Adventures on the Other Side of Amish Country

Welcome Home to Tuscarawas County!

The Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau likes to share with folks that the county is filled with small towns that tell big stories. A case in point is the beautiful village of Sugarcreek, where you can dance along with the Oompah-pah band of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, which performs at the top and bottom of each hour. Afterward, discover the roots of the community at the Alpine Hills Museum and marvel at the artistry of the Brick Wall Sculpture, which illustrates the tales of life in this scenic Swiss heritage village. When you are ready to eat, enjoy local flavors at Park Street Pizza, Dutch Valley Restaurant, or Amish Country Donuts, to name just a few local Sugarcreek favorites.

Bolivar stories go back to the construction of Fort Laurens- Ohio’s only Revolutionary War Fort. Learn the drastic measures the brave soldiers took to serve on the Ohio frontier at this volatile time. After taking in the history, enjoy browsing the antique shops in downtown Bolivar and feed your appetite at Canal Street Diner or Sublime Smoke. If you are ready for a cold brew, stop by Lockport Brewery and enjoy a handcrafted beer.

National Historic Landmark District, Historic Zoar Village, has a big story to share! Known as America’s most successful Communal Society, residents began to call Zoar home in 1817 as residents arrived seeking religious freedom. Enjoy the architecture of the original brick and timber structures, the museums, the bakery, and the large garden. With special events throughout the year, you may even want to visit during one of their special event ghost tours to hear from one of the original residents!

Dover has a downtown filled with friendly merchants and locally owned diners- not to mention a hand-crafted candy store, a cupcake shop, and several that provide offerings for your home! When you are ready to explore, stop by Riverfront Park to ride the artistically created swing or try your arm on their disc golf course! The museum offerings include an original Victorian Home, J. E. Reeves Victorian Home, and Carriage House Museum; a museum sharing the life story of a master carver, the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens; a museum mentioned in Ripley’s Believe It or Not that tells of stories of those who have passed at the Famous Endings Museums. Do not leave without a sweet treat from Eiler’s candy shop or enjoy a meal at Pangrazio’s, Mindy’s Diner, or El Pueblito Mexican Bistro. Dover has more than enough to do for a day or more!

Travelers looking to add to their wardrobe will enjoy the shops in downtown New Philadelphia, whose merchants offer styles for the whole family. With cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and art galleries, you will enjoy this city and its many boldly colored murals. Enjoy a live performance at the Performing Art Center on the Kent State University campus at Tuscarawas. Their show season is filled with favorites, headline acts, and even those lesser known. Historic Schoenbrunn Village is located on the east end of the city and tells the stories of David Zeisberger and his efforts to share Christianity with Delaware Indians. Downtown New Philadelphia is a food paradise with numerous local dining stops set to please every craving- you will not be leaving hungry! From fine dining, cafes, and casual spots with outdoor seating, you will savor and long remember the delicious meals you enjoyed in downtown New Philadelphia!

The village of Gnadenhutten has a tragic story tied to Schoenbrunn Village. After you visit the museum, walk over to the local café, Tents of Grace, and browse the home accessory shop just down the block, too.

Have you traveled to Dreamsville lately? Discover Dennison and tour the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum to learn about this famous song’s tie to this Tuscarawas County community and the importance of this iconic American railroad depot. Families will want to celebrate the magic of the “Polar Express” train ride held annually on multiple early December dates. For more information and tickets, visit Dennison will be opening a new ice-skating rink this holiday season, too! When ready to eat, enjoy a meal at Lucielle’s Lunch Stand, the Dennison Yard, Pangrazio’s, and a local brew at Holy Moly Brewing Company.

Visit Uhrichsville and learn the tales preserved in the Uhrichsville Clay Museum, which shares pieces of folk art and stories from American industrialization. When it is warm outside, does an afternoon at a water park sound like a cool idea? Do not miss the Uhrichsville Water Park for an enjoyable time with the whole family!

Newcomerstown is proud to share the stories of former residents Cy Young and Woody Hayes! Visit the Olde Main Street Museum while taking a step back in time to see the collections these favorite sons have on display. Summer season, take in their Second Saturday celebrations that fill the downtown with vendors, food, family fun, and live music!

