To be sure, a trip to Hagerstown would not be complete without a stop at the famed eatery and confectionery. Welliver’s has been a Hagerstown fixture since it was opened in 1946 by Guy Welliver. His two daughters, Mary and Janie, currently run the restaurant at 40 E. Main St., which offers both buffet and menu service.
Abbott’s 1890′s start in the candy business makes Welliver’s look like a baby. Their 100+ years in the candy business is evident when you take just one bite of Abbott’s fine chocolate or creamy caramels. I first became acquainted with the caramels when a hospital where I was working gave them out as holiday gifts to physicians. I confess to snitching more than a few pieces as we were boxing and wrapping up the gifts.
Visitors to Abbott’s can watch as the candy is poured from large brass bowls all the way through the boxing and wrapping stage. Located at 48 E. Walut Street, Abbott’s is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, shoppers can also stop by on Saturdays from 9am-5pm. Look for the pink and white building.
There is more to do in Hagerstown than eat. Antique hounds will want to stop in at the Across the Street Antique Mall and Main Street Antiques Uniques, both located on East Main Street. The Two Sisters Bird Nest Gift Shop also offers shopportunities with gifts for everyone including Abbott’s candy, Boyds Bears, Willow Tree Angels, Fenton Glass and collectibles.
If Hagerstown seems like a place you might enjoy, consider visiting during one of the “First Fridays” celebrations. Held the first Friday of each month from 5:30–8pm, First Fridays activities include concerts, art, food, kid activities (including face painting, chalk drawing, and snow cones). On these nights, many Hagerstown merchants stay open until 10pm, encouraging visitors to visit local establishments, dine outside and enjoy a beverage while listening to the music.
Hagerstown Arts Place is also open during First Friday events. Arts Place is part of the Nettle Creek Cultural Center, and is a venue for local artists to show and sell their work. Demonstrations and lessons in a variety of disciplines are also featured at Arts Place, from photography and painting workshops to book signings and music recitals.
For more information on Hagerstown and other Wayne County, Indiana attractions, click here.