The annual Horse Progress Days event was held in Mt. Hope, Ohio today. This is quite an event with thousands of people from all over the U.S. and even foreign countries in attendance. I got there this morning around 11am and the place was already jam packed with people. The weather was mid-70’s with low humidity, couldn’t have been any better. This was my first time at this show and I must say it is very impressive; especially the innovative farming equipment that they are designing and building today. It’s come a long way since my grandpa did farming, even if they’re still using horses. [Read more…]
Last night was our 2nd annual All Things Amish Reunion. The Facebook group ‘All Things Amish’ was co-founded by Sherri Genung and Dianna Reidenbach Bupp several years ago. Attendees were from Kentucky, Florida, Boston, and of course, Ohio. We arrived at the home of an Amish family, Jonas and Betty Yoder, near Charm, Ohio at about 5:30. Lavonne Debois, owner of Amish Heartland Tours, started us off with a quick tour of the beautiful countryside down around Becks Mills, Ohio. [Read more…]
Several days ago when I took my wife to work near Walnut Creek, Ohio I noticed an odd phenomenon on the hillside at the nursing home where she works. There were hundreds of little snow ball looking clumps on the hillside. They looked to be anywhere from a couple of inches to about a foot in diameter. The next day when I was reading the local paper I discovered that they are called “snow rollers”. I’d never seen anything like them in my lifetime. When I asked my mom about them she said it was the first time she had heard of them. Apparently they are VERY rare and it is not likely that I will see them more than once in my entire lifetime. They look pretty cool so I found some more information about them. According to Wikipedia, A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. A number of conditions must be met simultaneously in order for the little snowballs to form. I went out to Schrock’s Amish Farm to take some pictures of them. Most of them were between 3″ to 8″ but I found one that was around 12″ in diameter. According to wiki, they have been found up to 24″ in diameter.
This coming Saturday is the annual Erb reunion. My mother’s maiden name is Marie Erb. Her father was was Michael P. Erb (my grandpa). His father was Peter Erb (my great grandpa). It’s amazing how many people have lots and lots of relatives in the Amish and Mennonite cultures. Reunions are common all summer long. This one is going to be a little different. After lunch on Saturday anyone who wants to is going to be able to visit the home built by my great grandpa Peter Erb back in the early 1900’s, near Saltillo, Ohio. My mom told me approximately where the house is located, so yesterday when I was out that way, I thought I would see if I could find it.
I picked one of the houses along CR 68 where I thought it was. I drove in the lane and saw an Amish man sitting on the porch. I parked my vehicle and walked up to where he was sitting and told him I was looking for the Peter Erb home. He smiled a bit and confirmed that I had found the right place. Turns out that he, Dan Raber, had just purchased the home and property earlier this year from his father, Henry Raber. Dan and I chatted for a while and then, at my request to write a story, he took me inside the house, and throughout the property, and gave me the lowdown on the history of the place. Dan introduced me to his wife, Barbara. I was delighted at their friendliness and the warm welcome they gave me. They made me feel right at home. No, the walls couldn’t talk, but I was glad Dan could. [Read more…]
Today I attended the 12th annual Doughty Valley Steam Days. This annual event is held between Berlin and Charm, Ohio next to the Guggisberg Swiss Inn. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the various power machinery demonstrations. When I was younger I remember my grandpa Erb had a great interest in these machines. At one time he owned an old Rumely steam tractor which he was very proud of. He also had a fascination with, and worked on, other heavy equipment including draglines and bulldozers. [Read more…]