September 2011 Issue
Editor's Note: Making Memories
When my two now-adult daughters were young, my mother worked full-time, so she would plan special weekend trips — what she called “Magical Mystery Tours” — for the four of us. Part of the fun was trying to guess where we were headed as we set off on our journeys. These excursions predated my years at Ohio Magazine
, and now seem eerily prescient, considering how much time we devote here to finding new and interesting places to share with readers.
Ohio Village, Warthers Museum, Sauder Farm & Village, COSI — we toured them all. But the one destination that we still reminisce about is The World’s Biggest Cuckoo Clock.
This remarkable structure was located behind Alpine Alpa restaurant in Wilmot, a tiny town in the southwest corner of Stark County, near the Holmes County border. Arriving on a sunny Saturday morning in late summer, the four of us climbed a stairway behind the restaurant, paid a modest admission and seated ourselves on bleachers in front of a 23-foot-high, Swiss-gingerbread house. My daughters, ages 8 and 4, looked skeptical … but curious. Yet, as the giant clock struck the hour, animated figures began dancing to music, circling in and out of the door, and we all found ourselves charmed by this one-of-a-kind attraction.
Afterward, we had lunch in the restaurant and set out for Berlin in Holmes County, where we bought cheese, trail bologna and a small quilted wall-hanging (which, incidentally, appeared on Ohio Magazine
’s September 2008 cover, beneath a selection of Amish Country food and flowers).
In this month’s “Something for Everyone,” page 82, Senior Editor Linda Feagler asks frequent visitors to Ohio’s Amish Country for some of their memorable experiences — places where they like to eat, stay and shop, as well as encounters they’ve had with Amish people. Reading the article, I thought about our foray into Amish Country over two decades ago and wondered what became of The World’s Biggest Cuckoo Clock. With a little Web research, I discovered that after the restaurant closed in 2009, the clock was moved to Sugarcreek, where it awaits fundraising and restoration.
Making memories is one of the best things about travel, and Contributing Editor Ron Rollins’ My Ohio column on page 128 shares some vivid ones from a road trip he took with his dad several years ago. The two had a loose itinerary that left a lot of room for serendipitous discoveries as they wended their way along the Ohio River.
I’d call that a Magical Mystery Tour, too, wouldn’t you?
P.S. — We’d love to hear about unexpected sights and adventures you’ve had on your own Magical Mystery Tours of Ohio. To share them, visit our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.