Apple Creek is a village set in the heart of Wayne County, Ohio. It is also the heart of Ohio Amish country. Like the characters that populate the Apple Creek Dreams series, there are Hershbergers and Springers, Yoders, Borntreagers, Kings and some Halversons living there.
I chose Apple Creek as the setting for A Quilt for Jenna, the first book in the series, while doing research on the Amish in Ohio and in particular on Amish quilt-makers. When I was researching the books and came across a village with such a wonderful name, it was just too good to pass up as a location, so I started my stories there. I used the actual streets and highways, the localities and even local family names.
Apple Creek, Dalton and Wooster, Ohio are known throughout the country for the marvelous Amish quilts that are produced there. Dalton has one of the biggest quilting fairs in Ohio. You’ll have to wait until next year to attend, though, as it took place on September 13. But if you are planning a trip next year, it is a must-attend experience.
The more I explored Apple Creek, the more I realized how connected I was to the village. My great-great grandfather, Anthony Rockhill, was born 49 miles from Apple Creek in Alliance, Ohio in 1828. At a recent writer’s conference I met a man from Apple Creek. He has seen my books for sale in Der Dutchman Restaurant just off Kidron Road in Walnut Creek, up the road from Dalton. Kidron Road was a key location in my first book, A Quilt for Jenna. By the way, the food is great.
In fact, all of Wayne County is full of amazing places to stay, dine, shop and just take in the ambiance of the relaxed Amish lifestyle. Here are some of my favorites.
The Carlisle Country Inn in Berlin is a wonderful stop for the weary traveler. There are several Carlisle’s in the area, but this one is spectacular!
If you visit Homestead Furniture in Dover, you will marvel at the work of some of the finest Amish craftsmen in America.
You can also sign up for the Bike and Buggy tour of the area, which includes an Amish Progressive Dinner.
So, you see, it was no coincidence that I came to choose Apple Creek. Though the characters in my books are fictional, the setting for their stories is not. It is my hope that the Apple Creek Dreams series will touch a place in your heart as you read, and that you might find something of your own life right here in Apple Creek and Wayne County, Ohio.
Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current book is Jenny’s Choice, the third in the series.
Patrick and his wife, Judy, make their home in Idaho and are the parents of two adult children and have five grandchildren.