By Chelsea Bray - Elle A. Design
Spooky season is upon us! Our friends over at the Champaign County Preservation Alliance are bringing back their Cemetery Tour at Oak Dale Cemetery. Local historian, John Bry, will be leading the tour that winds through the oldest parts of the cemetery. Oak Dale was established in 1856 on just a mere 25 acres and today sits on 60 acres of land. You never know what is waiting for you to discover or what may be revealed about Champaign County’s history.
The tour will be held on October 23rd and 24th with four tours each day. The tour takes around 45 minutes and is a walking tour through the natural terrain of the cemetery. Comfortable shoes should be worn and depending on your tour time, you might need to bring a flashlight. Tours will be scheduled at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00pm.
Although the tour is in a cemetery, this is a family friendly event. The real history of Champaign County is highlighted as you visit some of Urbana’s past residents’ final resting places. Pets are not permitted to attend. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/cemetery-tour.html or at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce during their office hours. Adult tickets are $10, children age 6-12 are $5 and children under 6 may attend for free.
If you love history, spooky season, and all things hauntingly fun be sure to check this tour out. The CCPA works hard to educate the public about historic preservation and why it is important. They also want to help highlight the county’s unique historical heritage. You can learn more about what they do at https://www.ccpapreserveohio.org/ and can even become a member to help support their cause.
GENERAL INFORMATION: There is free parking available at the city park (Melvin Miller Park) adjacent to the Museum grounds. In addition to numerous food vendors serving a diverse variety of food and a beer tent, there will be over 60 craft vendors selling a variety of goods. Patrons can browse and buy from original fine and functional arts, hand-made seasonal and holiday decorations, home and garden accessories, pottery, wood, glass, paper, and fabric crafts, knitted, sewn, and crocheted items and original designs in pet wear, handbags, totes, and jewelry. They can also take time to browse the Museum which will be open during the event. Oktoberfest-themed music will be provided by DJ Rich Ebert.
PRECAUTIONS: Due to Ohio State Governmental restrictions regarding COVID-19, specific restrictions and suggestions will be followed. General admission is open to both the outside grounds and inside the Museum. Masks/facial coverings are required for inside the Museum and masks/facial coverings are only encouraged on the outside grounds where social distancing can be achieved.
The Champaign County Historical Society and Museum is wholly supported by membership fees, donations, and proceeds from our fundraisers.
Submitted by Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Fall is in the air and there is nothing better than cozying up with a warm cup of coffee in the morning or for an afternoon pick-me-up at a local coffee shop. Champaign County makes a great destination to experience unique, locally owned coffee shops and a well-known coffee roastery.
We invite you to start your experience on the east side of the county in the Village of Mechanicsburg, just 30 miles from Columbus. Here you will find Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, founded 15 years ago with a mission to transform coffee communities through business. Owners Paul and Grace Kurtz have seen lives transformed, communities lifted out of poverty, pastors funded, debts paid in full, and relationships of mutual trust and respect established. Not bad for a cup of coffee! They shake the hand of the coffee farmer and in turn deliver a delicious product that you can feel good about. Be sure to ask about their newest product, craft chocolate!
Just up the street from Hemisphere you will find Simple Comforts, a coffee cafe and bakery where you can also purchase artisan produced crafts and fresh farmers’ market items. Owners, Mervin and Tammy Miller love their town and it shows! They worked diligently to restore the historic building and brighten the center of Mechanicsburg with their mission to create a place for people to gather who need hope, inspiration and rest.
Head to the county seat of Urbana to find the remaining stops on the Coffee Trail, all located in or near the town’s epicenter. First you will find a pretty in pink bakery, Let's Eat Cake, a “cupcake boutique” specializing in cakes, cookies and brownies. Owner, Tina Knotts, will tell you that nothing pairs better with dessert than a cup of freshly brewed Hemisphere Coffee that Let’s Eat Cake serves fresh daily.
