Rush Hour in Mt. Hope, Ohio

Mt-Hope-OhioMt. Hope, Ohio is very small time with lots of activity. This pic was taken at the square, the intersection of State Rt. 241 and Holmes County Road 77.

Frohliche Dorf (Happy Village)

Frohliche Dorf - Todd Martin

Frohliche Dorf – Todd Martin

Several years ago, when I walked through the doors of Central Christian School’s (CCS) Performing Arts Center in Kidron, Ohio, I had no idea what to expect from the evening. I’d been told enough to pique my interest, but not so much that it would remove the element of surprise.

What I knew was the name of the show, the Frohliche Dorf, German for “happy village.” I knew the show was a benefit for CCS’s music department. I also knew that the Dorf would be a live variety show written by CCS’s music director, Tim Shue, and his collaborator Brenda Troyer. Shue is a creative powerhouse, the mind and energy behind some of the area’s best musical endeavors, which he sandwiches between teaching at CCS, stalking wild birds, hand-carving wooden bowls and spoons in his home Shudio, and raising delightful daughters and charming chickens. He does quality work, and I figured this would be no exception. [Read more...]

Berlin Germany Oberbürgermeister (Mayor) Welcomes Berlin Ohio to the World Wide Berlin Project

World Wide Berlin Project Claus Wischmann Film Director with Eli (Small) Hochstetler of Berlin OhioA couple of days ago, Claus Wischmann, of the World Wide Berlin project arrived in Berlin, Ohio. Claus is the film director for the Berlin, Ohio USA segment of the 3 hour film documentary to be aired on German national television on New Year’s day 2015. We’ve been working hard and having lots of fun planning the schedule of scenes for next week’s shooting sessions. Today Claus and I visited Eli Hochstetler (Small) of The Gospel Book Store in Berlin, Ohio. Claus delivered a welcome letter from the Mayor of Berlin, Germany to the people of Berlin, Ohio, with “very warm regards from the German Capital”. The letter is in German but there’s also an English translation. See translation below. [Read more...]

Holmes County Trail in the Winter

Holmes-County-Rails-to-Trails-in-the-WinterYesterday and today finally warmed up to about 30°F. With almost no breeze and plenty of sunshine it actually felt quite warm today after so many days that hovered around 0°. Here an Amish horse-drawn buggy pulls onto the Holmes County Trail. The trail is part of Ohio’s rails to trails where old rail lines have been converted to hiking and biking paths. The Holmes Trail is unique in that it has been designed to accommodate horse and buggies in addition to pedestrians and bicycles. The trail is twice as wide as most. Today was also the first day that I took to the trail to walk this year. Lovin Holmes County Ohio.

Berlin Ohio selected as U.S. location for ‘World Wide Berlin’ film production

InBerlin-Ohio December 2013, I got an email from a Mr. Claus Wischmann, of Berlin, Germany. Claus is working on a cross-media project called “World Wide Berlin”. The project will include on location filming at eight different cities and towns across the world, that share the name Berlin. It’s official! Berlin, Ohio has been selected in the U.S. for on location filming. Claus stated that Berlin, Ohio seems to be a very interesting place. I couldn’t agree more. Claus will arrive in Berlin, Ohio the last week of February 2014, with the film crew to follow, ready for filming the first week of March. [Read more...]

Snow Rollers in Amish Country – A Very Rare Occurrence

Snow-Rollers-in-Amish-Country-Schrocks-Amish-FarmSeveral days ago when I took my wife to work near Walnut Creek, Ohio I noticed an odd phenomenon on the hillside at the nursing home where she works. There were hundreds of little snow ball looking clumps on the hillside. They looked to be anywhere from a couple of inches to about a foot in diameter. The next day when I was reading the local paper I discovered that they are called “snow rollers”. I’d never seen anything like them in my lifetime. When I asked my mom about them she said it was the first time she had heard of them. Apparently they are VERY rare and it is not likely that I will see them more than once in my entire lifetime. They look pretty cool so I found some more information about them. According to Wikipedia, A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. A number of conditions must be met simultaneously in order for the little snowballs to form. I went out to Schrock’s Amish Farm to take some pictures of them. Most of them were between 3″ to 8″ but I found one that was around 12″ in diameter. According to wiki, they have been found up to 24″ in diameter. snow-rollers

Annual Pajama Party Sale in Berlin Ohio

Pajama-Party-Sale-Berlin-OhioYesterday was the annual pajama party sale in Berlin, Ohio. An arctic wind also blew in plenty of snow and frigid temperatures. Every year hundreds of ladies descend on Berlin, Ohio this time of year to take part in the pajama party sale. Karen Lamp, of the Country Craft Cupboard, started this annual event almost 20 years ago. But it’s not just for her store, there are over 30 Berlin area merchants that participate as well. Anyone who comes in their pajamas can take advantage of some pretty impressive discounts. Late forenoon, I saw these ladies from Pennsylvania braving the wind, snow, and sub-zero wind chill. They asked me to take their picture with one of their cameras. I could see that they weren’t about to let the inclement weather dampen their spirits. They were on an adventure!

For a listing of shops and stores in Berlin, Ohio click: Berlin Ohio Stores and Shops.
For more area events click: Ohio Amish Events Calendar.
For more details and pics of the 2013 pajama party event visit: Pajama Party Sale.

Premier Carriage House Cottages Showcase

Premier-Carriage-House-Cottages-FireplaceThis week Wanda and I stayed at The Premier Carriage House Cottages, located several miles from Berlin, Ohio, on County Road 203. I’ve seen the cottages before but this was the first time we’ve stayed there. There are seven beautiful cottages on the property; we stayed in the number seven unit. As soon as we walked into the cottage we knew we were going to enjoy our stay. This unit is very spacious and has about everything you can imagine. It’s a perfect place for a romantic getaway, a honeymoon stay, to celebrate a special occasion, or just to “get away from it all”. [Read more...]