Unique gifts can be purchased at Roscoe Village

Unique gifts can be purchased at Roscoe Village
Marianne Austin

Stacie Stein is pictured with handcrafted items for sale in the visitors center at Roscoe Village.


The culture of a community and the people who live there is influenced quite a bit by the styles and colors of the area, so handcrafted artwork produced by local artists often has a deeper significance and meaning. Whether for a birthday, weddings, a housewarming or Christmas gift giving, handcrafted art is a perfect gift.

The shops in Roscoe Village offer unique ideas for a special person. Many locally crafted items can be purchased at the shops in Roscoe Village and the visitors center.

“We have been very busy, especially on Sundays. Amish stores are closed on Sunday, so they come here, and that helps us out tremendously. A lot of folks come into the area. Our stuff is functional art, and it’s all very useful, made the old-fashioned way. People buy gifts for others and a lot of unique things for themselves,” said Stacie Stein, education department manager for Roscoe Village.

Stein also has served as the blacksmith, weaver, candle maker and potter, which are all Roscoe Village crafts.

“An antique loom, now over 200 years old, is still being used by folks in the village to make rag rugs, throw rugs, table runners, placemats and a lot of little decorative things. Shawls are very popular,” Stein said.

Daniel Boyd was the cloth maker in Roscoe Village in 1825. He enabled people to make their own clothes before the canal boats brought factory-produced fabrics to the area. His original barn loom is still used.

The Foothills Studio and Art Gallery is another one-of-a-kind place to shop. The studio features work by local artists. All of the wall art has been done by partners, B.J. Taylor, Jack Hunt, his daughter Carole Ann Hunt and Melissa Maxwell. It’s also a working studio. Anyone can walk in at any time to find one or more of the four at work.

A unique collection of brooms made at the Hay Craft and Learning Center also are available for purchase at the visitors center: flat brooms for sweeping, children’s brooms, spider chasers (round brooms with a long handle to get the spiders out of the corners) and cake testers (handmade broom straw bundles made for testing the doneness of cake).

“We have had custom orders for Harry Potter brooms or witches brooms. We have some pretty talented people around here,” Stein said.

Dennis Knight makes quality leather products at River Ridge Leather Company. “The smell of leather, the sights and sounds of the men working takes you back in time,” Stein said. “If you purchase a knife at the blacksmith shop, he can make you a sheath in the leather shop. Holsters, Christmas ornaments, custom belts, he does a really nice job.”

“We have pottery — the hand-thrown big steins that are pressed are kind of neat,” Stein said. “John Miller has his own studio on Sixth Street and a pottery shop here in the village for the last two years. He teaches art at Coshocton High School. Rachel Hall has Hillbippie Clay down the street. They each have their own style.”

Stein said businesses are friendly with each other. “Our shops don’t compete with each other. They are a nice mix, and it goes well with our customers. Everyone is different. They each like their own style.”

The blacksmith shop was like the hardware store back in the day. They could make whatever people needed for their homes (for example, hooks for hanging things, spikes, knives, axe heads, to name a few).

The blacksmith shop still makes custom pieces over the forge. All you have to do is call or stop in to order a custom piece.

Retail shops are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A few are closed on Monday. Visitors can purchase handmade items at the visitors center or at individual shops.

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