Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
What has The Wonderful World of Disney and CBS Early Show discovered about Greenville, Ohio that the rest of us should know?
From a dingy looking eatery with the tastiest, and rather peculiar, loose-meat sandwich to the rich history of Annie Oakley, “Mad” Anthony Wayne and Tecumseh, Greenville is a special diversion for those looking for places where good-old-fashioned apple pie Americana still lives and breathes the fresh air of yesteryear. Several years ago, Disney picked the town as one of the few places in the entire country to host the Disney Hometown Parade. Recently, Hanna Storm and the CBS Early Show’s Tour My Town series did a special segment highlighting the quaint little place Northwest of Dayton.
Greenville’s 21st Century publicity as a discovered gem of a town is actually the second time this place on the map has been toasted for its significance. The first was back in the 19th Century when it was renown for the historic Treaty of Green Ville, which opened the Northwest Territory for settlement and birthing of one of the nations most celebrated female icons – Annie Oakley.
The downtown is a warm and friendly place with shopkeepers that are 5th generation family merchants. It has lovely storefronts, picturesque architecture and historic landmarks, including 80 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Of the many attractions and sightseeing delights, at least three standout as must-sees: Garst Museum, Bear’s Mill, and KitchenAid™ Experience.
Garst Museum & The Annie Oakley Center
Little Miss Sure Shot – Annie Oakley is the legendary sharpshooter that traveled the world in the Buffalo Bill Wild West show. Greenville was her home, the place of her birth and death. Many of her treasured belongings, letters and guns make up the largest known collection of Annie Oakley memorabilia. Annie Oakley Days Festival is celebrated every July.
Although Annie Oakley is a significant person from Greenville and Darke County’s past, there are others. They include Lowell Thomas – the world-famous radio broadcaster and adventurer; Zachary Lansdowne – the infamous pilot of the tragic crash of the zeppelin USS Shenandoah; Fort Green Ville and the Treaty of Green Ville; Tecumseh and General “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
The museum, spanning six buildings, also includes a village of shops from merchants’ businesses of times long but forgotten, a genealogy room and perhaps one of the most underrated exhibits in the museum – the Uniform floor. Here, visitors see an extensive collection of soldiers’ artifacts, weapons and uniforms from the Revolutionary War to the War in Iraq.
Garst Museum hours, location and further information are available at www.garstmuseum.org.
Historic Bear’s Mill
More than 150-years-old, this mill is living history of an era long past as it is one of the last operating water-powered mills around today.
Its storied past includes how the 800 foot millrace was dug by hand by school children for 50 cents/day and how it went idle for years for fear that Confederate soldiers may invade the state and burn it to the ground.
Today, the Mill store offers an eclectic shopping experience making it an attraction that has lured travelers from around the globe. It features fresh ground flours and meals using preservative free grains on original Buhr stones. Handmade pottery lines the walls bringing collectors back regularly. Visitors are free to roam the many floors of the ancient mill and lovely trails along the creek and woods surrounding it.
Bear’s Mill calendar of events, hours, location and further information are available at www.bearsmill.com.
KitchenAid™ Experience and KitchenAid™ Factory Tour
Proclaimed to be more than a store, it’s a mixing, blending, slicing, juicing culinary adventure!
Learn new cooking skills by attending the many cooking classes offered that promise to stir up fun in eight interactive areas. Each class allows you to roll up your sleeves and use the KitchenAid™ products, learn various techniques and more.
Downstairs is where the heritage exhibits are displayed. These authentic KitchenAid™ artifacts are used to tell the history of an ever-evolving iconic American company. It explains how products were improved and refined over the years since 1919 when the first stand mixer was introduced. An original Model H KitchenAid™ stand mixer is also exhibited.
Tour the nearby mixing factory and see firsthand how the entire manufacturing process works. The tour enables visitors to see a stand mixer move to the final stage of assembly by peeking over the shoulder of an assembly line worker.
To learn more about the KitchenAid™ Experience, learn about its exciting new products and take a nostalgic look into the past, see www.KitchenAid.com/experience.
In addition to Garst Museum, Bear’s Mill, and KitchenAid™ Experience, Greenville and the surrounding Darke County highlights also feature Winery at Versailles, Ghyslain Chocolatier, Brumbaugh Fruit Farm, Tecumseh’s Point, prairies and preserves, wetlands, the arts at Memorial Hall, unique eateries, lodging, festivals, special events and more. To plan a trip to Greenville, Ohio and Darke County, log onto www.visitdarkecounty.org.