Just north of the roundabout you will find Teabaggers Coffee, Tea, & Wine Cafe. This locally-owned cafe offers handcrafted sandwiches, soups and salads accompanied by a full coffee and wine bar. Owners and “coffee designers”, Grant and Demora Holcomb are passionate about delivering a quality product and will personally mix flavors to create a specific coffee taste for each customer.
Take a short walk down the street and you will find one of Urbana’s newest businesses, Downtown Nutrition. Here you will experience good vibes and healthy options including energizing teas, healthy meal shakes, and high protein coffee drinks. Owners, Sammie and Michael Ropp have designed a beautiful and inspiring space where you won’t feel guilty about your menu choice. A high protein iced coffee contains only ten calories and two grams of sugar.
Next, travel a couple minutes north to The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse for caffeinated drinks and delicious desserts that are flavored by three special ingredients: product quality, spirit of service, and life of opportunity. Owner, Bobbi McKee, was inspired by her brothers, Eric and Levi, both born with Down’s Syndrome and her love of coffee to provide an open atmosphere and a workplace opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. As a result, you will receive a delicious, quality product served with a healthy dose of positivity!
The last stop on the Champaign County Coffee Trail is a restored 150-year-old train depot and the home of The Depot Coffeehouse. Here owners, Susan and Dave Oelker have created a place for community, conversation and coffee frequently hosting local businesses, government organizations and civic groups, as well as featuring the work of local artists and musical guests. The Depot also had a dog-friendly patio, and is located on the Simon Kenton Bike Path allowing for easy access and outdoor dining.
For more information about the Champaign County Coffee Trail and other ideas for exploring Champaign County contact the Visitors Bureau at 937-653-5764 or go to visitchampaigncounty.com.
By Chelsea Bray: Elle A. Design
Tuesday, September 29th is International Coffee Day. We want to use this day not only to celebrate coffee and how amazing it is, but to celebrate a local coffeehouse that makes top-notch coffee and has a story that everyone needs to hear. The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse is a unique location right here in Urbana, Ohio that employs people living with many different developmental disabilities. The owner, Bobbi, “envisions a continuous goal to build the lives of adults with disabilities.” The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse strives to help their employees build interpersonal skills, self-worth, self-esteem and give them a job they are proud to have.
As part of this process they not only want to teach their employees how to carry out their day-to-day tasks but to educate them on the origins of the coffee, products they carry, and how to prepare a great cup of joe. The result, as they put it, “adds a unique sweetness to every cup” and we couldn’t agree more. The drinks they serve are extra special thanks to the extra love, but also thanks to their amazing partners; Hemisphere Coffee Roasters and Downsize Farm.
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters is another inspirational local business, located in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. They have a huge passion for coffee, but also for helping people. They have built direct-trade relationships with the growers that produce their coffee beans to make sure they are being paid fairly and the income they receive will help their communities thrive. Their moto is “Good coffee doing good” and it really reflects in their business and even in the local relationships they build.
To fully paint a picture of all that The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse does for our community, we must also shine light on Downsize Farm, located in Woodstock, Ohio. At Downsize Farm they are fully devoted to the enrichment of the members’ lives. Their habilitation program for adults with developmental disabilities focuses on giving the participants tools and confidence to be part of their community. The family tie between The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse and Downsize farm is a story of love, family, happiness and heartbreak. With the guidance of her parents, Bob and Midge, and inspiration from her brothers, Eric and Levi, Bobbi has transformed a simple coffeehouse into a place that supports community members, gives people a sense of pride, and fosters daily opportunity.
Although currently you can’t stay inside to enjoy your beverage, you can still stop in and grab something to go at The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse. Feeling connected to the community is important to everyone and this year has made it a little harder to make that happen. If you have time, stop in for a drink and a quick chat. They also recently announced they are taking online orders - you can place an order here.
