Okay, I’ve decided. I’m buying a couple of lotto tickets this week (after all, the PowerBall is $245 Million!). I think most of us have lottery dreams, I know I do and most of them revolve around travel. This week I dedicate my winnings to a road trip that will get me to Waynesville, Warren County, Ohio for the Sauerkraut Festival! It is billed as one of the nation’s largest street fairs with hand crafted only items. I’m in. I can do all of my Christmas shopping. The only disappointment is the ban on dogs. Here in California the street fairs are dog friendly and it is almost as fun dog watching as it is people watching.
While we are in Warren County there are so many ‘must sees’ that we’ll be pretty busy and will need those restful nights at the inn. Did you know that 12 presidents and a slew of other notables, including Samuel Clements (Mark Twain!) stayed at the Golden Lamb? We’d have to take a leisurely day to poke around the Warren County Historical Museum and Glendower Historic Mansion. After a day of indoor browsing it will be time for the outdoors at Ft. Ancient Historic Landmark and park. I could describe these places but the websites do it better, so please check out the links on this post especially!
For those looking for more active fun there are a couple of great spots for that – the King’s Island Amusement Park – is the largest in the Midwest. If you are a roller coaster fan this is the place. And if you’d like more nature centered fun the zip lining is fantastic at Ozone Zipline Adventures at YMCA Camp Kern. Wow, it looks so beautiful. I wish these places had been up and running when I was up and running! Okay, I’m up but not running. Sigh. Oh, oh, oh. . . I’m working out – there are bridal paths at Caesar’s Creek State Park and boating at the lake. Horses! Yes! Well, I can see I’m staying in Warren County a while.
I have one ancestor on my list that lived in Waynesville. And there is something about her – a connection I’ve always felt. I can relate a little to her experience – a husband dying and traveling to a new place to live – a free floating ‘what do I do now’ feeling that accompanies the grief of losing a life-partner. I left Dallas for Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. She left Newberry, South Carolina and all she had known for Waynesville, Warren, Ohio. The similarities stop there. I moved to a known metropolitan area. She moved to a new and wild country not long wrested from the Indians. Still, when I found that Quaker town on the Internet – so welcoming, quiet, and home-like tears rolled down my cheeks. Maybe I was seeing Waynesville through Esther’s eyes. Esther Coate Pemberton (1766-1810) was raised in one prominent Quaker family and married into another. Most of her community of Quaker friends in South Carolina was moving to Ohio. [My father's people.]
Having to move on her own she must have found relief in this Quaker sanctuary where they even had (or would have) a boarding house for single Quakers in various circumstances (now a museum). I don’t know exactly how Esther felt but when I saw Waynesville it felt like home.