Tuesday, July 23, 2013


We drive though Hartville at least once a week, if it’s going to the flea market or just passing though on our way to the main highway.  We have seen some places that we are interested in to stop and see, but wanted to make a day trip to see them all. Hartville is known as an Amish town, but I have not seen a horse and buggy on the streets since I was a little kid. Today you will find family own stories right along side big name brand stores. 

First, on our list was the Hartville Chocolate Factory. The store sites right on the edge of town as we entered coming from our campground at 114 South Prospect Ave. The store is family owned and in business for the last 26 years. As you walk in and look around they sell more than just chocolate. The store is a dream for kids all ages. Besides chocolate, they have salt-water taffy, assorted candies and ice cream you can get in a cup or cone. There is even items for the cook in the family. They have jam (made locally), cook books, cut outs sheets that are made in the store basement and for those who love Asian snacks I even saw wasabi peas. As you look around on the top shelves you will see old candy and cookie cans along with old cut outs (these are not for sale, but just for show). I saw it as a small tribute to the history of candy and cookies. The workers were very nice and friendly and while talking they even had free samples to try. Free chocolate and good conversation, what else could I ask for. For all you candy and chocolate lover this is a must stop.

Second, on our list was the old train station, just located behind Hartville Chocolate Factory at 120 East Maple Street. The train station is no longer a passenger stop. However, back in the late 1800’s this was the main station for passengers and freight to get the goods in and out of the town. The last passenger train left Hartville Sunday 17 July 1938. Today, the train station is an art gallery. There are still items of the old station house hanging on the walls like signs and even telegraph poles along side today arts and crafts. There are even two train cars on the site. One is steal and one from wood. They are used as work studios because the station is small. One still has passenger seats and the owner told me he is working on to make it a small movie theater. He did not say what movies he will show, but the idea sound like a good one. Today, the tracks still run freight trains and it runs though Kent, Ohio. This track is the same one that ran behind my apartment when I attended Kent State, at 2:00 am every night I would wake up to the sound of the train blowing their whistle.

A little history I wanted to add.

In 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley the 25th President of the United States in New York, crowds of onlookers gathered at the Hartville station to await the arrival of his body en route to McKinley's burial place in Canton.

We heard thunder rolling in with dark clouds so we jumped in the car and head back home. With black clouds rolling in fast though my rear view mirror, we stopped at Maize Valley Winery & Market. Good thing we did, because as we got out the car the rain started coming down hard. As you walk in there is a farmer’s market, along the walls are jams, sauces and syrups all made on site. As you enter the back there is a meat deli and handbags. This winery has something for anyone. What makes this unique from other wineries is their grapes are grown on site and not imported. Finally, came the good part, wine tasting. Samples are only a quarter a glass. You also buy a glass ($5~$6) or bottle ($9~$18) and drink it in the store at a dinning table or sofa couch. As we looked out the window we could no longer see our car with all the rain coming down, so we decided to weather the storm out with wine and bread.

Small towns have so much history with interesting places and people to meet. When we decided to start Rving, this was the opportunity we wanted to take time out to visit. Most people who travel just stop for gas or fly by them without evening thinking twice. If you are ever in the area of Hartville, Ohio stop, smell the roses and see what history you can find. 

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