Amish Country in Southwest Ohio

amish2woodThe Wheat Ridge Amish Community in Adams County Ohio Amish Country located in Southwest Ohio features two authentic Amish stores:  Miller’s Furniture, Bakery
& Bulk Foods and the Keim Family Market.

Keim Family Market
Burnt Cabin Road in Seaman, Ohio
Phone: 937-386-9995
Web: keimfamilymarket.com/

Miller’s Furniture
Miller’s Bakery
& Miller’s Bulk Foods
Wheat Ridge Road in West Union, Ohio
Phone: 937-544-4520
Web: www.wheatridgeamish.com

Ohio Amish Country now includes Southwestern Ohio. In 1975, Amish families moved from the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country in Holmes County and settled in rural Adams County. Amish began selling baked goods along side Route 32. From there, the Miller and Keim family businesses grew from there humble beginnings to Amish superstores selling baked goods, bulk foods, full line delis with meat and cheese selections and almost anything you can imagine being made from wood. full line deli with cheese and meat selections, and bulk food selection that includes spices and baking ingredients plus an enormous variety of canned goods, sugar-free foods and candies. Their indoor and outdoor furniture lines include hutches, bedroom sets, chairs and gliders. In addition, they hand build gazebos, children play sets, footbridges and even buildings.

The Amish merchants are very friendly but do not like their picture to be taken. They provide credit card processing, UPS delivery, catalogs for their products and superb customer service.

Bob Evans Farm

Admission to the original Bob Evans Farm, Restaurant and Homestead is free (Fee for additional activities). 

  • Open daily from April 1 through December 23 from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 791 Farmview Road in Rio Grande, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-994-FARM (3276)
  • Web: Click here
  • Play Video

The original Bob Evans Farm, Restaurant, Homestead and Museum are in Rio Grande, Ohio. Make your pilgrimage to where it all began “down on the farm.” Yes, the original 1,000 acre Bob Evans farm, including dozens of horses.  Begin your tour with Bob’s first restaurant named, The Sausage Shop, and continue to the Homestead Museum, log cabin village, small animal barnyard, quilt barn and much more. For a fee, you can also take part in many weekend events such as the annual Bob Evans Farm Festival. The “Homestead” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is where Bob and his wife, Jewell, raised their six children. It used to be a stagecoach stop and inn.

Carriage Hill Farm and Museum

Admission to Carriage Hill Farm and Museum is free.

  • Open April – October Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday from Noon – 5pm. And November – March Tuesday – Sunday from Noon – 4:45pm
  • Location: (Map It) 7800 East Shull Road in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-278-2609
  • Web: metroparks.org/parks/carriagehill/

Carriage Hill Farm and Museum are part of the Dayton Metro Parks. Visitors will see what it was like to work on a farm in the 1880’s. It has restored buildings that include a blacksmith shop, summer kitchen, woodshop and barns with a variety of animals. There are also hands-on displays for children. Household chores and farming are demonstrated as they were more than 100 years ago. There are also scenic views of woodlands, meadows, lake and pond.

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Admission to Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is free.

  • Open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1140 Madison Avenue (near downtown Cincinnati, Ohio) in Covington, KY
  • Phone: 859-431-2060
  • Web: www.covcathedral.com

The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption:  See the largest stained glass window in the world and only one of 31 basilicas in the U.S. The window measures 67 feet by 24 feet. The cathedral also touches the senses with more than 80 additional stained glass windows and its French Gothic design complete with gargoyles and flying buttresses.

Christmas Manor

Admission to the Christmas Manor in Bryan, Ohio is free.

  • Open from the last weekend in September through December 23 on Mondays – Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. –9:00 p.m.  and Sundays from Noon – 5:00 p.m. (Also, open Thanksgiving Day from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
  • Location: (Map It) 317 W. Butler St. in Bryan, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-636-3082

The Christmas Manor in Bryan, Ohio:  We invite you to pay a visit to Christmas Manor, a nineteen room, circa 1874 Victorian Italianate home (located in Bryan, Ohio). This is one of N.W. Ohio’s most visited attractions.

Thousands of gifts and decorations are displayed throughout this magnificent home. The decorating ideas you see can easily be transferred to any home. So come catch the spirit of Christmas at Christmas Manor.

During the off season, visit the Christmas Manor “Home for the Holidays-Gift Shop” & “Fireside Books.” It is open with limited hours. Gifts are displayed in a cozy home atmosphere.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

CHRISTMAS MANOR

There is an indefinable fascination that most people have with old mansions. And, there’s more to the allure than simply revisiting opulence of another era, because unlike ordinary houses, these dwellings were never built by ordinary people, and there’s a story behind every door.

Usually these builders were the wealthy that did things their way, regardless of tradition. And tradition, as quoted by Kurt Adler is “What you resort to when you don’t have the time or money to do it right.”