We hope you have an amazing International Coffee Day and take a minute to thank those special people in your life, your baristas, for everything they do! The phrase you will hear over and over again at The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse is “We are victors, not victims” and we could not agree more. Go out and seize the day!
Redeem your ticket “day of event” for VIP passport, map, and shopping bag. ENJOY exclusive offers At 16 businesses, and receive a special pumpkin/Fall themed gift. Shop until you drop in one day or enjoy all three days!
Redeem your ticket for a shopping bag and passport at Lily’s Garden or Oxners.
Participating businesses on passport-
Let’s Eat Cake
The Vintage Traveler
Peace Love & Candles
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
Fall is an amazing time of year. The leaves change from their bright green to vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange leaving everyone craving pumpkin pie and apple cider. Decorating your home with locally found fall décor will bring that feeling of comfort you can only find on a crisp fall morning. No matter what area of your home you want to decorate or what your budget is, you are sure to find the perfect item at one of these great local shops. Enjoy our virtual fall décor showcase as we walk you through just some of what Champaign County has to offer!
Seth’s Produce and Garden Center – Urbana – Open Every Day 9-7
This is the go-to spot for pumpkins and gourds! You can expect pumpkins to start arriving mid-September and they have a large selection of colors and sizes so you will be sure to find your perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin. They already have mums of all colors in stock that are ready for that perfect spot on your front porch or in your flowerbed. Along with all of their amazing fall décor, they also have fresh produce so you can prepare a fall soup or stew to end your day with. Check out their Facebook page to see what is fresh this week!
Ethel’s Flowers and Gift Shop – Monday-Saturday 9-5
Fall is the best time of the year to get a fresh bouquet of sunflowers. If you want something longer lasting, they also carry potted sunflowers that can brighten up any room. They have been putting out their new fall décor the past couple of weeks which includes velvet pumpkins, wall signs, and candy corn inspired metal pennants. To top off their amazing selection of décor they also carry Marie’s Candies that you can add to any order for delivery or you can just pick up a box for yourself! They are constantly getting new inventory so follow them on Facebook to see the latest décor.
David’s Greenhouse – Monday-Saturday 9-5
At David’s Greenhouse in St. Paris you will find a variety of blooming fall flowers including mums and flowering kale. They also have other great porch decor like gorgeous fall wreaths to dress up your front door. Throughout the year they offer opportunities to hold fundraisers for your church, school or organization. Make sure you check out their Facebook page to keep up to date on what they have going on all year long!
Chateau Farms – Urbana – Open Every Day 10-6
Chateau farms has over 90 different varieties of fall mums, asters, and flowers kale. They offer different sizes and also have hanging baskets for your front porch. They sell at local festivals and markets as well as at their new retail location. If you still can’t make it to them, they will come to you! They offer delivery on bulk orders so you and your friends can get together and place an order to be shipped directly to you. If this is the first time you have planted mums there are some great tips on their website to help you as well.
Cemetery Tours coming in October and proceeds will benefit Champaign County Preservation Alliance !
Oak Dale Cemetery was established in 1856 with 25 acres. Today the cemetery covers 60 acres. The tour will weave through one of the oldest parts of the cemetery where historical burials, monuments, and statues abound.
You will be enlightened about some of Urbana’s past residents and their lives as the area’s history is revealed through stories involving mystery, victory, reveille, misery, glory, injury, chivalry, artillery, revelry, and maybe even purgatory. Come join us for an exciting evening!
The tour will be led by local historian John Bry. John holds a Bachelor of Science in historic preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Science in historic preservation from Ball State University. He is an expert in historic cemeteries.
