My Town Destination: Bellefontaine and Logan County, OH
Trip Type: Weekend Trip
Date of Visit: 10/22/19- 10/23/19
Town Ambassador/Contact: Haley LaBatt Phone: 937.599.5121 email: email@example.com
Welcome to Bellefontaine and Logan County, located in the West Central part of Ohio, Logan County has several great small towns and hidden gems to offer. After visiting Bellefontaine, it’s a town you will always remember when thinking of an idyllic small town. It has an iconic courthouse square, beautiful old buildings, incredible walkability, and unique stores and eateries. There are assets to Bellefontaine that make it valuable not just to visit, but to live, such as its Historic Holland Theatre, recently renovated and reopened in October of 2019. And while downtown, you’re also within walking distance to several pharmacies and grocery options. There is even a Family Fun Center (Putt and Play Golf Center) right in the heart of downtown. In addition, there is a loft project in the works for additional downtown living.
All of these ingredients are perfect for living in a small town, but not feeling like you have to leave to get what you need. But Bellefontaine isn’t just making changes for visitor appeal and quality of life, they are creating cases for success, through models specifically designed for small town business commerce.
A Small Nation Begins in Bellefontaine
Every small town has aspects that make it unique, interesting, and intimate, and it’s what you would expect from a small town atmosphere. But it’s the people and the passion that truly make a town what it is, and in Bellefontaine there are a special group of passionate people who took their love of the town to another level. Small Nation “develops places, spaces
and dreams for small towns and small town entrepreneurs across the country”(https://smallnationstrong.com/). They do this with a unique approach to small town business to not only help them be successful, but thrive through their Hustle Hard Approach.
My Town had the pleasure of spending time with Founder/CEO Jason Duff, who not only showed My Town the investment Small Nation has made in Bellefontaine, but their vision for helping small towns succeed. Small Nation has honed in on success with an incubator business model. It’s specifically made to help small businesses thrive and interact with the community (a great example of this is Bellefontaine’s Main Street Marketplace). The investment required for a business to do well in an old charming building is sometimes cost prohibited, but Small Nation proves that there are ways to invest in your town, with a model that make good sense. See video here. The investments made in Bellefontaine by Small Nation are numerous, and now other small towns are seeking Small Nation for consultation. To see case studies from Small Nation and to learn more about them click here.
Inns and Institutions
It seems like every small town has unique old buildings that capture your attention and your imagination. It is wonderful when you’re able to visit a town that has invested resources in these institutions, and brings them back to life. In Logan County you will find these investments at The Logan County History Center, The Holland Theatre, and Bobbi’s Bungalow.
What an incredible resource in Logan County. The Logan County History Center has a beautiful museum cataloguing and displaying Logan County’s Industrial, Railroad, Native American, Famous Locals, and Underground Railroad History. The newer expansion (made to look like an iconic Logan County Roundhouse) is attached to the historical Orr Mansion-built by the local lumber mill tycoon William Orr. Check out the website for the stats on all the amazing wood types and embellishments in the mansion, it’s fascinating! There’s also a genealogical society located here to track your family history in Logan County.
The Holland Theatre
The Holland Theatre has been entertaining the Logan County community since 1931, and has just undergone a huge renovation, opening it’s doors in October 2019. This beacon of the arts in Bellefontaine is a true gem. Their mission to improve quality of life by providing access to the arts, is alive and well.
Heading from Bellefontaine to West Liberty you will find Bobbi’s Bungalow. Located within walking distance to everything in downtown West Liberty, and less than ten miles from downtown Bellefontaine, Bobbi’s Bungalow is a great value! The bungalow is a renovated 1920’s home with a great back porch, beautiful original hardwood floors, built ins, and a gorgeous bathroom. The home is also adorned with hand picked furnishings from the 1920’s and 30’s. It’s great for couples or families as it has two bedrooms, but also cozy enough for one. Bobbi’s Bungalow is a fun and economical way to add charm and memories to your stay in West Liberty or Bellefontaine. My Town loved staying here, and walking to the shops of West Liberty.
MY TOWN’S DELICIOUS AND DELECTABLE OF Bellefontaine
There are wonderful choices in Bellefontaine when it comes to great food. From pub style dining to coffee shops, Here a few My Town Picks:
Creative, Clever, and Delicious is how My Town describes Brewfontaine! Located in the building that housed another local favorite – Johnson’s Restaurant in the 50’s, Brewfontaine serves craft beer and wine on tap, but what really makes it stand out is the food! Hand crafted creative sandwiches made with premium ingredients, and served with Mumford’s Potato Chips (another local favorite located in Urbana). My Town suggests pairing a signature sandwich with a local Bellefontaine beer from Roundhouse Depot Brewing Company. This is another My Town Must, not just because of the awesome beer and food, but for Brewfontaine’s commitment to small town collaborations!
