April 2009 Issue
In Adams County, Call Tom Cross
Understanding the Amish, Step Five
In sparsely settled Adams County, the Amish migration is so new — and the population so small — that there are no commercial tour guides, as there are in Holmes and Geauga counties.
But Tom Cross, executive director of the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau, says he will personally escort anyone who wants to explore the small Amish settlements that are scattered here and there in this rugged hill-country corner of Appalachian Ohio — just a river away from Kentucky.
He’s confident that the spectacular scenery will more than make up for the lack of “all-you-can-eat” Amish restaurants.
Cross is knowledgeable about the Amish and sympathetic with their desire for religious freedom. These latter-day pioneers came to Adams County by wagon train in the 1970s, after a disagreement with their home churches in Holmes County.
Cross’s own family came in 1809, also in a covered wagon.
The Amish entrepreneurial spirit does bloom in three Adams County locations, however. In the tiny village of West Union, three Amish brothers have created a 300-acre complex of manufacturing and retail businesses known collectively as Millers Furniture, Bakery and Bulk Food, where you can buy everything from an oak credenza to a ham-and-cheese on rye.960 Wheat Ridge Rd., West Union 45693, 937/544-8524. At Kiem Family Market, which is visible just off U.S. Rte. 32, you can find all kinds of Amish-made wares, from rocking chairs to gazebos — plus some really good soup and deli sandwiches. 2621 Burnt Cabin Rd., Seaman 45679, 937/386-9995. And Raber’s Shoe & Saddlery advertises “leather items for your feet, and your horse, and your carriage.” 5252 Unity Rd., Peebles 45660, 937/386-9927.