Where our Love Story Began: Willshire Ohio

where our love story began Willshire Ohio

where our love story began: willshire, ohio

In November we visited the place where it all began: Willshire, Ohio. We say that because the reason we fell in love goes way, way back to this small town in Ohio. After seven years together, this was our first time visiting Willshire together so it was a meaningful visit. We want to take you back to where it all started.

love story Willshire Ohio

In 1961 a creative young girl named Debbie was born to the Masons. She grew up in Willshire, Ohio and became friends with another young girl named Ronda. The two of them grew to be the best of friends in this small farm town. Debbie had four other siblings but Ronda was an only child, so she and Debbie became very close. That closeness did not fade over time. They both grew up, got married, and pursued their careers. Debbie moved to Florida in the 80’s but despite the distance, their friendship held up over the years.

Both Debbie and Ronda had two children each. Family vacations would occasionally bring their two families together. It was during those special times that young Zachary fell in love with Stephanie’s big brown eyes and young Stephanie fell in love with Zachary’s charming ways and sexy jaw bones.

love story Willshire Ohio

Left: Steph |  Right: Zach 

One Christmas in the 1990’s, Stephanie stole Zachary’s school picture from Ronda’s christmas card she had sent to Debbie. And what do ya know, Zachary had also stole Stephanie’s school picture from the card Ronda had received from Debbie.

Willshire Ohio love story

The two youngin’s had developed a childhood “crush” on each other which was innocent for many years. Until 2010…

Zachary had come back from serving in the Marines and he was moving back home to Ohio to start college. Within a few weeks of being home, he took a very big risk. He hopped on a plane to Daytona Beach, Florida and his life would forever be changed.

Steph & Zach’s time together in Florida, as friends reconnecting after years of not seeing each other, went beyond well. As expected, they not only grew to become each others best friends but after just one week together they fell madly in love. Zach came in like a gentlemanly Prince Charming and swept her off her feet, literally. The rest is history.

Willshire Ohio love story

Now you know why it all began in Willshire; a small town but an extremely meaningful town for us. It’s where our mothers met and built a beautiful friendship which allowed our love story to begin. A story only God could have written.

Now, back to our visit in November 2017. We were visiting family in Ohio for Thanksgiving so we spent a day traveling up north to Willshire to visit Zach’s family farm.

It was a day we will forever cherish as we spent quality time with family. We also got to see the farm house, the belongings passed down through the family, the old barn, the fields, and “the truck”.

love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio

Ever since we started dating, Zachary has gushed about his love for this truck his grandfather has at the farm. It’s a 1967 Chevy c-10 truck in classic red. His great-grandfather originally bought the truck and his grandfather rebuilt the engine and kept it running for him. Seeing the way Zachary looked at that truck melted my heart. He was like a little school boy with the widest grin across his face! I have never seen him get so excited over something. This truck means so much to him- it’s a piece of family history that he wants to cherish forever. After seeing him sitting in that truck, so do I.

Zachary took me on a drive across town (which took all but five minutes) and we made our way toward the old Mason house where my mother grew up. I got to see her old house off of Highway 49 near the Indiana border. About a minute after driving past her house, we started hearing some extremely loud clunking sounds from under the truck. Oh Lordy, we were breaking down! I thought for sure we were done for. 

love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio

Debbie's old house

Fear not, Zach is a car guy and within minutes we were good to go again. It turns out, the bar that holds up the spare tire had just fallen down so nothing serious. Phew!

Our ride in the Chevy was one of the greatest moments of my life. The way Zachary lit up and looked so proud driving that truck around town truly melted my heart. This man was making me fall more in love with him in the tiniest, least eventful town in Ohio: Willshire.

love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio

inside the old barn

love story Willshire Ohio

the old Plymouth

love story Willshire Ohio
love story Willshire Ohio

Willshire is a small village in Van Wert County, Ohio with a population of under 400 people. There is one post office, one gas station, and one restaurant (Becky’s which has the best pies around).

Willshire is a town that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

destination dorworth

About the Author

Hello, we are Zach (@zachdorworth) and Steph (@stephdorworth). We are Mr & Mrs traveling the world one romantic city at a time while perfecting obsessively organized travel.

  • Kim Carr says:

    What a story!
    So glad you shared it.
    We are proud of our little town. You both
    Look great in the truck BTW.
    I remember seeing that truck go down the road ( a few decades ago)
    Would love to hear more of your travels!????

    • admin says:

      Kim, thanks so much! It’s crazy you guys grew up there in such a small town. But we loved out time there because it made us appreciate the small stuff. Hope you’re doing well!

  • Aunt Chris says:

    ❤️ loved this. So good. Love the pics. After all these years of hearing these stories. ❤️

  • Eva says:

    Uh, wow, thank you for sharing this very personal story. It reflects the dream of every little girl as well as befriended mothers. My sister and her friend, for example, also hope for a similar story for their kids, but rarely these things come to pass. You can call yourself very lucky it worked out this way and I wish you it will forever last <3

  • Leah says:

    What a lovely trip down Memory Lane for you both. I can see why Willshire is so special. I can also see why Zach loves that truck so much. Old School Cool!

  • Danijela says:

    Hey, such a lovely story! Love how it goes all the way back to your parents’ childhoods. And great that you’ve actually went back to the place “where it all began”, right! 🙂
    Love your photos, and the old Chevrolet truck looks amazing. 🙂 Wishing you best of luck, guys!

  • Cathy says:

    It’s like a movie. What a beautiful love story. I’d also love to go back to the place where I and my partner met and write a story about it. Even then, we were in love with that place, just like Willshire, so simple but memorable and romantic. That truck! Just like the ones in movies and MTV! Awesome!

  • WOW! Willshire with a population of under 400 people looks like a dream village. I am a huge fan of small but well-connected communities. This small town definitely looks like one. Sometimes you really don’t need options. I am glad to know that there is one of each – post office, gas station, and restaurant. And, your pictures are so cool. love them.

  • What a touching story. I can’t imagine what a town must be like that has a population of fewer than 400 people. Love the red truck!

  • Rosemary says:

    What a lovely story. Love all the pics. The transformation on the truck is amazing. Thanks for sharing

  • Jenna says:

    Aww, what a cute story! It’s so fun to hear about couples that go way back like that! And I can see why Zachary liked that truck so much-it has such a cool vintage look to it and the story behind the truck is really neat as well. I can definitely see why Willshire is a special place for you both! The sunsets look pretty amazing too!

  • Aunt Terri says:

    It is great to see you enjoying your travels together….. even in a place with no action, so they make up
    stories to talk about!! Keep living life to the fullest!! Love ya!

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