Steeped in history and only a few minutes away, Route 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway, was the original road to the west. It stretches the length of the United States, starting in Time Square of New York City and ending in Lincoln Park of San Francisco. Conceived in 1912 and completed by 1913, it passes through 14 states and over 700 cities.
Working on my Coast-to-Coast travel award through the Lincoln Highway Association, which offers individuals recognition through a certificate and pin of completion for traveling the length of the highway, we decided to explore this side of 30.
Traveling on the Lincoln Highway, we twist and turn along its bends, meet up with other routes, and pass through big cities, small towns, as wells as long stretches of countryside. It is never a disappointing ride.
Our first stop was only a few minutes away, in Chester, West Virginia. Crossing the bridge and exiting 30 into town, we could see the World’s Largest Tea Pot in the distance. A necessary stop, this teapot is a famous roadside attraction.
It was born in the 1930’s in Pennsylvania, starting life as a Hire’s Root Beer Barrel. Showing promise in making it big, the barrel was moved to Chester, shaped into a pot with a handle, spout, and lid added, then painted. It was originally used to sell pottery and odds and ends.
After being purchased by a few different store owners through the years, it was eventually abandoned and started to fall apart. Thanks to a community-wide decision around 1990 to rejuvenate the teapot, it now sits at the entrance to 30 from Chester to East Liverpool.
Around October, my Facebook explodes with pictures of Frank’s Pastry Shop’s famous pumpkin donut with spiced cream cheese icing. Located on Carolina Avenue since 1950, this donut has put them on the map. While their pumpkin donut may be their most popular and yet seasonal goodie, all of their pastries are equally delicious. Definitely worth a visit any time of the year.
Winding down 30, traveling through small towns and farm lands, we came to our next destination, Minerva, Ohio. A large black and white cow stands tall along the road, as we drove into town. As the beckon of delicious cheese, who greets visitors and passersby, he is the friendly face of the Minereva Cheese Store.
Inside the store, I made sure to pick up road trip essentials: the multi-cheese pack, beef sticks, and iced tea. They make delicious specialty butters and cheeses, as well as tried and true Swiss, Cheddar, and more. Be sure to pick up some of their Habanero Pepper Jack and their Garlic & Herb Roll Butter. Yum!
During our explorations, we found the Stone House Gardens and Antiques store. Located a little off the beaten path, it is absolutely worth a visit. Owned by two retired school teachers and housed in a stone home from the early 1800s, it’s filled with antiques, garden supplies, tools, and other interesting items. We picked up a child’s china tea set from the 60’s and some vintage patterns. I have a feeling Joanna Gaines would definitely be making a visit here.
Feeling my tummy rumble and knowing Hart Mansion was near, I knew where I was going to find lunch. Located at the top of a hill, overlooking Minerva, Hart Mansion is a beautifully restored home-turned-restaurant. Their menu is filled with specialties like lemon shrimp served over rice, Southern-Fried Chicken sandwich topped with bacon and spicy mayo, and the tried and true Delmonico steak. Delicious food and beautiful location.
Heading back towards home and traveling through the small farm town of Hanoverton, I planned on stopping at the Spread Eagle Tavern. Older than the highway itself and nestled on the historical Plymouth Street, Spread Eagle Tavern is the perfect place to visit for a delicious meal or a weekend getaway.
A meeting place of the freemasons and a rumored stop on Lincoln’s travels east, its past is as delicious and its meals. Unfortunately, due to the holiday weekend, I was unable to stop and dine. My travels continued.
Finishing out the day, I decided to dine at The Courthouse Inn & Restaurant. Housed in the oldest brick building of Ohio, they specialize in vegetarian fare and local ingredients. From my black bean soup to the homemade chocolate raspberry cake, portion sizes were perfect and the food delicious. The surroundings could not have been more beautiful. It’s worth a visit to see in person, from the mirror-tiled bathroom to the copper plated bar.
Just around the corner and down the street, is Bye & Bye Hardware. Tin ceilings, antique drawers, and shelf-lined walls are stocked with every kind of old school and new school finds. A florist/green house is situated in the back, as well, where you can buy flowers and vegetables for your own garden.
We finished up our day happy and full, both our bellies and the trunk of my car. Travels on the Lincoln Highway never disappoint.
In addition to these great finds along the Lincoln Highway, the Ohio Heritage Corridor of the highway advertise the By-Way Yard Sale on August 11- 13. It is filled with great finds and spans this corner of the highway. Sounds like the perfect reason for a day trip, if you ask me.