Within the scenic Appalachian rolling hills of the county are grand arts adventures complete with theatres, murals, sculptures, and even quilts on barns! There are local growers, farm markets, trails, rock climbing, dog parks, ten wineries and four breweries, and plenty of homemade ice cream shops. Tuscarawas County is in the heart of Appalachian Ohio and is on the other side of Ohio’s Amish Country. You will be greeted with warm welcomes everywhere you go throughout your visit, and finally, exhausted from your adventures here, you will sleep comfortably in one of our many clean, comfortable lodging options!

Visit, call 800-527-3387, or stop by the Welcome Center at 124 East High Ave, New Philadelphia, to learn more.

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Trail Mix

Southeast Ohio Offers Variety of Autumn Hiking Options

Autumn doesn’t just signal the much-awaited return of football. It’s also a sort of unofficial preseason for Ohio’s unbeatable fall hiking. Before the temperatures drop and the leaf peepers come out to play in the fall foliage, here is some “trail mix” to enjoy that illustrates why Guernsey County, Ohio, is the perfect place to take a hike.

As Ohio’s largest state park, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of activities and amenities within Salt Fork’s more than 17,000 breathtaking acres to delight the whole family: fishing, swimming, golfing, horseback riding, and more. And, of course, there’s hiking – miles and miles of gorgeous Eastern Ohio flora and fauna. The park offers 15 official trails, ranging from easy trails and cave routes less than half a mile long to a 6.86-mile section of the Buckeye Trail (part of an ambling 1440-mile loop around the state). A new family-friendly Storybook Trail was added late last year near the campground, creating a unique opportunity to improve childhood literacy and develop an early love of the outdoors. The new trail, beloved by the young and young at heart, features the picture book “Wonder Walkers” by Micha Archer and follows two young explorers who venture outdoors.

The next stop on your outdoor adventure should be Seneca Lake Park. Seneca Lake Park offers several miles of natural surface hiking and biking trails throughout the woods surrounding the park’s large and beautiful lake. Seneca Lake Park’s website advises hikers, “Most trails are very challenging with unpredictable trail conditions, so please use caution and be prepared with proper footwear.” Popular routes include the Beech Tree Ridge Trail, Schoolhouse Trail, Cemetery Trail, and last but not least, the aptly named Lakeside Trail.

The Buckeye Trail also crosses Seneca Lake property and can be accessed from the Cemetery or Beech Tree Ridge Trails.

If you want a unique hike, visit The Butterfly Habitat at The Wilds. This walking trail winds through a 10-acre area of prairie, wetland, and woodland planted with flowering plants selected especially to encourage butterflies to flourish.

Located just across from The Wilds’ main parking lot along International Rd., the Butterfly Habitat is a great addition to your experience at The Wilds, either before or after your safari tour. The Butterfly Habitat is available to visitors during regular hours at no additional charge (a $7/vehicle parking fee still applies).

Finally, you can’t stop in Guernsey County without enjoying the Great Guernsey Trail. The trail offers a 14-mile round-trip biking, running, or walking trail along a paved, low-grade path. Coal Ridge Park and Trails, a new addition to the Great Guernsey Trail, consists of several walking trails that cross woods and open areas and include a lake that allows non-motorized boating, camping, and fishing.

There are two trailheads. One is at 35000 Corduroy Road in Cambridge, and the other is at 204 Main Street in Lore City. Both entrances offer restrooms and dog parks. Designated as a National Recreation Trail (NRT) in 2020, the Great Guernsey Trail is now part of the national database of NRT trails and is one of only 24 trails in Ohio with this distinction.

Make sure your next trail leads you to Guernsey County, Ohio. For local and seasonal happenings and highlights to round out your next hike, see .

For more information, contact the Cambridge/Guernsey County VCB office at 627 Wheeling Avenue, Suite 200 in downtown Cambridge, call 740-432-2022, email, or visit

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America’s Most Colorful Caverns

Are in West Central Ohio!

Long hailed as America’s Most Colorful Caverns, Ohio Caverns is colorful both above and below ground in fall.

Take a self-guided tour of the color pallet of trees and a guided tour of the color pallet of the caverns. It’s quite a vista either way. Enjoy a great old-fashioned picnic setting in the pavilion or under a tree between tours. It’s also a great time to sift the old miners’ sluice for precious gemstones. Get a bag of rough for the sluice inside the gift shop, which is one of the largest rock shops around and has a wide array of colors, too!