Another great eatery in Bellefontaine is The World Famous Six Hundred Downtown, run by five time World Pizza Champion Brittany Saxton, Six Hundred Downtown delivers with hand spun dough fired in a brick oven(which starts at 600 degrees). Brittany has also been on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games. My Town got the Tonto – spicy, a little sweet, and that perfect crispy yet chewy dough. A can’t miss if visiting or passing through Bellefontaine. Pair with a local Ohio beer, and finish with a Cannoli!
Here are a few more finds you don’t want to miss:
Sweet Aromas– The name says it all, but “sweet” is not just about coffee, it also describes their location and baked goods. Great vibe here, whether you’re getting coffee to go or staying to get some work done on your laptop.
Rise Bakehouse – Located in The Main Street Marketplace, this is a wonderful spot to get at meal quick, or hang out in the cozy common area. My Town got the Broke Benedict, it has hollandaise baked in, and is on a sourdough English Muffin.
The Unique, Interesting,Yours, of Logan County
What is it about a town that makes it special? A local attraction, a family-owned business that has been there forever? A piece of history you can’t find anywhere else, or a bookstore with just the right vibe? In Logan County they have more than one entire town whose unique attributes are worth visiting. Here are a few of the Unique, Interesting, Yours of Logan County.
Welcome to the adorable town of West Liberty. When visiting Logan County you have to spend time exploring the shops of this charming small town. Located only a few miles outside Bellefontaine, West Liberty is also home to the famous Ohio Caverns (Click here to see more of My Town at Ohio Caverns), Marie’s Candies, and Piatt Castles! A super fun day trip, or make it a weekend to see all Logan County has to offer. Make sure to stop in to see Mitch at LT’s Uniquities for the 411 on where to explore! Look for an article from My Town Today on West Liberty soon.
Marie’s Candies- West Liberty
It’s hard not be excited when entering Marie’s Candies. It smells amazing, there’s beautiful packaging everywhere, and they greet you with free treats! Marie’s Candies opened in 1956, but their amazing story starts in the 40’s, and continues with the now beloved third generation run store (click here to read full story). Customers don’t come back just for the delicious homemade candy, they return because of the warm people who work there, and their dedication to hospitality. Located in West Liberty, OH in it’s iconic Depot, this is a My Town Must when visiting Logan County.
Located in the West Central part of Ohio, about 75 miles from Columbus. Indian Lake is a popular summer destination for Columbus, Ohio and surrounding communities. And is an incredible resource to have in Logan County, offering beachfront property and lakeside dining! A great place to dine is at Cranberry Resort. Offering good food, fun and relaxed atmosphere, and an amazing view of Indian Lake!
A Bit of History and Future
Indian Lake was formed from natural lakes made after the continental glaciers left Ohio. Currently Indian lake is 5,800 acres and it lies along a major avian migration route, great for nature lovers. To read more about the history of Indian Lake click here:
Indian Lake is in a wonderful stage of development, and events like the regional favorite Party at the Beach are bringing awareness to the area’s natural beauty. Stay tuned for more information on the small town’s of Indian Lake, and what they have to offer in August of 2020!
More Unique, Interesting,Yours of Logan County!
Enjoy “Agritainment Fun” with Wrangler Matt and staff at Marmon Valley Farm! Located in Logan County OH outside Bellefontaine, this is truly an experience you must have when visiting Logan County. They have great trail rides, summer camps, and events. Never been riding before? Check out this video from Wrangler Matt. Also, check out their upcoming event- A Country Christmas. If you love small town culture and values, visit Marmon Valley Farm.
Roundhouse Depot Brewing Company– A super fun find in Bellefontaine, not just for the beer, but for the location. Its location is next to the railroad tracks on Chillicothe Avenue, where the original Big Four Railroad and Roundhouse was located. Inside, the decor tells the story of the Bellefontaine Railroads. It’s a fun way to learn about the railroads, the people who ran them, and their famous roundhouse!
MTT Antique and Market Finds
Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This includes Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! In Bellefontaine and Logan County there are great Antique and Market finds everywhere you look, so below are a list of My Town Musts.
In addition, check out this great video featuring the Founder/CEO of Small Nation, Jason Duff, describing why Antique and related shops are important to small towns. Click here for video.
Jones Antiques – Kara Lynn’s – Country Friends of Ohio – LT’s Uniquities and Barnwood – Mad River Farm Market – Nest 1896– The Old Mint Antiques– The Silver Elephant– The Main Street Marketplace– The Depot– C&A Engraving and Gifts
My Town Today has started a referral section of each article. It’s based on visiting a town, and finding out what town the majority of its citizens would recommend My Town to visit next.
The referral for this entry is: Piqua, OH. Stay tuned for My Town to pop up there soon.
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