Dresden, OH – Small Town Built By One Man’s Dream Is Now a Village for Visitors

The small town of Dresden is in the Eastern part of the State of Ohio, located near the Muskingum River. It’s not completely fair to say that this beautiful small town village was built by one man, as Dresden was settled over 200 years ago by German settlers migrating from their Philadelphia homes. Before that, there were known Shawnee Villages in the area.

But for the past fifty years of Dresden economic achievements, there is an era that stands out above the rest. In the 1990s, this tiny village of 1,500 residents was put on the map as a destination for many entrepreneurs across the county, when a visionary named Dave Longaberger made his business a National sensation.

The Longaberger Company

My Town touring current basket making facility for Longaberger & Dresden & Co.

The family traditions of Longaberger go back as far as 1896. Their legacy has been making hand-crafted, artisan products that are made to last. Longaberger is best-known for its quality baskets that are hand-woven by skilled craftsmen. This tradition continues today (a great place to view the history of Longaberger Baskets and the family is at The Patio Shops on Main Street).

While Longaberger began in the late 1800s, it wasn’t until Dave Longaberger officially founded the Longaberger company and started his basket enterprise in 1971, that the company become a national phenomenon. During its peak in the 1990’s-2000 the company employed over 8,200 people and had over a billion dollars in sales. Pretty impressive for the small town of Dresden and surrounding area.

Dave The Philanthropist

As Dave became prosperous, he turned his attention toward philanthropy, focusing heavily on the village of Dresden. Today you can explore the charming town that he helped restore in many ways. Here’s a list of several of the buildings in Dresden he helped to restore:

  • The Captains House (1850)
  • The Dresden Iron Mill (circa 1880)
  • The Dresden Woolen Mill (circa 1890)
  • The Prospect Place Mansion (1856)
  • The Dresden Hotel (early 20th century)
  • The Cox House, Trinway (circa 1900)
  • The Dresden Railway Station (origination date not listed)

Longaberger Today & Dresden & Company

My Town talking with Dresden & Co. Director of Sales, Tina Smythe

Because hand-made baskets made with love are what Dresden is known for, Dresden & Company was created to continue this tradition of craftsman excellence. The visionaries at Dresden & Company knew that the skill of basket weaving was not something you can find anywhere, and when Longaberger’s main plant closed, there was an abundance of skilled workers that had been weaving for decades.

As a result, Dresden & Company stepped up in a big way to help its community and begin a new generation of basket-making for entertaining & social gatherings. Here’s a little bit about this unique small town company! 

“Dresden & Company is a boutique-sized, locally owned Direct Sales business, offering the highest quality products in a variety of categories. Their baskets are made in Dresden, Ohio. Other products are sourced from partners around the state and across the country that share the Dresden & Company vision of crafting unique items that are a step above the rest”.(dresdenandcompany.com/about-us/)

Plus, you can visit their gorgeous showroom right on Main Street in Dresden! Check out Podcast Here.

Dresden’s Bright Future

Historic Downtown Dresden

After a long economic decline following the closing of the Longaberger factory, the village of Dresden is now once again becoming a small town destination.  With the incredible leadership of Destination Dresden and its dedicated village community, the village is making a name for itself as a boutique hot spot.

Combining the preservation of the past with stores specializing in vintage Longaberger for collectors and several traditional antique, craft, & rustic chic shops; Dresden, is bringing this quaint village back to life.

Its great location is only 14 miles from Zanesville and 16 miles from Coshocton & Roscoe Village, making Dresden, a perfect stop when exploring this area. There are several places you don’t want to miss while vising, but here are a few Must-Dos!

Where to Stay

The Inn at Dresden

The Inn at Dresden is a ten-room boutique luxury Inn that was originally Dave Longaberger’s (of Longaberger Baskets) family home. This massive 9, 000 square foot mansion is perched atop a hill. This large hill overlooks the village of Dresden, and the beautiful rolling hills beyond. Because this custom-built mansion was converted into an Inn, you will get to experience oversized rooms that are all themed; like the “library room” named for the obvious, Dave’s library.

The Inn at Dresden

Awesome Amenities

Many of the rooms have access to private porches and jacuzzi tubs. Plus, you will fall in love with the hospitality of the current Innkeeper, Joy Rothenberg. She Is one in a million. Her warmth and amazing cooking keep her guests coming back (she’s been featured in Tasting Ohio).

Her homemade breakfasts are included, but you can also arrange dinners in advance. You will love the breakfast area surrounded by stone walls and windows and overlooking what’s called the Million Dollar View!

Where to Eat

My Town Founder Kristy Burns, eating famous Steak 'n Stein Onion Rings at The Warehouse
My Town Founder Kristy Burns, eating famous Steak ‘n Stein Onion Rings at The Warehouse

There are several great places in this small village to eat and you can explore them here. But My Town had the pleasure of dining at The Warehouse.

This is not just another small-town diner (which my readers know I love!). But I have to rave about how delicious & high-quality the food is at The Warehouse! Their main specialties are slow-roasted, smoked, beef or pork brisket sandwiches, fall off the bone ribs, and their amazing Steak ‘n Stein onion rings (these onion rings are an appetizer- and are the number one item My Town recommends!).

If you’re not in the mood for smoked meats, their salads are also a great choice. I loved their homemade Egg Dressing. The proprietor is another small town investor in the village of Dresden. He has another location for The Warehouse in nearby Roscoe Village.

Where to Shop

Another Dresden Success Story!

The Patio Shops- Main St. Dresden

There are adorable places to visit all up and down the streets of Dresden. But there is one place that you do not want to miss for tons of Longaberger Baskets, dinnerware & lots of seasonal décors, and that’s Smore Baskets (pictured in cover photo).

Owned and operated by Ronnie Rhodes & Robert Hamel, they are one of the sparks that are helping to lead the charge of the revitalization in Dresden. After relocating their retail business in another state to Dresden based on market tips, Smore Baskets had to move to a larger space in the Village after only a year! 

While these business gurus were at it, they also opened another retail space Smore Christmas for all you year-round Christmas shoppers! Click here for all the Great Shopping Options in Dresden!

Where to Play

If you’re visiting in Summer, you definitely have to visit the Dresden Swim Center. I know this might seem a little strange, but I’m telling you this is a crazy-impressive community pool for this small village. Donated by Dave Longaberger, the pool has the largest steel liner ever built. It’s a beautiful Olympic Size pool whose grounds and guest facilities look like a country club. It’s a great place to retreat and relax. Plus, right next door is the village’s beloved place for treats, 1340 Café and Sweet Shop.

Dresden’s World’s Largest Basket!

Plus, as mentioned before Dresden, is located on the Muskingum River. There is a great river park with a boat launch to enjoy all your favorite water activities . Click here to see more Dresden attractions.

A Note From My Town & Dresden Photo Gallery

Small Town Me My Town Travels Pic

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