This past year, I had the pleasure of being asked to join in on a three county, 3-day Media Fam Tour with four other influencers. Our first day of touring included Downtown Cambridge and surrounding areas in Guernsey County. Dixie Lacy, Sales Manager at the Cambridge Guernsey County Visitor and Convention Bureau kept us moving with a full day’s itinerary. Our adventures included a glass museum and factory, a famous pie, a visit to a chocolate shop, a tour of an outdoor theater, shopping time, then finishing the day at Salt Fork Lodge, where we enjoyed dinner, entertainment and engaging speakers. Although we spent a full day exploring the area, I found I needed to navigate my way back two more times to Downtown Cambridge. The area offers so much history, beautiful architecture, small town shopping, and a local bakery that will make your mouth water. Even after my additional visits, I have to say that there is still so much more I need to explore in the county. including hiking a few of the trails at Salt Fork State Park.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart. and try to keep it all the year.
I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future ~ Charles Dickens
The above words never ring truer than describing Cambridge, one of Ohio’s most charming small towns.
The Road that helped build a nation.
In 1828, the construction of the “National Road” (today known as US 40 and our nation’s first highway) arrived in Downtown Cambridge, creating opportunity for the town’s growth. Soon thereafter, Cambridge began to flourish. After the Civil War, factories began to appear and around 1850, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Cleveland & Marietta Railroad carved paths through the community. By the late 19th century, the mining of local natural gas and oil deposits brought pottery and glass-making companies to the area.
Pictured above is one of the original National Road, Route 40 markers. On one side the marker noted how far a traveler had come and on the other side it marked how far till the next town.
MyOhioFun Road Trip Notes:
If you would like to learn more about the National Road I suggest you visit the
National Road/Zane Grey Museum.
8850 East Pike, Norwich, OH 43767
800.752.2602 | ohiohistory.org/nationalroad
As part of our three day media tour our group also visited the National Road/Zane Grey Museum. To read more click here.
For those who enjoy taking driving tours you can find more information about the Historic National Road tour by clicking here to view a brochure.
The History of Glass in Cambridge
Our tour began with a stop at the National Museum of Cambridge Glass, where our group was greeted by our museum guide, dressed in the period costume, ready to take us back in history to the days when the Cambridge Glass Factory was hand making some of the world’s most beautiful and highest-quality glassware.
Highlights of our tour included an original 1940’s movie made by The Cambridge Glass Company. Then part of our group was asked to help demonstrate some of the tools that were used in the glassmaking process. We were then given a tour of the vast collection of Cambridge Glass. Our guide shared information about the designs, as well as what influenced each design of the glassware. I found the “Hollywood” display fascinating. Alongside each piece of glass was a picture of the item featured in a particular movie.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CAMBRIDGE GLASS
The Cambridge Glass Company was operational between 1901 and 1958. The museum brings to life the history and the art of glass making, including original molds and tools and an extensive collection of Cambridge Glass glassware.
Every visitor to the museum can have the opportunity to dress up like a glassworker and hold original glassmaking tools; Step back in time to the 1920s in Cambridge; Experience the glass etching process by doing pencil rubbing; Marvel at the thousands of pieces of beautiful Cambridge Glass that are on display in the museum; and shop the glass gift shop.
136 s. 9TH St., Cambridge, OH 43725
740.432.4245 | cambridgeglassmuseum.org
Open April – October; Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-4pm; Sunday Noon – 4pm.
Admission: $5 | Seniors and AAA $4 | Children under 12 FREE.
Parking: FREE | Handicapped accessible.
Gift Shop is on the premises.
The Art of Glass Making Continues.
Today at Mosser Glass you can take a free guided tour of a working glass factory. Watch the glass making process close-up. Feel the heat from the ovens and watch a team of glassmakers work in unison to create various articles of glassware. It’s amazing to watch how each piece is fired and formed.
Then tour the final inspection and packing area, before heading to the showroom where you can view many of the finished products and purchase your own Mosser Glass piece or pieces for yourself, or as a gift.
9279 Cadiz Road, Cambridge, OH 43725
740.439.18247 | mosserglass.com
Glass Factory Tours – Monday -Friday 8am – 9:30 am and 10:45 am – 2pm
Showroom – Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
(located approximately ¼ West, of I-77, Exit 47.
Bob Cratchit finds his way to Downtown Cambridge.
Every holiday season, with the help of the numerous Dickens Village volunteers and area businesses, Downtown Cambridge is transformed into a Dickens Victorian Village. Life-sized, handmade Dickens characters wearing various pieces of vintage clothing are placed throughout the town. Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, as well as other Dickens characters, help create the Village scenes throughout Downtown.
Travelers from all over come to view the towns beautiful display of figurines, shop the local stores, take a carriage ride, listen to carolers, and just take in the magic of a Dicken’s holiday.
