A restaurant named Alpine Alpa was built near Winesburg, Ohio by Hans and Alice Grossniklaus in 1935. He was a Swiss Cheesemaker.
They decided to add attractions to their restaurant to increase the draw of local tourism.
So, in 1972 they decided to have a cuckoo clock constructed. Not just any cuckoo clock though - a large cuckoo clock. in fact, this clock was so large it has been called the World's Largest Cuckoo Clock and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Measuring 23 feet, 6 inches tall, 24 feet wide and 13 feet, 6 inches deep it was huge!
Other attractions were added to the restaurant as well. In 1983 Sugarcreek artist and painter Tom Miller was called upon to paint several multi-dimensional murals throughout the dinning areas.
In August of 2002 the restaurant was bought by Ann DeHaus, and her daughter and son-in-law LeAnn and Daryl Miller. They changed the name to Grandma's Alpine Homestead.
In August of 2007 the non-functioning clock was moved from the hill behind the restaurant to a new ground level location. It was also given a makeover courtesy of Hampton Hotels Save A Landmark Program.
Sixteen volunteers gave over 80 hours to help restore the clock at a cost of around $20,000.
Then, sometime in 2009, due to extenuating circumstances Grandma's Alpine Homestead closed its doors for good. All the equipment and furnishings were auctioned off.
This auction included the cuckoo clock. Enter Mark Coblentz of Walnut Creek Cheese notoriety. Coblentz purchased the clock in hopes to keep the clock in the area.
Then, Sugarcreek businessman Lavon Daugherty approached Coblentz with the idea of moving the cuckoo to Sugarcreek as an icon of the local Swiss culture.
Plans are now in the works to move the clock to a new location inside a restored antique barn on the corner of East Main and Andreas Drive in Sugarcreek.
Meantime, grants are being sought to finish the restoration project and bring working order to the damaged belts, gears and pulleys of the world's largest cuckoo clock.
Construction and preparation in downtown Sugarcreek culminated with what has been called "The Big Move!" On Wednesday, May 30, 2012 the giant cuckoo clock made yet another epic journey - this time to downtown Sugarcreek where it will permanently reside.
Though settled into its new location, there remain some details to finalize before the clock can once again be considered a fully functioning "working" timepiece. The characters have started moving. The water flows (during the warmer weather) and the clocks hands are moving. The progress and labor of love continue!
What our readers are saying about Ohio Amish Country Experiences
". . . like to say that I very much enjoy your newsletter . . . the past 15 years have been visiting Ohio Amish Country at least once a year . . . find it to be tranquil & serene; it takes me back to a time when life was not so complicated and makes everything seem so peaceful . . . your newsletter takes me back to that peaceful feeling."
Looking for a great travel guide to help you find your way around Northeast Ohio Amish Country? Find out where to go and how to get there! Get your Experience Northeast Ohio Amish Country Road Map Now!
Need a great travel guide to help you find your way around the "Heart of Ohio Amish Country?" Find out where to go and how to get there! Get your Map of Ohio's Amish Highways and Byways Now!