Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Sugarcreek’

World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in “Little Switzerland of Ohio”

Cuckoo Welcome

This large billboard at the edge of town announces Sugarcreek attractions.

Visit “Little Switzerland of Ohio” to see the “World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock”. Sugarcreek is now home to that famous clock, which was purchased by Walnut Creek Cheese and donated to the tourist town.

But the clock had its beginnings back in 1963 as an idea of Alice Grossniklaus, owner of Alpine Alpa, a restaurant and cheese house. She thought a large cuckoo clock would help bring trade to her restaurant. Designed and built by Karl Schleutermann, twelve years and $50,000 later, the clock was up and running.

This 23-foot- 6 inch tall timepiece originally stood in Wilmot on a hill in back of the Alpine Alpa restaurant. Alice and her husband, Hans, made it the #1 Swiss cheese shop in the country. But things changed over the years and all the restaurant fixings were auctioned off, including the clock.

Cuckoo Clock

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock waits for all to enjoy.

Mark Coblentz of Walnut Creek Cheese purchased the clock at auction. It sat in a parking lot for two years while they looked for the perfect place to set it.

When the residents of Sugarcreek were trying to decide where to put the clock, many wanted it placed inside a building with an admission charge of about five dollars per visit. But Mayor Clayton Weller didn’t have the same vision. He wanted the clock to be free for all to enjoy, as often as they wanted.

When Mayor Weller sets his heart on something, he gets it accomplished. Land was purchased, the foundation set and a crane moved that clock between two crabapple trees without touching a limb. Clayton likes challenges, perhaps that’s why in his spare time he drag races.

Today the clock is on Sugarcreek’s Broadway Street. In 2012, the clock resumed its cuckooing duties after volunteers worked diligently to restore the electrical mechanisms. Those little Bavarian figures still do the polka.

Cuckoo Cuckoo Clock

The cuckoo is the first thing you see and hear each half hour.

Visitors are thrilled every thirty minutes when a bell rings, and out pops a cuckoo bird. Next a three-foot-tall couple on tracks dance the polka to Bavarian music played by a five-piece oompa band.

Cuckoo Swiss Hilltoppers

The oompa band, The Hilltoppers, entertains as the couple dances.

The dancers and band are made out of wood from the Black Forest in Germany. Currently, the dancers take a break as the wood started splitting on the lady’s dress. That would have destroyed her, if not fixed quickly.

The mechanical part of this clock is a marvel with many intricate pieces. When viewed through the back door, the system is even more amazing. Most incredible is the fact that this clock is forty-five years old. They even have the original eight-track tapes that played that first music.

Cuckoo Waterwheel

A waterwheel on the side of the building adds a little extra splash.

A satellite on the clock monitors the sound system so it can easily be checked from home anytime. The people of this town really care about the clock. A group of men Clayton called the Cuckoo Brothers spend endless hours working on and checking the clock. Another special group, the Four Amigos, plant and care for 165 geraniums that surround the clock in the summer time. That shows real dedication to their community!

Guinness World Records was contacted regarding the clock’s official unveiling to verify that it is indeed the world’s largest. “It has to work as a real cuckoo clock, like you’d buy at a store,” said Mayor Weller, confident that his clock would be crowned the largest in the world. “A lot of work went into it,” he said. “Everybody says it’s never looked as good as it does now.”

A friend, Big Mike, secretly made all the arrangements with Guiness World Records, and one day Clayton was called asking why the street was blocked off and a crowd of people were at the clock. He knew nothing about these plans, so headed that way. What he saw surprised him completely.

Cuckoo Mayor Clayton

May Clayton Welller has been instrumental in getting the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock up and running.

Under a blanket on an easel was that coveted Guiness Book of World Records certificate. It verified that the clock in Sugarcreek definitely took the honors of the Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World. Today the office of Mayor Weller proudly displays that certificate.

In order to pay for this project without burdening the local residents, a bedtax plan has been used. Next year the land and moving expenses will be paid in full. Then the money will be used for repairs and maintenance on this local treasure.

Cuckoo 1

This picture was taken on a summer day with all the beautiful geraniums in bloom.

