You’re on Hamele Street in Wanakena – now what? Well, if you drove and wish to stick around for a bit you could park across the street from us (we share a building with the post office) or park it in the side lot. Did you bike? Walk, skip, stroll? Snowmobile? Roller blades? Skates? On a field trip? Drove a golf cart? Was this is part of your plan? Time traveler? On lunch break? Are you reading this online or from a printed flyer hanging in the Abode? Maybe you live here... Hello! Welcome!
Depending on the pace and direction of your travel and if you weren’t already doing so and not in a too much a rush (though, there’s lots you could cram in a flash) any direction you head will lead you to something worthy of a poke-around before you engage with Otto’s Abode – or come in first and we could provide some directions. Black Waters Cafe and Trading Post is up Second Street and your second right down Ranger School Road - you cant miss it. The Wanakena Historical Association has installed a photo-packed and informative walkable tour that will lead you over the bridges and around town. There is also a labyrinth just across the footbridge - left and across the road in the clearing overlooking the old mill pond. Trails and waterways head out of the hamlet some stones throws away along rivers, up or around hills into the forest and onto the public lands of the State Forest Preserve.
Encased within Otto’s Abode you’ll find flickering among a rotating cast of furniture, art, shop-plants and creatures an evolving selection of consumable and collectable goods like snacks, drinks, necessities, goodies and homemades. Think: snack shack with HOT coffee and tea, chips, pretzels, cookies, candy, groceries and fresh in-season veggies. We carry camping supplies, maps books and gifts. We’ve got everything you’d need for you to mail a treat to a special someone (Mary at the post office will help with the rest). Though we enjoy experimenting with different shop arrangements and event-forms we always preserve easy/direct accessibility to these items for those used to or interested in partaking in a bogo grab’n’go-go shopping experience. Your delight is our delight!
Getting off of the train in Wanakena one hundred and fifteen years ago you’d have been greeted at the doorstep of the Rich and Andrews Company Store where they say you could have gotten just about anything. Today you see the town green and gazebo where the building once stood. We are located just across the street where different iterations of store have existed since. We can't carry everything but we'd certainly love to try to help you out with whatever you'll need. There is no cell service in Wanakena. We do have wi-fi but we don’t know how to use it. We’ll also note the train no longer runs anywhere near hear. Sometimes the table is next to a power outlet.... sometimes it is not. The table is not for sale.