Columbiana County, Ohio — sitting right on the Ohio River — is full of history and charm. There’s red-white-and-blue bunting on Victorian and Federalist architecture, rolling hills, and red barns dotting family farms.
The area has a tradition of making fine pottery, which you’ll find vintage samples of at East Liverpool’s Pottery City Antique Mall. Learn about the pottery labels of cherished brands, past and present, at the Museum of Ceramics.
The county was a crucial stop on the Underground Railroad, the point of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s surrender, and where “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot and killed. If you’d like to leave the driving to someone else while getting the insider’s view on the area, relax and contact Pittsburgh Panorama, Inc. (email@example.com ). Owner/operator Beverly Salvatore has visited and studied all the best places to go in the area; she gives tours to visiting top-level executives, groups, and their significant others.
The Salem Historical Society Museum has exhibits of national importance, including the town’s role in the Underground Railroad and the Women’s Suffragette Movement. Trolley tours of the town are also available. The museum reserves a patio section of quirky artifacts for people to visit after-hours.
Wellsville’s River Museum has a Dickensian Old Curiosity Shop feel; each room has unusual and odd treasures. The museum houses artifacts from the capture of John Hunt Morgan which all of the South is apparently clamoring for, as well as exhibits highlighting industries like coal, that brought wealth to the area. The real treasures, however, are the volunteer curators who’ve actually worked in the fields of shipping, railroads, and firefighting, and know the stories behind the story.
East Liverpool’s Beaver Creek State Park is home to an 1800’s intact pioneer village, including the still-working Gaston’s Mill. Buy freshly milled grains, “penny” candies, and other souvenirs at the General Store, whose pot-bellied stove still serves as a community gathering place. You might even drop in on a sing-along with historically costumed musicians.
Columbiana County has a treasure trove of fresh farm produce. Restaurants in the area serve the gamut from hearty, home cooking fare to elegant luncheons. Columbiana County has an unofficial secret motto: “Nobody leaves here hungry,” and that’s absolutely true. With so many farms in the township, it’s no surprise that farm stands and farmer’s markets dot the rural roads. In either a cooperative spirit – or one of Mother Nature – many seem to feature different items than their neighbors down the road. It’s fun to check them all out, including Van Pelt in Salem, Catalpa Grove in Columbiana, and Randy’s Raisings in East Liverpool. Randy’s Raisings is also well-known for his wholesome corn maizes and his property’s view of three states.
Das Dutch Village is a family-friendly resort-like village with a dinner theater running original, award-winning shows, a casual home cooking restaurant, a bakery, a Mennonite-style bulk store, overnight accommodations, and more.
Has it been decades since someone made you fresh, old- fashioned bonbons? Heggy’s in Alliance, Ohio, a family-owned candystore makes the old-school chocolate haystacks, butter creams, and pretzel clusters that you might have thought were lost forever.
The Spread Eagle Tavern is a secret tucked away on historic Plymouth Street in Hanoverton. Well, as secret as a place can be that dates from 1837 and hosts the kind of movers and shakers that make the White House their home. Don’t miss the Hungarian peppers stuffed with chicken with a rich cream sauce. The duck and apricot salad starter is tender, flavorful, and would make a chic lunch all by itself. Also, the pineapple cream cake is exceptional, like a cheesecake and pineapple cream by, if there were such a thing.
Imagine being smack in the middle of all that and then being able to experience the beach night life. Mark’s Landing is a restaurant/entertainment complex on Guilford Lake offers all that and more. You can rent a pontoon outside, sit on the deck and listen to live music, and enjoy frozen blended drinks. They go way beyond the expected beachy-bar food, too. Check out unique recipe specials, like Frangelico chicken with pecans, raisins, and Frangelico cream sauce.
Adrian’s in Calcutta, Ohio will make you feel right at home with their family recipes and home cooking. They’re in a strip mall, but they may as well be in grandma’s kitchen with their expertise in comfort foods and baked goods. Homemade lima bean soup has huge beans and a hearty bite of black pepper. Adrian’s ham loaf – one of the local specialties — is tender, not too salty ham cooked like we’d cook scrapple, topped with Swiss cheese, grilled pineapple, and cradled in sourdough bread.
T-Bones is located in the East Liverpool Motor Lodge. The name “Motor Lodge” is much too throwaway for all that’s going on here, including the dining. After all, when you hear the term, don’t you think of vending machines and machine ice for dinner? T-Bones recently changed its menu to be more wallet friendly, but you can still get a great big steak, such as the half-pound cut for $12.99, along with homemade chips with changing different seasonings, fried fresh zucchini, live music in the complex, and a cool retro lounge.
No matter how road-weary you are, Columbiana Inn Bed & Breakfast offers great sanctuary. The loft room is the whole top floor, with kitchenette, soothing colors, and heated towel rack. They employ rotating guest chefs to give guests a different flavor when they visit, but no matter what, local bounty is always incorporated into the meals. They make their own granola, use local bacon, scones from the British gift store next door, garden parsley, Amish products from Van Pelt’s, and brown eggs from a friend.
Calcutta B & B feels like home away from home, if your home has a fitness room, indoor Jacuzzi built for 5, and outdoor firepit. Each room has a different decorative theme; all are comfy. The innkeepers have culinary school grads in the family that inspire their gourmet breakfasts. Their French toast with braised fresh blueberries and pecans is tender, juicy, and satisfying.