Bob Evans, founder of our company, lived on the Bob Evans Farm in southeastern Ohio for nearly 20 years. He and his wife, Jewell, raised their six children in the large brick farmhouse known as the Homestead. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Homestead was once a stagecoach stop and an inn. Later, the Evans family opened The Sausage Shop in their front yard, which later became the first Bob Evans restaurant, still open today. The spirit of hospitality is deeply embedded in our company's history. Today, the Homestead serves as a company museum and historical center.
The Farm also has many beautiful sites for visitors to explore – an old cistern where stage coach travelers watered their horses, an ancient Indian burial mound, a Revolutionary War cemetery where original settlers of the area are interred, several reconstructed historic cabins and a schoolhouse and lovely views of Raccoon Creek. The area is rich in history – across Raccoon Creek is a cave where Daniel Boone reportedly slept. Visitors may also enjoy a horseback ride on one of the property’s trails.
The Bob Evans Restaurant, located on Farm property, is open all year round. The Farm and Homestead Museum are open daily May 1 through October 31, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Visit the place where it all began for down-on-the-farm activities, festivals and fun! Click here for directions. For more information, please contact the farm office at 1-740-245-5304.
The Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, OH was once home to Bob Evans, founder of Bob Evans Farms Inc., and his wife Jewell for nearly 20 years. When they bought the farm in 1953, Bob and a group of eight family members and friends had been making sausage for local groceries and meat markets. They called it Bob Evans Farms Sausage – “made by a farmer on the farm” – and before long, the sausage was being delivered by a fleet of 14 trucks to nearly 1,800 locations.
Bob’s television ads invited people to “come down and visit us” at the farm. Before long, so many people came that it was hard for Bob and Jewell to accommodate them. So in 1961 the company built a restaurant at the farm, with four stools and six tables, to better serve them. The Sausage Shop, which is now a Bob Evans Restaurant, was the company’s first venture into the restaurant business. Visitors could sample sausage products and start farm tours from the shop.
Bob and Jewel Evans raised their six children in the large, brick farmhouse known as the Homestead. The Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1825, it served as a stagecoach stop and an inn in its early years. Today, the Homestead serves as a company museum and historical center.
Bob and Jewel lived in the Homestead and hosted sausage company customers, until a steadily increasing flow of visitors began to keep them too busy. Bob Evans Farms Inc. acquired the Rio Grande farm in 1973, to maintain as an active farm and as a recreation and local historical center.
Today, you can visit the original Bob Evans Restaurant and experience the traditions of an all-American farming community “down on the farm.” Hay, sorghum, corn and wheat are grown on the farm, which is also home to many horses.
A beautiful country setting awaits visitors to the Bob Evans Farm. The farm offers something for everyone – whether your interests are in taking a nostalgic journey to the past to sample simple pioneer living or visiting the Homestead museum – you’re sure to come away with memories to share.
The history of the farm and the southeast Ohio area is reflected in the farm’s log cabin village, Adamsville Village. Originally settled in the early 1800s, it is today the site of four authentic log cabins and a log schoolhouse that have been reconstructed on the site at the Bob Evans Farm.
Nehemiah Wood built the Homestead in 1820. This federal-style farmhouse was built from clay bricks manufactured on site. The Homestead served as the Wood family home and as a stage coach stop. Its original hotel license was issued to Harrison Wood in 1862 to “carry on the business and occupation of a hotel eighth class.”
Harry Wood sold the farm to Rio Grande College (now the University of Rio Grande) in 1938. The college used the farm as a self-help program, with students working there to pay their expenses and the college operating a daily farm and using much of the food that was raised on the farm.
The Homestead and farm were purchased by Bob Evans in 1953. The Evans family lived there for 17 years and moved to a new home closer to Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1970.
In December 1987, the Homestead was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
In 2003, the Homestead was renovated into a company museum containing history of the company, Bob Evans’ family and the local area, as well as the farm.
When Bob Evans purchased the farm, he used the barn for dairy and sheep. When the Bob Evans Farms company purchased the farm from the Evans family, it converted the Quilt Barn into a craft demonstration barn and visitors’ center.
The two quilt squares on this dairy barn were dedicated on April 1, 2008, to commemorate the beginning of the Gallia County Quilt Barn Trail project.
Recently, the Quilt Barn has been converted to an Event Barn. A great site for your meeting, party of reception for up to 100, featuring delicious Bob Evans catering. For more information please call the Farm office at 740-245-5304.
Throughout southeastern Ohio, coal lies under the sandstone and shale hillsides. This bank-type coal mine which reopened in 1974, was once a small family mine providing the much needed fuel to heat the homes on the farm.
The Grist Mill Barn was hoisted and moved in 1975 from behind the restaurant to its present location. The barn was upgraded to include gristmills and a wall display in 1978. In 1981, a larger working mill exhibit was completed. Corn is ground in the Grist Mill during the Bob Evans Farm Festival.