Not to be outdone by the town’s Dickens characters and scenes, the Historic Guernsey County Courthouse comes to life each evening during the holidays, showing off its thousands of twinkling holiday lights that are all set to Christmas music. A truly magical holiday time. Bring a chair if you want to just sit back and enjoy the show.
MyOhioFun Road Trip Notes:
The Dickens Village is on display daily from early November through the first of January. The Dickens Village Welcome Center is open during the season. Costumed volunteers will great you and answer any questions you may have. A walking tour brochure, as well as holiday souvenirs, can also be found at the Welcome Center.
Today, the town of Cambridge opens its arms every year to hundreds of visitors and tour groups in search of small-town charm, unique shopping, and delicious experiences. With so many wonderful places to explore, Guernsey County will be welcoming guests to the area for a long time.
THE DELICIOUS SIDE OF GUERNSEY COUNTY
Little puffs of goodness is what I call their glazed donut centers. Really? Did they have to make them so darn good? Since 1925, this local bakery has been creating baked goods from scratch. Donuts, breads, cakes, pies, pastries, cupcakes, and more. From the moment you enter this bakery, your mouth starts to water. Kennedy’s Bakery has a huge local and regional following, as well as quite a social fan base. The word is getting out.
MyOhioFun Road Trip Notes: Make sure you stop early for the best selection. Some of our favorite bakery selections include the glazed donut centers, their English Muffin bread, raised donuts powdered, and their Cinnamon Crispies. If you need coffee with your donut, no worries you can purchase a cup at the bakery.
1025 E Wheeling Ave, Cambridge, OH 43725
740-432-2301 | kennedysbakery.com
NOTHING BUT CHOCOLATE
There is no confusion here. This small business carries “nothing but” handcrafted small batches of chocolates. A perfect road trip stop if you love all things chocolate and delicious. Amanda, the owner and self-proclaimed Chief Chocoholic, really loves what she does. The day of our groups visit, she shared how she makes her chocolate and even had the “chocolate wheel” running in the chocolate creation area of her business. Of course, I couldn’t leave without increasing my chocolate stash with a few of her signature items, including a Snapping Turtle, a bag of their Chocolate Covered Pretzels, a Bobcat Claw, and a Cashew Cluster. I am happy to report that the chocolate was smooth, creamy, and pleased my chocolate cravings.
Location: 1218 Southgate Pkwy, Cambridge, OH 43725
Oh my, those pies! For over 90 years, Theo’s has been serving home-cooked meals and their famous “Mile High” pies. Theo’s bake their pies daily on the premises. This Downtown Cambridge restaurant serves everything from burgers to pasta to salads to an Oriental Chicken Stir-fry. And if you love hot dogs, Theo’s Famous Coney Island Sauce includes mustard, onions, amd their coney sauce. Don’t forget to check out their daily specials. But no matter what you order, you’d better leave room for a slice of one of their pies. Pie flavors include chocolate cream, chocolate peanut butter, Dutch apple, lemon meringue, Oreo, custard, banana, cherry, and peanut butter. Did we tell you they are “Mile High” pies?
MyOhioFun Road Trip Notes: Theo’s is open Monday-Saturday and Closed on Sunday. If you are looking to bring a group to the area, Theo’s offers catering and has a separate area in the restaurant for events.
632 Wheeling Ave, Cambridge, OH 43725 | 740-432-3878
This market is growing fast. Currently, they have four open locations around Ohio, and another one on its way. The town of Cambridge is lucky to have one of these markets, located right in the middle of Downtown. McKenna’s offers a wonderful selection of bulk foods, snacks, local foods, artisan cheeses, various jams and jellies, relishes, unique sauces, wine, craft beer, and more. They even have a full deli, where you can order sub sandwiches, fresh salads, and even a scoop of hand-dipped ice cream. You just might want to bring your cooler.
705 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge | 740-432-0123
BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE…
History Comes to Life
THE LIVING WORD OUTDOOR DRAMA
Founded in 1975, the Living Word Outdoor Drama is nationally recognized for its production of the passion of Jesus Christ. The seasonal drama is performed outside, on a 400-foot-panoramic set that is an authentic representation of Old Jerusalem. The 2 ½ hour drama runs from mid-June till the first week of October. (In 2021, the schedule has been shortened to August-September). Additional special events are held throughout the season including the Christian rock bands event, “Crucifixed”.
Things to know before you go:
The amphitheater seats 450. Tickets can be purchased by calling 740.439.2761 or at the box-office.
There is a concession stand and gift shop on the premises.
Parking is free and hotel accommodations are located nearby.
6010 College Hill Rd, Cambridge, OH 43725 | 740-439-2761
CAN THINGS GET ANYMORE “SQUATCHIER”?