Nature carved a fairyland beneath the rolling, wooded hills of rural West Liberty, Ohio. Until its discovery in 1897, nobody knew a subterranean wonderland spanning over three miles was growing the most colorful caverns in America one drip at a time, undisturbed for ages.

During the year-round cave tours, visitors are treated to views of one-of-a-kind discoveries and rare finds. The “Crystal King” is the largest and most perfectly formed pure white crystal stalactite in any cave. According to current dating techniques, it is nearly five feet long after 200,000 years of growth. It is found apart from other formations, adding to its dramatic appearance in stark contrast to its surroundings. It is truly a king of stalactites.

Other rare stalactites found at Ohio Caverns are called helictites or “soda straws.” These resemble curly straws hanging from the ceiling. Somehow, they grow longer in a way that seems to defy gravity, twisting in weird directions up, down, sideways, and all around.

One of the more intriguing formations is the “Old Town Pump,” which looks just like it sounds down to the dripping water. It must have been fun coming up with such names. It’s reminiscent of lying on your back, staring at puffy white cloud formations, and with a little imagination poof, there’s an old town pump!

These are the only known caverns in the country where dual formations are found. This oddity consists of iron oxide tipped off with milky white calcium carbonate. It is a mystery why the two minerals remain distinctly separate, refusing to blend colors. But it creates a picturesque contrast.

The main reason people love to visit here time and again is the wide array of colors. In addition to black and white, the plentiful stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and other formations come in various colors, including yellow, orange, red, blue, and purple hues. The colorful climax is best seen in the “Palace of the Gods,” where there is an array of translucent crystals.

Over the years, various publications have dubbed Ohio Caverns as one of the best caves overall in the US.  Current tour times, rates, and other information to plan a visit are at

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Gore Orphanage

This is the latest story from the blog,
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

We moved a temporary “bridge out” sign so we could drive our car across. Clearly, the bridge was not out, but we were—for a good time.

We had driven well across rural Lorain County in pursuit of a late October fright night like generations of Northern Ohio teens before us. It was a rite of passage to try and brave the dark valley and legend of Gore Orphanage.

Matt and Dusty wanted candy. We pulled off at a rickety old roadside store, and they went inside.

“Look, is that someone leaning out of the window above the store?” asked one of the girls in the backseat.

I rolled the window down.

“Do-o-o-on’t go-o,” the stranger lobbed down to us, face flickering in neon against the dark.

We looked at each other inside the car, silently mouthing, “What the …!”

When we looked back up, the stranger in the window was gone.

“What the heck was that?” asked one of the girls aloud.

Surely, it was just some guy having fun with us.

Matt and Dusty jumped back in the car. They didn’t believe a word out of our mouths about the stranger in the window.

Eventually, we arrived at a desolate country road that led down a steep, narrow hill. We noticed but ignored the “no trespassing” signs riddled with bullet holes. Near the bottom of the hill, a turn-off to the left veered so sharply it was difficult to see. This offshoot was even steeper and narrower and led to blackness. Our other option was to continue the main route and ascend the other side of the valley.

We chose blackness.

With windows rolled down on a crisp fall night, we listened as we puttered to “Crybaby Bridge.”

“Kill the engine!”

We listened. Then, we got out and leaned against the metal bridge.

“I heard it.”

“Me too.”

“I don’t hear a thing!”

The legend was that long ago, there was an orphanage that burned to the ground, taking with it dozens of kids. If you listened closely, you could hear their faint cries echoing through the valley. Oh, and if you turned your car off on Heartbeat Bridge, it wouldn’t restart until you pushed it across to the other side. So, we intentionally left it out of gear to spook the girls. They even gave it a try before we pushed it to the other side. Wouldn’t you know it, it started right up. You could probably catch us winking and smirking at each other on the sly if you were looking in the rear-view mirror.

We continued down the all-but-forgotten road, winding around a bend one way and then back another before pulling over to park along the edge of the road.

“They say the foundation of the orphanage is that way,” Matt said, pointing a flashlight toward the trailhead, where woods met an open field.

Before going there, we ventured up the road ahead on foot. A lonely house was at the end of a long, wooded driveway.

“No way! Someone lives down here!” Dusty whisper-yelled.

