Bucyrus, Ohio may be best known for the Bratwurst Festival held during the month of August. The annual event welcomes thousands of visitors to the three-day family-friendly happening that pays homage to the town’s large German heritage by consuming large quantities of the local delicacy, bratwurst while enjoying live music and activities.
But on a recent visit, I discovered there is much more to this community than bratwurst.
The first stop on the agenda was to Cooper’s Mill, an apple butter and jelly factory that offers high-quality products in their storefront, along with a selection of hand-picked food items from local and Ohio sources. Individuals and groups are welcome to take a free educational tour of the factory and after, you can taste the samples of jams, jellies, butters, and fudge in the marketplace. I couldn’t leave without taste-testing the Raspberry Jalapeño Fudge which offers just a bit of kick.
Crossroads Original Designs located just one mile down the street from Cooper’s Mill features hand-poured candles in the 80,000 square foot facility that serves as factory, warehouse, and heavenly-scented showroom. Visitors can watch employees pouring candles through the viewing window in the back of the showroom and shop for home décor items, accessories and of course, candles, with over 58 scents in a variety of sizes to choose from. I always buy vanilla-scented candles, but one sniff of the top-selling Buttered Maple Syrup and I had a new favorite.
What many people don’t realize is that in addition to an industrialist background, Bucyrus has a rich history steeped in secret mob meetings and Presidential scandal. You can learn all about this dark past as well as some heart-warming and heart-wrenching tales depicted in the Great American Crossroad Mural, hand-painted by artist Eric Grohe, which is located on the square.
An easy walk down the street leads to the Liberty Remembers mural, a stunning piece that has immortalized 284 Crawford County Veterans and inspired a book full of their stories.
While you’re exploring the square, you may want to pop into the Crawford County Courthouse which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Around the corner, you’ll find Bucyrus Copper Kettle Works, formerly called D. Picking Co., the last factory in the US to make hand-hammered copper kettles, like the apple butter kettles used at Cooper’s Mill. Tours of the factory, housed in the original building from the late 1800’s, are offered by the coppersmiths’ between projects. Contact Visit Bucyrus (information below) to arrange a tour.
Fun and quirky stops include the Mystery Ball, a tombstone with a marble ball that has revolved on it’s base in a cemetery just outside Sulphur Springs, the Friendship Suspension Bridge which now plays hosts to several padlocks, declaring they undying affection of love-struck couples in Aumiller Park, and a speakeasy, home of the Roaring 20’s Live, a dinner theatre which is offered several times a year.
There’s no need to wait until August to visit Bucyrus for a great Bratwurst sandwich. Stop by Carle’s, the last of the original Bratwurst maker’s in Bucyrus and grab a bratwurst on Rye with sauerkraut, onions and mustard to go. Or dine in, if you prefer but let me warn you, Carle’s is a popular lunch spot so you may experience a bit of a crowd, which only proves that they offer incredible food that is worth a little bit of a wait.
And what better way to end the day than with a Root Beer Float from Miller’s Drive-in Restaurant?
My trip to Bucyrus was fun and educational. I discovered that it offers so much to see and do, that I could never explore all of Bucyrus in one visit. I’m already planning a trip back to see what I missed.
If you’d like to visit Bucyrus, you can follow my itinerary, or contact Barb or Bonnie at the Bucyrus Visitor’s Center and they would be happy to arrange tours and a customized itinerary just for you.
Bucyrus Visitor’s Center
Address: 301 S. Sandusky St. Bucyrus, Ohio 44820
On Social Media: Bucyrus Visitor’s Center on Facebook