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AREA ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS THE AMISH & MENNONITE HERITAGE CENTER Contact Information – 5798 CR 77, Millersburg, PO Box 324, Berlin; (330) 893-3192, director@amheritagecenter.com, www. behalt.com. Hours – March-Nov., Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Dec.-Feb., Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission – Call for prices; group rates available. Amenities – The historic and religious heritage of the Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite people is illustrated on a circular mural measuring 265 feet in length and 10 feet in height. The mural is named Behalt, meaning “to keep or remember.” A video presentation illustrates the daily life of Amish and Mennonite people today. A restored 1856 one-room public school house is now onsite, and an 1840s-style bankbarn houses a restored Conestoga Wagon that brought early settlers to Holmes County. BERLIN, THE VILLAGE OF Website – www.berlinohioinfo.com More Information – The Village of Berlin, located in eastern Holmes County, is undeniably one of the busiest places in the entire “Ohio Amish Country” area. Holmes County – along with its surrounding counties – is home to the largest settlement of Amish people in the world, with Berlin as the center of the settlement. As interest in the lifestyle of the Amish has grown in recent years, Berlin has grown commercially. Its streets are lined with craft shops and other stores offering everything from handmade wooden furniture to whimsical Amish dolls and handmade crafts of all varieties. New bed-and-breakfasts, inns and other lodging facilities have sprung up, while a variety of restaurants offer traditional Amish-style cooking. Before the Amish became Berlin’s main attraction, it was known for being the first village formed in Holmes County and the home of the first factory in the county, the Braden and Hassock Farm Implement and Iron Company. In 1811, Berlin’s earliest settlers were John Swigert and Samuel Knight, who brought their families from Maryland. Swigert selected a spot on his land for a town and named it Berlin – after his hometown in Germany. He platted 108 lots, with the deed dated Feb. 18, 1816. Today Berlin is best known for its tourist attractions – from the unique gift galleries and craft shops to hotels and restaurants. The wide variety of activities and shops will make any traveler’s visit to Berlin a memorable one.

THE GERMAN CULTURE MUSEUM Contact Information – 4877 Olde Pump St., Walnut Creek; (330) 893-2510, www.germanculturemuseum.com. Hours – May-Oct., Thursday-Saturday, Noon-4 p.m. Call for private tours or expanded hours. Admission – Donations are accepted. Amenities – The museum houses an impressive collection of area memorabilia, including a 14”X20” portrait of Holmes County’s first Amish settler, Jonas Stutzman. Also featured are displays of German and Swiss culture, including furniture, vehicles, tools, quilts, textiles, folk art and photographs. Guided tours are available with knowledgeable volunteer guides. History – The Walnut Creek area was originally settled by Amish pioneers from Somerset, Pa. In 1803, an exploring party surveyed the region and selected a location for settlement. A 21-year-old Amish man, Jonas Stutzman, arrived in the spring of 1809 and settled on land just southwest of the current town of Walnut Creek. He became the first permanent settler in Eastern Holmes County and is considered “The Father of Amish Country.” Since those early beginnings, Walnut Creek has experienced many changes, including a name change (it was originally called New Carlisle). But the common denominator has been the Amish and Mennonite residents, the descendents of those early pioneers who selected this area as their ideal home. Those original settlers brought with them the traditions, tools, equipment, culture and stories of the Old Country, Switzerland and Germany. The German Culture Museum seeks to be keeper of history in the township – displaying items and keeping record of happenings since the pioneer days. We are pleased to keep the old stories alive and pass on the appreciation of where we have been and ultimately, to see more clearly where we are going. It’s more than a collection of antiques, old photos and yellowed newspaper clippings – it’s a place where the foundation of the world’s largest Amish community can be inspected, studied and actually touched. When you visit Ohio’s Amish Country, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit our unique museum. We’re affiliated with the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, home of the cyclorama “Behalt.” Painted by Hans Gaugel, “Behalt” describes the persecution of Mennonites and Amish in Europe, the exodus to the New “ATTRACTIONS” CONTINUES ON 12

Holmes Today ~ Page 11


Holmes County Today: The 2016 Community Guide