SALT FORK STATE PARK AND LODGE
Being Ohio’s largest state park, Salt Fork State Park offers plenty of outdoor adventures and places to explore. And if you believe, Salt Fork was ranked by USA TODAY as one of the Top 10 “Squatchiest” places in the U.S. To date, there have been over 35 reported sighting, so many that the Ohio Bigfoot Conference is held every year at Salt Fork Lodge. The Lodge also hosts monthly Bigfoot Night Hikes, and in the fall “Creature Weekend”. For those who study cryptozoology, Salt Fork has become a destination. If you want to go on your own hunt, the staff will be more than happy to give your directions to three so-called “hotspots”, Morgan’s Knob, Buckeye Trail, and, of course, Bigfoot Ridge.
Don’t let Bigfoot stop you from spending time at Salt Fork State Park or staying at Salt Fork Lodge. The Lodge and park are the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. There are after all thousands of acres to explore and for the golfer a top-rated 18-hole golf course.
MyOhioFun Road Trip Note: As part of our media day, we were given overnight accommodations at Salt Fork Lodge. My room consisted of two double beds and a balcony with a view of the area woods. The room was clean and came with all the amenities of a State Park lodge, including pool accessibility, a fitness center, gift shop, a restaurant and lounge, and free parking.
Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center
14755 Cadiz Road, Lore City, OH 43755 | 740-435-9000
Suggested Park side trip: The Kennedy Stone House
The ancestral home of the Benjamin Kennedy Family can be found on the grounds of Salt Fork. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For location information visit here. For the home website visit kennedystonehouse.org
Are you a person who enjoys covered bridges? You will find two of these historical structures within driving distance of downtown Cambridge. The Indian Camp Covered Bridge is circa 1867 (about 6 miles from town), and the Armstrong/Clio Covered Bridge, circa 1849 is located along the Cambridge City walking trail.
TRAIN AND TOY ENTHUSIASTS
If you love trains, a stop at the Cambridge Wooden Toy Company & Great American Steam Locomotive Museum offers a glimpse into the history of America’s Steam Locomotives. Featured in the museum are hand-carved scale models of locomotives. Being a wooden toy company, you can also view handmade toys, as well as make toy purchases.
515 Dewey Ave, Cambridge, OH 43725
NOTABLE YEARLY EVENTS:
Ohio Big Foot Conference – May
National Road Bike Show & Rib Fest – June 17, 2023
National Cambridge Classic Cruise-In – Over 200 cars and trucks show off their rides in Downtown Cambridge – August 19, 2023
Paul Bunyan Show – October 6-8, 2023
Sherlock Holmes Weekend – November 3-4, 2023
Dickens Victorian Village – November thru January
Guernsey County is not without their famous residents.
U.S. Senator and astronaut John Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio.
Famed TV & movie cowboy star Hop-along Cassidy (William Boyd) was raised in Cambridge, Ohio. You can view various Hop-along Cassidy Trail memorabilia at various locations in Downtown Cambridge.
Big Foot is said to live in Salt Fork State Park. According to the Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitor & Convention Bureau, there has been over 36 sightings reported in the park since the 1908’s. I think we can add Big Foot to the famous residence list.
MY OHIO FUN ROAD TRIP NOTES:
Before you go:
> Visit the Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitor and Convention Bureau website to view their Travel guide, request a FREE copy, and/or to check out their list of Itineraries.
> If you are planning on staying at the Salt Fork Lodge, please make reservations ahead of time.
> Most shopping, dining and accommodation locations take credit cards. There are ATM’s throughout the county.
What to bring:
A camera. Always pack a cooler for those perishables you may find along the way. Bring appropriate shoes for any outdoor hiking or adventures.
Driving miles to Zanesville:
From Akron – 100 miles
From Charleston, WV – 140 miles
From Cincinnati – 190 miles
From Cleveland – 120 miles
From Columbus – 85 miles
From Pittsburgh, PA – 110 miles
From Toledo – 220 miles
Where to stay:
You can find plenty of accommodations around Guernsey County. Chain hotels, bed & breakfasts, unique cabins, as well as camping locations. Our friends at the Cambridge Guernsey County Visitors & Convention Bureau are happy to assist you in finding the accommodations.
Want to learn more? The staff at the Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitor and Convention Bureau can help you plan your trip, find accommodations, as well as send you a FREE visitor guide. If you find yourself in town you can also stop by. There office is located in Downtown Cambridge near all the action.
627 Wheeling Ave., Suite 200, Cambridge, OH 43725
740.432.2022 | visitguernseycounty.com
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This past August, I was invited to join five other influencers for a 3-day journey through three different southeast Ohio counties. The media tour was sponsored by Guernsey-Cambridge CVB, Muskingum-Zanesville CVB, and Morgan County CVB. During our tour we visited museums, historical sites, as well as state parks. We also sampled local faire and even toured a glass factory! A lot was crammed in those 3 days, but I walked away with a whole new perspective.
I would like to thank the Cambridge Guernsey County VCB for being such a gracious host during our time in the county.
Article and photos by: D. Rock, MyOhioFun.com
Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws.
***Disclosure: The Cambridge Guernsey County VCB paid for my day of touring and overnight accommodations. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***