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Waynesville Ohio - (Oh antique shops/ Ohio's most haunted towns) PDF Print E-mail

Waynesville Ohio - a little slice-of-life-town where old-world
charm is reborn with the unusual & mysterious appeal
of antiques and ghosts!



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From what many area shops and small independent business owners tell us, the focus of their shopping culture is placed on what is unique and one-of-a-kind, whether that be homemade food or clothing or the showcasing of hand-crafted items that speak to a special kind of artistry as the most highlighted feature of their business. The other attraction factor includes the merging of the old with the new, celebrating new small businesses, but still honoring and embracing the rich history from which they were born. One such area known for its independence and alternative, yet retro/ historical appeal, is none other than the colorful little village of Waynesville, Ohio.

Check out the video link to how fantastic this town really is here: Waynesville

These businesses flourish despite a weakened economy due to how there is a community spirit here that unites and uplifts the merchants as well as their families, friends and customers.  That kind of support system is often witnessed throughout the community all year long, as these folks join together for special events like fundraisers, street sales during seasonal shopping times, (Waynesville’s Sauerkraut fest is a keen example), and other similar occasions.

As business owners and entrepreneurs – even the ones who work from their home and ‘virtual’ offices, and as everyday people out here just trying to live and make it – these small towns and their business communities give us something a little more to look forward to; they help us consumers have better options than the standard purchases that are often ‘made in China’ or overseas somewhere.

These ‘other’ options may be necessary to entertain when we are in a pinch or when we need that convenience for something quick ‘on the way to or home from work’, etcetera, but patronizing these bigger businesses on a regular basis doesn’t help fuel our American economy the way shopping locally does.

Historical Waynesville, Ohio – an area known to the Tri-state as the 'Antiques Capital of the Midwest' - is the best place to find the odd and the elegant, along with that little knick-knack stuff you can’t and won’t find anywhere else for your home decor.

The antiques are amazing of course, from primitive home accessories to old traditional furniture pieces that date back to the 1800's, but there is so much more to this town than its antiques. There are places where you can be married in a unique and romantic wedding chapel (see The Secret Garden); there are eclectic and diverse shops that sell all kinds of fun and interesting domestic treasures for your home (like Lilly's Corner); and there are the destination furniture stores that sell unique and home-made, hand-crafted furniture like the kind Benner's Colonial Traditions creates). Fortunately, there are plenty of little cottage-like boutiques that offer products or services which are distinctly their own, as no other mass produced 'duplicates' exist! 

The chief reason, however, which underscores why people love to shop here is due to the one trait all these 'indie' businesses share in common, and that is friendlier services. Customer service here tends to be unlike what the bigger companies offer, where more often than not, you are treated like ‘a number’ instead of a person with individual consumer needs all your own.                              

According to the current census, last updated in 2010, there were 2,834 people, 1,128 households, and 761 families residing in the village of Waynesville. Older than the state of Ohio itself, the village of Waynesville offers a fascinating combination of history and culture as it developed in southwestern Ohio.

As a microcosm of our American heritage with its dreams and accomplishments, Waynesville is a great place to raise a family or start a small business. Its founder, Samuel Heighway, founded Waynesville in 1797 and thought his town would become the capital of the Northwest Territory. His particular dream never materialized. But Waynesville did grow up to be one of the most historically unique tourist spots in Southern Ohio.

Famous for being somewhat haunted (especially noteworthy here is The Hammel House for its strange spirit 'sightings'), many folks interested in the paranormal love to visit Waynesville due to the ghost stories and urban legends of the mysterious and the mystical. In fact, some of Waynesville's past residents can't seem to depart their beloved hometown, perhaps explaining why the Village is named "The most haunted Village in Ohio" in author Chris Woodyard's "Haunted Ohio" books.

In their monthly summer ghost tours, tour guides will recount stories that defy explanation, some linked to historically based legends from the area’s unique and fascinating past. All of these sightings and experiences have been described by Main Street residents, shop owners and visitors – some even occurring during earlier tours. History buffs will enjoy tales of the 215 year-old Village’s famous and infamous personalities.

Go to to reserve and purchase your tickets for this intriguing tour!  In the fall, Halloween time is the perfect season for this kind of experience as well. Throughout the month of October, the Museum at the Friends Home culls the most fascinating and true stories of area lore to delight visitors of all ages during tours of downtown Waynesville and the Quaker Hill area.

Each one-hour stroll highlights fascinating, historically based legends from the area's unique past based on first and second-hand accounts of experiences that defy explanation.  A self-guided tour of the Museum at the Friends Home is included after the tour. The cost is $12 per adult or child 12 or older, and $5 per child under 12. Call the Museum at 513-897-1607 for more info or to book tours.

For the ultimate ghost seeker or ghost lover, there is a lot more! The Hammel House and Museum also offer a Ghost & Goblet dinner and tour - tour guides from the Museum and dinner will be at one of Waynesville's most haunted buildings with ghost stories between the dinner courses.  Call 513-897-3779 for reservations or information.

Waynesville shoppers can also take advantage of a ‘Passport Program’ whereby a shopping card is given to the shopper and along their shopping trail, if they purchase a certain amount of merchandise from participating retailers to fill up their passport/card, their name will be entered into a drawing that may be chosen to win $500 as a Grand prize!  Other winners will receive a Waynesville getaway, with smaller prizes being awarded as well. For a list of shops who are participating in this special program, visit this website: 


- By Kaitlyn Karol (with some material courtesy of Waynesville website)





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