Their riches not only offered them the most extravagant comforts, but a flamboyant way of showcasing it. Sometimes too, it was the less than wealthy eccentrics who were out of step with the times who built them, but with all the variations, the fact that the owners were making a personal statement, is the one consistency.

In Bryan, Ohio there is a brick three-story, nineteen-room Victorian Italianate home that projects as much of an individual declaration today as it did for the wealthy doctor who built it in 1874.  The present owners would probably prefer not to be described as eccentric, but they do use the old mansion in an unusual way—even though the announcement is one of cheer and good will to all. It’s known as Christmas Manor.

It’s open to the public only from September 20 through December 31 and nearly every room is decorated with a Christmas theme.

It started with a family named Goldsmith who purchased the house in 1962. After a few years, just as they were considering downsizing they happened upon an unusual Christmas shop in Rhode Island, and decided they could do something similar, only on a much larger scale with their house back in Bryan. They started with the porch and three rooms, and with each season the premise grew.

With one owner between them and the Goldsmiths, the present owners, Loretta and Max Musser have continued the ritual to the near ultimate. It is a bed and breakfast, but Christmas displays consume all but one bedroom. However, it is a very special room for those lucky enough to rent it. Access is gained through large double doors and up a winding walnut staircase to a room with a twelve-foot ceiling, fireplace, a sitting room and amenities. In the upstairs room used as Musser’s office there is a trap door leading to servant’s quarters, but there will be no servant bringing breakfast to your bed like the original family was accustomed.  However, a voucher for a belt-busting meal at a local restaurant will satisfy the most ravenous morning appetite.

This is one museum-type house where the imported Italian parquet floors, antique chandeliers and bookcases, as beautiful as any, are completely overwhelmed by spirits—the kind that make you feel good—and the Mussers work to maintain that atmosphere.

On their buying trips they look for the most unique gifts and decorations, with creativity foremost in their designs that change yearly. Each room is a different color and diverse motif—seventeen rooms in all. A few examples are the Christmas kitchen, a country room, a room just for kids, and a winter park converted from an indoor swimming pool with every imaginable size and style of Christmas trees and candy canes everywhere.

This is a business, of course, but many people tour the Christmas Manor just to rekindle their Christmas spirit, and the Mussers are quick to confirm that everyone is welcome. In this year of economic woes some people may not be filled with the usual cheer, but a tour of this old mansion with every nook and cranny stuffed with Christmas gaiety is guaranteed to turn up the wick on that inner flame. For more information go to www.christmasmanor.com.

The Mussers also point out that the Spangler Candy Co. located in Bryan is the world’s largest producer of candy canes. If you want to know more about the red and white candies that are as decorative as they are tasty, the company offers tours and a museum. Call 888-636-4221 or go to www.spanglercandy.com for more details.

By Robert Carpenter
Robert Carpenter was born and raised in the New Philadelphia, Ohio area.

Divine Farms

Admission to Divine Farms in Hebron, Ohio is free.

  • Open Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for pumpkins & gift shopping during fall season
  • Location: (Map It) 672 National Road in Hebron, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-928-8320
  • Web: http://devinefarms.com/

The Divine Farms in Hebron, Ohio:  Family owned Devine Farm and patch, located 30 minutes from Columbus is more than just a pumpkin patch. Annually, the farm features its Pumpkin Festival every weekend from late September until late November. The farm produces a variety of harvest products like field corn, wheat, soybeans and pumpkins. Straw bales and squirrel corn are available year-round. In the fall, with five buildings of activities visitors can enjoy pumpkins, the famous Barrel Train Ride, a corn maze, wagon rides, pumpkin painting and more, rain or shine. Many of these fun activities are $1. The farm can be reserved for school tours, company events or church groups.

Follett House Museum

Admission to the Follett House Museum is free.

  • Open April through December hours and days vary so call ahead (Closed January, February & March)
  • Location: (Map It) 404 Wayne Street in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-627-9608
  • Web: Click here

The Follett House Museum has an extensive collection of archival materials chronicling the Sandusky and Erie County region. It includes several artifacts from the Underground Railroad. The museum is a branch of the Sandusky Library. The 1827 mansion was built by Oran Follett in Greek-Revival style. Follett was a businessman and one of the founders of the Republican Party. The museum’s Civil War collection includes items from the Confederate officers’ prison on Johnson Island. Other fine artifacts in the museum’s possession are diaries, letters, drawings and photographs from the Johnson Island Prison. It also displays books, maps and manuscripts. When you visit, take in the panoramic view of Sandusky, Cedar Point and Johnson’s Island from the mansion’s widow’s walk. The Follett House Museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

Franzee House

Admission to the Franzee House is free.

  • Open weekdays only May 1 through October 31 from 10am – 5pm and closed the rest of the year
  • Location: (Map It) 7733 Canal Road in Valley View, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-524-1497

Built in the mid 1820s during the time of the construction of the northern portion of the Ohio and Erie Canals, this home exhibits excellent examples of Western Reserve architectural style and construction techniques used at the time.