Constructed in the mid-1800s, this mill still operates every fall, making sorghum molasses from sorghum cane grown on the farm.
George Brown was the owner in 1843 and probably the builder. This barn is held together with pegs and is built in two levels. Sheep were raised in the barn for several years. It is the oldest barn on the farm and has been used to store equipment and for drying tobacco.
The Bicentennial logo was painted on the barn during the 29th annual Bob Evans Farm Festival in October, 1999. The logo was created by the Ohio Bicentennial Committee to commemorate Ohio’s 200th anniversary of statehood in 2003.
The windmill has been a familiar landmark for passersby since it was reconstructed on the farm in 1971. It was built by James Beam, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, as a replica of windmills found in Holland. It originally housed French burr stones that were powered by the wind to grind grain for livestock. The 20-foot blades were imported from Holland.
Using 18th century building methods but new materials, an old fashioned “church raising” was held on the farm on September 21, 1985. Yoked oxen were used to hoist logs and costumed Welsh women prepared a traditional repast for the workers.
The church depicts the log Welsh Tyn Rhos Church located in Gallia County about eight miles from the farm, which was built in 1841.
The antique, hand tooled wooden pews are made out of a combination of chestnut, walnut, oak and poplar.
Many 1800s grave sites are contained in this cemetery, including that of Adam Rickabaugh (1761-1836). Rickabaugh founded the former settlement of Adamsville on Raccoon Creek and fought in the Revolutionary War from 1777 – 1781. The cemetery is also the final resting place of several members of the Nehemiah Wood family and H.S. French (1833-1941) family.
Early surveys reported its length as less than 100 miles, which explains its original classification as a “creek” rather than a “river.” It was later re-classified as an Ohio River, yet retained its original name.
The village was first settled in 1800, when Adam Rickabaugh, a Revolutionary War veteran, brought his family from Virginia to the valley that he had seen while in service. He applied to the federal government for this land with his bounty from the war. His deed is signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison.
Adam built a grist mill on the creek, and the community expanded to include two grocery stores, a meat market, two blacksmith shops and a livery. The village was plotted by Rickabaugh’s sons. In 1805, Nehemiah Wood bought the grist mill and added a fulling and saw mill.
As the village grew, the settlers applied for a post office, but were notified that there was already a town in Ohio named Adamsville and they were required to choose a different name. During this time (1846-1848), the war with Mexico was on-going. Stories of fighting on the Rio Grande River headlined a newspaper delivered to the mill. Sylvester Wood, son of Nehemiah Wood, read the newspaper and said “I’ll bet no one would have a Rye-O-Grand post office.” Even though the villagers mispronounced the word, it became the name of the post office that was established on Aug. 10, 1846.
The log cabin village on the Bob Evans Farm includes cabins and a schoolhouse that have all been reconstructed on the farm.
The cabins include:
Our one-room log school house resembles those that were commonplace throughout rural America until 1920. In most rural and small town schools all of the students met in a single room. There, a single teacher taught academic basics to grades one through eight.
Cabin History: This two-story log cabin is probably one of the largest original log structures of its kind. It was built near Lowell, Ohio in 1860 and served as a schoolhouse until 1918. In 1986 Wayne Ingles donated the logs to the Farm and the cabin became part of the reconstructed Adamsville Village.
In the craft making industry, Appalachia is best known for basket weaving, quilting, wood carving, rug making, and making musical instruments (dulcimers and fiddles). This cabin includes displays representing each of these Appalachian crafts, most made by local artisans. Cabin History: In 1880, James Sprague built this cabin on land he owned in Springfield Township, about 6 miles from the Bob Evans Farm. In the early 1980s, Bob Evans purchased the Sprague property. He donated the cabin to the Farm in 1992 when it became part of the reconstructed Adamsville Village.
The “Freedom Seekers” exhibit traces the history of Africans who were captured and brought to this country as slaves and their journey to freedom. The text, artifacts and photographs included in the “Freedom Seekers” cabin brings this story to life. Cabin History: This is one of the cabins built to house the 100 freed slaves who came to the Farm with Nehemiah Wood and his family in 1805. On May 3, 1987, this log cabin was dedicated in honor of Ilo Hurt. Ilo lived in this cabin in the early 1940s and was an employee of Bob Evans Farms for thirty-three years.
Early country stores were known as general stores, mercantiles, and emporiums. These establishments provided one stop shopping to small towns, villages, and farmers. The Adamsville Mercantile is filled with supplies, equipment, and tools of yesteryear. Cabin History: Between 1800 and 1830 the Stormont family built this cabin near Johns Creek about 14 miles from the Farm. Samuel Stormont owned the cabin as late as 1874. Adam Hineman (1837-1928) was the next owner of the cabin. Bob Evans bought the cabin in 1971 and moved it to the Farm.
