Scenic USA - Ohio

End of the Commons General Store

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End of the Commons General Store

Photos and Feature Article by Monnie Ryan
Monnie's Zenfolio Gallery

     Dressed for the holidays, the End of the Commons General Store in historic Mesopotamia is the oldest still-operating general store in Ohio. Commons Blacksmith Shop - Mesopotamia The name Commons refers to a small public park just outside the store that originally provided a watering place for horse travelers. Mesopotamia, which encompasses about 36 square miles, is located at the junction of State Routes 87 and 534 in the heart of Geauga County's Amish community. This is the second largest such community in Ohio and the fourth largest in the United States.
     Since 1982 the store has been owned and operated by Ken and Margaret Schaden and their 11 children. Stepping into the store is like stepping back in time. Visitors are greeted by an array of old clothes and antiques from long-ago days, such as real horseshoes and even a working player piano. To accommodate the Amish, many products are sold in bulk, like sugar, several varieties of flour and even powdered gelatin. By the checkout counter, penny candies that are hard to find anywhere else, beckon the young and old alike (and yes, they really are sold for a penny). A back room is filled with Amish-made products, Sir Pierpont of Mesopotamia - World's Largest Horse and Buggy including jams and jellies, relishes, popcorn, cheeses, and souvenir Amish dolls and hats.
     Outside the general store are replica storefronts like a ladies' hat store and a blacksmith shop. At the streetside rails it's not unusual to see one or more horse-drawn buggies tethered while Amish buy supplies for their families. Just across the street is a eye-catching addition, the world's largest wooden horse and buggy. Designed by artist Chris McConnell, the statue, named Sir Pierpont of Mesopotamia, is made from aged two by fours to actual scale, measuring 32 feet long and 14 feet 7 inches tall. The horse itself stands approximately 29 hands high.

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