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Off The Beaten Path: Shops Around Ashland

CHRISTY JOHNSON Published: November 1, 2008 2:44 PM
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ASHLAND -- The smells and sights of fall have taken over the countryside, and what better way to soak it all in then to take drive to check out some of the unique shops in the area.

Those looking to step back in time or step outside of the box should set their sights on the these destinations located around Ashland.

Olivesburg General Store, located at 4778 state Route 545, has been catering to the communities needs since 1840, owner Connie Crossen said.

And while the items the store offers has changed with the times, little else has. The floor is still the creaky wooden floor which has welcomed customers for 100 years, and the ceiling has not been replaced since 1871.

"When you walk in you feel like you are walking into the past," Connie Crossen said. "We have mirrors which were here when the store used to have a barber shop, and we have the old wooden floor and all the old tools. You just get that old time feeling here."

Crossen and her husband bought the store a little over four years ago.

The busiest time for the store is summer, when customers line out the door for some big dips of Ruggle's ice cream, which the store orders twice weekly.

"It isn't unusual for us to dip 120-130 gallons of ice cream on weekends in the summer," Connie Crossen said.

Customers may come for the store's ice cream and deli sandwiches, but they also have a wide variety of chocolate molds, over 100 cookie cutters and have specialty beers in stock which are hard to find anywhere else.

With Christmas just around the corner, Olivesburg General Store will be bringing in a special guest, Santa Claus to take pictures with children on Nov. 22 from 2-3 p.m.

After sampling delicious fare at Olivesburg General Store, head over the Creative Outlet at 226 W. Main St., Loudenville, where they carry two floors worth of Native American jewelry, arts, crafts and crystals.

"We provide a lot of customer service and we provide something that is genuinely American," owner Victoria Balsamo- Reinhard said. "We sell a lot of contemporary silver but we are known for our Indian jewelry, 75 percent of what we sell are authentic Native American items."

Balsamo-Reinhard got into the jewelry business after college. She moved to Ohio to being a career in teaching and found herself missing jewelry making so much that she decided to open Creative Outlet.

Then, about 25 years ago, Balsamo-Reinhard took a trip out west that changed her perception of life, and her vision of the store.

Creative Outlet carries pieces from many different tribes, including pieces made by the Najavo, Zuni, Hopi, Santa Domingo, Cherokee, Chippewa, Iroquois and Ojibwa tribes.

"We have a lot of people who come in and say it is like a museum upstairs," Balsamo-Reinhard said. "A lot of people say it is their favorite store, we are very blessed."

"It is one of the last of its kind in Ohio," Balsamo-Reinhard added. "If people are into native American jewelry, arts and crafts and even knowledge, this would be one of the very few places to go in Ohio. So if they want to get off the beaten path and find something native or having to do with wildlife we definitely fit that bill."

Reporter Christy Johnson can be reached at 330-287-1638 or cjohnson@the-daily-record.com.


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