Moving to Wooster, OH? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Wooster is a rural place with a lively atmosphere downtown.

A downtown street at night time.
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4146 Burbank Road, Suite A Wooster, Ohio 44691
(330) 264-6888
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Stacey Fleurime


Jan 21, 2021

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Image courtesy of OHM Advisors.

Wooster, Ohio is a laid-back city that sits an hour away from Cleveland and an hour and a half away from Columbus. It is the county seat of Wayne county, and also the largest city in the county. It is a city of charming architecture and unique communities. Wooster is considered to be “Ohio’s Amish Country” because of its large Amish population. The city makes sure to accommodate their lifestyle choices. The city has an abundance of farmland. Downtown Wooster has dozens of shops around for locals and visitors to frequent. It's an energetic place where you’ll find plenty of eateries, theaters, and attractions. It’s a business friendly city where you can relax as well as you can have an exciting time. 

Here’s what you should know about moving to Wooster:

  • History of Wooster
  • Facts and figures about Wooster
  • Local favorite things to do in Wooster
  • And more!
A street in Downtown Wooster.
This looks like a lively place to be. Image courtesy of OHM Advisors

History of Wooster

Before Moving to Wooster, Get to Know the History of Your New Home

Wooster was established by John Beaver, William Henry, and Joseph Lawrill in 1808. The town was named after David Wooster, who was considered to be a Revolutionary War hero. Wooster became the county seat in 1811, after residents petitioned Ohio’s legislature to change it from Madison, Ohio. 

In 1840, nearly 2,000 residents made up Wooster’s population. At the time, they had eight churches, one bank, 21 shops, and a private school for women. The town continued to expand over time. 

After a few decades, Wooster grew in influence. The Presbyterian Church established the College of Wooster in 1868. It brought a lot of people into the area. In 1889, a few hundred men and a few dozen women had graduated from the college. 

Aside from the college, Wooster then had eleven churches, two banks, and eight newspapers. It also had many manufacturing businesses in the area. These businesses mainly provided their services to the nearby farming communities in the countryside. The town’s largest employer in 1890 was the Underwood Whip Company. It employed a large chunk of Wooster’s residents. Other manufacturing businesses provided flour, rye whiskey, animal feed, granite, leather, as well as other useful items. 

Wooster had become a center of trade for local farmers and remained that way during the 20th century. Farming has always been very important to Wooster’s community. It is home to the Ohio Research and Development Center for Agriculture. Wooster’s businesses continue to supply products for the county’s rural population. By the year 20,000, Wooster’s once small population had risen to over 24,000 people. Many of those residents find employment at Wooster College. 

Wooster by the Numbers

Learn About Wooster’s Economy, Demographics, and What It’s Really Like to Live Here

Wooster Population

Wooster, Ohio has a population of over 26,000 people. The town isn’t very densely populated, with around 1,500 people per square mile. The median age of a Wooster resident is 36 years old, one year younger than the country’s median age of 37. On average, there are 2.2 people per household, not much lower than the country’s average. About 45% of those households are married couples, and 24% of those married couples have children. 16 percent of Wooster’s households are made up of single parent families. 

Wooster’s Demographics

88% of Wooster’s residents are white. 3.3% of the residents are black, and around 3.3 percent are Asian. 2.3% of the residents are of Hispanic ethnicity. Around 2.2% of residents identify as two or more races. The median price for a Wooster home is around $195,000. 

Wooster’s Schooling

The Wooster City School District enrolls nearly 4,000 students. They have one pre-school, four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. There is also an alternative school for students. There are about 16 students per teacher in their school system. The College of Wooster is a private liberal arts institution there that enrolls over 2,000 students. 

Things to do in Wooster 

Wooster is a city that has plenty of amenities available to the people there. It is a very rural place, but downtown is a vibrant place with a lot to offer. There are great shops, dining locales, and theaters. You can find shops selling clothing, books, furniture, and art. There are also several hotels and bed and breakfasts for visitors. 

Get to Know Wooster Like a Local

Where People Shop, Dine, and Hang Out in Wooster

Wooster residents get to experience a lot in their city. There is a great blend of rural and urban spaces to frequent. There are museums and exhibits that show off what life is like for past and current residents. You can visit the John S. Yoder home to see how Wooster’s Amish population lives, and you can explore the former Ohio & Erie canal to experience the past. There are antique shops, bakeries, and clothing stores. Some of them sell unique Amish goods you wouldn’t find in most places. If you visit Wooster, you’ll come to realize why it is such a great place to be!

The City Square Steakhouse

This steakhouse is one of Wooster’s most popular restaurants.
Two filet mignons topped with asparagus and white sauce.
This entrée has been laid out so artistically. Image courtesy of LinkdIn.

148 S Market St | Wooster |

The City Square Steakhouse has been part of Wooster for over 10 years. The founder is an award winning chef who opened this place with his wife. Because of his skill, this place is considered to be one of the best 100 steakhouses in the U.S.! It is easy to see why when you visit. They serve certified angus beef steaks, fresh seafood, burgers, and vegetarian entrees. They also offer desserts alongside craft beers and cocktails. The atmosphere combines the charm of a small town with a lot of sophistication, making it an upscale venue with a comfortable vibe. 

