Caesar Creek State Park and Waynesville, Ohio

Jessica Wong

For those feeling a little landlocked, Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, Ohio, may fill those waterfront daydreams. The village of Waynesville was founded in 1779 and is known as The Antiquing Capital of the World. Shoppers can wander in and out of stores to discover custom-made tables, chairs, jukeboxes […]

For those feeling a little landlocked, Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, Ohio, may fill those waterfront daydreams. The village of Waynesville was founded in 1779 and is known as The Antiquing Capital of the World. Shoppers can wander in and out of stores to discover custom-made tables, chairs, jukeboxes and even metal Big Foots greeting them at the door.Digging deeper into the history of Waynesville is its role in the Underground Railroad.The head caretaker of the museum at the Friends Home, James Prickett, told WLWT that Quakers were among the earlier settlers in Waynesville. Quakers fiercely opposed slavery. Prickett said Quaker neighbors would help hide and transport enslaved people seeking freedom. While Ohio had abolished slavery, threats of being recaptured or caught by bounty hunters remained. “There’s not much evidence, we can find houses in Waynesville where there’s hidden closets and hidden basements, we’ve actually done searches through homes and along Main Street. And we’ve found houses that could be used, but it’s not advertised.” Prickett said referencing the reason for little evidence is most likely due to the secret nature of helping enslaved people escape to freedom. “I believe you could have been buying as much as $10,000,” Prickett said. “And many years in jail for harboring a slave.”Those looking to discover more on the history of Waynesville are encouraged to visit the Museum at the Friends Home this week’s yard sale from Thursday to Saturday. Prickett said the event is the main fundraiser for the village’s history museum. The Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival is expected to return in October.The Waynesville Street Faire is expected back every second Tuesday of the month from June through September.Those looking to explore Caesar Creek State Park can anticipate more than 10,000 explorable acres. There are more than 60 miles of hiking trails as well as a beach area, swimming opportunities, water rentals and the return of the ice cream stand inside the park’s marina shop.”It’s just so peaceful,” park manager Brank Fulks said. “There’s a lot of nature. We have deer and eagles. I see eagles every day and Ospreys geese, and it’s just so relaxing. People love to come out and fish, we have a swimming beach, and again it’s a very spacious beach where you can just spread out and enjoy the sun.”All indoor park facilities are reopening this summer after being closed last year due to the pandemic. The park says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines inside the facilities will continue to be followed including mask-wearing and social distancing. There are more than 280 campsites for visitors to book in advance.In terms of future events, Caesar Creek said it plans on hosting upcoming triathlons, bike races and boat races. Other events, like the Meteor Shower Beach Campout, have not yet been decided.

For those feeling a little landlocked, Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville, Ohio, may fill those waterfront daydreams.

The village of Waynesville was founded in 1779 and is known as The Antiquing Capital of the World.

Shoppers can wander in and out of stores to discover custom-made tables, chairs, jukeboxes and even metal Big Foots greeting them at the door.

Digging deeper into the history of Waynesville is its role in the Underground Railroad.

The head caretaker of the museum at the Friends Home, James Prickett, told WLWT that Quakers were among the earlier settlers in Waynesville. Quakers fiercely opposed slavery. Prickett said Quaker neighbors would help hide and transport enslaved people seeking freedom. While Ohio had abolished slavery, threats of being recaptured or caught by bounty hunters remained.

“There’s not much evidence, we can find houses in Waynesville where there’s hidden closets and hidden basements, we’ve actually done searches through homes and along Main Street. And we’ve found houses that could be used, but it’s not advertised.” Prickett said referencing the reason for little evidence is most likely due to the secret nature of helping enslaved people escape to freedom. “I believe you could have been buying as much as $10,000,” Prickett said. “And many years in jail for harboring a slave.”

Those looking to discover more on the history of Waynesville are encouraged to visit the Museum at the Friends Home this week’s yard sale from Thursday to Saturday. Prickett said the event is the main fundraiser for the village’s history museum.

The Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival is expected to return in October.

The Waynesville Street Faire is expected back every second Tuesday of the month from June through September.

Those looking to explore Caesar Creek State Park can anticipate more than 10,000 explorable acres. There are more than 60 miles of hiking trails as well as a beach area, swimming opportunities, water rentals and the return of the ice cream stand inside the park’s marina shop.

“It’s just so peaceful,” park manager Brank Fulks said. “There’s a lot of nature. We have deer and eagles. I see eagles every day and Ospreys geese, and it’s just so relaxing. People love to come out and fish, we have a swimming beach, and again it’s a very spacious beach where you can just spread out and enjoy the sun.”

All indoor park facilities are reopening this summer after being closed last year due to the pandemic. The park says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines inside the facilities will continue to be followed including mask-wearing and social distancing.

There are more than 280 campsites for visitors to book in advance.

In terms of future events, Caesar Creek said it plans on hosting upcoming triathlons, bike races and boat races. Other events, like the Meteor Shower Beach Campout, have not yet been decided.

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