How about taking a late winter-time Ohio Road Trip to a truly unusual store? A shopping complex where you can buy a wedding or prom dress, and even get married right at the store. You can also get a really good hamburger, have your photo taken on the original set of the TV show “The Price is Right” and take home some fifty different kinds of mustard or 500 different brands of hot sauce, and everything is under one roof.
You would be talking about Unusual Junction in West Lafayette in Coshocton County.
This eclectic country store is the brainchild of Jerry McKenna, formerly of North Olmsted, who over thirty years ago bought the property to sell antiques in a roadside stand on weekends. McKenna whose background was in construction, later bought the abandoned railroad station in Fredericktown 70 miles away and moved it to his property along U. S Route 36 and reassembled it, adding two cabooses, one on each end of the station because, as he put it, “We didn’t know which way we were going.”
The antique store morphed into a restaurant/delicatessen/antique store because Jerry says people would be shopping and ask where they could get something to eat and the nearest restaurant was miles away. He said “I didn’t want them leaving. I was afraid they might not come back.”
The addition of some old railroad passenger cars 20 years ago to their site prompted Jerry and his family to turn one of the cars into a small store for the sale of bridal gowns and tuxedo rentals since there was no similar store for miles around. The idea really caught on and today The Universe Bridal and Prom store has moved out of the railroad car and now fills an entire new building next to the old depot….
,,,,,,You can read the rest of the story in the Saturday, February 27 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer or on line at their website:WWW.Cleveland.com