Pushing uphill, around a bend, the road was barricaded. We went back to the car.

“Oh no, cops!” I said.

“Those aren’t cops,” Matt noticed as they neared.

They were a friendly group and led us straight to the foundation. But not before passing a lone pillar with graffiti warning, “You are now entering Hell.”

We sat on the remaining foundation blocks and befriended the new carload of strangers. They decided to leave before us, but we weren’t far behind.

As they drove away, I went for some kicks. I threw my flashlight as hard as possible, end over end, high over their windshield, freaking them out. They sped off. Pleased with my shenanigans, I ran, laughing, to pick up my flashlight. Within minutes, it died. Worse, unbeknownst to me, my car keys bounced out of my unzipped jacket pocket.

We knew we were up a creek without a paddle after our failed attempts to search for the lost keys. The other flashlight went dead. So, Matt and I left Dusty with the girls and went to the old house to ask for batteries or a flashlight. It was pretty late at night.

A freak rain shower drove down, forcing us to return to the car. Anxiety and tempers flared.

“Shut up!” Matt yelled.

“What the …”

We were all staring out the back window at a clunker of a pickup truck pulling off the road near our car.

“Get down.”

Our car was a clunker, so it probably looked abandoned.

Peeking over the back seat, we all witnessed a man jump from the truck. He was carrying something long. He let three dogs out the passenger door, and they all ran into the field together and out of sight.

“What do we do?”


“What the hell was that?” the girls cried.

“Was that a gunshot?” I asked aloud.

“Here he comes!” Dusty warned.

The man emerged with two dogs, hopped in his truck, and slowly motored away.

When we finally peeled ourselves from the floor mats, the rain had stopped. It was past midnight. We were stranded …far from home…in an era before the public was armed with cell phones and GPS.

Amazingly, another vehicle eventually appeared. No, it was two cars carrying more teenagers. They were locals. One agreed to drive me back to his parent’s house so I could call my mom. She would have to come out with a spare key.

“Now, listen carefully, Mom. At that point, you’ll have to get out and move a sign that says bridge out, but don’t worry; you can cross. Ignore the no-trespassing signs. Go down the road that looks like a car should not go down. It gets steep and narrow…” continued my directions to my mom. As I heard myself explain, I knew I wouldn’t see the light of day for quite some time.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun! 

Click here to read more
“Wrong Turns Write Life”

Autumn on the Family Farm

at Niederman Family Farm

It’s more than corn maze and pumpkin patch season. It’s the Niederman Family Farm harvest of fall fun!

Yeah, they have all the autumn fixings for fun, like a massive corn maze and pumpkin patch, but they’ve been in the family memory-making business for decades, and it shows. The 210 acres are like a fall amusement park filled with treats!

One of the hottest treats is the Niederman family’s fresh, hot, homemade cinnamon sugar donuts. But first, fill those tummies with all kinds of yummies at the Niederman picnic pavilion, which provides great sandwiches, drinks, and all your fall staples. Sip hot cider and enjoy fresh kettle corn, funnel cakes, caramel apples, apple butter, pumpkin butter, hot roasted nuts, and more.

Other Niederman signature offerings feature jams, jellies, honey, and a variety of coffees in the marketplace barn. On the weekends, many of these foods are also available at food tents and stands throughout the farm. Be sure to reserve a private bonfire area under the stars to pass around the marshmallows and S’mores.

Let the kids get tangled in fun racing around the Low Ropes Course to challenge. Navigate carefully along small floppy blue disc platforms suspended on hanging ropes. Dive into the side-by-side rope tunnels and try to crawl without falling through. Now, try walking a tightrope with no sides to help keep balance. Maneuver a rope net wall. These are just some obstacles to navigate along the way through laughter and a little competition.

The Niedermans have added all kinds of creative touches throughout the years. Bounce your way to side-splitting laughter under a barn on stilts sheltering a giant bouncy pillow. There’s also a spacious observation deck measuring 24 by 70 feet. Old-fashioned water pumps send racing rubber ducks back and forth. Families square off for tug-o-war contests. Race someone on adult-sized tricycles or bouncy balls. At every turn, there are activities and excitement for all ages.

Everyone enjoys the farm animal viewing areas featuring goats, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, and other livestock. This farm has it all: human foosball, climbing web, lil’ sprout route, climbing hill, ball zones, tetherball, pipe swings, and kids’ tractor play area and tiny houses. And sanitizing stations are plentiful.

