Berlin Ohio (Amish Country)
Geneva on the Lake
Campground: Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds, 189 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631. $20 Full hookups. 200 open grassy sites. Lots of over the air TV stations and free wi-fi in the campground.
|beautiful Amish and Mennonite basket work|
|Amish and Mennonite women wear different hats|
depending on the group they are in.
On another adventure, we took a drive down to Berlin Ohio. What a gorgeous area. Deep rolling hills with breathtaking views over each new rise into another valley filled with Dutch Barns, white fences grain towers and white painted farmhouses, some made of brick. We visited the Berlin area, home of the Mennonite and Amish. Having a really good home town meal at a local restaurant, the sidewalks were crowded with shoppers looking for all those Amish built products from quilts, to pewter platters, wooden toys, well you name it, it’s a shoppers delight with the best hand made products anywhere.
We took a tour of the “Behalt“, (An interpretive center and gift shop) the story of the Anabaptists - Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites. Learning about the 2,000 Amish schools in one county alone. A large mural 360 degrees around a large circular room provided the scenes (called an Historical Cyclorama) that where described in the evolution of the Anabaptist movement. Of the Anabaptists, the Mennonites are the oldest and the Amish are the youngest, though the Amish are the most conservative of the group. Learning about their beliefs, non violence stance, refusing to pick up a sword to defend themselves and that’s where the divergence came. When the followers of the Amish group finally did pick up a sword to defend their faith. Though even today, none of the Anabaptists will go to war. Willing to serve in hospitals etc. to perform their duties to the country. It was very educational to learn more about the Mennonites and Amish cultures and how they interact. We learned about some of the changes that are occurring in the communities as well.
|an authentic covered wagon. families did not ride in the wagon|
unless ill. They walked along side the wagon usually no more than
10 miles a day.
There are a number of campgrounds in the area and I would recommend any RVers stay in the area so that you can explore more than we did in the one day we toured the area as it covers a 6 county region has the largest Amish population anywhere. I might add they all appear to be very well off as well. I was a little surprised that the county we were in does not accommodate the many horse and buggies on the road. Having only a narrow shoulders on each side of the county roads, making the buggies ride part way on the paved road itself. But then again, it does force the motor vehicles to slow down and often stop until they can pass a horse and buggy safely.
|dining along Lake Erie|
And last, we drove up to Lake Erie and the tourist town of Geneva on the Lake. Passing through farm country, it was interesting to see a number of farm houses with those small electric candles in each window. Making for a warm welcoming look as we drove by on a dreary rainy morning. The town of Geneva on the Lake is quiet during the weekdays as everyone is off back to work. We had lunch, drowsed a few shops along the main drag though most places were closed. Opening only on weekends. Can’t imagine that they are able to make a living just from tourists on weekends, and then only from Memorial day to Labor Day each year.
|one of my favorite shots of the week|
found in a second hand store
Distance traveled: 217 miles.
It was supposed to be a comfortable drive heading south on hwy 77, but along the way after stopping at a rest stop, I noticed I had a deflated tire. Found a screw imbedded in the tire and had to change it out with my spare tire. Then it was onto Gallipolis Ohio. A small town of around 8,000 population right on the Ohio River. I’ll be here for 4 days at a fairgrounds campground waiting for the holiday crowds to dissipate. The fairgrounds has spacious campsites with full hookups and sits on top of a hill. Southern Ohio has the most glorious large rolling hills. Covered with forests and farms that have been cut out of the sides of hills and into valleys creating a patchwork quilt of trees and farms and trees.
|longest covered bridge in Ohio|
|I normally don't have myself in pics very often, |
but since Rich took a few shots of me, why not post them
Because this is the tail end of my Ohio trip, which I might add I had no idea I was going to end up in Ohio on this summer's journey, I’ll keep this report short.
Wishing you all a Happy Labor day weekend.
Camper tip: Try to arrange a campsite at a Fairgrounds (which are rarely full), County Park or City park during major holidays as the National and State Parks fill up quickly and commercial campgrounds often charge full price or more for holiday weekends.
A few more photos on Picasa as always.