Lehman's is as much woven into Amish lore and culture as hot dogs, fireworks, and apple pie are into the Fourth of July. Long a mainstay in rural Wayne County, this unique outpost got its start as a humble hardware store in the 1950s serving a generally Old Order Amish clientele. As the rest of society modernized and the Amish didn't, however, that left the plain people in a bit of a conundrum: if that 1890s butterchurn breaks, where to get a new part? Well, Lehman's was - and still is - the answer. Although today they serve a clientele that includes plenty of non-Amish as well.
I've been to Lehman's a couple of times, most recently in November of 2010 when I was an invited author at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster. Rachel and I stopped at Lehman's while we were in the area and discovered a store that has really morphed into something special and sprawling since my last visit back in the early 90s. Yes, you can still find a part to that old butterchurn, but they also have an array of everything else from cast-iron cookware to cookie cutters and about everything else in between. We bought some massive skewers for some friends of ours as a Christmas gift. They like to camp and you could stick a hot dog or a marshmallow on those bad boys and just sit back and never have to worry about your hand roasting along with your supper. That's the type of unique item you can find at Lehman's. We saw a mix of Amish and non-Amish at Lehman's. My understanding is that many of the Old Order Amish now go to Lehman's second store in Mt. Hope as a more low-key alternative. While I highly recommend visiting Lehman's if you can (you could spend a whole day browsing), you also can get the Lehman's experience by visiting their website.
I posted this on the old site back in 2010 but I thought it was worth re-posting since we have so many newcomers to this new site. I did an interview with Glenda Lehman Ervin about their store, which still a family-run business. Glenda is the daughter of the store's founder. Jay, who still involved with the business 55 years after its founding. Click here to watch the interview with Glenda.
Have you been to Lehman's before? If so, share your experience with us? Did you come away with any unusual items?
I did get to visit it once - what a great place! I don't remember what I came away with that day, but I sure didn't walk out empty-handed. Their mail order business is top notch; I got some stocking stuffers from them right before Christmas. One thing arrived broken and was replaced in time for Christmas morning.
I have loved Lehman's for over twenty years. We have purchased all kinds of items from this wonderful store for our ranch in a very rural Northern California area. Oil lamps, hand water pumps, and non-electric food grinders. But my all time favorite, never found a better quality item is the large wooden clothes rack. We've used it and used it and it's still in top notch condition!
Kathryn, welcome...You know the Amish Cook column used to appear in a small northern CA daily? SIGH, no longer..but welcome! And you are a prime example of Lehman's reach, they really do sell goods all over the world!
Thanks for the nice post!
We're working hard, with no other goal than to WOW! our customer. Getting some affirmation like you and Wendy and Kathryn gave just makes my day!
Welcome, Galen, you definitely have a lot of fans on this site:) Lehman's rocks!
i've heard about the store. no, i never shopped there.
I've been to Lehmans several times. I have friends from Orriville and Smithville and I always go into Kidron when I go there. I have bought cook books and baskets that local Amish people make to sell there. It's a great experience!
Welcome, Rhonda! I concur with you completely!:)