No doubt daytime is only half the fun. Stick around because when the sun goes down, even more fall fun rises under the moonlight. Grab your flashlight and navigate the corn maze. Take a leisurely, starlit hayride. Gaze at the night sky and breathe the crisp autumn air. Again, reserve your bonfire pit and enjoy good old-fashioned storytelling with a weenie roast.

Niederman Family Farm is fall done right.

Of course, the corn maze and pumpkin patch are featured activities day and night, but plenty of other activities are also found throughout the farm, providing hours of bonding time between family and friends.

Niederman Family Farm is at 5110 LeSourdsville-West Chester Road in Liberty Township, Ohio, between Cincinnati and Dayton. Call 513-779-6184 or visit

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun!

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Autumn In West Central Ohio


The Autumn season in Shelby County, Ohio, is good for the soul. With an enviable variety of “naturescapes” to enjoy, a weekend getaway to Sidney is just what’s needed to rejuvenate your spirit.

Bicycling and hiking enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the fall colors of Lake Loramie State Park in Fort Loramie and Tawawa Civic Park in Sidney. Lake Loramie State Park features a 1600-acre lake with 30 miles of shoreline for outdoor adventurers looking to combine both on and off-the-water excursions. Here, visitors can pitch their camp on one of 167 sites offering both primitive and RV camping with all the amenities. Those who enjoy the experience of a cabin will find several from which to choose, situated just steps away from the picturesque Lake Loramie shoreline.

Anglers are sure to love the sport fishing at Lake Loramie. Crappie, blue gill, and bass are popular species in the lake. Lake Loramie is perfect for kayak fishing as well. Those needing extra assistance getting onto the water will find the adaptive boat launch incredibly easy to use and so convenient. In addition, Lake Loramie has rental kayaks available for those not traveling with one of their own.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera. Lake Loramie State Park is home to an incredible variety of birds and wildlife, including bald eagles, woodpeckers, ducks, blue herons, and hawks. While hiking, you’ll also likely cross paths with deer, fox, mink, raccoon, and squirrel.

Tawawa Civic Park is an incredible natural resource as well. With its 220 acres, Tawawa Park is a wooded reserve perfect for hiking, biking, and fishing, and is a wonderful outdoor location for family get-togethers, picnics, and cookouts.

Well beyond the allure of Lake Loramie and Tawawa parks, Sidney and Shelby County have an incredible lineup of fall activities not to be missed. Now through October 29th, guests to Crossway Farms will love their Fall on the Farm days. U-pick pumpkins, a sunflower field, and the Crossway Corral Play Zone are awesome family fun. The Crossway Farm Store is perfect for autumn shoppers, offering pumpkins, mums, fresh fruit and veggies, seasonal gourds, jams, jellies, donuts, and coffee cakes. And don’t forget the Apple Cider Explosion. This incredible, edible, drinkable creation you gotta try!

On October 5th, Sidney celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Big Four Bridge. This engineering marvel has dominated the landscape south of Sidney since the 1920s, and its importance to the area’s economic development cannot be underestimated. Beginning at 5pm. The celebration will kick off with complimentary cake and ice cream and top off with an incredible fireworks display at 8 p.m.

Other seasonal attractions of note include the Lost Land Corn Maze at Vandemark Farm, offering great family fun in the cooler Autumn weather. Here, you can zip line, explore the corn maze, pal around with farm animals at the petting zoo, challenge your group to a round of mini golf, take a hayride, defy gravity on the giant swing, and work on your game at the golfers driving range.

Attention Harry Potter fans. On October 6th, step into the enchanting world of wizards and witches at The Historic Sidney Theatre for an unforgettable evening of wizardry and wonder. “Potions and Plates” is your ticket to a fully immersive Harry Potter experience that will transport you straight to the hallowed halls of Hogwarts. Prepare to be spellbound on this enchanting night filled with captivating activities and delights. Whether a die-hard Potterhead or just looking for a night of enchantment and fun, “Potions and Plates” promises an immersive experience like no other, so grab your wands and cloaks and get ready to step into a world of magic and mystery.

