Allen County Museum

Admission to the Allen County Museum is free.

  • Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (It opens at 10:00 a.m. from Tuesdays – Saturdays during June, July and August)
  • Location: (Map It) 620 West Market St. in Lima, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-222-9426
  • Web: Click here

Allen County Museum in Lima, Ohio:  One of the feature attractions of this popular museum is the John Dillinger/Sheriff Sarber exhibit. The Dillinger/Sarber collection includes Dillinger’s jail cell and Sarber’s desk, wax figure replicas and a video documentary. The main museum covers everything from A to Z. Also on the premises are a Children’s Museum and Children’s Garden where kids have the opportunity to do some hands-on learning. And there’s an 1893 Victorian home and out-cabin open for tours as well as a railroad collection containing old timetables, pictures, books, magazines and other materials. Inside the main museum, visitors will have two floors of discovery. The main floor features sections depicting pioneer and 19th century life, Noah’s Ark exhibit, transportation displays, opera-house music, archives room, auditorium and library. The ground-level floor provides various sections and exhibits like the Sarber/Dillinger, old general store, firefighting, military and firearms, minerals and fossils, arts and pottery, multicultural, agricultural, woodworking and engraving, and Native American items.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Frank R. Satullo

FACTS STRANGER THAN FICTION

This isn’t your ordinary county museum. It has the infamous gangster Dillinger locked up, rare birds riding a Ferris wheel and a display showcasing the things locals choked on over the years.

Oddities aside, The Allen County Museum in Lima, Ohio is serious about history. So much so, it has the distinct honor of being the only county museum in Ohio accredited by The American Association of Museums. This year, the museum itself will celebrate its 100-year history. But its content explores a past as old as rocks.

The main building features 42,000 square feet of fascinating exhibits. It took an entire room to display the model built by a local couple depicting George Washington’s plantation – Mount Vernon.  The exhibition galleries feature the area’s history of geology, Native Americans, canals, Civil War, locomotives, and Lima’s oil fields; once the largest known in the world. The museum is kid-friendly too. Many of the exhibits have that “cool factor” that prompts the inevitable, “Wow! Check this out.” One such visual is the full-body iron lung encasement.

The main building also lets kids be kids while not only learning history, but re-creating it at the new Children’s Discover Center. They can sit around the fire in the Indian mud huts, stare in wonder over the huge model train display illustrating and demonstrating railroad town culture and even stop in the one-room school for a quick lesson. If anyone acts up, there’s a tall pointed Dunce Cap on a stool in the corner.

The Allen County Museum grounds have much more to explore than the many treasures inside the main complex. The MacDonell House is a Victorian mansion open for tours depicting the high life on what used to be known as Lima’s “Golden Block.” The nearby Log House interprets pioneer living in 1848. Yet another structure portrays The Shay Locomotive Shelter, which even houses a narrow-gauge, geared locomotive built in 1925 by Lima Locomotive Works. Don’t forget the troops at The Military Annex/Transportation Building, which includes military items and vehicles. And again with children in mind, there’s the Children’s Garden offering hands-on horticultural experiences.

Although this museum is in a historic small Ohio town, it is widely recognized to offer more than many of its “big-city” counterparts. Its diverse and extensive collection has more than 250,000 archival and material items putting it in the league of some of the finest museums in the United States.

It is highlighted by its:

  • Comprehensive prehistoric and historic Native American collection.
  • Extensive pioneer life exhibit and collections.
  • Outstanding mineral and fossil specimens, including Ohio’s state fossil – the 600 million-year-old trilobite.
  • Fully functional 1944 M-4 Sherman tank and extensive military collection.
  • “The finest opera house between Boston and Denver,” Lima’s grandest building – the 1882 Faurot Opera House replicated in a fine display.
  • One of the nation’s largest steam and electric railroad collections.
  • Full-size replicas of a county store, doctor’s office and barber shop that stood more than 100 years ago. Plus 1830 Constenoga wagon, street car, horse-drawn hearse, carriages and sleighs and even a “Boneshaker” velocipede.

Perhaps the most memorable story and exhibit is the distinction Lima has by holding captive the outlaw John Dillinger in 1933. He was jailed in Lima for robbing a bank in Bluffton, Ohio. But before he could be tried for his crime, Dillinger’s gang members busted him out of the Allen County Jail. In the process, they shot and killed Sheriff Jess Sarber. They even locked the sheriff’s wife and deputy in the jail cell. The scene is replicated in the museum with Sarber sitting at his desk and Dillinger peering through the cell block bars at him.

Whether you visit for the peculiar tales or extraordinary historic specimens and documentation, The Allen County Museum has been recognized by national media in addition to regional media for its achievements and offerings. The Allen County Historical Society creates special events and educational opportunities year-round for both children and adult levels of interest. In addition, some of the most passionate and interesting tour guides gifted with the art of story-telling are available to provide your group a guided tour.

Visit The Allen County Museum and help move the past forward. It invites anyone to visit for free Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday  from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (closed Mondays and  holidays). Located at 620 West Market Street in Lima, Ohio; you may plan your visit or learn more about the museum by calling 419-222-9426 or visiting www.allencountymuseum.org.

By Frank R. Satullo, OhioTraveler

Alpine Hills Historical Museum

Admission to the Alpine Hills Historical Museum inside the Sugarcreek Information Center is free but donations are accepted.

