When readers and tourists alike think of Ohio’s Amish Country they usually think of Sugarcreek, Walnut Creek, or Berlin. But I cherish some of the lesser known, small towns like Shreve and Fredericksburg, the settings for my latest release, A Plain Man. Located in the heart of Wayne County, Ohio, these two towns are loaded with Amish buggies in a far less “touristy” atmosphere.
Every time I’m in Shreve I dine at Des Dutch Essenhaus where the food is cooked and served by Mennonite and Amish women, and plenty of Amish-made crafts are for sale in the gift shop. Oh, and be sure to try Lem’s Pizza.
My friend Diane and Rex Dye own the lovely Homestead Christian Bookstore loaded with both fiction and non-fiction, along with a fine assortment of homeschooling materials. While you’re in town, be sure to also stop in at the hardware store for a selection of gadgets not found in your local big-box store.
In Fredericksburg you’ll find a wonderful bike trail, converted from an old rail line that ran from Cleveland to Millersburg. I’ve sent many friends down to the Millersburg Hotel to spend the night and then ride up to Fredericksburg through the rural countryside. Besides exercising Englischers, you’ll see plenty of Plain folks, both walking and riding the trail for a safe transportation route.
Also in Fredericksburg, look for the tiny, historic jailhouse. Once I found the door unlocked so I moseyed in, sat on the one cot in the one cell, and pretended I’d been arrested for disturbing the peace on a Saturday night. Although the wife of the mayor or sheriff no longer delivers home cooked meals to the inmates, you still can savor a place where time has stood still.
In my book, A Plain Man, Caleb Beachy returns to the quiet serenity of Wayne County to heal his emotional wounds and rebuild his relationship with God. For myself I reconnect with the slow, the simple, and the straightforward every time I visit Shreve and Fredericksburg, Ohio. I hope you enjoy these photos taken in the area.
Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her last series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. Her most recent release is a A Plain Man.
Purchase Mary’s books here.