The article

I keep forgetting about that article I wrote and said I’d post up here, but I finally remembered tonight, so here you go…It’s not much, but it’s mine. And the Courier’s.

History und sausage

Learn about the life of James Thurber, then grab a bite to eat in German Village



From the outside, the Thurber House at 77 Jefferson Ave. in Co­lumbus looks like most any other carefully restored home.

In fact, even with my mom, my aunt and myself looking for the former home of author James Thurber, we almost had to take a second lap around the circular road.

Inside there was a museum-like aura, but that was probably due to the near-silence in the building, because this is not your typical historical site.

No plastic runners to follow, no docents “asking” visitors not to touch anything, no velvet ropes keeping visitors out of rooms — the Thurber family wanted the house to be a com­fortable place to visit and work.

The house (which is reported­ly haunted) has been restored to reflect the period when the Thurber family lived there (1913-1917), and even the wall­paper designs have been duplicat­ed. Some rooms do double duty, like the dining room/gift shop or a bedroom/staff office, but peri­od pieces or memorabilia can al­ways be found, and Thurber-like drawings abound.

Six days a week, tours are self-guided with the aid of a laminat­ed brochure, and you can roam the rooms at leisure getting a close-up view of any little thing that catches your eye. On Sundays, tours are given by a staff member.

If you don’t want to cart the brochure around, outside the rooms there are small plaques with a drawing and a brief des­cription of the room. Inside the rooms a more detailed descrip­tion is available.

We started off by wandering through the comfortable parlor — “suitable for reading and light conversation” according to the plaque — and the living room, and then headed upstairs. We checked out the area at the top of the stairs, where we found, among other items, an antique dress and pair of very small, pointy shoes.

We laughed quietly at the size of the shoes, because we still couldn’t shake the be-quiet-you’re-in-a-museum feeling. That didn’t last too much longer though.

After looking at some Ohio State sports pictures in one of the bedrooms and a showcase of memorabilia in another bedroom, my companions browsed through the Thurber family pictures down the wall of the hallway, dis­cussing how they would make over Mame Thurber, James’ mother.

We looked through James’ bedroom, making sure to find him in the fraternity picture, and even peered into the closets. We were amused to find the scrawled signatures of (we assumed) past visitors.

One even claimed to have been “Thurbered.”

After peeking into the bath­room where Thurber once hid from a ghost, we made our way downstairs into the dining room/gift shop. I listened for the ghostly footsteps that allegedly go around the kitchen table and then run up the stairs, but sadly I heard nothing.

After one more look at the liv­ing room, we left the quietness of the Thurber House for the hubbub of the original Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus in German Village.

Schmidt’s, located in a former livery stable, has been around since 1886. They offer an original line of German and American food and drink, including Ger­man and micro brews.

We were seated in the room where the German Autobahn Buffet is located, and after squeezing between the tables we had a nice view down Kossuth Street. The restaurant was quite full, and as much as I tried not to listen, I heard many snippets of conversations from other tables.

This is definitely not the place for a clandestine meeting.

Despite the impression my last name may give, I am totally unfa­miliar with most German foods. I played it safe and ordered the Ba­hama Mama sandwich with pota­to pancakes, while my mom and aunt went for the honey roasted turkey Reuben.

After very little debate, the three of us decided to split one of Schmidt’s famous jumbo cream puffs.

A word to the wise — if you can’t handle spicy food, I’d try the “Milder Mama.” I did my best, but I just couldn’t finish the sandwich. The turkey Reubens are fantastic, or so I’m told, and the cream puffs alone may be worth the drive.

I had been staring out the win­dow at Schmidt’s Fudge Haus und Gifts all through lunch, and my placemat told me to go see fudge being made, so we careful­ly made our way across the street — sleet had made for a slippery road that day.

The Fudge Haus is filled to the brim with candy, gifts and annoy­ing items that say “Try me” and make a lot of noise when you do. The guy behind the counter (Daniel) greeted us with a cheery “Hello,” and I made a beeline for the fudge-making area. Alas, no one was there.

According to Daniel, things are a bit slow this time of year. He assured me, however, that the daily fudge making would re­sume in February.

After exploring the store, we made our purchases. The store apparently is frequented by Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel, so I made sure to get a “Tressel Truffle” for my dad.

If you plan on using a credit card, make sure you have a min­imum of $10 worth of goodies.

Our next stop was The Red Stable, back towards Schmidt’s. I would have liked to have spent more time browsing through this little shop, but the weather was getting worse so we only did a quick walk-through. There are all kinds of little antiques, trinkets, steins and more.

I got the feeling that you may never know what you’ll find at The Red Stable.

Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sau­sage Haus is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Satur­day.

Hours for Schmidt’s Fudge Haus have been shortened for the winter. Saturday is your best bet for a visit. Their hours should be expanding in the next few weeks.

The Red Stable is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

*BURN UPDATE* It’s very angry today.

Home page

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: