A family getaway to another time

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

You take your place among the hard wooden desks and pick up your smooth slate board for handwriting practice. By now you may be wondering if your family has somehow been transported back in time. Actually, it's just a few miles away.

Glide through time

If you and your family are eager to get far away without a long trip, then a short drive to Roscoe Village, a restored 1800s canal-era town in Coshocton, Ohio, may be just the ticket. Your kids will love meeting Rock and Fred, the huge draft horses that pull the canal boat along an original section of the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Deb Desmarais drives the horses as they pull the canal boat filled with travelers. She said that families like to visit with the horses after the canal boat ride. "[Families] also enjoy seeing all the wildlife along the boat ride, such as deer, muskrats, turtles, eagles, great blue herons and even snakes," Desmarais said.

When you take the Canal Town journey tour in Roscoe Village, your family can visit with the rugged village blacksmith, who uses old-fashioned tools and fire to demonstrate the forging techniques that were used long ago. You'll also meet an 1800s doctor, the weavers who work on traditional looms in the craftsman's house, and even participate in an old-fashioned school lesson.

Back to the one-room school

Stacie Stein often portrays the schoolteacher. She said the school is a favorite stop for children since they get to see what school was like in the 1800s. During the reading lesson, students get to read from the old-fashioned McGuffey's Readers. "Every-body takes turns reading from the book and then we talk about the moral of the story," said Stein. "Every story in the McGuffey's Reader has a lesson to it."

During the writing lesson, "students" practice writing on the slate boards and then do a few arithmetic problems.

The teacher also may conduct an old-fashioned spelling bee. "We have the younger children spell the simpler words and the adults get the tougher ones," said Stein. "So the kids aren't afraid to participate. The adults might be, though! But we try to make it fun for everyone."

Shopping and dining

For added family fun in Roscoe Village, a variety of unique shops and restaurants are open seven days a week. The Warehouse Steak n' Stein Restaurant is a favorite for family dining. If you're ready to leave the hectic pace of the modern world, a trip to Historic Roscoe Village may be just what your family needs this summer.

You could win a travel package worth $375!

Winners will experience two fun-filled days and nights in Coshocton, including lodging, attraction tickets, gift cards, dining and more, courtesy of the Coshocton County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Enter now.

If you go

Historic Roscoe Village

Historic Roscoe Village: Free admission to the Village
  • Canal Town Journey: Adults $9.95; students $4.95; family $29.95
  • Hands-on canal-era activities: $2 per person, per craft
  • Tours offered Tuesday Sunday (closed Mondays)

The Historic Roscoe Village visitor center is located at 600 N. Whitewoman St., along state Route 16, near the intersection of U.S. 36 in Coshocton.

Call the visitor center at (800) 877-1830, (740) 622-7644, or visit www.roscoevillage.com.

For more information about Coshocton, such as lodging, attractions, shopping and events, visit www.visitcoshocton.com.

Monticello III canal boat

Complete your experience of life in the 1800s by taking a ride on the nearby Monticello III horse-drawn canal boat.

  • Tickets: $7 for adults; $4 for students; age 4 and under are free
  • Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tuesday - Thursday: 1- 3 p.m. (Boat departs on the hour). Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 1- 5 p.m. (Boat departs on the hour). Closed Mondays

For Canal Boat information, contact the Coshocton City and County Park District at (740) 622-7528, e-mail info@coshoctonlakepark.com, or visit www.coshoctonlakepark.com.

The Monticello III canal boat is located at 23253 state Route 83 N. in Coshocton.

Jan Myers is a freelance writer who lives in Coshocton with her husband, Alan. She is the mother of Maxx, 14, and Maggie, 9.