#HomeGrownStories – Troy Ghost Stories

October is the time when Miami County gets a little spooky! Shawn Denoyer is one of the organizers and storytellers of the Ghost Tours of Troy. She does most of her historical research at the Troy History Library in downtown. Next weekend costumed storytellers will tell the haunted history of different downtown buildings. Every year the tour is different, as there are too many spots to include in the approximately one-hour long tour. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Piqua Ghost Stories

October is the time when Miami County gets a little spooky! Anna Baumeister and Jim Oda have heard many different Piqua ghost stories. Jim Oda is the Director of the Piqua Public Library. Anna Baumeister is with the Piqua Ohio Paranormal Society and investigates paranormal activity in the area. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Mitch Fogel

Miami County native Mitch Fogle served in the US Navy for twenty-two years. In 2005, Mitch and his wife, Earline, moved back to Miami County. Mitch has worked as a maintenance supervisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, the Troy-Miami County Library and the Miami Valley Veterans Museum. In 2015, he became the director of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, which is located on the second floor of the Masonic Lodge in downtown Troy. The museum will be open November 10th and 11th for tours and to celebrate Veterans Day weekend. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Donna Clark

Donna and Jeff Clark started Old Mason Winery & Vineyard in April 2013. Both grew up in Miami County, as did their families. Their family owned and operated winery began as a hobby that grew into a business. The winery has a tasting room and covered back patio. Guests can enjoy one or two-ounce flights of five different wines. Appetizers like cheese, crackers, and sausage are also available. Local music can also be enjoyed most Saturday evenings. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Tanya Brown

Tanya Brown has been making handmade soaps, lotions and other beauty products for the past fifteen years. In 2011, the brick and mortar location of Living Simply Soap opened in historic downtown Tipp City. Tanya hopes that her business brings people to shop throughout Tipp City and Miami County. She loves the way the communities in Miami County preserve their history for future generations. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – James Smith

James Smith became interested in photography after watching wedding photographers and the still-life photography of his father-in-law. Today, he works in both modern digital photography and tintype, one of the older types of photography. Through the tintype process, James works with his hands and makes one of a kind, incredibly detailed photos. Besides his commercial photography business, he also teaches photography workshops in Miami County. He and his wife Carolyn live in Troy’s historic downtown. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Ethan Smith

Ethan Smith is a Troy native and fly fishing enthusiast. He started his company, SmithFly, in 2010 to create customizable vest packs and bags for fly fishing. Today, SmithFly offers fishing lessons, design services and a variety of fishing gear. The shop sits on 210 East Water Street, just a short walk from the Great Miami River.  Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown is a Miami County native and a Piqua High School graduate. After working for the Miami County Mental Health Association and the Tri-County Board of Mental Health & Recovery, she pursued a career in teaching yoga. In April 2013, she opened balanceYoga by Amanda on Wayne Street in Piqua. The yoga studio has received a lot of community support and has offered many free and public classes. In August, balanceYoga by Amanda hosted an outdoor yoga class with Piqua Mayor, Kazy Hinds. In October the studio will graduate nine yoga teachers from their first National Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training course. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Scott Trostel

Piqua native and local author, Scott Trostel, has written 53 books. Scott is especially interested in trains and has penned many books on the subject. He has also been involved in historical projects to educate the community about our past. Scott is currently working on historical markers for the path of Lincoln’s Funeral Train. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Connor and Hannah Haren

Haren’s Market wants to bring the farm to market experience to Troy. The market is owned by Connor and Hannah Haren who are both Miami County natives. Connor purchased the Troy Meat Market in 2011, two years after he graduated from high school. The Troy Meat Market officially became Haren’s Market on May 7, 2016. Besides offering a wide variety of fresh cut meat, the market also sells local produce, eggs, and dairy. Connor and Hannah married in the fall of 2014 and are expecting their first child this December. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Debbie Robbins

The Miami County Barn Quilt Project began in 2007 when residents were asked to host quilt paintings on their barns. Debbie Robbins, who owns Robinhood Farms with her husband, Mike, is one of our local barn quilt owners. Their quilt, “Woodbox,” is ten years old and still looks great on their barn in Fletcher. The Miami County Barn Quilts are part of the Ohio quilt trail. The Adams County Quilt Sampler started the trend in 2001. Miami County has 67 barn quilts, all painted by hand by Mexican folk artist, Rafael Santoyo.
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#HomeGrownStories – Joe Reiser