Freshwater Farms of Ohio

Admission to Freshwater Farms of Ohio is free except for group tours.

  • Open year-round Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Closed Sunday)
  • Location: (Map It) 2624 U.S. 68 in Urbana, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-634-7434 or 937-652-3701
  • Web: http://fwfarms.com/

Freshwater Farms of Ohio is the state’s largest indoor fish hatchery. The fish farm is open for public self-guided tours as well as for-fee large group tours, and includes family activities such as trout-feeding, displays of native fishes and a sturgeon petting zoo. The Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival is held at the farm every third Saturday in September. Producer of wholesome rainbow trout fillets and smoked trout, the fish are raised from egg to adult in solar-heated barns using clean water and feeds.  Their products are made with all natural ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, specializing in hand-cut boneless fillets as well as smoked trout products, seasoned trout patties, marinated and pre-seasoned fillets, and bulk seasonings made from scratch.

Frostville Museum

Admission to the Frostville Museum is free.

  • Open Memorial Day through October 30th on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 24101 Cedar Point Rd. · Rocky River Reservation in North Olmsted, Ohio
  • Phone: 440 779-0280
  • Web: Click here

The Frostville Museum highlights the local 19th Century history and features several landmarks. The Brigg’s Homestead built in 1836, the Jenkin’s Cabin built in the early 1800s, the John Carpenter House built in 1840 and the Prechtel House built in 1874 are some of the featured buildings at this site. Each structure displays museum items that reflect the day and times of pioneer life, rural Victorian American life and other historic artifacts.

Garfield Birth Site, Monument & Historic Site

Admission to the President James A. Garfield Memorial Cabin and Birth Site, Monument & Historic Site is free.

  • Open June – September on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.  until 1:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Moreland Hills, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-248-1188

Please note that this is President James A. Garfield’s birth site, not the historic site, which is in Mentor, Ohio. Here, you will see a replica memorial cabin like that which was built by Garfield’s father in 1829.

James A. Garfield Monument:

  • Open April 1 – November 19 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. daily
  • Location: (Map It) Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-421-2665

President Garfield is buried in Lake View Cemetery, located in University Circle east of downtown Cleveland. As you enter Lake View Cemetery at the Euclid  or Mayfield Gate, follow the signs leading to the monument.  Garfield (1831-1881) was the 20th President of the United States and was elected to office in 1880.  He was assassinated in 1881 four months after his inauguration by Charles Guiteau.

James A. Garfield National Historic Site National Park Service:

  • Open May 1 – October 31 from 10am – 5pm (closed Sun & Mon) and open Nov 1 – Apr 30 from 12-5pm on Saturday
  • Location: (Map It) 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH 44060
  • Phone: 440-255-8722

James A. Garfield National Historic Site commemorates and interprets the life, family, and career of James Abram Garfield, college professor and principal, Civil War general, member of Congress, and 20th President of the United States.  This eight-acre property includes the Garfield home (purchased in 1876; expanded in 1880 and 1885-86), memorial library, 1880 presidential campaign office, and several outbuildings.  The grounds are free; access to museum exhibits, film, and guided house tours are $5.00 /person for anyone 16 and older.  The site regularly hosts several expanded tours, including a “Behind the Scenes” tour and a special tour for kids. Numerous programs and special events throughout the year further interpret James A. Garfield’s legacy and important role in American history.  For more information, contact James A. Garfield NHS, 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, Ohio 44060; 440-255-8722; www.nps.gov/jaga.

Hardin County Historical Museums

Admission to the Hardin County Historical Museums is Free. Donations accepted.

  • Open: Tuesday – Friday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., or by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) 223 N. Main in Kenton, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-673-7147
  • Web: Click here

The Hardin County Historical Museums: Also known as the Sullivan-Johnson Museum, exhibits include the world famous Kenton Cast Iron Toys, Fred Machetanz gallery, Jacob Parrott, and much more. Kenton Toy Collectors meet at the museum every other month. The Toy Collectors are available for appraisal of toys.  They also buy, sell, and trade. The Hardin Historic Village and  Farm is open by appointment only.

Hardin Village & Farm

Admission to the Hardin Village & Farm is free.

The Hardin Village & Farm:  This turn-of-the-century farmstead features many farming instruments and pioneer architecture. Highlights of the museum/village include the Stadt Log House and Dunkirk Jailhouse.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Admission to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House is free.

  • Open May 1 – Labor Day from 10am – 1pm on Wed, Thr, Sat.  Open Labor Day – Nov 30 from 10am – 1pm on Thr and Sat.   Open Feb 1 – Apr 30 from 10am – 1pm on Thr and Sat. (other days/times by appointment)
  • Location: (Map It) 2950 Gilbert Avenue (State Route 3, U.S. 22) in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-751-0651
  • Web: http://stowehousecincy.org/

The Harriet Beecher Stowe House:  Harriet Beecher Stowe is the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe was inspired to write this historic book when she learned of the evils of slavery.  Built in 1833 by Lane Seminary, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the residence for the institution’s president. In 1832, Harriet Beecher moved to Cincinnati from Connecticut with her father, Dr. Lyman Beecher who was appointed president of the seminary.