This restaurant possesses four different dining rooms that people can book to have a more intimate setting with their companions. There is a private venue with its own entrance, a private dining room, a main dining room, and a covered outdoor patio that is heated during the winter. The food and beverages they offer can be customized to suit your tastes. 

“What a gem. Talk about a restaurant firing on all cylinders. Came here while passing through town with my wife and we were thrilled with the wine, entrees, and friendliness of the staff. Can't go wrong with any of the steaks or burgers.” -- Yelp Review

Broken Rocks Café & Bakery

This café offers up fresh baked goods that people flock to enjoy.
Round, fresh baked loaves of bread.
This bread looks perfectly crisp on the outside. Image courtesy of Tripadvisor

123 E Liberty St | Wooster |

Broken Rocks Café was founded in 2000. It was founded by a husband and wife duo who used wild grapes from the shores of Lake Huron to create their first sourdough starters. They work hard to create the best breads that they can, and they also make plenty of great foods that pair well with bread. This café is a Wooster favorite. When you see the menu, you’ll get an understanding of why that’s the case. Their appetizers include crab cakes, pot stickers, and mussels. They also offer a variety of pastas, salads, steaks, and sandwiches. They also serve pizza. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. 

Their drink menu is just as appealing. You can choose from multiple house made cocktails. There is the mango martini, the “flirtini” which is made with pineapple, and the “sliced apple.” Aside from all the other cocktails they serve, they also provide many different draft and canned beers. 

“We looked up restaurants in Wooster as we passed through town to pick up a puppy nearby. It was listed as a local favorite and we could see why! Everything we ordered was bursting with flavor. The shrimp and polenta appetizer, lobster bisque soup, Cajun chicken pasta and glazed brisket are all very very tasty! We would definitely come back again if we were in town!” -- Yelp Review

Basil Asian Bistro

This restaurant is highly recommended by the locals. 
Two types of sushi on a flat white plate.
This sushi platter makes for a great display. Image courtesy of DoorDash.

145 W Liberty St | Wooster |

Basil Asian Bistro is an upscale restaurant that serves many types of Asian cuisine. They call the restaurant “basil” after the popular ingredient in Asian cooking. Their menu is inspired by Pacific and Southeastern Asian cuisine. They serve Thai curries, Pad Thai, and sushi. Their sushi options include spicy crab rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and rainbow rolls. For appetizers, they offer crab Rangoon, pot stickers, and crispy eggplant among others. They even have a few different chef’s specials which include curry fish, green mango grouper, and Szechuan duck. And with those entrees you can choose to have white rice, brown rice, or fried rice. They also offer 23 different stir-fry options!

At Basil Asian Bistro, you can order your food online, or you can experience the venue in person. The food is so enjoyable that the owners have opened up multiple locations! If you go there, you get to see how their commitment to perfection pays off. 

“Extremely surprised at how wonderful the food was. I've heard a lot about it but gave it a try tonight. The calamari was one of the most delicious things I've eaten in a very long time. To my disbelief they had Pho as well. Definitely my new go-to dinner spot. My waitress was extremely friendly and helpful.” -- Yelp Review

Pine Tree Barn 

A place where you can buy food and furniture! 
A wooden store filled with Halloween decorations.
These decorations will have your household feeling the Halloween spirit! Image courtesy of TripAdvisor.

 4374 Shreve Rd | Wooster |

Pine Tree Barn is a family owned venue that offers a wide array of products. It has been a fixture of Wooster for many decades. They offer quality merchandise that is very well priced. They sell furniture and housewares as well as different fun gift items. They also sell Christmas trees and Christmas decorations all year round! In the boutique, you can purchase jewelry, lotions, handbags, and more. In their loft space you’ll find giftable items from the 18th century. There is even a grocery that offers amazing American made treats. And on top of the wonderful items you can shop for, they have a restaurant that serves amazing food! They are committed to providing their customers with the best service possible. 

Pine Tree Barn’s restaurant is a popular destination for Wooster visitors. Customers get to enjoy the convenience of shopping and eating all at the same venue. The most popular items they serve are the French onion soup, the quiche, and crepes. They have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options, and delicious desserts. Dessert options include pecan pie and apple walnut pie. 

“This is one of my favorite places to eat. The staff is always so lovely and the food is always amazing. The onion soup, variety of quiches and pies are my favorite. While you're waiting for your food or after your meal you can shop on the several floors of wonderful goods to purchase. I'm not one for fruit pie but their blackberry sour cream pie is Amazing. We go to this place several times a year and it's well worth the drive.” -- Yelp Review

Downtown Wooster streets focused on a government building.
This uniquely designed building is one of Wooster’s most distinctive downtown structures. Image courtesy of Wooster Ohio

Wooster, Ohio is a friendly town where people with vastly different lifestyles coexist and share each other’s values. It is slow paced and offers the benefits of a quiet lifestyle with plenty to do both in and outside of town!

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