We love getting off the interstate highways and taking the two-lane roads whenever we can. As I have said many times before, a Denny’s or a chain hotel at an interstate exit in Kansas is no different than one in Michigan or California. But the two-lane roads will take you to the real America. Small towns where you can sit in a diner on Main Street, where the waitress will call you honey or dear, and by the time you finish your lunch, you will know who is cheating on who, who just bought a new pickup truck, and who’s out of work. You will meet friendly people, see things you never imagined, and learn a lot about history in these small town gems scattered from border to border and coast to coast.
Just a short distance from all the hustle and bustle of big city life in Toledo, Ohio, the friendly little town of Perrysburg, on the southern bank of the Maumee River, is a small town gem that shouldn’t be overlooked. Founded in 1816 and named in honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who won fame defeating the British on Lake Erie during the War of 1812, Perrysburg is a welcoming community of 18,000, with award-winning schools, a historic downtown, and plenty of hometown charm.
Whether you are a history buff, enjoy beautiful old architecture, relaxing in a park where kids can play without the fears of children in large cities, or symphony concerts and shopping, you will find everything you’re looking for in Perrysburg. During the summer and fall, you can shop an open-air farmers market featuring local vendors, admire the work of talented artisans, and tap your toes to live music.
The streets in the old downtown business district are lined with handsome commercial buildings from long ago that now house interesting shops, restaurants, and pubs. A couple of blocks away, the historic district is home to many beautiful old homes.
A pivotal battle of the War of 1812 was fought at Fort Meigs, which has been rebuilt and is now the largest reconstructed fortification in North America. You can read about that battle in a blog post here.
Another favorite stop for history buffs is the 1823 Greek Revival Spafford House Museum, Perrysburg’s local history museum. Once the home of Judge Aurora Spafford, today the museum tells the stories of the Native Americans, the early settlers to the region, and the entrepreneurs who survived innumerable hardships to build a town in the formidable Great Black Swamp.
If you don’t want to go back that far in history, check out Retrogaming at 6140 Levis Commons Boulevard, where you can play over 60 vintage arcade games and enjoy any of 40 draft beers on tap, as well as a full-service bar. And if you need a laugh, the Funny Bone Comedy Club is right next door!
If all this exploring made you work up an appetite, you can’t beat Swig, located at 219 Louisiana Avenue. I love their Cleveland Dog, a delicious, whole beef frankfurter with bacon, all beef coney sauce, shredded cheddar, and stadium mustard. It is so good one is never enough!
The next time you find yourself traveling through northwest Ohio, make it a point to spend some time in Perrysburg. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Camp Timber View by my friend Jason Deas. This children’s mystery about two best friends at an amazing summer at camp is a rollercoaster ride of fun, suspense, and escape that the youngsters in your family will love. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – The Algebra teacher confiscated my rubber band pistol. She said it was a weapon of math disruption.