Something old is always new at Sara’s House in Hamilton, a boutique featuring repurposed vintage furniture and accessories made by local artists. Interesting finds include a surveyor’s tripod and a megaphone that have found new life as a floor lamp, and a Victorian carpet bag that’s been transformed into a gnome hat fit for an infant.
“We don’t have a garage and a driveway, but this feels like a neighborhood to me,” Vallandingham said. “The other business owners look out for each other and reach out to each other, we’ll loan each other a power cord or window cleaner… My neighbors are the people who live on this busy street and who own businesses here.”
For Sara and Dave Vallandingham, a live-above, work-below setup wasn’t just a nostalgic idea of city life past: They renovated the building at the corner of Third and High Streets into a family home with their home decor and gift shop downstairs. That space is stocked with vintage pieces both in original form and creatively updated—like golf clubs Sara and Dave’s son Drew retrofitted into bottle openers—as well as jewelry, knit goods, and soaps from local makers. sarashousehamilton.com
Walking into Sara’s House is always a treat as the inventory constantly changes. The warm, inviting store is filled with the fresh scent of locally-sourced candles and soaps, and also features its original tin ceiling. It’s the kind of shop that'd easily be considered a standout in a trendy neighborhood in a big city, and Sara’s House is adding to Hamilton's revitalization by being just that.
Any city that has its own Donut Trail is reason enough for us to pack our bags. But in case your friends need further persuasion, try this: 1) Jolly's, an old-fashioned drive-in with hot dogs, root beer floats, and all the classics. 2) Sara's House, a farmhouse shopping hub full of repurposed furniture and accessories. 3) Serene kayaking and canoeing down the Great Miami River. 4) The Rossville Inn, where the billiard room and parlor may just distract you from forty winks. But, above all, did you remember to tell your friends there's an enchanted pathway with 227 years of donut-making?