John Smart House

Admission to the John Smart House is free.

  • Open Tuesdays from 9am – 4pm and the first Sunday of each month from 1-4pm. Closed January and February.
  • Location: (Map It) 206 N. Elmwood in Medina, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-722-1341 
  • Web: http://medinahistorical.com/

At the John Smart House, you will see what life during the Victorian era was like. Beautiful furnishings, exhibits and vintage clothing are displayed. You will also enjoy pioneer artifacts, Civil War pieces, Native-American tools (including arrowhead displays). On an interesting note, see life-sized pictures, boots and helmet of real-life giants – Martin and Anna Bates.

John T. Wilson Homestead

Admission to the John T. Wilson Homestead is free. Donations accepted.

john-t-homestead-historicalThe historic John T Wilson Homestead. EST. 1832. Listed as a National Register of Historical Places. The John T. Wilson Homestead has been a place of significance since the early 1800s as the center of the community, general store, and post office; an important stop on the Underground Railroad for slaves escaping to freedom; and a recruitment and training site of Civil War Union Soldiers – to its current placement on the National Registry of Historic Places and inclusion in the Friends of Freedom Society Most Endangered Underground Railroad listing. At the same time, this site has always been a place of quietness and peacefulness. Perched high on a bluff, with nearly constant gentle breezes, visitors to the Wilson home often feel a sense of calm and harmony. This is probably why John T. Wilson chose the name of Tranquility for the community that sprung up around his farmstead. The homestead is also the host of the yearly Adams County Civil War days. Please be sure to visit the website for more information on the historical John T. Wilson homestead.

Land of the Cross Tipped Churches

Welcome to the Land of the Cross Tipped Churches in western Ohio.

  • Location: Auglaize and Mercer Counties, as well as portions of northern Darke and Shelby Counties
  • Phone: 800-860-4726

Land of the Cross Tipped Churches:  In July 1979, over sixty buildings representing the German Catholic settlements of southern Auglaize and Mercer Counties, as well as portions of northern Darke and Shelby Counties, were placed on a National Register of Historic Places. Named The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches, these buildings consist of churches, schools, rectories and convents, this grouping is symbolic of the culture and historic uniqueness of the region. Today, most of these structures remain to remind us of the hard work and dedication of these early settlers as they built the Miami-Erie Canal and forged a new life on the area’s rich and productive farmland. A drive along this Ohio Scenic Byway through the rural countryside follows the quaint churches with their cross tipped “spires to heaven” and includes stops at the focal points of the region: the former convent at Maria Stein, St. Augustine Church – the original Mother Church of the area, and the magnificent and impressive former seminary at Carthagena.

Lane Hooven House

Admission to the Lane Hooven House is free.

  • Open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 319 N. 3rd St. in Hamilton, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-863-1389

The Lane Hooven House was built in 1863 by industrialist Clark Lane and later restored. This octagonal Victorian Gothic Revival style brick home has a unique spiral staircase running up to the third-floor turret, a stain-glass entrance and some period furnishings throughout. The main floor is enriched with butternut and white walnut woodwork.

Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm

Lavender-field-w-greenhouseAdmission to Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm is free for families and individuals.
Group rates apply for guided tours depending on attendants – call for pricing.

  • Open Saturday from 9am – 4pm, Sunday from 11am – 4pm, and Wednesday from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 2387 County Road 80 in Martinsville, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-322-2415
  • Web: peacefulacreslavenderfarm.com/

Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm:  Make your way to the farm while traveling through the Historical Martinsville Road Covered Bridge located just seconds away. Here on the farm not only will you be surprised but many will be enthused by the new Biotecture Earthship built from recycled materials. Begin your tour wandering through an acre of Lavender fields where the butterfly’s swarm hand picking your favorite flowers or hiking on many trails. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on the way out and enjoy some of hand-made Natural products. Finish the day by exploring Earthship and learn the possibilities of sustainable life and living green while taking it easy on your feet. You can also schedule ahead and receive your Reflexology session during your visit here and treat your feet!

Log House Museum

Admission to the Log House Museum is free.

  • Open Memorial Day through September on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closed holidays
  • Location: (Map It) 10 East Park Avenue in Columbiana, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-482-0946

The Log House Museum was built in the 1820s by Jacob Nessly and is now used by The Historical Society of Columbiana-Fairfield Township. The museum features quilts and coverlets from the 1830s, pioneer items and on a more interesting note: a set of 10,000 year-old Mastodon bones found by a nearby farm. Also, you will see Civil War artifacts and more. Please note that photos are allowed, even with a flash. You can park for free on an adjacent church property.

