at Paulee through the years. The joint still serves good, no-nonsense food in a nostalgic diner atmosphere, much as it did when it opened decades ago. If you’re in the mood for a hearty basic breakfast, this is the place to go. Eggs come any way you want alongside toast and meat choices that include bacon, fresh or smoked sausage, ham, chopped steak, pork chop and even tenderloin. Biscuits and gravy fans take note – the recipe at Paulee is top-notch, and available in one, two and three biscuit portions to please any appetite. The three-egg omelets are another popular breakfast choice, and if you need a sweet treat, Paulee carries donuts and Danishes from local bakeries.

For lunch, Paulee offers a lineup of classic burgers, sandwiches and soups, along with an old-fashioned daily special along the lines of cabbage rolls, tuna casserole or green beans stewed with sausage and potatoes.

Today, Paulee Restaurant finds itself ideally situated amid prime real estate in Richmond’s emerging Historic Depot District. Neighborhood improvements, the renovation of the depot itself, and the addition of new businesses are attracting a whole new generation of clientele to the area, many happy to be discovering Paulee for the first time.

Whether you come in for breakfast or lunch, you’ll find Paulee’s prices more than reasonable for the amount and quality of food. Just don’t forget to hit the ATM first, this cash-only diner doesn’t accept credit cards.

420 N. 8th St., Richmond
(765) 962-5621
Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Closed Sunday

Born and raised in Richmond, freelance writer Amy Lynch now makes her home in Indianapolis with her husband and three-year-old son. Read more about her food and travel adventures at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Did someone say FREE chocolate?

Free chocolate. Beautiful words, aren’t they?  Free is a wonderful thing in itself, but “free chocolate” just about makes my head spin.  Just thinking about the possibilities makes it hard for me to focus on my work.  Fortunately for me, “free chocolate” relates to my work, in the form of a “Chocolate Trail” experience our Visitors Bureau has created for other chocolate lovers.

It seems like when I get together with my girlfriends for lunch, we always go where we can get some kind of chocolate dessert -- either a beautifully crafted dessert at Ghyslain Chocolatier & Bistro, or a piece of fresh fudge at the Pour House. We give each other small boxes of chocolates from Olympian or Abbott’s Candy, or chocolate scented candles from Warm Glow, to show our friendship. I guess it could be said that chocolate enhances the female bonding ritual.  For instance, last fall I had an amazing lunch while I got to know my then new supervisor Nancy, at the beautiful Gennett Mansion, where every course had chocolate as an ingredient (3-course lunches and 5-course dinners with chocolate ingredients are served monthly). I was so pleased to recognize her as a kindred spirit when I saw the ecstatic look on her face as she tasted the fresh green salad with white chocolate citrus vinaigrette.

I think chocolate enhances romantic rituals too.  I imagine sipping chocolate wine, as I cuddle next to my husband during a romantic dinner at J&J Winery, warming up to hot chocolate after we take the kids snow tubing at nearby Valley’s Edge,, or sharing a chocolate ice cream cone at Parker’s General Store.

So I’m thinking our new Wayne County Chocolate Trail, with free chocolate samples and discounted services or products, is the perfectly-affordable girls’ getaway or romantic adventure. It’s a self-guided journey that takes you to Wayne County’s one-of-a-kind bistros, candy factories and shops, historic homes, spas, a winery and intriguing gift shops. Complimentary chocolate-related samples, ranging from candy to candles to wine, are featured at each stop, and many Chocolate Trail attractions offer exclusive discounts, or Chocolate Bucks, to those participating in the Trail.  Even a discounted spa treatment featuring chocolate is offered!  Imagine that!

To receive your free chocolate samples, you must present a Chocolate Trail Passport, which is only available at our Old National Road Welcome Center, at 5701 National Road East, Richmond (just off I-70, exit 156A). For more information about the Chocolate Trail or the many attractions in Wayne County which offer chocolate-related products and services, give us a call at 800-828-8414 or visit   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Inspiration in Southern Wayne County

Whether we live in a big city, the suburbs, a small town, or in the country, we tend to travel the same routes day after day, rarely deviating from our comfortable, well-worn paths.  We get used to the same sights and sounds and forget there is something different, interesting, or awe-inspiring, just minutes away. This summer, as I scouted sites for our Hometown Scavenger Hunt, I was reminded of how easy it is to live and work just miles from beautiful landscapes, interesting buildings, significant historical sites, and unique resources, without ever realizing they are so close and accessible. I was also reminded of how energizing and inspiring it is to get out and about to explore and happen upon unexpected pleasures.

One of my favorite places to explore during my 120-mile scouting trek was the area in the southern part of Wayne County, south of Centerville, near and around Abington.  I keep thinking how pretty it must be there this time of year, as the leaves change color.  I also keep remembering the fresh, hot, homemade apple pie that was offered to me at the old Abington General Store, at the corner of Abington Pike and Pottershop Road. I think I need to make another trip there soon to see the fall colors and sit inside the store, near their potbelly stove, or out front in a rocking chair, and eat that pie with a cup of hot coffee.  After my treat I would browse the antiques and collectibles in the quaint store, which has been in business for over 125 years (in a structure which is c. 1840s).   (Abington General Store Hours are Mon.-Sat. 8-4, phone (765) 855-3706).  

