On Saturday night I headed down to Troyer’s, located in a beautiful setting at the Doughty Valley Creek, to the 19th annual “Down Home Gospel Sing”. It’s the first time I’ve been there and it proved to be a very popular event in Ohio’s Amish Country. Troyer’s Hollow is aptly name because it really is a hollow. The only entrance into the hollow by vehicles is down a long, steep, and winding road with a dense growth of trees on either side. Way down in there’s this beautiful open area with the Doughty Creek running along the south side of the hollow.
The Down Home Gospel Sing is held on Friday and Saturday evenings on the last weekend of June each year. There’s great music and singing by local and non-local musicians, bands, and singers. The bowl shape of the hollow is ideal for music as the singing and melodies resonate through the entire bottom. I talked with Mary Ann Yoder, who is married to one of my cousins. She gave me the lo-down on the event. There’s great food and desserts made by local vendors. I had me a cheeseburger and some home-made raspberry ice-cream. I saved a little bit of my ice cream to take home and Wanda concurred that it was outstanding. Each year, the two evening event serves as a means of great fun and entertainment as well as a way to raise funds for a local family in need of financial assistance with medical or other bills.
Some of the groups performing this year were John Schmidt, Holmes County Bluegrass, The Glick Family, Stefan Schmidt, The Guitar Banjo Band, and The Marlin Wagler Family. There’s a committee of four or five people who serve the community by facilitating the processes required to pull off this great gathering. The event is well attended and I estimated there were about 600 people, young and old, in attendance. The weather is almost always cooperative but this year there was great concern because the entire bottom was flooded on Tuesday night before the weekend event. Plans were made to hold the event at Keim Lumber in Charm, Ohio if the grounds were too wet. However, a few days of lots of sunshine allowed the hollow to dry out enough to hold it in this most beautiful setting. It turned out to be a beautiful evening.