My Town Destination: Minerva, OH Carroll, Stark, and Columbiana Counties
Trip Type: Weekend Trip
Date of Visit: 4/25/19-4/26/19
Town Ambassador/Contact: Denise Freeland Phone: 330-868-7979 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Driving onto Market Street’s brick road in Minerva, you are taken back to another time. A time when life was slower, when people said hello to each other on the streets and frequented shops downtown. Minerva is so picturesque, that upon arrival you cannot wait to park and explore the little shops lining Market and the surrounding streets. Minerva is about 15 miles from Canton, Ohio, and ninety minutes Southeast of Cleveland. Making Minerva a great road trip destination for Ohioans and surrounding states.
Better Beerlieve It
The village of Minerva has a population of about 3,700 residents, and those residents are big supporters of their town. Recently, the village has been investing in revitalization, receiving grant funding from organizations like the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership. All seemed like good timing for the local brewery- Sandy Springs Brewing Company to set up shop. Sandy Springs has an incredible story. Run by husband and wife team Andy and Amanda Conrad, there is a reason they ended up in an anchor location of Minerva.
Originally the couple started their careers in physical therapy. Wanting to see the country, they traveled west for three years in a camper to see all they could. During this time they started investigating small town breweries, and discovered their passion for the business. Once they moved back to Minerva, they decided to open a brewery in their family barn on Sandy Springs road.
In what seemed only a tragedy at the time, the barn burned down, leaving a void in the dream. But in stepped the Chamber of Commerce, and over the next year with the help of family and friends, Andy and Amanda began to renovate the space on the corner of Market and the Historic Lincoln Highway (route 30). The iconic location used to be The Standard Oil Gas Station started in 1910, and is now the Sandy Springs Brewing Co. The location has unique charm from elements that were salvaged from the barn including: a pulley system front and center behind the bar, and the foundation stones used for the fire ring. You can feel the labor of love when you come to the Sandy Springs Brewing Company, it has a charm all its own. For more information click here.
Breweries Helping Small Towns
The Story of Sandy Springs Brewing Company, and the growth of Minerva are intertwined. The brewing industry is rapidly growing across the country, helping small towns with anchor businesses and growth. The brewing community is constantly helping the movement, as Amanda Conrad stated: “when we began our business, other breweries in the area helped us with every aspect, we are like one big family.” From local publications to the New York Times (read article here), communities are taking notice of the impact breweries are having on communities. You can read more on the effects of breweries on small towns here.
Great Plans with The Great Outdoors
There are several pluses for quality of life in Minerva. The local grocery- Kishman’s IGA, is within walking distance for many residents. Minerva’s community planning built the elementary school, YMCA and Library all on the same location to work together and share resources. But a huge plus to any small town’s quality of life is its outdoor spaces. Minerva stands out with outdoor diversity within short distances to outdoor activities.
Located just minutes from Downtown is the innovative Edgewater Air Park. This golf course turned air park has big plans for building model planes and drones. Creating a truly unique outdoor recreational space for county residents. To see what the park entails check out their You Tube channel here. The Great Trail Golf Course is another great outdoor space listed on the Registry for Historic Places, and also offers lodging. Its serene beauty draws golfers from all over for getaways, special events, or just a day to unwind. The entrance to the course is marked with a historical marker where The Great Trail (the main trail between French Fort Duquesne and Fort Detroit) passed in Colonial Times.
The Minerva Sportsman’s Club is located just minutes from downtown, and has been in operation since 1951. It has over 40 acres located on the Sandy Creek. The Sportsman’s Club has embraced the community, and offers memberships as low as $50! An incredible resource to enjoy the space for recreational opportunities including: shooting, trapping and fishing. It is a unique and beautiful space to have right in the heart of Minerva.
In addition, Stark Parks are adding to the outdoor resources. Working on a plan to truly put Minerva on the map for outdoor enthusiasts. For the past two decades, Stark Parks have been working on converting old rail lines into trails, and connecting to trails in surrounding counties. In all, the trail system will span over 300 miles, making the Minerva area a hiking and biking destination. There are already many parts of the trails open. Make sure to pick up the Minerva Connector Trail that takes you through beautiful Municipal Park on Sandy Creek. To read more about the trails click here.
