Whether we live in a big city, the suburbs, a small town, or in the country, we tend to travel the same routes day after day, rarely deviating from our comfortable, well-worn paths. We get used to the same sights and sounds and forget there is something different, interesting, or awe-inspiring, just minutes away. This summer, as I scouted sites for our Hometown Scavenger Hunt, I was reminded of how easy it is to live and work just miles from beautiful landscapes, interesting buildings, significant historical sites, and unique resources, without ever realizing they are so close and accessible. I was also reminded of how energizing and inspiring it is to get out and about to explore and happen upon unexpected pleasures.
One of my favorite places to explore during my 120-mile scouting trek was the area in the southern part of Wayne County, near and around Abington. I keep thinking how pretty it must be there this time of year, as the leaves begin to change color. I also keep remembering the fresh, hot, homemade apple pie that was offered to me at the old Abington General Store, at the corner of Abington Pike and Pottershop Road. I think I need to make another trip there soon to see the fall colors and sit inside the store, near their potbelly stove, or out front in a rocking chair, and eat that pie with a cup of hot coffee. After my treat I would browse the antiques and collectibles in the quaint store, which has been in business for over 125 years (in a structure which is c. 1840s). Abington General Store Hours are Mon.-Sat. 8-4, and you can call 765.855.3706 for their menu and special hours for serving food and pies.
If you go to experience this perfect fall-like activity for yourself, you should also visit some of the other beautiful sites nearby, ones I visited during my scouting trip this summer. West of Abington, off Pottershop Road at Abington Township and Chapel Roads, I was awe-struck by the most beautiful old chapel, surrounded by a lovely cemetery, rolling fields and dense woods. The brick Doddridge Chapel, with its tall, white steeple and stained glass windows, looks like something out of a movie. I can imagine having a small romantic wedding, a harvest picnic, or family pictures taken there. I am sure history lovers and genealogy buffs would love to wander through the gravestones that date back to the early 1800’s, including markers for Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans.
The drive back east on Pottershop Road was breathtaking in the summer and should be even more beautiful this fall, with its panoramic views of the Whitewater Valley. I drove back east through Abington to US 27, turned left then took a quick right onto Esteb Road, where I saw beautiful old farms and homes. The steep and winding, stone wall-lined drive to the historic Elkhorn Cemetery is located on the left, just over the stream. It’s another great resource for genealogists and history buffs, or those who just want to walk outdoors in the autumn splendor. It’s one of Indiana’s oldest cemeteries dating back to 1806. Visit Waynet.org for more information and images of the area.
For more southern Wayne County beauty, continue north on Esteb Road, turn right on Beeson Road, right on Straightline Road, then left on Boston Road, to Boston, Indiana, where you’ll find one of Wayne County’s artistic treasures, Magaws of Boston. In an interesting Arts & Crafts style home at 5774 State Road 227, the Magaws create unique, contemporary metal and wood sculptures for gardens, interiors, and businesses; they are nationally and internationally known. If you want to browse their studio and see their one-of-a-kind sculptures, you will need to call ahead for an appointment — 765.935.6170.
To make this a full-day’s trip, you can first visit Dougherty Orchard and Historic Centerville before you head south to Abington. Dougherty Orchard is the oldest family-owned orchard in Indiana and is located off Washington Road (north of US 40/National Road and south of I-70), halfway between Cambridge City and Centerville. While there you can pick your own apples, eat caramel apples or drink cider, visit their petting zoo, and purchase produce, jams & jellies, and gift items. Centerville is home to the amazing Warm Glow Candle Outlet, Webb’s Antique Mall, other antique shops, and Scott Shafer Stoneware Pottery, and its Main Street is lined with unique historic structures, including the home of Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s Civil War Governor.
For more information about this fall journey in Wayne County, contact the Wayne County Convention & Tourism Bureau’s Welcome Center at 765.935.8687 or 800.828.8414, or visit us at www.visitrichmond.org.