By Kevin Williams
I know, I know, some of you are sick of hearing me say it: “Adams County, Ohio is one of my favorite Amish settlements.” Why? Well, first, I have a long personal history there, but that’s a story for another day. Some of you who have read my book excerpts know that.
Second, it’s just a gorgeous area. Very underrated. Yes, Holmes County, Ohio is beautiful, but Adams County has its own beauty. It’s more “rough around the edges” that Holmes. Adams County is an Appalachian beauty. I love to just lose myself on the tiny roads that honeycomb the hills.
And, lastly, this is – in my opinion – just a very traditional Amish community. When you think of “Amish”, Adams County’s Wheat Ridge settlement fits the bill. The settlement isn’t so conservative as to be unwelcoming to outsiders nor are they so progressive that you are seeing Amish people on cell phones and driving tractors. It’s a very authentic experience in Adams County. And if you go in the autumn, you’ll be rewarded with color-splashed vistas and leafy beauty.
Adams County has several wonderful Amish-owned businesses. I often talk about Keim Family Market, but Miller’s is a great place to visit also. The good folks at Ohiotraveler.com have released a schedule of autumn events at Miller’s that I thought I’d share since we have so many people on Amish365.com from the Greater Cincinnati area.
When “Amish country” becomes overrun with tourists, many Amish seek to start new communities. It is in these smaller communities that the Amish way of life is seen with authenticity, up-close and personal. It is in such communities that visitors are often greeted with a smile and conversation. When laughter is in the air, everyone slows down to enjoy the moment. One such community is nestled in Southern Ohio’s Appalachian region in Adams County. But you have to take a little journey through time – it seems – along the hilly back country to get there. Out on the airy Wheat Ridge Road, farmhouse after farmhouse has a buggy in the driveway, a horse in the barn and clothes out on the line. Roll down the windows, breathe in the air – this is true Amish Country. Kids are on their scooters pushing pavement with their feet to get to the market at Millers Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Foods. One family runs the shops here. It was originally their farm. When neighbors tasted the Miller’s family home-cooking and baking, word-of-mouth spread and a business was born. The humble beginning of this family-run business is evident today in the modest members of the Miller family working there. Three generations of Millers are waiting with a smile to help you pick out the right handcrafted piece of furniture, give you a little taste of something special just whipped up in the bakery, or fill your cart in the grocery with all the ingredients to impress your dinner guests back at home. It’s a little slice of paradise in the middle of nowhere. But the journey is just as rewarding as the destination. They are open daily except Sundays. It was only a generation or so ago that most stores were closed on Sundays for the Lord’s day of rest. Some special dates at Miller’s are coming up. These include: ·
September 4, 5 and 7 (closed 6th): Labor Day sale offers 10 percent off all items in stock at furniture store only. Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets. It is recommended to order early for Christmas. ·
September 5, 2015 (Labor Day Weekend): The 18th Annual Amish School Benefit Cookout. The menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, noodles, Chip’s fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks.
· September 26, 2015: Annual Adams County Marathon – Run in Amish Country. Call 606-831-3260. ·
October 3, 2015: The 38th Annual Miller’s Anniversary Customer Appreciation Day – Visitors get a free 2016 Miller’s calendar complete with 2016 sales dates and special event dates. The menu includes BBQ chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, fresh pie, homemade ice cream, coffee and soft drinks. ·
October 9 – 11, 2015: Wheat Ridge Old Thyme Herb Fair & Harvest Celebration at 817 Tater Ridge Rd. in West Union, Ohio. Friday – Sunday from 10am – 6pm. Call 937-544-8252 for more details about this event or visit www.wheatridgeherbfestival.com
November 27 and 28, 2015: Storewide Thanksgiving Sale offering 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only). Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets. ·
December 26, (not the 27th), 28, 29, 30, 31 in 2015 and January 1, 2016 (Closed Sunday): The End of Year Clearance Sale! This includes free coffee and cookies at the bakery and free cheese and candy samples at the Bulk Foods Store. Get 10 percent off all items in stock (furniture store only). Excludes all outdoor buildings, gazebos and select bedroom sets. Miller’s is the heart of what is known as “Wheat Ridge Amish” country. Everything they offer is found at www.WheatRidgeAmish.com