We have really enjoyed our visit to Smith’s Campground & Cabins, but all good things must come to an end, and today is a traveling day for us. We had planned to stop in Norwalk, Ohio, about 55 miles north of here, to visit a cousin. But she just had surgery a few days ago, and the timing was wrong. So instead, we’ll go back to Elkhart Campground and spend the rest of the week getting the new issue of the Gypsy Journal ready to send to the printer.
It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to George and Amy, Scott and Kim, and the rest of the folks here at Smith’s, but they will all be down in Florida this winter, and we hope to get together again while we are down there. We know we’ll be back to this wonderful campground again. To repeat the title of one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs, I have found me a home.
When I wrote that we were going to be in this area, a number of blog readers suggested that we go to Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. So yesterday we all piled into Greg and Jan’s truck, and went to check it out. This place is huge, and is filled with all kinds of goodies you won’t find in your local WalMart. Jay Lehman opened the store in 1955 to serve the area’s Amish community with non-electric products. The business was a hit, and it has grown ever since.
We enjoyed poking around in the maze of rooms, where we saw everything from tools and appliances, to old time toys, farrier supplies, and even composting toilets. Terry liked the selection of retro appliances, including these modern kitchen ranges that are made to look like old time wood burning stoves. But with price tags around $7,000 she decided to like them from afar.
They had an interesting selection of candy that we knew from our childhood days, including Clove and Blackjack gum, which I remember my dad chewing.
Terry loves oil lamps, and before we hit the road, she had a huge collection of Aladdins. So when I saw one room filled with oil lamps, I had to go find her and take her to see it. I knew she was impressed when the first words out of her mouth were “Oh my!”
Not only did they have a huge selection of lamps, but also lamp parts and supplies, including beautiful globes.
When I saw this old style washing machine and suggested that it might be a good replacement if the Splendide washer/dryer combo in our motorhome ever died, Terry really put the old stink eye on me.
So I didn’t even bother to point out this hand cranked clothes washer.
Or the hand pumps. Modern women are so spoiled. 🙂
Lehman’s was an interesting store, but to be honest, it wasn’t really what we expected. We thought it would be more like the Old Village Hardware Store in Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania, which had things like butter churns, old style cooking utensils, and more Amish-style products. Lehman’s was much larger, and if you are a back to the land, live off the grid type, you would find a lot of goodies here. But it was mostly a lot more modern type of inventory. Still, the place is worth a visit, and they even have RV parking in the rear.
Our next stop was at the Smucker’s Visitor Center, in Orrville. In 1897, J.M. Smucker started pressing apple cider for the local farmers, charging them a penny a gallon. then he began buying the apples from the farmers and making apple butter. From these humble beginnings, the gigantic Smucker’s company grew into a mega-enterprise that makes jams, jellies, coffee, and all kinds of food products.
The Visitor Center is basically just a big store filled with Smucker’s products, along with a short hallway with some signs and photos telling the history of the company.
Terry and Jan picked up a couple of items they wanted, then we drove around town for a few minutes, admiring all of the neat old houses. Jan saw one house that she said she could live in. But I don’t think she and Greg will be giving up the fulltime RV lifestyle and hanging up the keys anytime soon. Especially when Greg reminded her of all of the snow that falls here in Ohio every winter. 🙂
Thought For The Day – If you don’t hear it with your own ears or see it with your own eyes, don’t invent it with your small mind and spread it with your big mouth.
I am so excited that you found our wonderful Ohio! While we haven’t visited all of the places you did, we have been to many. Ohio is beautiful and especially at this time of the year. Come back!
Before I even read your blog I knew you were coming this way. The weather man told me yesterday. LOL
Very interesting blog post! I will definitely have to remember those places whenever we make it that area! Thanks for sharing!!