  • Open: 9am-4:30pm Monday-Saturday April-November
  • Location: (Map It) 106 West Main Street in Sugarcreek, Ohio
  • Phone: 888-609-7592
  • Web: www.visitsugarcreek.com

sugarcreek-alpine-hills-museumThe Alpine Hills Historical Museum inside the Sugarcreek Information Center:  The focal point of downtown Sugarcreek, the Alpine Hills Historical Museum contains three floors of historic artifacts depicting the early days of the Swiss and Amish heritage unique to this area. A visitor’s trip through the museum starts with a 12-minute video presentation about Amish culture and the Swiss immigrants’ impact on the Village. The tour continues through numerous audio-visual displays that take one back to an earlier era including 1895 fire equipment, a 1900’s Amish kitchen, a complete replica of a 1890 cheese house, an early wood shop with hand tools, an early print shop, and much more. Don’t miss seeing the Swiss Alp Horns on the top floor!

The Sugarcreek Information Center is also located in the lobby of the museum. Here, visitors can get free information about many local and area attractions and events such as the Ohio Swiss Festival and the Fabulous 50s Fling and Car Show. Visitors can also purchase unique souvenirs to take home such as postcards, t-shirts, magnets, jewelry and much more!

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at the Alpine Hills Historical Museum located in downtown Sugarcreek, the Little Switzerland of Ohio. Minutes away from Amish attractions, fine restaurants, shopping, and more!

Athens County Historical Museum

Admission to the Athens County Historical Museum is free.

The Athens County Historical Society and Museum showcase the history of Athens County. The collection features permanent and changing exhibits that explore the region’s history. Genealogists are available Monday — Friday from 1 – 4 p.m. to assist visitors with researching family history. In addition, there are lectures and special events planned throughout the year.

Aurora Historical Society Museum

Admission to the Aurora Historical Society Museum is free.

  • Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 115 E Pioneer Trail in Aurora, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-995-3336
  • Web: http://aurorahistorical.org

The Aurora Historical Society Museum:  Say “cheese.” And pose in front of a giant cheese-making apparatus on display at the museum. The museum also features several interesting maps of the area dating back to the original map of 1799. It also features maps of the Western Reserve and the township in the 1870s. Additional items for viewing include old tools, fabrics and clothes, household items, toys, old photographs and currency (The Harmon Stone) actually issued for the region during the Civil War.

Bear’s Mill

historic_bears_millAdmission to the historic Bear’s Mill in Greenville is free and guided tours are available for a fee during business hours.
Tour arrangements can be made for a fee during non-business hours.

  • Open: Open daily, year round, from 11am to 5pm (closed major holidays)
  • Location: (Map It) 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, Greenville, Ohio  45331
  • Phone:937-548-5112
  • Web: www.bearsmill.com or www.facebook.com/bearsmill or search “historic bears mill”

The historic Bear’s Mill in Greenville:  Built in 1849 and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975, Bear’s Mill is an authentic example of a stone-grinding flourmill of its time. Cornmeal, whole wheat flour and rye flour are still ground with the French buhr stones powered by water from the Greenville Creek. Visitors can take a free self-guided tour of the 4 story structure and enjoy a walk in the scenic woods surrounding the mill. On the first floor is the Mill Store & Gallery where mill flours, gourmet sundries, giftware and art by regional artists are available for purchase. Proceeds from sales and all donations go to the Friends of Bear’s Mill, the nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a rich cultural experience and community-oriented events including educational tours, demonstrations and nature walks, while preserving the Mill’s historical significance and natural beauty.

Bedford Historical Society Museum

Admission to the Bedford Historical Society Museum is free.

  • Open Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 PM – 10:00PM and Thursday from 10:00AM – 4:00PM and the second Sunday monthly from 2:00PM – 5:00PM
  • Location: (Map It) Public Square in Bedford, Ohio
  • Phone; 440-232-0796
  • Web: www.bedfordohiohistory.org/

The Bedford Historical Society Museum:  The museum is located in the restored 1874 town hall of Bedford. Come and read the diaries of pioneer women or other correspondence, speeches and manuscripts ranging from the 1850s through the 1950s. It also has a vast reference library documenting genealogical resources. Many of the areas most notable women in history are also represented by a newspaper clipping file featuring Halle Berry – Actress, a renowned criminologist, and community activist to name a few. Rotating exhibits have featured period furniture displays, military artifacts, old household tools, china collections and more.

The Big Bottom

Admission to The Big Bottom Memorial Park is free.

  • Open daily from Dawn – Dusk
  • Location: (Map It) 1685 Broadway Street in Stockport, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-559-2411
  • Web: Click here

The Big Bottom is a memorial to commemorate a settler/Indian war, which began with a massive massacre of Ohio settler by the Delaware and Wyandot Indians in 1791. The twelve-foot marble marker has been placed here for remembrance of what happened. The bloodshed between the fighting parties went on for four years until the historic Treaty of Greenville ended it.

Buffington Island Monument

Admission to the Buffington Island Monument is free.

  • Open daily from dusk – Dawn.
  • Location: (Map It) Meigs County on Route 124 approximately 20 miles east of Pomeroy, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-686-1535

The Buffington Island Monument:  Don’t be misled, you will not have to swim or take a ferry to see this park and monument, as it is not really located on an island. The monument is a tribute to the soldiers who fought in a major Civil War battle here in Ohio. Renowned Major Daniel McCook of the “fighting McCook” family was a casualty of the battle. The monument itself was built from broken glacial rock found in Ohio.

Captain Hook’s Tomb

Admission to Captain Hook’s Tomb is free.

  • Location: (Map It) Old Brick Cemetery in Stockport, Ohio off State Route 376
  • Phone: 740-962-5861

Captain Hook’s Tomb in Stockport:  Captain Isaac Newton Hook (1819-1906) decided to design his own grave, according to legend, with a point on top so his wife wouldn’t dance on it. However, contrary to legend, a lady claiming to be one of Captain Hook’s great granddaughters says the tomb was built with a rounded top so his wife could not dance on it, as the story goes. It did not have a point. There is a small platform on top where he had a boat sitting, to take him away in case of a flood. There was indeed a flood, which took the boat away. Whether or not he was in it, is anyone’s guess.

