You begin the day in Southeast Ohio seeing and hearing what is considered the world\'s heaviest musical instruments, the Carillon, weighing in at 5.5 tons. You will experience the carillon at ground level so the kinetic experience of seeing the carillonist play, hearing the bells, and feeling the vibration of the sound can blend into a dynamic experience. The Carillon as a musical instrument became popular in the late 17th century in the Lowlands of northern Europe. This is the larger of only two mobile carillons in the United States.
When you visit an historic home have you ever wished you could meet the first owner? You can, at one of Lancaster's most recognizable historic homes, the Georgian. Mrs. Samuel Maccracken will greet you in her afternoon dress. Sarah will share her family's remarkable connections and family stories. You will then be invited to tour the 13-room mansion. The home was built from 1830 until 1832, when the family moved in. While Maccracken may not be a name you recognize, we promise that the "rest of the story" as it relates to the Ohio Lateral Canal, banking and the Ohio University will be intriguing and fun.
What is the connection of an ice house in Lancaster, Ohio to the writings of the United States Constitution? Was ice cutting included in the 1880 census? These and many more stories about the history of ice in the 19th century will be shared when you step outside the Georgian and visit its 1830 ice house. You will view historic ice cutting tools as you enjoy "chilled" (with manufactured ice) lemonade and come to realize ice was once a luxury enjoyed only by the wealthy. Leave knowing some great trivia you can share and having an appreciation of how much easier our lives are today. Enjoy cookies and lemonade served by ladies dressed in period costume as you walk about the lawn of this beautiful home.
Gossip has it that Rudolph Pitcher lost the tavern bearing his name in a poker game in 1806. Fortunately hungry travelers like Henry Clay and Daniel Webster remained frequent visitors. Now, Shaw's Restaurant & Inn, owned and operated by the Cork family, is located on this same historic site offering fine food. All within walking distance of one of the finest collections of 19th century mansions and homes of the Midwest located in a national Register Historic District.
After lunch arrive at the Ohio Glass Museum, where you will see exhibits containing glass from companies and glass artists from around the country including Heisey, Fenton and Fairfield County's own, Anchor Hocking, Lancaster Glass and Erickson. Watch molten glass being created into a work of art, in the glass blowing studio. You receive a private studio experience in a public facility. Shop the unique gift shop featuring items made by the glass blower.
As you enjoy your walk to General Sherman's birth place and boyhood home, meander through historic Square 13, a National Register Historic District, a block which has been called by many architectural historians one of the finest collections of 19th century architecture in a concentrated area in the nation . See one of two replicas of a fountain that legend says once stood in Etain, France. The second copy is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Have your picture taken next to the life size statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman located in Veteran's Park.
Upon arriving at the Sherman House, you will find a re-enactor, portraying General William Tecumseh Sherman, strolling in the courtyard of his boyhood home, waiting to share the memories he experienced while living there. "Cump", a childhood nickname given by his siblings, was the sixth child of eleven. The General will invite you into his home and ask that you be sure to check out an excellent exhibit of Civil War artifacts, guns and Grand Army of the Republic memorabilia before you leave. However, before you step inside to tour his home, where you will be guided by docents dressed in period costume, the General would certainly entertain questions about his service during the Civil War.
After a full day of experiences, enjoy dinner at one of Lancaster's many restaurants. You'll find a number of national chain restaurants, many with multiple locations. These include the traditional group tour favorites, as well as casual dining establishments and of course, all the "fast food" franchises. Or, you may wish to just order a pizza or other dinner in your room; many of the local restaurants are happy to offer delivery service. After dinner relax in your hotel and reflect upon all the great memories you'll take home from your day in Fairfield County!
After a great breakfast, head out for a day of exploring a selection of covered bridges in Fairfield County. Covered bridges symbolize small-town America and often serve as prominent local landmarks. Fairfield County has the largest concentration of original covered bridges in Ohio featuring many different designs and builders. These bridges (many over 100 years old) provide a link to a nearly forgotten past.
Enjoy the beautiful setting of the George Hutchins covered bridge, spanning a finger of Lake Loretta in the over 300 acre Alley Park. Not only do you enjoy strolling across this multiple Kingpost constructed covered bridge, you also enjoy the sights and sounds of this natural setting. Continue your adventure as you visit the Johnston covered bridge built in 1887. It was built of Howe truss construction so bridge tension could be maintained. As you travel on to the John Bright ll bridge, you will see one of the finest examples of covered bridge preservation. It is the best example of wooden arch construction in the county.
Stop by at Table One for a delicious lunch in downtown historic Lancaster.
As you continue your covered bridge tour the next stop is the picturesque Rock Mill covered bridge, one of the premier covered bridges in Fairfield County. The bridge sits at the beginning of the Hocking River, known to the Native Americans as the Hockhocking, which stands for bottle neck or gourd. As you walk through the covered bridge, hearing the sound of the falls, you will see Rock Mill, an 1800's grist mill that is now undergoing restoration. The mill was constructed on top of sandstone cliffs three stories above the bank and two stories below the rim of a gorge.
The tiny town of Lockville is the home of the Hartman ll covered bridge, built in Queenpost style in 1888. The bridge spans 45 feet and is located in Lockville Park, appropriately named after the rare intact triple canal locks located on the same grounds as the bridge. Lockville Locks was one of eights locks which were used in the Ohio and Erie Canal during the 1830\'s.
After your tour of covered bridges is complete you may want to visit a unique dodecagon dry stone masonry wall, which measures 60 feet in diameter and 8 feet high. This is Stonewall Cemetery, or President's Cemetery as it is also known. The cemetery was deeded in 1817 by Nathaniel Wilson, Jr., a pioneer, to the President of the United States, then James Monroe, and "his successors forever". This 12-sided structure is one of the finest examples of dry masonry in existence. Although it was donated to President Monroe as a "presidential" burial place, no presidents are buried here, but 9 graves of the builder and his family do exist.
Return home with fond memories, gorgeous pictures and a new getaway.