Joe Reiser is the co-owner of Winans Chocolates + Coffees. He moved to Miami County when he and his wife, Laurie Winans Reiser, bought her father’s candy company in Piqua, Ohio. The company was started in 1961 by Max and Dick Winans and was called Winans Carriage House Candies. Today, Winans Chocolates + Coffees has 18 stores, 5 of which are in Miami County. The company still makes chocolates the traditional way Max Winans did over 50 years ago. Joe started roasting his own coffee in 2003 in Piqua. In 2015 Winans moved to the former Piqua Daily Call building in downtown Piqua. Visitors can watch their favorite candies being made from the viewing windows in the store. Weekly tours are also offered at the facility.  Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Bob & Patty Wagner

Dayton natives Bob and Patty Wagner have been involved with aviation for the past fifty years. They were instrumental in establishing the WACO Historical Society and museum in Troy. For decades, Bob and Patty performed in air shows; Bob flew and Patty walked on the wing of the plane. Earlier this summer they donated their plane to the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. Their Stearman Biplane was used in their Girl on the Wing act for many years. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Roger Bowersock

Roger Bowersock, a resident of Greenville, Ohio, likes to spend time in Miami County. He and his family visit the county for recreation, shopping, and dining. Roger’s not for profit group, Rocketship Sports Management brought the popular donut and biking event, Tour de Donut, to Ohio in 2005. Besides Tour de Donut, Rocketship also organizes the Shawshank Hustle in Mansfield and helps other organizations plan events. In 2012 Roger was named one of the Nation’s Top Sports Event Managers by Sports Events Magazine. This year will be the first year that Tour de Donut is in Troy. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Gretchen Hawk

Gretchen Hawk is a Miami County transplant from Darke County. She is the Executive Director at WACO Air Museum & Aviation Learning Center. In 1929, WACO was the largest commercial builder of aircraft in the world and was located in Troy, Ohio. WACO designed and built 1,000 CG4A Gliders for World War II. Today, WACO planes are still loved for their lightweight construction and aerobatic design. The WACO Museum serves to commemorate the WACO company, employees, and pilots. The museum is involved in STEM education as well as aviation education and history for all ages. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Terry Purke

Ohio native, Terry Purke, has spent more than half of his life involved in sharing local history. He got his start in DC with interpretative living history. Today he is the curator at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum. He is also involved with the Overfield Tavern and performs historical re-enactments. Terry shows visitors around the oldest building in the City of Troy, the Overfield Tavern. During tours of the tavern, he introduces guests to the owner Benjamin Overfield and illustrates what life was like in Miami County during the early 1800s. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Cory Breth

Cory Breth, a Tipp City transplant, is a singer-songwriter and a Spanish teacher at Tippecanoe High School. Cory started singing at a young age and learned to play guitar while singing ten years ago. Since then he has recorded two albums and is working on his third. He has opened for Twenty One Pilots and played during Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour in Troy. He has also played several local festivals including the Strawberry Festival, Tippapalooza, and the Tipp Mum Festival. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Joe & Kelsey Fulton

High school sweethearts, Joe and Kelsey Fulton, are part of a three generation farm operation at Fulton Farms. Joe was born and raised on the farm. Kelsey was born in North Carolina but moved back to her family’s roots in Miami County when she was ten years old. Both started working on the farm in their teens. This year Kelsey is coordinating the Sweet Corn Festival at Fulton Farms. They help Joe’s mom, Bev Fulton, manage the market at Fulton Farms. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Dave Bechtol

Dave Bechtol has been part of the annual Tipp City Mum Festival for the past five years. This year the festival is celebrating its 59th year. This year Dave is the co-chairman of the parade, sponsorship chair and the president of the festival. His family moved around a lot when he was growing up as his father served in the Navy. His family settled in West Milton, where he met his wife, Sheryl. After Dave retired from the Navy, the couple moved to Tipp City. Both are involved in putting on the Tipp City Mum Festival. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Marla Fair

Marla Fair is a true Jane of All Trades or modern Renaissance woman. She and her husband, David, own David Fair on the Square in downtown Troy. She works as a historical interpreter at the Johnston Farm & Indian Agency in Piqua. She is an artist, author and doll restoration artist. She teaches art classes at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. She has published many books, including two inspired by John and Rachel Johnston. Marla’s family has lived in Miami County for the past 170 years. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Stories from the Miami County Fair

The Miami County Fair is one of the biggest annual events in the county and it’s a summer tradition for many families and friends. It’s also the culmination of 4-H and FFA projects for younger generations. The Miami County Agricultural Society sponsors the week-long fair during August. The Society was founded in 1846 to operate an annual agricultural fair. It’s a family-friendly event with farm shows, fair food, and entertainment.  Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Jim Oda

