Down on the farm

If you lived anywhere near Ohio in the last 50 years, it would be hard to escape the name of Bob Evans.

The distinctive “Steamboat Gothic” red and white signature restaurants that bear his name number over 600 now, and are spread throughout about 20 states, primarily in the Midwest.

So having grown up with this brand – and the wonderful sausages that are key to its success – we were curious to see where it all began. The slogan and song end with “Bob Evans — down on the farm.” Early advertising featured Bob and his family in their own kitchen, cooking up some sausages or having them for dinner.

So we got to see the actual farm and the showcase restaurant, located in Rio Grande, Ohio. The lovely farm is still in operation, but the Evans family moved away from their home after too many people thought they could just drop in for dinner. Sometimes you can just be too folksy.

The house is now an exhibit about the business and its growth. Fortunately, we didn’t get to see the sausage being made, but we have always considered it top-of-the-line.

And for all our Welsh friends out there, you will be glad to know that Bob was one of those Evanses – and evidently had many countymen in the area. And what about the fact that the only center for Welsh studies in North America is located here? Go know! (This should give all you Welsh a good reason to come here.)

So we have finally been “down on the farm” and seen where Bob and the business started. We had a nice moment of nostalgia – and a nice taste of the sausage!

7 thoughts on “Down on the farm

  1. Diolch yn fawr: thank you.
    We get everywhere!
    What sort of mining was there? Deep shaft or open cast?
    Is the landscape as scarred as much of South Wales was–though it’s prettified now that nature’s colonised the old spoil heaps?Is there still a mining industry in Ohio?

    1. Ah, the mining. It was originally deep shaft, and then probably went to open pit, though we did not see evidence of that in Ohio. They finally got some laws here. But in West Virginia and Kentucky, coal is still being mined, with the lovely concept of Mountain Top Removal being in full force. We saw many truckloads of coal go by. But in the West, we saw mile-long trains filled with coal from Wyoming, where there seem to be absolutely no laws.

      In the town of Pikeville KY – right in the center of it all in the East – there also seem to be a lot of hospitals relative to the population and many lawyers. Probably just coincidence.

  2. And here’s another coincidence…
    In today’s paper, there’s a long article about coal mining in Wyoming where the Powder River Basin now produces more coal than West Virginia and Kentucky combined.Up to 21 of those mile long trains you saw leave there each day. It’s reckoned that are there are maybe 25-30 years worth of deposits still to mine. Amazing!

    1. I would wait until it’s over to visit! Not our favorite state by a long shot.

      You are having an experience we now have almost every day. We open the paper or even a novel and something pops out about a place we have just been or something we have just learned more about. I was reading a book a week ago where a character picked up a Louisville Slugger. Not simply a baseball bat, mind you, but that signature baseball bat – the day after we were in the factory.

      It’s getting a bit eerie.

      1. Well, that’s what happens when you get out and about and the world expands.
        I’ll raise a glass to more -lots more- of the same! Ain’t we lucky?

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