Like petrified forests, dinosaur fossils, and polyester clothing, historical villages have fallen outside the flow of time into an a-temporal zone of perfect preservation. Go for a walk where the clocks have stopped with today’s Groupon: for $9, you get two tickets for a Civil War: On the Home Front tour at Historic Roscoe Village in Coshocton (up to a $19.90 value). Student tickets are regularly available for $4.95 each.
Since Roscoe Village’s restoration, the 19th-century Ohio River and Erie Canal port town has educated and entertained visitors with a re-created 1830s period setting and village lifestyle. Costumed townspeople go about daily life in another century as customers slowly chase a guide through re-created antebellum-era buildings to observe blacksmiths, weavers, broom mechanics, and other artisans at work on tasks that were once considered mundane but now require a liberal-arts degree. An 1800s one-room-schoolhouse session (beginning at 4 p.m. throughout the summer) deeply massages contemporary mind-muscles with timeless knowledge, and old-fashioned crafts, such as candle making and weaving, are available for an extra charge to make fingers more nimble.
During the tour, cooking demonstrations fill nostrils with the scents of younger culinary traditions, awakening cravings that may direct tour-takers to The Warehouse Steak N Stein rustic restaurant or the generous cheese selection at Uncorked, a wine bar and coffee shop. Historic Roscoe Village provides free parking for visitors, and—like most jobs—the tour lasts approximately two hours and begins at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Historic Roscoe Village
The canals of Roscoe Village came swiftly to an end. In 1913, the bustling canals that serviced the small port town burst under the weight of a flood. Afterward, due to the extent of the damage and the increasing use of railroads and trains for shipping, its residents decided that the devastation wasn’t worth the repair. They packed up and left Roscoe Village for time and antiquing bears to tear apart.
In the 1960s, Edward and Frances Montgomery rediscovered the dilapidated village. They remembered it in its glory, and, anxious to give back to the community they had called home for so many years, put forth the funds to restore it to the leisurely grace it embodied in the 1830s. Now, the historic buildings are again bustling, but with artisans performing age-old trades such as broom making, blacksmithing, and avoiding scurvy. Guides further divulge historical tidbits as tour groups stroll through the village, which features dining, lodging, and shops full of handcrafted souvenirs, homemade fudge, candy, and jam. Roscoe Village also sets an old-timey backdrop for yearly festivals that include craft fairs and fundraisers.