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Sardis: A ‘Mayberry’ Kind of Place

March 28, 2013
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

SARDIS - A cheese shop, Marv's Place and a public water well in the heart of the community are just a few of the things visitors to the small village of Sardis may encounter.

Founded in 1843, Sardis overlooks the Ohio River along Ohio 7, a nationally designated scenic byway. A brochure posted on the wall at the town's public library states, "Beautiful Historic Sardis, Ohio ... Nestled between the river and the hills - a living emblem of the best of small-town America."

Several residents of Sardis believe there is a lot of truth to that statement.

Article Photos

Marv’s Place restaurant and an old public water well, above, located in the heart of Sardis, are two interesting spots to visit in the small Ohio village.

Photo by Scott McCloskey

"This small town is awesome," said Rhea Caldwell, owner of Able's Cheese, a staple businesses of the community. Caldwell said the village in some respects reminds her of "Mayberry" - the fictional North Carolina town made popular by the "Andy Griffith Show" many years ago. She said everybody in Sardis knows each other, and many residents stop at her store just to talk.

Seventy-five-year Sardis resident J.R. Pyles, who worked 22 years in a coal mine near the village and 10 years at Ormet Corp., said anyone traveling through the town can expect to find "a good and friendly little place."

He also said Able's Cheese is a great place to stop for lunch.

"Hunters come here during deer season and buy a good sandwich. It's just a good little place in town ... where people stand around and talk," he added.

Pyles is quick to point out that motorists traveling through Sardis on Ohio 7 can expect to travel from one end of town to the other on less than a mile-long stretch of road.

"You can see the end of town," Pyles said while pointing out there are only four cross-streets along Ohio 7 through the village.

Marv's Place, a small restaurant located in the heart of the community near a white gazebo that surrounds the public water pump, boasts of having "a new taste with an old-fashioned look." The historic structure where folks can enjoy a "Marvburger" was built in 1894 and was used for a variety of businesses, including a department store, a shirt factory, an assembly point for Model A Fords, a casket factory and a pool room.

According to an Ohio Historical Society marker located near "The Sardis Town Pump," the pump has been in continuous operation since the 19th century and has played an important role in the daily life of the residents of Sardis. At about 78 feet deep, the well was originally operated with a manual hand pump and converted to an electric pump in 1951. It is the drinking choice for many in the community and for some throughout Monroe County. It is the last of four known public wells that have served the community.

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