Manor House

Admission to the Manor House in the Toledo Wildwood Preserve Metroparks is free.

  • Open for tours June – August from 12-5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  April and May from 12-5pm on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
  • Location: (Map It) Wildwood Preserve Metroparks in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-535-3050
  • Web: http://www.metroparkstoledo.com

This Georgian colonial mansion was built in 1938 for Robert Stranahan, cofounder of the Champion Spark Plug Company. The Manor House has 35 primary rooms, 17 bathrooms and 16 fireplaces. Most of the rooms are refurbished with period appropriate pieces. The estate grounds also have the former riding stables, limousine garage and symmetrical formal gardens next to brick walls with wrought iron gazebos.

McGuffey Museum

Admission to the McGuffey Museum is free.

  • Open by appointment – Tours are Thrs – Sat from 1-5pm
  • Location: (Map It) Miami University, 410 East Spring Street in Oxford, OH 45056
  • Phone: 513-529-8380
  • Web: Click here

The William Holmes McGuffey Museum is on the campus of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.  It is registered as a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as a house museum that includes campus and community history.  This was the home of William Holmes McGuffey, Professor of Ancient Languages and Moral Philosophy at Miami University from 1826 to 1836.  The museum/home honors McGuffey and his Eclectic Readers, a series of books that educated five generations of Americans and are said to be the most widely published books in the U.S., second to the Holy Bible.

Millionaires Row

Free self-guided tour of Cleveland’s Millionaires Row on Euclid Avenue.

  • Location: Euclid Avenue near downtown Cleveland, Ohio
  • Web: Click here

Millionaires Row on Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue:  What was once know as “the most beautiful street in America” is now a distant memory over a century later. Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, otherwise known as Millionaires Row, was once the residential street of some of the most influential families in American history and their lavish estates. These monstrous mansions with broad sweeping lawns, ornate architecture and wondrous landscapes used to be home to industrial tycoons and celebrated philanthropists like Rockefeller, Mather, Wade, Severance, Gund, Stone, Brush and Everett and political figures such as John Hay, Tom Johnson and Leonard Hanna. Now, only 10 homes remain on the once famed avenue. And most of those are hidden from view by the byproduct of their industrial architects – buildings.  However, you can still take a stroll down memory lane and see what’s left but do so at your own risk because this isn’t exactly Rockefeller’s neighborhood anymore.

The homes that remain in whole or in part include the following:

  1. Luther Allen House (7609 Euclid Avenue)
  2. Morris Bradley Carriage House  (7217 Euclid Avenue)
  3. John Henry Devereaux (3226 Euclid Avenue)
  4. Francis Drury House (8625 Euclid Avenue)
  5. Hall-Sullivan House (7218 Euclid Avenue)
  6. Howe Residence (2248 Euclid Avenue)
  7. Samuel Mather Residence (2605 Euclid Avenue)
  8. Stager-Beckwith House (3813 Euclid Avenue)
  9. Lyman Treadway House (8917 Euclid Avenue)
  10. H.W. White Residence (8937 Euclid Avenue)

These homes were once stunning monuments to America’s growing prosperity. Those remaining sit like relics releasing a hint of what once was “the most beautiful street in America.”

Source: The Ohio Preservation Alliance

Ohio Statehouse Museum

Admission to the Ohio Statehouse Museum is free.

  • Open: Weekdays from 9am – 5pm and weekends from 12-4pm. Closed holidays.
  • Tour hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed holidays.  Free guided tours are offered Monday through Friday on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 3 p.m. Tours depart from the Map Room easily accessible from the Third Street entrance. Groups of 10 or more are requested to call in advance to ensure a guide is available.
  • Location: (Map It) Ground floor of Ohio’s Capitol Building in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-752-9777
  • Web: Click here
  • Play Video

statehouseThe Ohio Statehouse Museum is located on the ground floor of Ohio’s Capitol Building and functions as an interactive place for learning about Ohio government for more than 80,000 Ohio Statehouse tour visitors annually. The Ohio Statehouse Museum enriches the experience of Statehouse visitors by providing stronger and more diverse orientation and education about Ohio government and history. Admission to the Ohio Statehouse Museum is free.

The Ohio Statehouse Museum includes interactive, hands-on exhibits that challenge visitors’ knowledge about Ohio history and the workings of state government and equip them to more fully participate as citizens.  Historical artifacts and images tell the stories of those who have come to serve at the “People’s House.”   Audiovisual media and theatrical effects transport visitors to historical events and invite them to imagine themselves as one of Ohio’s governors or legislators.

The Ohio Statehouse Museum has created nearly 10,000 square feet of updated, high-tech, interactive exhibits enriching the experience of school children and visitors. The Ohio Statehouse is more than a monument to our past; it’s where history happens!

Old Stone House Museum

Admission to the Old Stone House Museum is free.