Custer Memorial Monument

Admission to Custer Memorial Monument is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours
  • Location: (Map It) 46320 Cadiz-Junction Road in Hopedale, Ohio
    North of Cadiz, Ohio in Harrison County off of State Route 646
  • Phone: 740-945-6415

The Custer Memorial Monument is a bronze statue depicting George Armstrong Custer and is located at his birthplace, which is now a roadside park and picnic area. The only thing left of Custer’s house is the foundation. An exhibit pavilion accounts Custer’s life and his infamous “Last Stand.”

Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum

Admission to the Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum is free.

  • Open Fridays through Sundays and on Wednesdays from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1775 Main Street in Peninsula, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-657-2892
  • Web: Click here

The Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum is a branch of the Peninsula, Ohio Library. It features exhibits showcase the history of the Cuyahoga Valley. It has many historic maps, documents, photographs and other pieces on display. The museum itself is located inside the restored Boston Township Hall. The building was originally built in 1887 as a high school. And it looks its part.

Fallen Timbers Battlefield

fallen-timbers-battleAdmission to Fallen Timbers Battlefield is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours
  • Location: (Map It) The battlefield is at 4949 Jerome Rd. in Maumee, Ohio. The monument is also nearby.
  • Phone: 800-860-0149 or 419-407-9700
  • Web: Click here

Fallen Timbers Battlefield in Toledo, Ohio:  This is the historic battle site where General Anthony Wayne had a decisive victory resulting in the Indians of the Northwest Territory signing the Treaty of Greenville. The treaty gave the southern and eastern regions of Ohio to the settlers. The name Fallen Timbers was derived due to a massive windstorm knocking down trees just before the battle. The park also has a monument honoring Wayne, the soldiers and Indians who died there.

Fort Amanda

Admission to Fort Amanda in Wapakoneta is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours
  • Location: (Map It) Approximately nine miles northwest of Wapakoneta along State Route 198
  • Phone: 800-283-8713

Fort Amanda in Wapakoneta:  What was war like in 1812? To find out, visit this fort and read the diary of Ohio militiaman Ensign William Schillinger, which provides a daily account from everything like the weather, events unfolding and personal thoughts and other observations. The fort itself served as an important supply depot during the War of 1812. It included five blockhouses, cabins and storage buildings. The walls of the fort were nearly 12-feet above ground.

Fort Jefferson

Admission to Fort Jefferson is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours
  • Location: (Map It) Fort Jefferson, Ohio near Greenville, Ohio at County Road 24 and State Route 121
  • Phone: 937-547-7370 or 800-686-1535

Fort Jefferson is in Fort Jefferson, Ohio near Greenville, Ohio. Built in 1791, this fort served as an outpost to General Arthur St. Clair. Its purpose was to shelter army supplies and guard against area Indians. It was abandoned in 1796 and is now a park with a monument, twenty-feet high, marking the site where it once stood. Nothing of the fort remains here.

Gnadenhutten Monument & Museum

Admission to Gnadenhutten Monument & Museum is free.

  • Open daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day and weekends in September and October
  • Location: (Map It) Gnadenhutten, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-254-4143

Gnadenhutten Monument & Museum:  This is the oldest settlement in Ohio. It was established in 1772 by a Mohican elder and large group of Christian Indians. In 1782 nearly 100 of the Indian residents were killed. Today, a 35-foot memorial recognizes those killed in the massacre. And a museum displays artifacts and an expansive arrowhead collection. There is also a reconstructed church and log cabin replications of those that stood at the site more than 200 years ago.

GraveQuests

GraveQuests: Geocaching for famous Ohio gravesites without knowing who you’ll find.

First Quest is a Sure Shot

  • Who Am I: Chief Sitting Bull nicknamed me “Watanya Cicilla.” Buffalo Bill made me famous around the world.
  • Where am I: Brock Cemetery in Darke county. It is up to you to find the cemetery and tombstone. For geocachers, coordinates are
    N: 40° 15.622 and W: 084° 33.645. Map of area
  • What you will find: An Ohio icon and American legend.
  • Nearby Attractions: Bear’s Mill, KitchenAid™ Experience and Maid Rite, which is a unique eatery.

Second Quest Was Lost in Time

  • Who Am I: I am the first black major league baseball player but my name is not Jackie Robinson. I was called up 63 years earlier. It even says so on my gravestone and in the very first edition of the board game Trivial Pursuit
  • Where am I: Union Cemetery in Steubenville, Ohio (Section P). For geocachers, coordinates are N: 40° 21.884 and W: 080° 38.274.
  • What you will find: A beautiful place that winds forever into the rolling wooded hills with creeks so bring walking shoes because it is worth the stroll.
  • Nearby Attractions: Steubenville “City of Murals” and hometown of Dean Martin, Old Fort Steuben, The Ohio River and Creegan Animation Factory.

symmes-graveThird Quest is a Journey to the Center of the Earth

    • Who Am I: Many thought I was nuts for my hollow Earth theory. It is also referred to as the Theory of Concentric Spheres or Polar Voids. I fought most my life to get funding to prove it. Instead I was ridiculed. But there were times the mainstream scientific community lent some credibility. My tombstone looks like a monument and has a hollow Earth atop its peak. I have a famous uncle with the same exact name.
    • Where am I: The burial ground where I lay to rest is long gone yet my grave stone remains in what is now a playground in Hamilton, Ohio at the southeast quadrant of 3rd Street and Sycamore. For geocachers, coordinates are N: 39° 23.711 and W: 084° 33.699.
    • What you will find: A very interesting story behind my life and theories, a playground, and a fun town to explore.
  • Nearby Attractions: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, City of Sculpture, and Jungle Jim’s.