Pioneers were the first people to settle in the frontiers of North America. When pioneers arrived at their destinations, there were no rentals or pre-fabbed houses. They had to make due with what they had and learn to create their own homes. This cabin depicts a permanent type of home built and furnished by the pioneers. Cabin History: In 1850, 28 year old Abraham Phillips built this two-story log cabin near the town of Kerr about 5 miles from the Bob Evans Farm. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Isaacs owned the cabin in the 1970s and sold it to Bob Evans who donated it to the Farm. In 1974-75 this cabin became the first log building reconstructed at the previous location of the Adamsville Village near Raccoon Creek.
It's a first-hand look at the heritage of a company, an entrepreneur and his family. The Bob Evans Homestead Museum has become a popular tourist destination which brings the past to the present in its life-like displays.
Visitors to the Homestead Museum may:
Sit at the reconstructed counter of the original Steak House owned by Bob Evans
See life-size models of Bob and Jewell Evans, filming their television commercials in their original kitchen
View these commercials on an old television console of the era and
Follow the displays as the 53-year history of the business unfolds, with its dreams and goals, personalities, challenges, growth and success
Built in the early 1820s the Homestead served as a stagecoach stop and an inn during its early years. Renovated to become the museum in 2003, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Homestead Museum is currently under renovation, but will open in mid-June and remain open through October 31, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults; 5 and under are free
Day Rides: $5 ages 12/under; $10 ages 13/over
All buses (chartered/school) free on Friday
Join us in Rio Grande, OH for the 48th annual Bob Evans Farm Festival, a weekend of family fun, arts & crafts, farm contests, live music and, of course, food from October 12-14, 2018.
New: The Eyes of Freedom
The powerful, nationally-touring exhibition, Honor the Service & Sacrifice of All Who Answer Our Nation's Call features life-sized portraits of 23 fallen Marines and Navy Corpsman of Lima Company, painted by acclaimed artist Anita Miller.
Quilts of Valor: Their mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
While you could dine at the site of the first Bob Evans Restaurant, the Farm Festival also features fall favorites including bean soup, kettle corn, apple dumplings, ice cream, Ohio-made cheese, cider slushies and much more!
Ride on the festival ferris wheel, enjoy live performances and shows, and see demonstrations of farm life all weekend long.
Bob Evans Biscuit Zone: Witness the "world’s biggest" biscuits ever created and get a complimentary photo to take home when you post your favorite Festival photos to #BEFarmFest on Instagram or Twitter.
Taps in Motion Cloggers: Competitive teams perform this authentic and distinctive form of American folk dance.
The Columbus Zoo: Six to eight animals presented while a handler speaks about the animal’s habitat, its status in the wild, conservation issues, and more.
Great Lakes Timber Show: The lumberjack show features chainsaw carving, axe throwing, wood chopping, log rolling and loads of clean family humor.
Circle C Farm’s Hogway Speedway: They have been racing pigs for more than a decade. And it isn’t only pigs you can see taking to the speedway. Even some cute little ducks and goats get in on the action!
Reno Family Horseshoe Pitching: The Reno Family Horseshoe Pitchers have been putting on horseshoe exhibitions for 40+ years. They show the techniques of horseshoe pitching as well as doing some trick pitching, throwing horseshoes over and at each other.
Team Zoom Border Collies: Incredible stunt dogs you have to see to believe!
Team Fastrax Professional Skydiving Team: Look to the sky for this amazing display!
All weekend long, enjoy live performances from top Bluegrass and Country musicians including: Jonah Riddle & Carolina Express, Love Canon, The Rarely Herd, New Silver Eagle Band, Shane Reunion Band, Kyle & Brittany Schaeffer, Bob Powell Worship Service, Sandy Shortridge Band, Johnny Staats & The Delivery Boys, Larry Sparks and Bucky Covington.
View Full Schedule of Events
FREE primitive camping (no electric or water hookups are available) is available Down at the Farm from Tuesday, October 9 through Sunday, October 15. Spots are available on a first come, first served basis and no reservations are accepted (but there's plenty of space!).
Dump station, potable water, porta john restrooms and 24-hour security provided on-site and each can include one camping unit, plus one additional vehicle.
Campers can use generators until 10 p.m. Campers wishing to operate their generators all night must park in the all night generator camping area.
Campfires are permitted with these guidelines – the campfire must be in a raised, enclosed fireplace and fire extinguishers must be on the campsite. Firewood can be purchased at the campground.
The Bob Evans Farm is located on State Route 588 just off U.S. Route 35
Call us for more information at 740-245-5304.
Bob Evans Farm Address:
791 Farmview Road, Bidwell, OH 45614