Jim Oda is a fifth generation Miami County resident. Before working at the library, he owned an antiquarian bookstore in Piqua. Today Jim is the Library Director of the Piqua Public Library. In 2008, the library moved from its location in the former Piqua Men’s Club to the Fort Piqua Plaza. The Plaza, built in 1891 underwent a 21 million dollar renovation. Today the Plaza not only houses the library but also Turntable Cafe, Mulligan’s Pub and a Banquet Center. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Linda Lee Jolly

Linda Lee Jolly is a Troy transplant from Northern Kentucky. She has served as the Director of the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center for the past 27 years. Today the Hayner Center hosts a variety of art and cultural events, most of which are free to the public. The upcoming Rhythm and Roots Festival will be on September 23rd. The festival is a celebration of the roots of several musical styles and includes a Pie Party. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Michael Scheib

K’s Hamburger Shop is a cornerstone of Troy dining. The diner opened July 31, 1935 (which means it celebrated its 82nd birthday this year). Michael Scheib is a fourth generation K’s customer. He has worked at the establishment for the past 8 years and he recently became the third-generation in his family to own a business in Troy. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – From Rock Piqua!

The summer of 2017 marks the 4th year for the concert series Rock Piqua! The event is a collaboration between the Piqua Arts Council and Mainstreet Piqua. The series includes an evening concert at Lock 9 Park in Piqua in June, July, and August. The free outdoor music concert includes food and drinks from local food vendors. The concert also highlights the recreational opportunities available along the Great Miami River. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Marilyn Kosier

Marilyn Kosier, a Lancaster, Ohio ophthalmologist, grew up in Miami County. She lived in Bradford until she was seven years old. In 2002 she started the work that would lead to the creation of the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum. The idea for the museum came from her dad. While at a Bradford Railroaders basketball game, he mentioned the town needed a museum to celebrate its heritage. The museum is undergoing an exhibit renovation and is excited to offer a new interpretative experience for visitors. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Darrin Michael

Darrin Michael, the owner of Michael Web Solutions, has lived in Miami County nearly his entire life. His company creates websites and content for many local businesses. You may follow some of those businesses on social media! Darrin’s wife, Liana, is also from Piqua. They have a 7 month-old daughter, Harper, and a dog named Link (short for web link). Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – June Drieling

June Drieling moved to Miami County from Shelby County over thirty years ago. She became acquainted with Brukner Nature Center when her children were young. She took them to PEEP, Brukner’s Preschool Environmental Education Program. June volunteered with the PEEP program before she started teaching in 1995. Today, June is the Director of Education at Brukner. She still teaches the PEEP classes. Some of her students are the children of her first PEEPers. They bring their kids back to Brukner to grow up around nature as they did years ago. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Jordan Knepper

Jordan Knepper, a Shelby County resident, grew up surrounded by art. He is still surrounded by art as an adult, which he shares with the Piqua community and beyond. Jordan is the director of the Piqua Arts Council. Jordan brings the arts to Piqua through a variety of events. Some of the most popular include the Rock Piqua concerts, Dancing with the Piqua Stars and the Piqua Art Show. The Piqua Art Show is the largest art show in the Miami Valley! Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Sarah Porto

Sarah Porto, a Troy native, has recently moved back to Miami County. She and her husband, Tom, a Tipp City native, lived in Columbus for thirteen years. Sarah and Tom are happy to be raising their young family in the community they grew up in. Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She enjoys incorporating faith and spirituality into sessions for interested clients. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – The Goon Brothers

The GOON Brothers are known for their adventurous scavenger hunts. These giveaways have kids and adults searching Miami County for clues and fun prizes. They also encourage their followers to give back to their community. During July, the GOON Brothers are asking their fans on social media to creatively give back. They have 31 ideas for their #WAYLF (What Are You Looking For) challenge, one for every day of the month! Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Sarah Swisher, #homegrownintern

Sarah Swisher is a lifelong resident of Miami County and recent graduate of Bethel High School. She is currently spending part of her summer as the intern for the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau. You can find all her social media posts under the hashtag #HomeGrownIntern. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Jenny Zapadka

