Paperback / softback
March 7, 2023
158 color photos
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$28.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Little Ohio

Small-Town Destinations


A New England village tucked away in the hills of East Central Ohio? That's what settlers from Granville, Massachusetts and Granby, Connecticut wanted when they set roots here in 1805. It's a dream that persisted and even today Granville, population under 6000 but seemingly so much larger when Dennison University students are in attendance, is a lovely stretch of tree-lined streets and gracious 19th century buildings filled with eclectic shops, galleries, restaurants and boutiques.

In 1812, Orrin Granger who hailed from the other Granville opened an inn which over time would also serve as a stagecoach stop on the line connecting Columbus and Newark. Besides rooms for guests to stay, there was a dining room, ballroom and stagecoach court and the village's post office was also located there. The inn's attractive salmon color accented by white exterior staircases, railings and columns served a purpose. For travelers who couldn't read the color was signage telling them they'd arrived at the right place.
Three presidents are among the famous guests who stayed here and one of the General William Henry Harrison who would go on to be President of the United States over imbibed one night and road his horse up the stairs of the stagecoach court. Harrison fell asleep in his room and the horse was led downstairs and into the stables.
The food is exquisite, the rooms luxurious appointed and the basement where coach drivers once slept on straw and made their meals over the large open-hearth fireplace, which remains, is now a cozy bar with thick stone walls and wood beams seemingly little changed since then. Except that is, there are not straw beds on the floor for taking naps.
Guests at the inn can also choose to stay next door at Founders Hall. Built in 1840, it originally a boarding house for those attending Granville Female College. There are balconies at the back of the hall overlooked tiered gardens and a lovely fountain.
Just across the street from the Buxton Inn is the amazing Granville Inn, a grand Tudor surrounded by a large swath of emerald green lawns, leafy green trees and garden beds. Built in 1924, the inside of the inn is just as old English—a mélange of high-end antique furniture, Oriental carpentry, sandstone fireplaces, burnished wood glowing under numerous chandeliers. There's dining in the bar, grand dining room and outside when weather permits.

Wake up with your favorite brew and pastry at River Road Coffeehouse.
Even a burger isn't just a burger at Snapshots Lounge known for their New American cuisine. Instead it can come with such toppings as blueberry preserves, caramelized onions, spinach, and whipped goat cheese, with a side of Mac n cheese. Specials are indeed culinarian specialties like the Seared Scallops W/ Skillet Corn, Old Bay and Truffle Aioli or the Filet W/ Sautéed Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes sauced with Hollandaise,
Vietnamese-style street foods like banh mi sandwiches, pork dumplings, Japanese fried chicken and tempura shrimp are what's sizzling at Mai Chau Restaurant.
Quaff a few at the Three Tigers Brewing Company next door and order from the Mai Chau Restaurant's menu.
Get your cold sweet fix at Whit's Frozen Custard.

With some 800 vines and ten varieties, Three Oaks Vineyard offers a lot ways to enjoy their wines—in their pavilion, under the covered porch, outdoor patio and inside. It's all good, set on 15 acres of hardwoods, meadows filled with wildflowers in season, meandering brook, ravine and spring-fed pond along with an apple orchard.
The 16,500-acre Dawe Arboretum is a delightful patchwork of beautiful landscapes such as a Japanese Garden, rolling meadows, thick woods, a small lake with an island, three ponds, cypress swamp, over 100 types of holly, indoor beehives and the type of old growth forests now mostly gown. In the spring, learn how to tap the arboretum's maple trees and learn to make syrup.
The 16 rooms of the American-Greek Revival-style Avery-Downer House, built in 1842, are filled with the collections of Robbins Hunter Jr. who lived in the house from 1956 to 1979 and filled it with 18th and 19th century antiques and decorative arts for future generations to enjoy.
Pre-Columbian cultures left their mark on this region well before European settlers showed up. The Alligator Effigy Mound, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally thought to have been built by the Hopewell people of 100 BCE to 500 CE who also built the vast Newark Earthworks just a few miles away. Now the mound which sits on a bluff overlooking the Racoon Creek Valley, is believed to be somewhat newer, built by the Fort Ancient culture between 800 and 1200 CE. And no, despite its name it's not an alligator but most likely an underwater panther, a supernatural creature believed by many Native Americans to live in lakes and rivers.
The Bryn Du Mansion is so beautifully restored, it's hard to image that it was built in 1865 and operated as a cattle ranch and sandstone quarry. Once called McCune's Villa, it is now owned by the Village of Granville and has a myriad of events—Sunday's Polo on the Green Lawn, the summer time Concerts on the Green, the Daffodil Show in mid-April, Taste of Granville usually the last Saturday in April and the Rendville Art Show featuring over 200 pieces of original folk art typically held the weekend before Thanksgiving.
In the village's downtown there's the monthly Granville Art Walk, HotLicks Bluesfest and Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour.

For foodies in the downtown, stop by Wetzel's Candy Kitchen, Whit's Frozen Custard, and Weathervane Kettlecorn in such flavors as 5-Alarm Cheddar, sea-salt caramel, classic sweet and salty, Strawberry Shortcake, Mountain Goat Munch and Mint Chocolate Chip.
At Granville Gourmet Whoopie Pies choose between three sizes—minis, individual and Patty Pie) in a myriad of homemade flavors.
If you brought along a cooler, than you're enjoy visiting Lynd Fruit Farm, one of the state's largest apple orchards with over 80,000 trees. You can pick your own, find your way through the corn maze, take a hayride pulled by classic antique John Deere tractors and visit the show orchard to learn the history of apples. Also for sale are other fruits and vegetables, Christmas decorations, flowers, gifts and Lynd Fruit Farm jarred goods such as salsas, jams and jellies at their Market on Morse.

Woody Hayes, a graduate of and football coach for Denison University, before leaving to coach at Ohio State University. During his career, he compiled a career college football record of 238 wins, 72 losses, and 10 ties.

Where can you travel the Erie Canal on a boat pulled by a horse? What is Wapakoneta, and what does it have to do with Neil Armstrong? Where can you eat ice cream at a stop on the Underground Railroad?

Find these answers and more in Little Ohio: Small-Town Destinations. Author and blogger Jane Simon Ammeson traveled across the state to discover where to eat, stay, play, and shop in more than 90 charming small towns. Organized by region, Little Ohio offers fellow road trippers an easy-to-use guide of must-see attractions. Full-color images showcase unmissable museums, quaint Main Streets, historic sites, and more.

From wineries to chocolate shops, old mills to Amish villages, river boats to covered bridges, Little Ohio has everything you need for a day, weekend, or week full of fun. No matter where you are in the Buckeye State, there's always something to explore!

About the Author

Jane Simon Ammeson, a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in travel, food, and personalities, is author of many books, including Lincoln Road Trip and America's Femme Fatale. A James Beard Foundation judge, as well as a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Ammeson's home base is on the shores of Lake Michigan in southwest Michigan.


"A wonderful hybrid of helpful tourbook, fun history lesson, and celebration of the Midwestern small towns that, it turns out, don't exist only in our imaginations. Every state should have a book like this! It will certainly make you want to take some road trips."—Keven McQueen, author of Murderous Acts: 100 Years of Crime in the Midwest

9780253065100 : little-ohio-ammeson
Paperback / softback
March 7, 2023
$28.00 USD

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