If you go to experience this perfect fall-like activity for yourself, you should also visit some of the other beautiful sites nearby, ones I visited during my scouting trip this summer.  West of Abington, off Pottershop Road at Abington Township and Chapel Roads, I was awe-struck by the most beautiful old chapel, surrounded by a lovely cemetery, rolling fields, and dense woods.  The brick Doddridge Chapel, with its tall, white steeple and arching windows, looks like something out of a movie.  I can imagine having a small romantic wedding, a harvest picnic, or family pictures taken there.  I am sure history lovers and genealogy buffs would love to wander through the gravestones that date back to the mid-1700s, including markers for Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans. 

The drive back east on Pottershop Road was breathtaking in the summer and should be even more beautiful this fall, with its panoramic views of the Whitewater Valley. I drove back east through Abington to US 27, turned left then took a quick right onto Estep Road, where I saw beautiful old farms and homes.  The steep and winding, stone wall-lined drive to the historic Elkhorn Cemetery is located on the left, just over the stream.   It’s another great resource for genealogists and history buffs, or those who just want to walk outdoors in the autumn splendor.  It's one of Indiana's oldest cemeteries dating back to 1806. Vist at for more information and images of the area.

For more southern Wayne County beauty, continue north on Esteb Road, turn right on Beeson Road, right on Straightline Road, then left on Boston Road, to Boston, Indiana, where you’ll find one of Wayne County’s artistic treasures, Magaws of Boston. In an interesting Arts & Crafts style home at 5774 State Road 227, the Magaws create unique, contemporary metal and wood sculptures for gardens, interiors, and businesses; they are nationally and internationally known. If you want to browse their studio and see their one-of-a-kind sculptures, you will need to call ahead for an appointment -- (765) 935-6170.  

To make this a full-day’s trip, you can first visit Dougherty Orchard and Historic Centerville before you head south to Abington.   Dougherty Orchard is the oldest family-owned orchard in Indiana and is located off Washington Road (north of US 40/National Road and south of I-70), halfway between Cambridge City and Centerville. While there you can pick your own apples, eat caramel apples or drink cider, visit their petting zoo, and purchase produce, jams & jellies, and gift items.  Centerville is home to the amazing Warm Glow Candle Outlet, Webb’s Antique Mall and other antique shops, Scott Shafer Stoneware Pottery, and its Main Street is lined with unique historic structures, including the home of Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s Civil War Governor.

For more information about this fall journey in Wayne County, Indiana, contact the Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau’s Welcome Center at 765-935-8687 or 800 828-8414, or visit us at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Amish Flavor in Wayne County

Sometimes I go someplace for the first time and I want to kick myself for not experiencing it much sooner.  Fountain Acres Foods is one of those places.  My parents have been telling me for years how good their deli meats are, and a friend of mine raves about their bulk baking ingredients, but I never got the chance to go until a few weeks ago.  Now I’m hooked. If I went there twice a week it wouldn’t be enough for me. Unfortunately I can only get there every few weeks so I crave their freshly baked whole wheat bread all too often.  The loaves I take home with me get eaten much too quickly and my family constantly asks when I am going to get more. They no longer want to eat the grocery store bread I buy; they say it tastes like sawdust in comparison. I even find myself daydreaming about their deli sandwiches, made with their fresh bread, oven roasted turkey or ham, baby Swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and mayo…a bargain for $3.  

Fountain Acres, on US 27 on the south side of Fountain City in Wayne County, is an Amish owned and run store with a deli (they claim over 80 difference cheeses), fresh baked goods, bulk foods, candy, spices, local produce, outdoor furniture and yard decorations, wind chimes, flowers and more.  Their candy aisle alone is mind-boggling.  Just about any kind of candy you can imagine, in 2 different sized bags. They offer samples of many of their deli items, which I find is a treat in itself. Those who are gluten-intolerant will love their gluten-free section, including gluten-free flour and oats.  They also now carry 49 flavors of loose-leaf teas, herbal, black, white and flavored.  Their freshly ground peanut butter is delicious and comes in several unique flavors – honey roasted, chocolate, cashew, almond, hazelnut, natural unsalted, cappuccino (my favorite), butterscotch and Kickin Hot. 

Bring your checkbook or plenty of cash because they don’t take credit cards. Also make sure you have time to drive around the area…the countryside is beautiful. A historic Quaker Meetinghouse sits just around the corner, as do several beautiful Amish farms.  The Levi Coffin House, a station on the Underground Railroad, which the History Channel claims is a top 25 destination, is just up the road. Located at 1140 Whitewater Road, Fountain City. Fountain Acres hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm; they are closed on Sunday.  For more information call 765-847-1897.