TIMES FOR THE OCTOBER 23 & 24 TOURS
There will be four tours each evening starting at
5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00
Plan to arrive 20 minutes prior to your tour time to allow for parking and check-in
Duration of tour is approximately 45 minutes
Wear comfortable walking shoes & Bring your flashlight and your curiosity
Each time slot will accommodate 45 attendees
MASKS REQUIRED in areas where social distancing isn’t possible
NO PETS PERMITTED
TICKETS - PRE-SALE ONLY
NO TICKETS SOLD AT THE DOOR
Tickets are $10 per person
--$5 for children 6-12
-- Free for children under 6
Tickets are available online
Tickets are also available at the Urbana Chamber of Commerce
Open: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: 127 W Court Street, Urbana
Ticket purchases are non-refundable
The tour is not handicapped accessible
By Chelsea Bray- Elle A. Design
1. Explore a Cave
If you have never been in a cave before what better time of the year to do it? Thankfully we have one of Ohio’s best caverns right in our backyard. You can visit Ohio Caverns any time of the year to experience the year-round temperature of 54 degrees. Directly above the caverns is a 35-acre park where you can have a picnic lunch before or after your adventure!
2. Local Wine Tasting
If you are looking for a way to spend an afternoon outside in the crisp fall air, plan an afternoon wine tasting at Folck Family Farm. They make wine from the berries they grow on their farm including strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry. You can sometimes even catch some live acoustic music while you are there.
3. Enjoy Comfort Food for Dinner
Lincoln and Main is a restaurant and bar located in Urbana, Ohio. It all started with a food truck, Dine and Dash, and has formed into an amazing restaurant where you can find great beer and food. Their menu is built of comfort food and slow smoked meats and they are constantly creating new dishes to add to it.
4. Pick Fresh Apples for Baking
A classic fall date idea is to go apple picking! Head over to Nana’s Orchard to pick apples of 15 different varieties. Their apples are ready at different times throughout the season, but there will always be something great to choose from. Once you have your apples you can head home to make pie, cobbler, candy apples, and so much more!
5. Go on a Scenic Hike
Tall, majestic oak trees and beautiful tulip trees make Davey Woods an excellent place to go for a scenic fall hike. The hilly terrain, unique for this part of Ohio, provides hikers with an unforgettable experience. Along your hike you might also run across the Pence family cemetery.
6. Enjoy a Classic Movie Night
Gloria Theatre by GrandWorks has been hard at work on renovations to their building but this is not slowing the down! You can take in a movie here any day of the week but be sure to check their schedule online to see what they are playing. They often have throwback nights to nostalgic films of the past but play current films as well.
7. Carve Pumpkins Together
Nothing says fall like carving pumpkins! Get the best pumpkin for the job at Seth’s Produce & Garden Center. Starting about mid-September you will find pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes there. Get a little competitive and post your results on Facebook to have your friends and family vote on who’s is better!
8. Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte
This is a fall essential. It is the season for all things pumpkin spice, but the one that started it all is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. We recommend you ditch the chain shops though and grab one from the Spotted Cow Coffehouse. You can shake things up and try their Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte or the ShiverMoo with pumpkin!
9. Visit a Haunted Attraction
If you like the kind of fall activity that leaves you feeling scared, try heading to a local haunted attraction like Crybaby Bridge. Legend has it that in the 1800’s a woman threw her baby off the bridge and you can still hear it cry to this day. The bridge was one located on Black Road but no longer stands. Allegedly all of the supernatural activity in the area has ended, but why not go see for yourselves?
10. Go for a Drive to see the Leaves
Champaign County is lucky to have so many amazing spots to find fall foliage. There are an abundant number of backroads to travel but for the easy-going a drive straight down US Highway 68 will leave you with an amazing view of fall. If you have more time, consider traveling US Highway 36 which runs East and West through all of Champaign County.
A Night of Workship will be taking place in Monument Square on Friday, September 4th at 7pm.
Click here to learn more abut this event.
Submitted by Champaign Co. Visitors Bureau
Calling all history buffs! Established on March 1, 1805, Champaign County became the 18th of 88 counties in Ohio. With over 200 years of rich and varied history to discover in these eight stops along the Champaign County Heritage Trail, the county offers something for everyone seeking to explore the past.