  • Open Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m; Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closed December and January as well as major holidays
  • Location: (Map It) 14710 Lake Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-221-7345
  • Web: Click here

The Old Stone House Museum:  This 1838 “old stone house” was originally the residence of a Scottish immigrant and later served as a post office, shoe repair shop, grocery store, doctors office and barber shop. Now, as a museum, it provides a look at the city’s pioneer past with displays of furniture, household items, clothing, tools, books, toys, dolls and a spinning wheel. The home comes complete with a sickroom with old-fashioned equipment to care for the ill. Also on display are roped beds, cooking fireplace, four-harness loom, furnished parlor, handmade linens and more. The Old Stone House has a cousin linked to it – Nicholson House. This 1835 home is an example of early Western Reserve architecture. Both homes are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Quailcrest Farm

Welcome to Quailcrest Farm in Wooster, Ohio.

  • Open Late March through December with extended hours in May, June and December, call for exact dates and times. Extended holiday hours are Dec 1 – 24 Mon – Sat 9-5 and Sun 12 – 5
  • Location: (Map It) 2810 Armstrong Rd. in Wooster, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-345-6722
  • Web: http://quailcrest.com/

Quailcrest Farm is a magical place in the country. Located just on the edge of Ohio’s Amish country, this family business was begun as a perennial nursery in 1975. Quailcrest is well known throughout the state for its herbs, perennials, old roses, flowering shrubs and scented gerenaiums for the serious and hobby gardener. It offers a wealth of gardening information and ideas as well as eclectic shopping in the gift shop, 25 relaxing display gardens, woods to wander, an assortment of dogs and cats, sunshine and fresh air!

Robbins-Hunter Museum

Admission to Robbins-Hunter Museum is free.

  • Open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Closed Nov 28 and Dec 20 – Apr 2)
  • Location: (Map It) 221 E. Broadway in Granville, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-587-0430
  • Web: www.robbinshunter.org/

The Robbins-Hunter Museum  in Granville:  This museum house was built in 1842 and has 27 rooms. The rooms are furnished with fine examples of 19th century American antiques, with a special emphasis on Ohio. Antiques at Avery House currently operates in the shop that Robbins Hunter ran. The museum hosts special exhibitions and programs.

Roscoe Village

Admission to Roscoe Village is free. However, living history tours are $9.95/adult and $4.95/student.

Roscoe Village

  • Hours of operation and tours vary by season, type and days of week
  • Location: (Map It) 600 North Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-622-9310
  • Web: www.roscoevillage.com

Roscoe Village is a restored 1800s canal town. Guests experience life during the Canal Era on the Canal Town Journey tour, during which they are guided through historical buildings staffed with costumed interpreters, and enjoy hands-on activities at the Visitor Center. Afterward they may choose to stroll the lush gardens, take a horse-drawn canal boat ride, browse the numerous quaint shops and enjoy casual family dining.

Rose Hill Museum

Admission to Rose Hill Museum is free.

  • Open Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. only.
  • Location: (Map It) 27715 Lake Road in Bay Village, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-871-7338
  • Web: Click here

The Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village:  This museum-home was built in 1818 as a private residence and once served as the town’s library. The three-story structure has furnishings from the Colonial and Victorian periods. The grounds also house a cabin replica and Smoke House.

Settlers’ Village

Admission to Settlers’ Village, a neighborhood of Americana-like shops, is free.

  • Hours: Vary, Most shops are open Monday-Saturday 10-5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 14279 Old State Rd. in Middlefield, Ohio
  • Phone 440-632-1124
  • Website: Click here

Settlers’ Village in Middlefield is a shopping village in the heart of Middlefield’s Amish Country, just north of Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen and Middlefield Cheese. Settlers’ Village is an arts and crafts shopping complex where tourists can shop, enjoy the friendly scenic environment of yesteryear.  Located in the Shopping Village is The Craft Cupboard (in business for 31 years), Tiny Stitches Quilts, Settlers’ Trains Cargo and Toys, The Amish Co-Op and Petting Barn, and Vancura Gallery of Fine Art and Custom Framing (a friendly, upscale art gallery). Settlers’ Village is known for their landmark, a 15 foot Holstein cow made from re-cycled car hoods. Most shops are open Mon-Sat. 10 am.-5pm.  Best to call ahead.

Sherwood-Davidson House Museum

Admission to Sherwood-Davidson House Museum is free.

  • Open Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closed January through March.
  • Location: (Map It) 6 N. 6 St. in Newark, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-345-6525
  • Web: Click here

Built in 1815, The Sherwood-Davidson House is an example of Federal architecture. You enter the home through a front-fanned doorway. It has a two-story side gallery, portable wooden and tin shower built before 1860 and a kitchen with a collection of pioneer utensils. It is furnished with Victorian furnishings.

Slate Run Historical Farm

Admission to Slate Run Historical Farm is free.