The Shelby County Historical Society’s annual Ghost Walk is also a lot of fun (and educational, too). Here, past Sidney and Shelby County residents share their stories with the living. The Ghost Walk is on October 11th and 12th in downtown Sidney.

For those who crave a bump in the night, another popular attraction is the Haunted Theatre in downtown Sidney, where you’ll venture out on a spine-tingling journey through the darkest corners of the Historic Sidney Theatre. Are you ready to face your deepest fears? The ghosts of yesteryear are stirring, and can’t wait to meet you. This tour, offered October 27th-29th, offers a unique and unforgettable Halloween experience this season.

Of course, with the Christmas holiday season quickly approaching, now is the ideal time to make your travel plans to Sidney. This online events calendar is perfect for planning your new holiday travel traditions.

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Sidney, Ohio… the spirit we share. Come share our spirit.

Ready for Baking Season?

The holiday season is just around the corner. From Halloween to the New Year, a lot of celebrating comes with these last three months of the year. And with it comes a lot of cooking and baking.

The secret to wowing your holiday guests with mouth-watering taste is definitely in the ingredients.

It’s no secret that many Amish recipes at Amish are scrumptious. But buyer beware; there are plenty of faux Amish labels that may be the difference between party success and party mess. Authenticity means a willingness to journey to a place where, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.

Welcome to the modest, rustic Amish shop renowned the country over for having superb ingredients to create wonders in your kitchen. Welcome to Yoders Bakery and Furniture, tucked off Ohio State Route 32 in Seaman at the edge of Appalachia.

The authentic Amish-owned and operated marketplace features a full bakery, deli, and grocery. Aside from their full line of ingredients for cooking and baking in the bulk foods section of the store, the bakery has a wide variety of freshness coming from the ovens to the shelves and gone by day’s end. Whether you crave pies, cinnamon rolls, or fresh-baked bread, the aroma floating in the air says it all.

Peanut butter pretzels will be lucky if they make it to the parking lot without being devoured. Next to the bakery is the full-line deli where you can pack a cooler with a wide variety of cheese and meat selections to bring back home or go out to the shade trees and have yourself an autumn picnic while the kids play on Amish-made playground sets.

Fill a grocery basket with bulk food selections for baking or cooking at home, including hard-to-find ingredients. The store also sells an enormous selection of canned foods, sugar-free foods, and old-fashioned candies.

That’s just the appetizer.

If you need to dress up your meal or dessert presentation, Yoder’s also specializes in Amish-made baskets, candles, quilts, and even dining tables, plus much more. This is not a quick trip to a big box store. This is a leisurely day spent tantalizing the senses.

Lots of jokes surround fruitcake gifts around the holiday season – but at Yoders, it’s serious business!

Yoder fruitcakes have created a legend of their own – in deliciousness. That’s why the modest Amish shop gets orders nationwide. That’s why it is best to order early in the fall season.

This is not a quick trip to a big box store. This is a place for leisure shopping to find that one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for even the most finicky person to shop for.

If, in the holiday hustle and bustle, you don’t find an afternoon to escape the stresses of “convenience” shopping, there’s always mail-order – albeit, it comes without the pleasantries of visiting an out-of-the-way Amish landmark.

Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture is at 2621 Burnt Cabin Road off SR 32 in Seaman, Ohio. They are open Monday – Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Sunday). Call 937-386-9995 or visit

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Mysterious Marion Revolving Ball

Mysterious Revolving Ball
at the Marion, Ohio Cemetery

The mysterious “Merchant Ball” revolving in the Marion, Ohio cemetery is a two-and-a-half-ton black granite orb atop a five-foot pedestal. Tiny stone balls surround it in its grassy perimeter. There is one spot on the giant orb that was not polished – the spot that originally rested on the pedestal when erected in 1896.

The Merchant family created this gravesite in the 1890s. The smaller balls mark individual burials around the centerpiece marker. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not featured it in 1929. Why? Because the two-and-a-half-ton black granite orb was mysteriously turning over time unbeknownst to the naked eye. But the movement was obvious because the original unpolished resting spot became visible, eventually traveling to the ball’s side.

Needless to say, this strange phenomenon has become a peculiar tourist attraction ever since. And to this day, nobody has affirmatively answered the question, why? Although plenty of speculative theories and scientific analyses swirl around the enduring oddball.

Click to enlarge the map to find
the Merchant Ball in the Marion Cemetery