We all have family history and it is the first history we ever learn. Start your journey in West Liberty at Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek where you can explore the lives of the Piatt family as a case study and in the process think about your own family history. Nestled in the gorgeous countryside, Piatt Castle has been a popular destination for over 100 years. All tours at Piatt Castle are facilitated self-guided journeys through historical artifacts, photographs, exhibits, and explanatory text.
Head west to Saint Paris, where the Pony Wagon Town Historical Museum awaits. The museum, which was once a railroad depot, offers in-depth details on the history of Saint Paris, Ohio with historic artifacts on site for your viewing pleasure. Known as “Pony Wagon Town”, Saint Paris was the home of Walborn & Riker Company, known worldwide for quality pony pleasure vehicles.
Travel to the county seat of Urbana for four attractions all in close proximity. Grimes Field Municipal Airport is part of the National Aviation Heritage Area and is the
home of three free museums where you will land on a goldmine of aviation history. The Champaign Aviation Museum is home to eight vintage aircraft including a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, being restored to flying condition and a WWII B-25 MItchell fully restored and flying. The Grimes Flying Lab and Museum will illuminate your understanding of aircraft lighting that makes aviation safer for all of us. The Grimes Flying Lab Foundation is dedicated to the Flying Lab test vehicle, as well as preserving the legacy of Warren G. Grimes. The third museum located at Grimes Field, Mid America Flight Museum North, is home to the Travel Air 6000 restoration project. Here a team of dedicated volunteers spend countless hours restoring this aircraft as well as a Stinson Model A Tri-moor (The only existing one in the world).
Once you have had your fill of aviation history, travel back in time at the Champaign County Historical Museum, where the history of Champaign County has been preserved. Learn about the Native American tribes who lived here, the county’s earliest setters, its role in the Civil War and Underground Railroad. This is where the history of Champaign County is chronicled and where it comes to life!
A few miles away is Oak Dale Cemetery with its majestic oaks, historic monuments and winding driveways. The cemetery is home to a recently-restored replica of a John Quincy Adams Ward statue that was the first statue by an American artist placed in New York City’s Central Park. Also of note is the grave of legendary frontiersman, Simon Kenton, that is marked by a life-sized statue started by John Quincy Adams Ward and completed over 100 years later by local artist, Mike Major.
Travel to the center of town to the Monument Square Historic District and stroll down the beautiful tree-lined Scioto Street Historic District with its grand historic homes. The Man on the Monument, a statue of a Union soldier who looks North, is the focus of the round about and town square. Take in the unique and historical architecture of downtown while you shop and dine. Don’t miss out on the antique and vintage shops where you can take a piece of history home with you. Just south of the square you can take in a movie or performance at the Gloria Theatre, a 113 year old theatre with a rich history of its own, that is being restored and renovated into a modern entertainment venue.
The last stop in Urbana takes you to Freedom Grove, nestled on the Southside of Urbana, it is the perfect place for reflection and remembrance, with a beam from the fallen World Trade Center as the focal point.
Finally, head East to the Village of Mechanicsburg with a visit to Maple Grove Cemetery. Two interments of note are William Bart Saxbe, former United States Ambassador and Senator from Ohio, and Addison White, a runaway slave. A historical marker on Main Street tells the story of White and how the people of Mechanicsburg paid $900 for his freedom.
If you are craving even more history stop by the Champaign County Visitors Bureau located at 127 W. Court Street in Urbana for self guided tour brochures that include the Historic Homes of Scioto Street, Historical Markers of Champaign County, a Downtown Urbana Architectural Treasure Hunt, and a Tombstone Trail. For history lovers planning an overnight trip, the Cobblestone Hotel-Urbana is offering special rates for those participating in the Heritage Trail. Call the hotel directly and ask for the FFT rate. For more visitors information go to visitchampaignohio.com.