  • Open: Hours vary by season and days
  • Location: (Map It) 1375 Winchester Southern Rd in Canal Winchester, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-833-1880
  • Web: Click here

The Slate Run Historical Farm: Hey kids, are you afraid to get your hands dirty? I didn’t think so. Well, roll up your sleeves and join in the farm life – 1800’s style at Slate Run Historical Farm. It’s in full operation year-round as a living historical farm – not just a museum. Chores change with the seasons just like real-life and the staff dresses the part. So, step-back into early farm and family life and watch chores carried out with the tools, equipment and methods used in the old-fashioned days without electricity and other modern conveniences.

Squire’s Castle

Squire's-CastleAdmission to Squire’s Castle is free.

  • Open from Dawn – Dusk.
  • Location: (Map It) River Road in Willoughby Hills, Ohio at North Chagrin Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks
  • Phone: 216-635-3200

Squire’s Castle at Cleveland Metroparks in Willoughby Hills:  This stone building known as Squire’s Castle” isn’t a castle. Rather, it is the caretakers house for a lavish mansion that was never built. The stone castle-like home was built in the 1890s by Feargus Squire, one of the founders of Standard Oil Company. He had planned a summer estate in the Cleveland countryside. His plans changed when his wife died. And the mansion never left the drawing board.  However, the Squire Castle is still a nice place to visit although it has been stripped of its glass windows, interior walls and furnishings and had the basement filled for fear of vandals. Still, wandering this stone home is interesting. It will leave the mind to wonder what if… Bring a picnic basket and spend the afternoon in the forest by this century old architecture.

Stearns Homestead

stearns-homesteadAdmission to Stearns Homestead is free.

  • Open from May through October on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm, late June to mid-October.
  • Location: (Map It) 6975 Ridge Road in Parma, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-845-9770 or email StearnsHomestead@gmail.com
  • Web: Click here

Stearns Homestead in Parma:  This 48-acre historical farm includes the 1855 Stearns House, 1920 Gibbs House, country store, meeting cabin, out buildings, barn and farm animals. Both of the houses are museums with period appropriate displays and furnishings.

Tallmadge Historical Church

Admission to the Tallmadge Historical Church is free.

  • Open by appointment or during services
  • Location: (Map It) 46 N. Munroe Rd. in Tallmadge, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-634-2349

The Tallmadge Historical Church:  This architectural landmark was once featured in the November 20, 1944 issue of Life Magazine. It was designed by a seven-member committee in 1819 and built in 1822. The appointed architect and builder of the church was Lemuel Porter. The wood church was designed in a Greek Revival portico. Its main features include a steeple with a weathervane standing one hundred feet high and four large columns. The church is available for weddings, community events and educational tours.

Telling Mansion

Admission to the Telling Mansion is free.

The Telling Mansion:  This five-room mansion comes with a Victorian parlor. It was built in 1928 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a French-style chateau.

The 1810 House

Admission to The 1810 House is free.

  • Open from May through the first weekend in December on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Also, open in December for a special Christmas display and other times by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) 602 Seventh Street in Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-355-8313 or 740-776-3420
  • Web: www.1810house.org/ 

The 1810 House  in Portsmouth:  This former two-story brick farm homestead turned museum houses many pioneer artifacts. There are eight rooms that visitors may tour and view 19th and 20th century furnishings, house-wares and clothing. See what families did in their living rooms for activities and entertainment as well as what sort of items children of the time played with. Teachers will want to see the Old Schoolroom and its desks, books and teaching tools of the past. The kitchen is well stocked with china, utensils and more, including a cast iron.

Thurber House

Admission to Thurber House is free.

  • Open daily from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: 77 Jefferson Avenue in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-464-1032
  • Web: www.thurberhouse.org

thurber-houseThe Thurber House in Columbus is a restored nineteenth-century home where author, humorist, cartoonist, and playwright James Thurber lived during his college days with his parents.

Thurber used this home’s characteristics in many of his stories. The home has since been restored to represent the early teens of the 20th century. And of course, visitors will see Thurber memorabilia, including original drawings, manuscripts and first editions of his books. In addition, his typewriter, briefcase, family photographs and more are on display.

Excerpt from January 2007 edition of OhioTraveler

The Night The Ghost Got In

The Ohio Lunatic Asylum burned down killing seven people on November 17, 1868. Those grounds in downtown Columbus later included a house at 77 Jefferson Avenue. And from 1913-1917, the Thurber family rented it. On the 47th anniversary of the fire, two Thurber brothers were home alone upstairs when they heard footsteps circling the dining table below. When they investigated, standing at the top of the stairs, the sound faded. Until a rushing, pounding of feet leapt the steps two at a time with a dead bead for the two young men. But the young men did not see anybody there. None-the-less, they frantically scurried into nearby rooms slamming doors behind.

Later, James Thurber, one of the two brothers (attending Ohio State University at the time of the incident), penned, “The Night the Ghost Got In.” Thurber went on to become a famous author, humorist and cartoonist. As for the house at 77 Jefferson Avenue, it’s still there. And open for tours as a living museum.