Fourth Quest is Chock Full of Surprises

This quest is a three-parter, all in the same general location.

garfields-tombWho Are We? One used to be the richest man on Earth and would love today’s oil prices, the second busted Al Capone for tax evasion, and the third was assassinated while President of the United States.

Where are we? Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. For Geocachers, coordinates are:

  • N: 41° 30.673
    W: 081° 35.474
  • N: 41° 30.834
    W: 081° 35.571
  • N: 41° 30.604
    W: 081° 35.486

rockefeller-graveWhat you will find: A cemetery that doubles as an arboretum and outdoor museum. Tours are often scheduled, including architecture, trolley, and geology. It is also a destination for horticulturalists. Many legendary personalities rest within along side all walks of life. Cassettes and CDs are available at the office for self-guided tours.

Nearby Attractions: Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Western Reserve Historical Society. For a good meal and shopping, head just outside the cemetery down Mayfield Road (Murray Hill) into the heart of Little Italy. Many shops and restaurants await. Make sure you don’t leave without Cannoli from one of the bakeries.

Harding’s Tomb and Monument

Admission to Harding’s Tomb and Monument is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours
  • Location: (Map It) Marion, Ohio on the corner of State Route 423 and Vernon Heights Blvd.
  • Phone: 740-387-9630

Harding’s Tomb and Monument:  President Warren G. Harding’s tomb is a white, circular monument made of Georgia marble and his monument is set in 10 landscaped acres and takes the appearance of a round Greek temple. He became our 29th President (the eighth from Ohio) in 1921. He was born in 1865 and died in office in June of 1923.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
PRESIDENT Warren G. Harding

The State of Ohio has produced more presidents than any other—eight to be exact. It’s tempting to say they were all great, but in truth they’ve run the gamut from excellent to the opposite. The reputation of the 29th President, Warren G. Harding, rests on the bottom rungs. He is consistently ranked among scholars as one of our country’s worst presidents.

However, that does not mean that the state or his hometown of Marion has attempted to diminish his stature. To the contrary, Harding’s home at 380 Mount Vernon Avenue has been restored in every detail including furnishings. The self-styled press building at the rear of the house, built for reporters during his popular “front-porch” campaign has been transformed into a museum. Furthermore, his memorial in Marion is ostentatious by any standard and one of the most beautiful shrines anywhere outside of Washington D.C.

Located in a ten-acre manicured park, the memorial is constructed of white Georgian marble in the style of a Greek temple. The rounded roofless structure consisting of forty-six columns is of startling magnitude and splendor.  It projects more than five stories skyward and exceeds one hundred feet in diameter with a center garden spot that is the resting place of the President and his wife.

This monument is significant to American history because it is the last of highly crafted presidential tombs. Since Harding’s time, burial designs have been simpler and combined with presidential libraries.

It seems contradictory that Harding’s lowly assessed tenure makes him so interesting. The attraction however, is not for accomplishments, but for reasons of his basement ranking.  The major events of his campaign and administration so closely parallel recent corruption, greed, and malfeasance in both government and private sector that one is assured that history does indeed repeat.

Harding had ascended from State Senator and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio to the US Senate, but was unknown except in his own region when he came out of nowhere to capture the nomination in 1920.  He had been the successful publisher of a newspaper (presently The Marion Star) and married to the daughter of his most staunch critic. It is said his wife Florence was the shrewder politician and “pushed him all the way to the White House.” Florence was the business manager of the paper and understood the relationship between candidate and press. She oversaw the construction of a bungalow at the rear of their house to use as an always-available press office. She even coached Warren G. on the proper wave to newsreel cameras for the best coverage. It was one of several precedents set during the campaign and term.

Harding was also the first to use the endorsement power of Hollywood stars along with the most powerful business triumvirate of Ford, Edison, and Firestone—although this was a conservative bunch rather than the Hollywood left of today.

He campaigned on a “Return to Normalcy” after the Great War, which appealed to everyone, and his support of women’s suffrage and the ratification of the 19thamendment brought huge crowds of women to Marion.

Harding was the first sitting Senator to be elected President, and only John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama have followed. During the campaign it was alleged that Harding’s great-great-grandfather was a West Indian black man—a rumor reinforced by Harding’s reply to a reporter. “How do I know?” he said. “One of my ancestors may have jumped the fence.” Of course this prompts the question of whether Barack Obama is really the first bi-racial President.

Harding was a handsome man and political analysts have long contended his electoral success was based largely on his appearance. He looked “presidential.” One pundit refers to the flawed process by which people make voting decisions based on appearance as the “Warren Harding Error.” It was an astute observation by a fellow senator upon Harding’s nomination that he was “no world-beater but the best of the second-raters.”

Harding won the 1920 election—the first for women voters—in an unprecedented landslide, and the slither toward depravity began almost immediately.  He chose to surround himself with a group of cronies who became know as the “Ohio Gang.” Led by Attorney General Harry Daugherty, the gang in their two year, five-month infestation stole by some estimates as much as  $300 million from the public coffers. They let it be known that every appointed job was to be sold—from judgeship to janitor, plus the sale of public lands and oil reserves.  There is no proof that Harding benefited from the graft, but evidence points to his cognizance and an inability to stop it. “I have no trouble with my enemies,” he was quoted. “But my damn friends—they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights.”

In the months prior to his death, word of scandals crept into the public domain. Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall had taken bribes from greedy oil interests for leasing of the Teapot Dome oil reserves in Wyoming without competitive bidding, and Charles Forbes who was Director of the newly formed Veterans Bureau had skimmed millions from contracting veterans hospitals. Eventually both Forbes and Fall served prison terms and two of their assistants committed suicide.