Growing roses runs in Jenny Zapadka’s family. Jenny’s grandfather, James Weeks, taught her about nature and gardening when she was young. When her grandfather passed away, Jenny began planting roses as a way to remember him. Three years ago, she started Rose Girl, selling her English roses. Her customers are florists in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton. The business is a family venture. Jenny’s husband, Michael, built a small greenhouse and cold room from recycled materials. Their sons, Alex and Sam, help weed the rose beds. Even Jenny’s apron has a family touch: it was made from her grandmother’s’ handkerchiefs. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Ken Siler

Ken Siler grew up in Troy and has lived here almost his entire life. For the past 14 years, Ken has served as the Director of Recreation and Manager of Hobart Arena for the city of Troy. The arena recently underwent a major renovation. Improvements will assist the arena in offering recreational opportunities for the community. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Leslie Trimbach & Dawn Spoltman

Local artists Leslie Trimbach and Dawn Spoltman opened Studio 14 Creative Arts Center in downtown Troy. It is the sister studio to Studio 14 Gallery & Fine Arts Center, located in Tipp City. Both studios offer art classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels. Professional instructors teach classes in painting, drawing, photography, jewelry, glass, and more. They offer Tippsy Art Parties for adults, Studio 4-Teens Art Parties, and Arty Parties for Kids. The community is at the heart of Studio 14. Leslie and Dawn want the studios to share art with their communities and their communities to share with their studios. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Cindy Dobo

Cindy Dobo has wanted to own a bakery since she was very young. She moved to Piqua in 1998 when she took ownership of Daniel’s Bakery and created Dobo’s Delights. Cindy kept many of the original recipes from the 100+-year-old bakery and added many of her own. She bakes many traditional Hungarian treats as well as cakes for any occasion. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – R. Scott Miller

Scott Miller, a Piqua native, has worked in Miami County his entire career. Most jobs he has had have been at nonprofit organizations, starting with the Miami County YMCA. He also worked as the Executive Director of the American Red Cross for Miami and Shelby County for 23 years. November 2017 will mark Scott’s third year as President of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber works with local businesses to promote economic development and hosts community events to bolster local Piqua pride. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Shane Carter

The Lincoln Community Center has provided education and hope to children in Troy for 150+ years. The center started as a one-room schoolhouse for African American children. Today, it is a full-service community center for all people. Troy native, Shane Carter, grew up going to the Lincoln Community Center. He attended preschool, learned to swim, and played basketball. Today he is the director of the center. Since taking the position in 2011, he has made aesthetic improvements to the center and added new programs for the community. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Cody Long

Cody Long and his father, Rod, started Tuscarora Wood MidWest in 2006 in Covington, Ohio. They salvage wood from old barns and other structures in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The wood is then milled and repurposed into unique, one-of-a-kind products. They work on local projects as well as supply wood for projects across the country.  Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson shares his love of our local rivers through Adventures on the Great Miami. He started his business in 2007 as a canoe and kayak livery. Along with canoeing and kayaking, Chris now offers river activities like river rafting and stand up paddle boarding. He also hosts outdoor events like primitive camping, concerts and food truck festivals. Adventures on the Great Miami plans to hold more community outdoor events and activities in the coming years. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Scott Myers

Scott Myers has served as the Director of the Miami County Parks District for the past five years. Growing up in rural Hancock County, Scott never aspired to work in agriculture or on a farm. Today he goes to work every day at the Historic Knoop Homestead. His office sits in the Knoop’s Victorian Era farmhouse. While he never expected to work on a farm, he enjoys every minute of it. Scott has called Troy home for half of his life and loves the sense of community in Miami County. Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Kelsea Wiggins

Kelsea Wiggins has lived in Ohio for her entire life. She is a lifestyle blogger and a social media strategist for an ad agency in downtown Columbus.  So what ties her to Miami County?
“Everything and nothing,” she says.
“My first encounter with Miami County was for a soccer tournament for my older brother when I was six or seven. The Troy Strawberry Festival, I believe. When I found myself back here to visit my ex-boyfriend’s family, I immediately remembered exactly where I was. Miami County has a strange way of always feeling like home.” Continue reading

#HomeGrownStories – Melissa Cairns

Melissa Cairns, an Ohio native who has called Tipp City home for over 30 years, has created a unique specialty toy shop for all ages in downtown Tipp City. Cairns began as Cairns Collectibles in the early 1980s and included a mix of vintage items, antiques and specialty dolls and bears. Today Melissa hand selects dolls, books, games, puzzles and other toys which she sells out of her blue tiled downtown store. Cairns Toys has been in its present location on Main Street in historic downtown Tipp City since 1998. Melissa was recently interviewed for our #HomeGrownStories campaign. Continue reading