People come from all over the world to visit the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. Many remember coming years ago with their families, but most are making new memories as they watch the mechanical marvel play its song every thirty minutes.

Visit Sugarcreek, Little Switzerland of Ohio, to visit their delightful small town and unique chalet-styled cuckoo clock. Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock is located at 100 N Broadway Street, Sugarcreek, Ohio. Take I-77 to Exit 83, which will be Ohio 39. Go west about 8 miles and turn left on Broadway Street. You can’t miss the Cuckoo Clock on the corner of Broadway and Main.

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Coshocton Canal Quilters Have a Stichin’ Good Time

Quilt Room

The Conference Room at the Carlisle Inn was a quilter’s paradise.

Imagine your favorite getaway. It might be the ocean, the mountains or a cruise to a faraway place. That’s not the case with the ladies from the Coshocton Canal Quilters. A weekend retreat with all their sewing gear and good friends fits the bill for them. All their work was displayed recently at their 29th Annual Quilt Show, “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows”.

This year the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek served as headquarters for a weekend retreat for fifty-eight ladies of all ages. This being my first visit to a retreat, walking into the conference room where it was held filled me with wonder and excitement.

Quilt - Oldest

This member’s interest in quilting began back when, at the age of four, she played under her grandmother’s quilting rack.

They had all brought their sewing machines, tables, chairs, lamps, materials, all their sewing tools…and of course, snacks. How could all that have fit in their cars?

But everyone was having a good time with no obligations other than enjoying quilting and talking to their friends. The social part of the retreat seemed to be very important.

Their project this year was to make a Crow Quilt for the Crow Festival since Coshocton is often referred to as Crow Town. The ladies seemed to think the crows were pretty smart birds and knew how to live together well.  Perhaps they could teach people a lesson.

Each person is asked to finish one crow square for the quilt. While every crow turned out to be quite unique, they had to have three basic characteristics: a black crow, orange beak, and orange feet. Most of them had a sparkle of bling added someplace in the design.

The quilt will then be raffled off at The Pomerene Center for the Arts in October with proceeds to be used for the groups’ projects. This is a busy group as their guild has over a hundred members. When not making quilts for themselves or their family, they make quilts for veterans, chemo patients, battered women’s shelter, James Cancer center, and more.

Quilt WV

This quilt was made for a family member, who is a big fan of WVU.

This large family of quilters comes together for retreats because they want to have fun. One person said, “We let our hair down. It’s a big slumber party.” They encourage each other no matter how many times the threads of motherly patience, health and sanity keep breaking through their lives. The human connection might be as comforting as the quilts they produce.

Gambling might even be part of their day! Left, Right, Center is played here with bundles of fabric, called “fat quarters”, being used instead of cash. The winner takes all!

Quilt Gladys

A good friend works on her Multiple Madness quilt design, while enjoying the company of so many great friends.

Beautiful patterns surround you here and each quilt will become a treasure for someone. A pattern that is one of my favorites has a proper name of “Kaleidoscope Dresden Plate Pattern”, but it is more commonly called “Multiple Madness”. Once you make one quilt using this pattern, you have to keep making them.

This weekend also provides inspiration to try something new. Speakers have special workshops to make a quilted item, or give ideas for future projects. Talking with others about their projects, sparks the imagination to try something new. Words of encouragement are frequent.

Quilt TN Tees

This lady traveled from Tennessee to visit with friends and finish her tee-shirt quilt.

A popular item at the show was tee-shirt quilts. They could be of any size from throw to queen size and contain someone’s old tee shirts. Someone had recently lost their husband and a friend was making her a quilt of his old tee shirts to cuddle up to on a cold night.

Some of the ladies took a lunch break. Where do you think they went? To buy fabric! They came back remembering a special fabric they had seen in which aisle at a particular store.

Quilt New SMThe highlight of the visit occurred with the story of a lady whose sewing machine stopped working the first night she was there. As a surprise, the next morning her husband brought her a brand new sewing machine. What a guy! He’s sew special.

Upon returning home, my tee shirts were checked out carefully. Which ones might make a good quilt for a gypsy?

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