NIMISHILLEN TWP. − Kay and Bill Malloy took an overgrown dump of a property and turned it into a slice of serenity.
And from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, they will share it with the public at the third Quarry Artisan Market at 6670 State St. NE, about a mile west of state Route 44 − roughly halfway between North Canton and Alliance.
The market and juried event will feature about 40 artists and artisan vendors. But what makes it especially unique is the location.
A roughly quarter-mile gravel drive winds back to the 45-acre property. Driving around the final bend, visitors immediately notice the striking beauty.
To the right is a manmade quarry lake rimmed with exposed rock. Water stretches more than a mile. To the left is a stately Tudor and storybook-style home reminiscent of the historic Stan Hywet property in Akron. Reclaimed slate roofing from a church, vintage brick, cobblestone, a gargoyle and other decorative touches adorn the home and potting shed. Straight ahead is a Gothic timber frame barn constructed from white oak timber.
"I've had people say this is one of their favorite shows because it's relaxed," Kay Malloy said while gesturing at the lake from an overlook near the house. "Someone at one of the last shows, they were here for five hours just sitting on the rocks just talking to people."
"You have destination weddings," she said. "This is a destination event."
Artwork and handmade items will be displayed and sold, including soaps, lotions, essential oils, pottery, jewelry, paintings, driftwood art by Erie Decor, fiber art and echo printing.
Beech Creek 4-H will be selling concessions and food. Live music will be The Raines Sisters on Saturday and One String Short on Sunday. Milk and Honey will be selling ice cream from a small pop-up truck.
Vendors also will include NeeNee's Bees & Blooms on Saturday, Vintage Restorations by tina, baked goods, fresh flowers, Worlim Acres cheeses, Chocolates by Erin, Boylan Glass, and The Elderberry Mercantile. Artists include Russ Hench, Erin Mulligan, Michelle Mulligan, Sarah DeBaun, Susan Banks, Therese Cook and Terri Barnes.
Admission and parking are free.
Helping Kay Malloy with the event are Anne Richeson and Kim Anderson.
Rock-rimmed lake, tudor-style home, rustic barn
Holding an artisan market wasn't a thought when Bill and Kay Malloy purchased the property. More lucrative land around the site was bought up, but the neglected acreage was left behind. Nobody was in a bidding war to acquire it.
Hidden in the limestone quarry was a gem in need of love and polishing.
"It was real rough," Kay Malloy said. "And it was an absolute dump."
There was lots of work to do. Cranes, heavy equipment and divers cleaned out the lake. Cars were pulled out; sheriff's deputies were on hand to determine if any were stolen, Kay Malloy said.
After constructing the barn and then the house, the couple moved onto the property in 2015.
Kay Malloy smiled at the transformation. Now it's a natural oasis she enjoys with her family and friends. Kayaks and a pontoon-style boat are used to paddle or cruise in the water. And it's all private except for the weekend of the artisan market.
That's when it bustles with art lovers, crafters and the curious.
"Just imagine the music, it's wafting, and the vendors are upstairs in the barn," she said. "They hear music, and the people out here (on the property) hear the music."
Once a year, the public can enjoy a serene slice of Stark County
Opening up the site to a market wasn't an easy decision.
"We thought long and hard," Kay Malloy said. "Do we want to open it up and let people know what's back here?"
Pointing at her husband, she said, "he's the architect."
"I'm the artist, and we feel very blessed that we've been able to create (the property)," Malloy said. "And we just feel once a year we'll open it up and share it."
The first market was in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 600 people attended, far exceeding expectations.
"We were thrilled," said Anderson, a fiber artist who is president of the Canton Fiber Arts Guild.
After not holding the market in 2022, Malloy said she feels like "there's a little bit of a buzz about" it this weekend.
This Stark County spot 'could be anywhere in the world.'
Vendors will be spread around the property, including upstairs in the barn, on a sunporch, in a potting shed and in covered spaces.
They include Richeson, who creates handmade jewelry and pastel miniature drawings.
Nature and the beauty of the property attract people to the Quarry Artisan Market as much as the artwork, she said.
"I was amazed at how many people went home on Saturday and brought the rest of the family on Sunday," Richeson said of a past market. "And I've never seen that before (at an art event).
"You have artists, you have this beautiful setting, and you could be anywhere in the world," she added. "I just think it's an escape. You're seeing things you've never seen maybe as far as the barn and the building."
Reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org and on X (formerly Twitter) @ebalintREP
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Quarry Artisan Market blends art, music, food, nature in Stark County