Roscoe Village a destination for history buffs, shoppers and more
By Sarah Allen
Life along the canals of the 1800s is something that few people can imagine nowadays — unless you happen to visit Coshocton.
That is where Historic Roscoe Village is located. There, visitors can enjoy a peek into Ohio history. Stacie Stein, the village’s education manager, described the getaway as a restored canal town.
In the 1830s, she said, the Ohio-Erie Canal was a major source of transportation for goods, and Roscoe Village was the fourth-largest port along that route in east central Ohio. Eventually, the canals became a thing of the past.
In 1969, Edward and Francis Montgomery completed restoration of the toll collector’s house. That spurred a town overhaul, Stein said.
Historic tours of the restored buildings feature artisans and interpreters throughout the year, Stein said.
Among the buildings are a doctor’s office and his home. In the latter, guests can peek into the everyday routines of the 1830s, Stein said, such as open-hearth cooking.
The home of the town weaver was built before the canal, in 1825.
The blacksmith’s shop is another popular stop along the historic tour.
“(It’s) one of our biggest draws,” Stein said.“ Working with fire, manipulating iron and steel … that’s something that really draws people.”
The print shop, where guests can see a guide “inking up the type” and then pressing it onto paper, is another opportunity to see “how things were done in the old days,” Stein said.
Along with the tour, she said, “Some folks come for the gardens we have,” and still others come to see the village’s architecture. Many of the bricks used in the buildings were made from local clay.
In addition to the stops on the tour, Roscoe Village also features a museum, several stores and three restaurants. It is set up along a public street, making it, in many ways, a merging of both the present and the past.
Certain times of the year, the village offers visitors even more to do.
During the third weekend of October, the village hosts its largest event: the Apple Butter Stirring Festival.
“It brings thousands,” Stein said of the three-day event, which includes vendors selling food and old-time crafts.
She added, “It’s really nice because the trees are all changing that time of year.”
Then, at Christmas time, the village is decorated “the way they did back then,” Stein said, with wreaths and berries.
On the first Saturday in December, there is a Christmas candle-lighting ceremony. Tours during that season include the history of Christmas traditions.
But, Stein said, whatever the time of year, a walk through Roscoe Village “takes you back in time.”
She added that less than a mile from the village, there is yet another way to journey into the past: a canal boat ride.
The ride, sponsored by the city park, gives visitors the chance to experience first-hand canal travel. The boat is pulled by a large draft horse along a fully restored mile and a half section of the Ohio-Erie Canal.
“There’s so much to see and do in our little area,” Stein said.
600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton
For more information, call 740-622-7644 or visit www.roscoevillage.com.