Looking for an interesting place to visit in the United States? The town of Alliance, Ohio may not sound like the most exciting of places, after all it sounds a bit like a health care company, but Alliance stands as a reason why you should never judge a town by name alone. Ruth Lang, a journalist from the Alliance Review, best explains Alliance. She had this to say of the town and its people, “The people of Alliance are incredibly friendly and approachable. As the location of Mount Union, the town has the feel of a small college town.”
Alliance is best known for its yearly Carnation Festival that celebrates the first cultivation of the scarlet carnation in the United States, which occurred in Alliance. In 1876, an Alliance doctor named Levi L. Lamborn, the initial cultivator of the flower, ran against William McKinley. He gave McKinley a carnation to wear on his flower before every debate, and McKinley soon became closely associated with the flower. Today, the carnation is the official flower of the state of Ohio.
Ruth Lang says that the center of Alliance has seen its ups and downs, but has recently been growing tremendously, State Street in particular. There are several local restaurants that Lang points out as of interest. Anthony’s is a locally owned Italian restaurant that has been in business for a very long time. Andrea’s Garden is a healthy place to eat that has sprung up to cater to the college crowd of Mount Union. In addition, an Alliance farmers’ market occurs every Saturday.
Lang also cites the artsy lifestyle as of interest in Alliance, as well as its natural attractions. The town is home to an upstart music studio, and a number of artists. Natural attractions include a butterfly museum, nature walk, and petting zoo. Those interested in mankind’s contributions to the world will find plenty of shopping in nearby Canton.
Alliance is also home to both historic and peculiar sites. Lang was particularly adamant about Glamorgan Castle, built in 1904 by Col. William Henry Morgan, the president and owner of Morgan Engineering Co. The castle is now owned by Alliance City Schools and serves as an administration building. Tours are available by appointment. More peculiar is the Feline Historic Museum, which is free to attend. The museum focuses on the artwork and history of cats, and is billed as the largest cat museum in the United States.
Alliance may not be common on tourists’ list, but its artsy fervor, peculiar sensibilities, and small town charm are among the reasons it should be. Visiting the town of Alliance is an experience that exemplifies what makes the state of Ohio unique. Make sure to put Alliance on the list of Ohio must sees.