If that wasn’t bad enough, dalliances in Harding’s personal life came to light. The Republican National Committee discovered too late in the nominating process that he had carried on a fifteen-year affair with the wife of a hometown friend. To conceal the scandal, the by-then divorcee was sent on an extended trip abroad with a $50,000 gift and a monthly stipend. It was another “first”—extorting money from a major political party.

It didn’t end there, although it was alleged only after Harding’s death that he had an illegitimate child with the daughter of a Marion doctor.  In her book, The President’s Daughter, Nan Britton claims she and Harding conceived a daughter in his senate office. He paid child support, and after becoming President they continued the affair using the privacy of a small room off the Oval Office. Sound familiar?

Warren Harding died in San Francisco on August 2, 1923.  He was in the midst of a cross-country policy-enlightening tour when he was struck with assumed food poisoning, although the final blow was reported to have been a heart attack or stroke.

Immediately, skeptics speculated that it had been intentional poisoning, with fingers pointed at Harding’s wife since it was she who blocked an autopsy, and thus any official finding. Nothing was proven, of course, and there were a number of associates who privately welcomed Harding’s death, averting the political embarrassment that would have come with an expected impeachment.

Presidential power and all it entails—the awesome responsibility along with entitlements—will never be fully appreciated by most of us. It is ultimate power handed to men appointed with human frailties as well as virtues. As long as nature is the ushering force, we are condemned to repeat—the good and the bad.

The Warren G. Harding Memorial in Marion, Ohio is open year round from dawn to dusk. The Harding home and museum are open between Memorial and Labor Day, on Wednesday-Sunday. During winter months, weekends only.  For information, call 800-600-6894.

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

Harrison’s Tomb

Admission to Harrison’s Tomb is free.

  • Open daily during daylight hours.
  • Location: (Map It) North Bend, Ohio on Cliff Road off US RT 50
  • Phone: 800-686-1535 or 513-941-3744

Harrison’s Tomb:  President Benjamin Harrison’s (1833 – 1901) tomb and monument are made of Bedford limestone and marble. It stands 60 feet. A visitors’ terrace allows a beautiful panoramic view of the Ohio River valley. He was elected our 23rd President in 1889.

Heritage Hall Hamilton

Admission to Heritage Hall Hamilton is free, however donations are encouraged.

Heritage-Hall---Hamilton

  • Open: Friday: 9:00-4:00 and Saturday: 9:00-2:00. Special appointments can also be made
  • Location: (Map It) 20 High Street in downtown Hamilton, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-737-5958
  • Web: Click here

Heritage Hall in Hamilton, Ohio features rotating historical exhibits highlighting Hamilton, Ohio’s rich industrial and business heritage. It is home to the Robert McCloskey Museum which honors the famous children’s author and artist whose books reflect his early years in Hamilton. The museum is located in the Frederick G. Mueller Building, (the former Hamilton Municipal Building) with its beautiful marble and tile lobbies it survives as one of only two Art Deco structures in the city. The building is an ideal location for a permanent museum highlighting the life and career of Robert McCloskey.

Robert McCloskey was the author/illustrator of some of the most honored and enduring children’s books ever published. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and his Midwestern childhood served as the model for his book Lentil (1940) and several of his later books. His second book, Make Way for Ducklings (1941), received the Caldecott Award, as did his Time of Wonder (1957), making him the first person to be honored twice.

Inscription Rock Petroglyphs

Inscription-Rock-Petroglyths-Kelleys-IslandAdmission to Inscription Rock Petroglyphs is free.

  • Open daily dawn to dusk
  • Location: (Map It) East Lakeshore Drive at Kelleys Island, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-797-4530
  • Web: Click here

Inscription Rock Petroglyphs at Kelleys Island, Ohio:  Archeologists believe that these prehistoric Indian rock inscriptions date between 1200 and 1600. Much of the 32 X 21 foot rock has been eroded through time by the lake but a roof has since been built to preserve what’s left and a viewing platform for created for visitors to appreciate the remains. The drawings are of people and animals carved into limestone. It was discovered in 1833.

Knox County Historical Museum

Admission to Knox County Historical Museum is free.

  • Open from February through Christmas on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. And Thursdays through Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 875 Harcourt Road in Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-393-5247
  • Web: www.knoxhistory.org/

The Knox County Historical Museum:  This historical museum features the George Tanner Telephone History Collection, the C&G Cooper Heritage Collection of 19th century steam farm engines and “Spanning the Century” exhibit of bridges. The displays throughout the museum also pay homage to the musical history of Knox County and the life and travels of Johnny Appleseed throughout the county. In addition there are plenty of other exhibits including those of dolls and toys, textiles and clothing, coverlets and quilts among many other items.

Lake Erie Island Museum

Admission to the Lake Erie Island Museum is free.

  • Open: June (daily) 11 am to 5 pm, July & August (daily) 10 am to 6 pm, September (daily) 11 am to 5 pm,
    October (Weekends only) 11 am to 5 pm
  • Location: (Map It) 25 Town Hall Place, Put-In-Bay, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-285-2804
  • Web: http://www.leihs.org/

The Lake Erie Island Museum:  Okay, so getting to the island may not be free unless you have a boat or can swim. The latter is not advisable and the Coast Guard may have a problem with it. Alas, once you’re on the island, visit this museum and take the time to see the video history. The museum features winemaking displays, model ship collection of historic Great Lakes’ vessels, the Boat Building and the Wildlife Building.

Lake View Cemetery

Admission to Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland is free.

