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Colonial Homestead: A Midwest Tool Mecca

In almost every woodworking class I teach in Covington, Ky., there’s at least one student who has driven through Ohio to get there who has stopped at Colonial Homestead in Millersburg. Every one of them tells me it’s among the most awe-inspiring stores for vintage tools they’ve ever seen (along with Hulls Cove Tool Barn in Bar Harbor, Maine).

Until last week, I simply had to trust them; now I know they were all right. My tool knowledge is for the most part limited to “user tools” rather than collectibles, so I don’t know if there are truly rare finds to be had – but I have to think, with such a wide array, there must be.

The entrance to the treasure trove that is Colonial Homestead in Millersburg, Ohio.

Below is but a glimpse at what’s inside. If you ever find yourself in the Amish region of northeast Ohio, make a point of stopping by to see for yourself. And don’t miss the antique furniture display; the store’s owner, Dan Raber, has a good eye for that, too.

But my favorite find was this Nicholson bench in the wild (I published a reprint of Peter Nicholson’s “Mechanic’s Companion,” in which the bench was, to the best of my knowledge, first published, so I’ve a soft spot for the form).

by Megan Fitzpatrick

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Comments

9 thoughts on “Colonial Homestead: A Midwest Tool Mecca”

  1. Réjean Théberge

    Good morning

    I recently found an old anvil that deems to be a colonial style.

    Can you confirm and tell me the approximate period it was built ?

    I could send pictures

    Thanks

  2. Made a visit to Colonial Homestead this spring. The selection was almost overwhelming. I managed to find a couple great paring chisels and a NOS draw knife. Dan was great to deal with.

    Next summer we travel to Maine and I’m looking forward to Hulls Cove Tool Barn. I guess I need to start saving my pennies.

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    1. Jim from Massachusetts, here.

      If you’re just after a similar (but smaller) toolbox I have one you could have for the price of shipping.

      It doesn’t have tools – just the box.

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