History, Gold and Monsters
Whether you’re a treasure or monster hunter, Minerva can indulge your interests. In August of 1978, there was a call to a house on Lincoln street. Reports included rocks being thrown at the house, footprints, and sightings of something large and hairy. The family who called the police thought it may be hermit living in the woods, but further investigation shown this creature was not human. The legend of the Minerva Monster began. Once an investigation was underway many other reports came forward. Most were harmless, but its believed the creature harmed or killed a German Shepherd. Watch this great video produced by Twisted Tree Productions to learn more about the Minerva Monster and draw your own conclusions!
Gold in Minerva Ohio?
For years treasure hunters have been showing up in Minerva, but why? The legend goes back to the French-Indian war. The French burned down their fort at occupied Fort Duquesne, and fled from the British in anticipation of a battle. Supposedly, ten men loaded up their gold on pack horses on the trail to Fort Detroit. After several days on the trail, the British were spotted, and the gold quickly buried with supposed clues to mark the spot. Click here to read what happened next! Want to know more about the Minerva Gold? Local historian and business owner Roger Bartley, wrote a great book about the events you can check out here.
Ever had a Dum Dum sucker? The packaging used to be made in Minerva, as well as several other recognizable brands. To learn more about the legends and history of Minerva, make sure to check out the Minerva Area Historical Society at the Haas Museum. The Haas Museum is located on Market Street in another great historical building, donated by Arthur and Odessa Haas.
Inns and Institutions
It seems like every small town has unique old buildings that capture your attention and your imagination. It’s wonderful when you visit a town that has invested resources in these institutions, and brings them back to life. The Hart Mansion is literally and figuratively in the “heart” of town. Setting on top of the Hill overlooking all of Market Street; the Hart Mansion was a residence from the 1860’s when built, until recently when it was turned into a restaurant in 2008. Now offering fine dining, the location itself is worth the stop. Make sure to walk upstairs to have a drink in the unique bar, and don’t forget to save room for their incredible desserts!
The noteworthy Inn on this trip was the BQ. The BQ (Brewer’s Quarters) Is part of Sandy Springs Brewing Company. Located one door down from the brewery on the top floor is a beautifully remodeled loft. This space has all the features you would love to see in a downtown loft-the exposed brick, large windows, high ceilings, and direct access to downtown happenings. During renovations the owners even uncovered the hotel mural on the brick wall, which is original to the building. The space has all the latest amenities with a fun brewery twist! Decorated with keg night stands, beer soaps, and even a tap in your room, the BQ stands out for must see stays.
The Unique, Interesting, Yours of Minerva!
There are several great places to eat and shop in Minerva. Here are a few you don’t want to miss. The Market Street Art Spot, is not just an art gallery, in fact, it has some of the most unique and interesting gifts I have ever seen in a gift shop! The Art Spot hosts seven resident artists at a time, displaying their work and unique gifts. This is one of those great places you remember when you visit. You get to experience art from the local area, and have a shopping experience that is uniquely Minerva. You also bring back a story with your gift.
While making your travel plans make sure to look into performances at the historic Roxy Theatre. Now run by the Chamber of Commerce, The Roxy is becoming a local hot spot for great performances. While shopping downtown stop in at Que Pasa for amazing Mexican cuisine! If you’re looking for a great steak, check out the Normandy Inn, but save room for dessert. Whether you stop in, or drive through- you have to get a cinnamon roll from Minerva Classic 57!
With its unique brick paved streets, new businesses embracing the historic charm, and residents blazing trails for progress, Minerva is quickly becoming a small town destination. Make sure to make Minerva part of your small town travels!
MTT Antique and Market Finds
Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This can include Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! Here are some great MTT Antique and Market Finds from Minerva.
Minerva Dairy and Kishma’s IGA- Make sure to stop at Kishman’s to purchase award winning butter made right in Minerva.
Yoder’s Country Market and Deli– Right on the Lincoln Highway. Stop in for a great lunch, and shop their bulk food and specialty gifts and furniture. This place has some of the best sourdough bread!
My Town Today has started a referral section of each article. It’s based on the fun of visiting a town, and finding out what town the majority of its citizens would recommend for My Town to visit next.
The referral for this entry is: Carrollton, OH. Stay tuned for My Town Today to pop up there soon.
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