  • Open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 12316 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-421-2665
  • Web: Click here

Cleveland Lake View Cemetery:  This is more than your ordinary cemetery. It is considered by many to be a walk through history, a vast outdoor art museum or a horticultural paradise. In any case, it is one of the finest garden cemeteries in the country as well as one of the most historic. It has 285 acres of land and is located in University Circle. It is modeled after the great garden cemeteries of Victorian England and France. It also has a picturesque dam measuring 500 feet wide and 60 feet above ground. And among its numerous points of interest and appeal, visitors will be awed by the memorials of its more famous permanent residents such as:

  • President Garfield’s Tomb
  • Wade Memorial Chapel, one of the few buildings left in the world that the interior was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studio. Both the Garfield Monument and Wade Chapel are open daily, April 1 – Nov. 19th, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
  • John D. Rockefeller’s Monument (For younger folks, imagine someone wealthier than Bill Gates and Microsoft)
  • Eliot Ness – the lawman that brought infamous mobster Al Capone to justice
  • James Salisbury – creator of the Salisbury Steak
  • Ray Chapman – The only player in major league baseball history to be killed during a game by a pitched ball (Cleveland Indian) – see “The Eternal Boy of Summer” excerpt below
  • Charles Pinkney – a minor league baseball player killed by a pitched ball
  • Carl Stokes – the first black mayor of a major city (Cleveland)
  • Garrett Morgan – Inventor of the gas mask and first tri-color traffic light
  • Coburn Haskell – inventor of the modern golf ball
  • Collinwood School Fire Memorial – a memorial to the 172 children and two teachers who died in the biggest school accident in U.S. history (occurring on Ash Wednesday in 1908
  • And many other nationally and internationally known business and industrial tycoons, philanthropists, political powers, people of the arts and entertainment world as well as ordinary people of a wide-variety of race, ethnic and financial backgrounds.

Excerpt from a past edition of www.ohiotraveler.com
The Eternal Boy of Summer

Ray Chapman, “Chappie,” was a fan favorite and beloved by his teammates. He played shortstop for the Cleveland Indians from 1912 – 1920. In 1917, he set a record for most sacrifice hits, 67, in a season. He was a decent hitter with a career batting average of .278. He set a team record for stolen bases in a single season, 52, that stood until 1980. In 1918, he led the American League with runs scored and walks. He was an excellent bunter and if the Gold Glove were awarded then, he’d probably have a few of those too.

Back in the early 1900s, pitchers ruled the diamond. They could do things to the ball that today’s pitchers could only fantasize. They scuffed it, spit tobacco juice on it, smeared dirt all around it, and eventually turned the white leather into a dark mass. New York Yankee submarine pitcher Carl Mays mucked the ball up with the best of them.

And on August 16, 1920, Chappie stepped into the batters box to face Mays. Due to the lack of lighting and the invisible ball, many believe Chapman never even saw what killed him. It struck him in the head; batting helmets weren’t required until 30 some years later.

Although many say Chapman may have been inducted into the Hall of Fame had his career not been cut short, he will forever be remembered as the only modern-era professional baseball player to die as a direct result of being hit by a pitched ball.

His death later led to changes in rules governing “doctoring” the baseball.

For the rest of the 1920 season, the Cleveland ball club wore black armbands to honor their fallen teammate. Together, they achieved winning their first World Series that year.

Ray Chapman is buried in Lake View Cemetery, known as Cleveland’s outdoor museum and arboretum. More than 100,000 others spanning all walks of life join him, including President James A. Garfield, Eliot Ness, and John D. Rockefeller. Lake View Cemetery is also considered a beautiful botanical garden.

If you want to pay homage to a fallen hero of America’s greatest pastime, put a flower on Raymond Johnson Chapman’s grave this season and whisper “play ball.”

By Frank R. Satullo, OhioTraveler

Lawrence County Museum

Admission to the Lawrence County Museum is free.

  • Open April through December Fridays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. –5:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 506 South 6th Street in Ironton, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-532-1222

The Lawrence County Museum: This local history museum features a permanent collection as well as rotating exhibits year-round. It features items forging the iron-history of the region as well as Victorian era clothing and furniture displays. The museum itself is housed in a restored 1870 Victorian home.

Leo Petroglyph State Memorial

leo-petroglythAdmission to the Leo Petroglyph State Memorial is free.

  • Open daily dawn to dusk
  • Location: (Map It) near the village of Leo near Jackson, Ohio. Take State Route 35 to Sour Run Rd and continue two miles and then turn left on Park Rd. Follow the signs and it’ll soon be on the left.
  • Phone: 614-297-2300
  • Web: www.leopetroglyph.com/

Leo Petroglyph State Memorial:  Some 37 inscriptions in sandstone mark the ancient culture of the Fort Ancient Indians dating between the years 1000 and 1650. The drawings, who’s meanings have not yet been translated, are of Indians and animals representing the time and region. Today, visitors can view these creations as well as a scenic ravine, gorge and cliffs.

Lima Firefighters Memorial Museum

Admission to the Lima Firefighters Memorial Museum is free.

  • Open: Daily from 8am to 8pm
  • Location: (Map It) Lincoln Park at the corner of Elm St. & Shawnee St. in Lima, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-221-5164 or 419-221-5160

The Lima Firefighters Memorial Museum:  This is a local tribute honoring the brave firefighters of the area. It features vintage displays depicting their history of service to the surrounding community. Here, you’ll see a horse-drawn steam pumper from the 1800’s, a memorial to those who were lost in service, and of course homage paid to firefighters past and present.

Mahler Museum

Admission to the Mahler Museum is free.

  • Open May – December on Sundays and Tuesdays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 118 East Bridge St. in Berea, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-243-2541
  • Web: Click here

The Mahler Museum in Berea:  This museum concentrates primarily on the local history of its women citizens from the 1800’s well into the 20th century. It documents the role of women as community activists and provides records from 1882 to 1936. It also documents the reading habits and ideas that influenced women in the 20th century as well as a collection of books written by local authors.

