Keeping History Alive with 3 Simple Letters

Experience Oxford Keeping History Alive with 3 Simple Letters One of the most iconic buildings in the Borough of Oxford is none other than the 187 year-old Octoraro Hotel & Tavern, affectionately called the OTE. For years during its vacancy, the only letters that remained lit on the large exterior sign were the O.T.E. That's how the nickname stuck. Walk inside these hollowed doors and you walk into history. Having gone through numerous owners, many building additions, seeing prohibition come and go, and the heart wrenching fires, it still stands as a beacon in the center of Oxford. Welcoming locals and travelers alike to pull up a barstool or grab a seat on the porch and enjoy a beverage as you watch the town pass by. The current stewards of this Landmark building, John and Nickoel McGlothlin have restored the building to its former glory and have given new life to these historic walls. After the devastating fire in 2014, a 15 month and $1 Million renovation, the OTE has returned, and some would say the culture that it brings has never left. Walking into the OTE you see what makes Oxford such a unique place. You have the professional business [...]

Awesome Beer and a Great Group of Guys

Experience Oxford Awesome Beer and a Great Group of Guys There’s always a smile when you talk to the owners of Bog Turtle Brewery. We asked them how they keep the long brew days fun. “With five partners with a varied set of interests such, as movies, music, sports and outdoor activities, there are always subjects to argue, debate, and even sometimes agree on.  And there is always beer to talk about.” How did Bog Turtle Brewery get started? “When we first got started, 5 of the 6 partners lived in the same development, Sycamore Crossing, and all of us lived in Oxford Borough. At a neighborhood barbeque one weekend, the group of us were standing around talking about what we do for fun.  Steve chimed in and said he brews beer in his garage. We all did a double take and the rest, as they say, is history.” “The first Saturday of the month became Brew Day. It didn’t matter what was going on around us, blizzards, hurricanes, even the 2012 apocalypse. If it was the First Saturday, we were in Steve’s garage brewing.” “Our home brew setup was quite intense, we brewed on propane, it was like having 200 bunsen burners in a ring. [...]

Something to Blush About

Something to Blush About Experience Oxford "I took a leap of faith, went with my heart and opened a shop in Oxford.” Tara Miller, owner of Studio Blush When asked if she always wanted to own her own salon, Tara explained, “I originally wanted to be a paralegal and only started working in a salon to pay for school. But I became hooked.”  After working at salons for over 20 years she set a goal for herself to become an American Board Certified Haircolorist. She achieved that and is now one of only 5,000 in the country.  After reaching that milestone she began to dream about the next step and after a heart to heart with her husband, she set the next goal for herself, opening a small hair art studio. “I kept working towards my goal. Saving was important, but building my network was crucial.” “Becoming friends with other business people, not necessarily those in my own industry, but those who were already businesses owners, who were in the thick of owning their own businesses was a huge benefit to me.” “They say it’s business, its not personal; but creating friendship on a personal level with other likeminded business folks created a support [...]

How Kettle Corn Became a Family Affair

How Kettle Corn Became a Family Affair Experience Oxford We grabbed a cup of coffee with Cheryl and Jeff Hamm, owners of  Wholly Grounds and their kids to find out how a family run business is making their mark in Downtown Oxford. When asked how they ended up in Oxford. Cheryl said, “it all started with the Kettle Corn,” her favorite snack.“Jeff got tired of driving around trying to find it so one day he decided to just buy the kettle and make it,” Cheryl says. “He found the whole setup down in North Carolina, so we took a weekend trip and drove down there. When we first started he would pull it out into the driveway and make a batch for me. The neighbors would smell it and come over and get their bags. That led to doing events and eventually First Fridays in Oxford.”“The kettle corn came first to make me happy, and I still love it. I haven’t gotten tired of it yet!”“After becoming good friends with the late Jerome Rodio, one thing led to the next and the timing worked out that we were able to purchase this building after the Lighthouse Youth Center built their new facility,” explained Jeff. “We thought [...]

Music = Lifelong Entertainment

Music = Lifelong Entertainment Experience Oxford The Oxford Arts Alliance is celebrating their 10-year anniversary in 2018. The Alliance began as a Fine Art Gallery… and then came the music and art education programs, the brainchild of a 23-year-old music school graduate with a vision. We had a chance to sit down with Director of Education, Tony Derrico to learn about how the education programs developed and the amazing things happening at 38 South Third Street. “The education programs at the Oxford Arts Alliance have truly been a grassroot effort. We’ve grown from 5 students taking a group guitar lesson in 2010 to over 150 students a week taking music lessons. Today we have nine different instructors from drum, violin, bass, guitar, piano, and more.” “We started giving private lessons by receiving an out-of-tune donated piano with dents and dings. One day we convinced three volunteers to hoist it up the stairs to the second-floor lesson room.  Now, each year there is an increasing demand for lessons, having grown from teaching guitar in the director’s office on the first floor, to now occupying the whole building.” “I was an ice hockey player growing up, but got injured in early high school. [...]