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Chautauqua Area, New York – Unique Places To Visit


Produce Auctioneer – June 25th – Today is a full day of exploring the area. Joanna Dahlbeck from Chautauqua Tourism introduced me to some of the little known places you can visit in the area. There are many small towns in the Chautauqua area. We started with an Amish Produce and Flower auction in North Clymer. This particular day at the auction had was called the wholesale day. It is open to the public, but the items are on a flat. If you bid, you need to buy the whole flat. Other days are retail and you can bid on one of an item. To find out more the website is: The flowers were so beautiful that it was hard to resist. But we were too far from our TN. home to pack them away.

Beef cattle raised on healthy forage

Not far from the auction was the Green Heron Growers. One of their specialties is growing shiitake mushrooms. Julie Rockcastle met us and explained the process of growing these delicious mushrooms. They also raise chickens, grass fed beef, vegetables and herbs (and much more). All certified organic. Julie and her husband Steve offer farm tours along with workshops and culinary experiences. 

Shitaki Mushrooms are the best

Julie also explained their internship program, giving the opportunity to train farmers to the benefits of organic farming. To find out more, take a look at their website: or call (716) 720-3695. For information on their Great Blue Heron Music Festival take a look the this website: www.greatblueheron/wp/

Stedman Corners Cafe

 It was such a beautiful day, so we decided to have lunch at Stedman Corners Cafe in Mayville. They have a lovely outdoor area and we enjoyed one of their over sized sandwiches in the cool breeze. Located at Stedman Corners in Mayville, N.Y.

Stedman Cafe Antique Sign

Stedman Corners Corners Cafe started as a general store in 1898. It was a favorite place to buy “fresh ground coffee”. Today the cafe serves breakfast and lunch and on some nights dinner. Check out their website: or their Facebook page or call (716) 789-5047.

Great Ham Sandwich

Lake Erie and Lake Chautauqua – Grape Arbors As Far As You Can See – June 27th – Riding around the Lake Erie region of Chautauqua there are vineyards almost everywhere. 

To find out more about the business of grapes in this attractive area we visited The Cornell University Lake Erie Research Extension Laboratory. We learned that there are approximately 30,000 acres in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania. 98.5% of these grapes are used for juice, jam and other fresh or fermented products. The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program consists of Extension Educators and research faculty/staff from Cornell University and Penn State University devoted to projects aimed at increasing yields, product quality, diversity and improvement of cultivars, efficiency of production, profitability and adoption of environmentally sound cultural and pest management strategies. To find out more take a look at their website:

Our next stop was at the Johnson Estate Winery. This is oldest estate winery in the New York State, established in 1961.

Johnson Estates Wines

The Johnson’s Estate is a Story of Three Generations, beginning in 1877 with an English orphan named Frederick Johnson. In 1908 Johnson purchased this home circa – 1822 with the adjoining farm along the banks of Freelings Creek, in Westfield, N.Y. There is a full history on the website.

Today it is owned by Frederick Johnson Jr. with his wife Jennifer, former president of the Chautauqua – Lake Erie Wine Trail. They completed a renovation of the tasting room in 2011 for the winery’s 50th anniversary celebration. This building has been beautifully renovated complementing the old with the new. They have a full side viewing window with the full size stainless steel tanks.

Wine tastings and pairings are popular at this winery, with a large selection of estate wines and gifts.  They have group tours by

Grape Vineyard

appointment. Also, they have many summer events that a space can be reserved online. Check out their website: or call (716) 326-2191.

Also call: 1-800-374-6569




Norris Dam State Park & a Visit to Lenoir Museum Complex

View of Norris Dam and Norris Lake impoundment. The lake holds all manner of fish including giant catfish and striped bass so popular with trailer boaters from around the state of TN. and beyond.

AmericanPressTravelNews–May 23rd,-Norris Dam and Lenoir Museum Complex-Bob & Barb “On the -the Road Again”-Dams, always impressive as they are massive and hold-back river torrents. Dam’s also create power for power. Dam’s by holding back constant flows also calm and deepen waters creating lakes. Norris Lake is today a drawer for thousands of boaters and anglers, swimmers and kayakers, and lakes create real estate values. Seems that a view of the woods, compared to a view and access to a body of clean, beautiful water has no comparison in the price of a building lot. Water views trump em all!

Standing at the overlook parking area, at Norris Dam State Park made us think how this dam as many others around America beside being very impressive had opened up beautiful recreational opportunities for so many as well as creating power for so many families as well. We thoroughly enjoyed and were impressed with our stopover here!  Go:

Housing all manner of early American artifacts, tools, and agricultural and ground working implements from an age before our Industrial age (hand forged and crafted woods and metals, not manufactured and stamped out in factories) the Lenoir Museum is a repository of these items from early families of the Appalachian region now long gone on to heaven.
A mill house that was saved and is in the State Park system. Probably more photographed than any other stop-over with the exception of the Norris Dam.
Mark Morgan State Park Ranger showed us around the Lenoir Museum and the incredible music piece with marching soldiers and figurines from the 1840’s.
Runoff from the stream that turned the mill at the mill house grain grinding site.

Hoskins 1940’s Soda Fountain at Hoskins Drug Store Established in 1930.

AmericanPressTravelNews-May 14th, Clinton, TN.-Bob & Barb “On The Road Again” this time at Norris Lake, Clinton, Rocky Top & Oak Ridge, Tennessee–Floats, ice cream sodas, banana splits, tuna sandwiches, hot dogs and chili-a real soda fountain with great old timey lunches. I opted for a “dog” smothered in chili (oh my) with their home made potato chippers. Barb sprung for a tuna sandwich, and we both had malted’s like those served in “days of awe.”There was a display that included the menu seen here. Can you imagine a menu from the 1940’s soda fountain, ten years after the drug store was established in 1930? 20-cent sandwiches, pimento, ham, tuna,  malts & shakes 25-cents, banana split 35-cents, ice cream dish with nuts 25-cents, and WOW root beer at 35-cents. Todays menu everything times 1000 in comparison, boy has our dollar morphed into so little. Hoskins even in today’s dollars is still a bargain. Visit them and feel the nostalgia at: 111 N. Main St.,Clinton, TN.