Amish-FarmBy Mary Heyl

Crisp days and cool nights mean fall is on its way! Why not enjoy a beautiful drive to the historic village of Randolph, just twenty minutes south of Ellicottville? Whether you’re looking to attend a fun event on the weekend or enjoy an autumn Amish Trail tour, there are lots of reasons to visit Randolph this September!

On Saturday, Sept. 5, one of Randolph’s most notable historic structures is hosting the Toymakers of Randolph’s Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 26 Center Street, Borden’s Condensery (of the Borden dairy brand) was Randolph’s largest factory in the 1800s and is still beautifully intact. Its golden bricks are home to Rand Machine, the company that now owns the building, as well as several other companies that lease space there, including Radiantly You and the workshop of the Toymakers of Randolph.

Toymakers of Randolph, a non-profit organization, generously donates toys to organizations representing children in need and welcomes volunteers of all skill levels to join their organization. Toymakers of Randolph invites guests to tour the facility and see firsthand how their wooden toys are made using new machinery courtesy of Rand Machine and Cummins.

Visitors can also enjoy the Babe Ruth memorabilia that will be on display, which includes a Babe Ruth Pace Arrow Car. The event will feature a Quilt Show and sale to benefit the Toymakers of Randolph. For more information, contact Dick Hall at (716) 358-0026.

Of course, September also means back to class, but not just at school! The Randolph Area Community Development Corporation announces the 2nd Annual Class Kick-Off on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can find out about a variety of classes being offered in Randolph this fall — the perfect time to learn something new!

Grab a class guide at one of the shops downtown, like Countryside Wine & Spirits, Randolph Retail Company or Yarn for Ewe, and take a stroll down Main and Jamestown Streets. Meet the knitting and crochet instructors at Yarn for Ewe, or sign up for painting classes and workshops with Creating Keepsakes at Randolph Retail Company. There are all kinds of classes to take: origami, dance, quilting, karate, yoga, fly-tying and more. Enter your class guide into a drawing for a great prize package!

Stay tuned for more updates on the participating instructors of the Class Kick-Off at and Enjoy Randolph on Facebook. If you teach lessons in the Randolph/Ellicottville area and would like to be a part of the Class Kick-Off, contact RACDC director, Mary Heyl, at (716)m358-9701 ext. 208 or

If a busy summer has kept you from exploring New York’s Amish Trail, there’s still time to experience this simple, non-commercialized community. The Amish community of Cattaraugus County is one of the few “Old Order” Amish settlements in the United States that foregoes automobiles, electricity and other modern conveniences in favor of a simple lifestyle devoted to faith and their families.

Most visitors enjoy shopping for high-quality, handmade Amish goods, which are available throughout the Amish Trail. Amish businesses are operated right on the family’s property and sell such goods as furniture, ironwork, leatherwork, toys, quilts, rugs, baskets and more. Most Amish shops are open on Fridays and Saturdays, but visitors should note that all businesses are closed on Sunday.

It’s easy to explore the Amish Trail this fall! Visitors can visit the Randolph Municipal Building’s Welcome Center, which is open 24 hours a day, at 72 Main Street. There, New York’s Amish Trail maps are available for motorists to take a self-guided tour throughout the Amish community. A listing of Amish businesses is included in the guide, so whether one is primarily interested in quilts or furniture, the guide will point the way!

Unfamiliar with Cattaraugus County? Take advantage of an Amish Trail tour, where an experienced local guide accompanies you in your vehicle; tour guides can even tailor the tour to suit visitors’ interests and time constraints. To schedule a tour, contact the Randolph Area Development Corporation at (716) 358-9701 ext. 208 or New York’s Amish Trail at 1-800-331-0543.