Visitors and residents at Thurber House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, have also reported strange encounters with the unknown. The dining footsteps have reoccurred over the years, as have opening and closing doors, books flying off shelves, and a citing of a mysterious silhouette of a hefty, stooped figure moving about near a window. Another figure was reported in someone’s bedroom sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room, hunched, watching and then disappeared.

In 1984, the house opened as a literary arts center and museum of Thurber remnants. It is furnished in the style of the 1913-1917 period in which James Thurber lived there with his parents and two brothers. The first two floors are open daily for tours. At the direction of the Thurber family, unlike typical museums, visitors are encouraged to sit on chairs, play the piano, and otherwise act as guests to the home. Tours are 1-4pm daily (except holidays). Self-guided tours are free Monday through Saturday. Guided tours are offered on Sunday for a nominal fee of $2.00 – $2.50.

In addition, The Thurber House hosts many writing workshops, special events, a conference center next door, Reading Garden (between the historic house and conference center), a gallery, and museum shop. More information is available at www.thurberhouse.org, including detailed accounts of haunting witnessed over the decades.

James Thurber died from pneumonia on November 2, 1961. He is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

“I have lived in the East for nearly thirty years now, but many of my books prove that I am never very far from Ohio in my thoughts, and that the clocks that strike in my dreams are often the clocks of Columbus.”
– James Thurber

Toledo’s Historic Old West End

Free self-guided tours of Toledo’s Historic Old West End.

  • Open 8-5 Mon – Fr and 9-3 Sat
  • Location: See addresses below …(Map It) Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-244-6781
  • Web: oldwestendtoledo.com/

The Old West End of Toledo, Ohio is a vintage neighborhood that features one of the oldest and largest collection of Victorian and Edwardian homes in the nation. Visit Toledo and take a walk through this well kept time capsule that showcases a myriad of architectural beauty. The homes are found at the following addresses:

  • The Edward Drummond Libbey House (2008 Scottwood)
  • The Julius G. Lamson House (2056 Scottwood)
  • John Barber Home (2271 Scottwood)
  • Moses G. Block House (2272 Scottwood)
  • The Wright – Wilmington House (2320 Scottwood)
  • Edward F. Brucker House (2055 Robinwood)
  • Michael Henahan House (2052 Robinwood)
  • Albin B. Tillighast House (2210 Robinwood)
  • Frederick O. Paddock House (2233 Robinwood)
  • The Julius H. Tyler House (2251 Robinwood)
  • The William H. Currier House (2611 Robinwood)
  • The Stranahan-Rothschild House (2104 Parkwood)
  • The Leeper-Geddes House (2116 Parkwood)
  • John Waite House (2256 Collingwood)

Webb House Museum

Admission to the Webb House Museum is free.

  • Open April – December on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm or by appointment. Closed January through March.
  • Location: (Map It) 303 Granville St. in Newark, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-345-8540

The Webb House Museum in Newark:  The Webb home was built in 1907. All of its rooms are open to the public and maintain the look of a private residence. Also on the grounds is a carriage house and restored large perennial gardens.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

Admission to the William Howard Taft National Historic Site is free.

The William Howard Taft National Historic Site:  President William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930) was elected the 27th President of the United States in 1909. Visitors to his birthplace and boyhood home can play with old-fashioned toys, as did the former President. Also, visitors can play dress-up with clothes of the time.

Yoder’s Amish Home

Tours of Yoder’s Amish Home are $7.50/adult and $4.50/child (2-12 years old). Buggy rides are $4.50/adult and $3.50/child. School tour is $4/adult and $3/child. Complete package is $12/adult and $8/child. 

  • Open: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. till October. (Includes Labor Day and July 4th.)
  • Location: (Map It) 6050 State Route 515 in Millersburg, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-893-2541 
  • Web: www.yodersamishhome.com

Yoders Amish Home is an authentic Amish farm.  The farm includes 116 acres of land.  While touring the farm visitors have a chance to see two houses, a barn that was built in 1885, and also a one room school house.  Visitors can also take buggy rides, and see and pet the animals living on the farm.  Guests can also purchase freshly baked good, and presents such as dolls and quilts.

Young’s Jersey Dairy

Welcome to Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs.

  • Hours vary depending on season and attractions at Young’s (call ahead)
  • Location: (Map It) 6880 Springfield Xenia Road in Yellow Springs, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-325-0629
  • Web: http://youngsdairy.com/

Young’s Jersey Dairy:  The farm was started in 1869 and is still owned and operated by the Young Family!  Young’s hosts over one million guests each year.  Young’s is a working dairy farm with two restaurants (one is a large dairy bar and quick serve food restaurant, the other is a sit down, home-cooked, table service restaurant), two gift shops, two miniature golf courses, batting cages, golf driving range, the best homemade ice cream in the region,  friendly service, great food, family fun activities, group & company picnics, off site catering and FUN!

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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