Mansfield Soldiers & Sailors Memorial

Admission to the Mansfield Soldiers & Sailors Memorial is free.

  • Open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. or by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) 34 Park Avenue West in Mansfield,
  • Phone: 419-525-2491

The Mansfield Soldiers & Sailors Memorial:  The building was built in 1888 and is the oldest building in Richland County. It displays artifacts of the county’s military, civil and natural history artifacts.

Massillon Museum

Admission to the Massillon Museum is free.

  • Open Tuesdays – Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 121 Lincoln Way East in Massillon, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-833-4061
  • Web: www.massillonmuseum.org/

The Massillon Museum:  If you missed the circus, come to this museum and see a room filled with circus memorabilia. Local history and its many artifacts are found in this museum as well. The museum itself is located in the former Stark Dry Goods building, which was renovated to house the museum and its belongings. It hosts various traveling exhibits and has three floors of displays, a café and gift shop.

Mercer County Historical Museum

Admission to the Mercer County Historical Museum is free.

  • Open by Appointment, and Special Exhibits throughout the year.
  • Location:  (Map It) 130 East Market, P.O. Box 512, in Celina, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-586-6065 or 419-678-2614
  • Web: http://mchspa.org/

The Mercer County Historical Museum provides area historical exhibits.  Open Houses with Special Exhibits are held throughout the year, e.g. Prehistoric Artifacts; Antique Guns; Post Cards; Sports Hall of Fame, etc.

Over two dozen Western Ohio and Mercer County Local History Books have been printed by the Historical Society.  A weekly newspaper column is written by Joyce Alig, President, who has the best Archival Collection of Mercer County History in existence.

More Ohio History Museums

More Ohio History Museums and Historical Societies in Ohio.

Solon Historical Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Open from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month only
  • Location: 33975 Bainbridge Rd. · Solon, Ohio.
  • Phone: 440-248-6419

This local history museum exhibits memorabilia of the Solon are history.

Maple Heights Historical Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Open Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. the second Sunday of each month from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. between June and September.
  • Location: Maple Heights, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-662-2851

Formerly a one-room schoolhouse, this museum exhibits, primarily, historic photographs and old household items used by early-day residents.

Shelby Museum of History
(Admission is Free)

  • Open May through October on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day)
  • Location: 76 Raymond Avenue · Shelby, OH 44875

The Shelby museum is home to a wide-array of artifacts and memorabilia illustrating the history of Shelby, Ohio and its businesses and citizens.

Lakewood Historical Society
(Admission is Free)

  • Open on Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: 14710 Lake Avenue · Lakewood, Ohio.
  • Phone: 216-221-7343

Lakewood’s history on display representing the life and times of the community’s past and present.

Seneca County Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Call for hours.
  • Location: 28 Clay St. · Tiffin, Ohio.
  • Phone: 419-447-5955

The museum is located inside a Greek Revival historical house built in 1853. Among its collection of Seneca County memorabilia, it also features rooms concentrating on the Tiffin glass industry’s history and a carriage house displaying antique fire-fighting equipment and horse-drawn carriages.

Euclid Historical Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: 21129 North St. · Euclid, Ohio.
  • Phone: 216-289-8577

This museum displays early Western Reserve artifacts and other relics depicting the history of the Euclid area community.

Ottawa County Historical Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Call for hours
  • Location: 126 West Third Street · Port Clinton, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-732-2337

Memorabilia representing the area’s history includes, Native-American artifacts and arrowheads, fossils, linens and dolls. It also has displays depicting the local community and military history.

Brooklyn Historical Society
(Admission is Free)

  • Open Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: 4442 Ridge Road · Brooklyn, Ohio.
  • Phone: 216-749-2804

The Brooklyn museum features artifacts of furniture dating between 1830 and the 1950’s.

Garfield Heights Historical Museum
(Admission is Free)

  • Open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: 5405 Turney Rd. · Garfield Heights, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-475-3050

The museum is housed in a century home with a herb garden just outside.

Famous Ohio Gravesites

Famous Ohio Grave Sites and Cemeteries in Ohio.

  • Explore famous Ohio graves with a mysterious twist in the geocache adventure called GraveQuest
  • Rutherford Hayes – The 19th U.S. President is buried in Fremont, Ohio
  • Annie Oakley – The famous woman sharpshooter is buried at Brock Cemetery outside of Greenville, Ohio
  • Moses Fleetwood “Fleet” Walker – The first black baseball player in the major leagues (yep, even before Jackie Robinson) is buried in Union Cemetery in Steubenville, Ohio
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright – Better known as “The Wright Brothers” are both buried at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio
  • Aunt Jemima (Rosie Riles) – The pancake queen is buried in Redoak, Ohio
  • Kent State Memorial – Memorial markers for the four university students who were shot down and killed by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970 during a protest. The markers are placed where each of the four died.
  • Erma Bombeck – Newspaper columnist and humorist is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio
  • Paul Brown – The legendary football coach of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Ohio State Buckeyes and Massillon Washington High School is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Massillon, Ohio

Old Courthouse Museum

Admission to the Old Courthouse Museum in Dayton is free.

  • Open: Free tours are provided at request by contacting Dayton History at 937-293-2841
  • Location: (Map It) 7 N. Main St. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-228-6271
  • Web: Click here

The Old Courthouse Museum in Dayton:  Exhibits are displayed by the Montgomery County Historical Society and feature the areas history. The museum features items from the Wright Brothers to the National Cash Register Company and its founder – John Patterson. This old courthouse and the courthouse square have been witness to speeches by Presidents from Lincoln to Reagan. And as a national historical monument, the structure is one of the finest Classical revivals in the country.

