Simply Sensational – The Lamplight Inn and Ohio’s Amish Country

By on November 11, 2011
The Lamplight Inn

By Prudence Lay –

Slightly south and west of Akron is Holmes County Ohio, an unassuming and little known area outside of the Ohio area. When most people think of the Amish community, they instantly think of Lancaster County, PA. What most people are unaware of is that the largest population of Amish live in Ohio – not Pennsylvania. The population of Holmes County is approximately 40,000 and 20,000 of these are Amish farmers and business people. This makes Holmes County the largest population of Amish in the world.

horse and buggy in PAOn a recent trip to Ohio to visit family, (I grew up in northern Ohio), I had the opportunity to spend a few days in this beautiful area. There are many hotels and bed and breakfast’s in the area, but my husband and I chose to stay at The Lamplight Inn in Berlin, Ohio. This beautiful and romantic B&B has a wraparound porch with rockers that overlook rolling Amish farmland. You can stretch out your eyes for miles and the view is spectacular regardless of the weather or season. The road in front of the Lamplight is very populated with buggies going by all day, and we enjoyed hearing the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves. If I closed my eyes I could almost imagine I had stepped back to a time when things moved a bit slower and everyone had time to stop and have a chat. The owners of the Lamplight Inn, Larry and Helen Wilgus, have a special way of waking everyone up in the morning. While Helen serves a lovely breakfast, Larry, an accomplished pianist and singer, will serenade you with old show tunes played on his baby grand piano.

natural sunscreen with zinc oxide

The Hillside Suite

The Crown Pointe

The Lamplight has seven lovely rooms, all with fireplaces and large bathrooms with full size baths. Six of them have king beds and one has a queen. We stayed in Crown Pointe, one of the king rooms, which was beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean. We also stayed in the Hillside Suite, which is the queen room. This room has a full kitchen and offers more privacy than the King rooms, but note that only continental breakfast is served – not the full breakfast in the dining room.

The Public Living Room

The Dining Room

While we missed the lovely breakfast served to the other guests, we enjoyed this room very much. It was very spacious and I would recommend it for those who may need a bit more room or wish a bit more privacy or the ability to prepare meals. The grounds of the Lamplight Inn are lovely – there are tulips in the spring, perennial gardens in the summer and beautiful foliage in the fall. Winter brings snow and the glow of candlelight everywhere to warm the atmosphere and your soul.

A beautiful building

As you venture out to enjoy your stay, be aware that the Amish people are very friendly and love to chat with “English”, as they call non-Amish. You will find them in the restaurants, shops and stores. They are happy to answer your questions, although they may seem a bit retiring at times. Please do not ask them to pose for a picture. This practice goes against their religious beliefs. The women are amazing cooks and I found many ladies who were more than happy to talk about cooking, gardening and canning with me.

I have included some suggestions below to get you started on your adventure in Amish Country

AMISH HEARTLAND TOURS: Daily tours with meals in private Amish homes. Choose from various tour packages. Available year round. 330 893-3248

BEHALT: Make this your first stop in Amish country. View the amazing 265-foot mural depicting Amish and Mennonite history. Open year round. CR 77, Berlin

BERLIN SHOPS: Berlin Village, walking distance from The Lamplight Inn, is filled with gift shops, galleries, restaurants, antique and craft malls. Shops in downtown Berlin typically close at 5 pm. In December, some shops observe later hours for Christmas shopping.

BREITENBACH WINE CELLARS: Sample over 35 varieties of wine.

Coblentz Chocolates

COBLENTZ CHOCOLATES: Offers over 300 different types of candy and fudge. Holmes County’s finest chocolates. Walnut Creek and Berlin

GUGGISBERG CHEESE HOUSE: Home of the original Baby Swiss Cheese. Enjoy watching cheese being made, surrounded by the beauty of Swiss buildings and beautiful flowers. SR 557, Charm

HEINI’S CHEESE CHALET & AMISH COUNTRY MALL: Free samples of 50 different Amish cheeses. Hand-dipped ice cream, bulk foods and a candy room.

Hitchin Rail for Buggies outside of Troyer County Market

HOLMES COUNTY FLEA MARKET: Located in the heart of Amish country. You’ll find Holmes county’s largest shopping experience. Open Wednesday thru Saturday during the season.

LEHMAN’S HARDWARE: Fine home furnishings from yesterday and today since 1955. Located in Kidron.

R.W. LEATHER: A shop at an Amish home offering quality leather goods at remarkably low prices. 4415 CR 114

WALNUT CREEK CHEESE: Offering a variety of jams, mustards, cheeses, smoked meats, bulk spices, ice cream, and much more.

WARTHER’S: Priceless works of art, since 1902. Carvings, button collections, knives, beautiful gardens.

WENDELL AUGUST FORGE & GIFT SHOP: Since 1923, hand crafted aluminum, bronze, and pewter. Free tours.

YODER’S AMISH HOME: Step back to the simple time and way of life. Open May 1 thru Oct. 1

We were not able to do all of the above in a couple of days, but I can personally recommend Heini’s Cheese, Coblenz Chocolates, Warther’s, Wendell August Forge, Berlin’s shops and Yoder’s Amish Home. In addition be sure to visit Miller’s Bakery, which is near Charm (ask for directions) as this is a must stop, Tis the Season, a most wonderful Christmas shop, and the Victorian House Museum in Millersburg.

Allow yourself several days to enjoy Holmes County. There is so much to enjoy and the pace is slower here. We found ourselves becoming more relaxed as the days progressed and we were sorry to leave to continue our travels. I hope to go back again one day soon and enjoy The Lamplight Inn and this beautiful bucolic countryside in another season.

The Lamplight Inn
Berlin, Ohio 44610

About Prudence Lay

With more than three decades of home interior design and international travel experience, Prudence Lay has developed a sharp eye for how to create inviting living environments and adventurous travel experiences. Currently Prudence and her family reside in Sisters.

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Simply Sensational – The Lamplight Inn and Ohio’s Amish Country