Perry Historical Museum

Admission to Perry Historical Museum is free.

  • Open to the public on the second Saturday of each month from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Center Road and Main Street intersection in Perry, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-259-4541

The Perry Historical Museum once served as the original Perry town hall. It was built in 1875. The museum displays many historic photographs, documents and memoirs. It also features letters, furniture, clothing, collectibles and other relics covering the region’s historic roots.

Quantrill’s Raiders

The story of William Quantrill and the Quantrill’s Raiders and Dover, Ohio history.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
By Robert Carpenter

Eastern Ohio has produced an inordinate number of famous people making exceptional contributions to every facet of society—probably more than any like-sized geographical area in the country.

Nearly all have come from rural areas or small towns, some remote and expunged from modern maps. But the people of their home regions have never forgotten them, and their pride is preserved even though association is often little more than geography.

However, there are exceptions. Dover, Ohio is located in the middle of this exemplar region, and they have rights to the famous, but also the infamous—perhaps notorious is a better characterization—and no one in Dover expresses an overt smugness with this particular relationship.

It’s understandable that there is little celebration in claiming someone portrayed as the “bloodiest man in the annuls of America.” Still, there is a fascination with this man whose name is better known than the most renowned war-time commanders coexisting during the nation’s ultimate military ordeal.

Over a period of time he was interred in two separate caskets in Dover’s Fourth Street Cemetery, but even with this bizarre arrangement, his remains are not all there. Indeed, it is said by many that William Clark Quantrill was never all there.

History books convey an impression that Quantrill was a hardened veteran who gained followers due to his wartime experience and martial acumen, when in fact he was little more than a boy—although one endowed with extraordinary leadership ability.

The oldest of eight children, Quantrill was only seventeen when he left his Dover home in 1854. His parents had swarmed attention on him, but apparently not the kind that cultivates ideal citizenship. His hard-drinking father beat him while his mother doted on him.

Although psychiatric problems were not then as quickly recognized as today, it was acknowledged early on that William would never be a poster boy for mental health. Although no mention is made of bed wetting or playing with fire, the third symptom of a psychopathic killer in the making—torture and killing of animals—was William Quantrill’s boyhood pastime.

Modern psychiatry describes psychopaths as manipulators, risk takers, and narcissists. They lack empathy, and have a total absence of conscience—but are usually quite intelligent. It’s not insanity, but rather a character flaw described in more polite terms as an antisocial personality. History implies that Quantrill’s contemporaries deemed such a depiction laughably inadequate.

In the most paradoxical of career choices, Quantrill began as a schoolteacher in Dover and then in Indiana and Illinois as he forged his way west on his first adventure.

Occupational satisfaction eluded him from the beginning, and he dropped teaching in favor of gambling, but sparse winnings compelled him back to Dover before his twentieth birthday. It was his indulgent mother who convinced two friends to claim a plot of land in “free soil” Kansas for William, and allow him to repay the courtesy by laboring on their farms. No one foresaw this maneuver as precipitous to the legend of “Bloody Kansas” which was almost totally composed by the treacherous hand of William Clark Quantrill.

The territory was a perfect bailiwick for someone of Quantill’s predisposition. Kansas and Missouri were split on slavery and skirmishes between factions escalated as the War Between the States heated up. Quantrill soon disposed of his farming obligations in favor of collecting bounty on runaway slaves. His most profitable scam was helping Jayhawkers (abolitionists) free slaves then recapturing them for the reward money. By 1860 he was wanted in Kansas for horse stealing, burglary, larceny and arson. He was never tried due to his escape to Missouri where he joined the Bushwhackers (Confederate guerillas).

With allegiance to a cause that better excused the instincts of a modern-day terrorist, his band of guerillas rapidly grew. They ambushed federal troops, robbed the Union’s mail and murdered civilians while burning and pillaging their way through every anti-slavery community in their path. Eventually he was commissioned as a Captain in an authorized Missouri detachment, but always operated outside the official chain of command.

Quantrill was described as about 5’ 9”with a Roman nose and sandy hair. He always wore a slouch hat and high-heeled boots to enhance his stature, but it was his reputation that made him a bigger-than-life hero to many southern sympathizers. Under his lead rode Frank and Jessie James and the Younger brothers who after the war continued their Quantrill-learned hit-and-run tactics to rob banks. As well as superior leadership he was a strategist of uncommon skills. So effective were his devises that Union forces never gained the upper hand over his mercenaries.

His finest hour (in his mind) and the most despicable as seen by ethical citizens, was the August 1863 raid on Lawrence Kansas. In retaliation for a perceived Union crime against Confederate prisoners, Quantrill led more than four hundred guerillas with the intent of destroying the town. The strangest and most repulsive action resulted from his twisted, heretofore unspoken code that forbid harm to women—but forced them to watch as their husbands and sons were murdered.

With an estimated two hundred killed and most of the town burned, retribution by the Union was swift and far reaching. Quantrill, never one to stand and fight, fled to Texas. Even some of his most hard-edged followers had been sickened by the slaughter in Lawrence and the Confederate command became disgusted and embarrassed by his atrocities. Texas authorities requested he leave. In the spring of 1864 he returned to Missouri, but there the rebels suffered one of their worst defeats. With resistance stronger and Quantrill having been declared an outlaw, he slipped away to Kentucky.

Organized Union troops had never come close to capturing him so they opted for a different tact. A man named Edwin Terrell—nearly as dastardly a wretch as Quantrill, on the premise that “it takes one to know one,” was authorized to hunt him down.  On May 10, 1865 Terrell’s small band caught up with Quantrill and a few of his men in Taylorsville, Kentucky. In a shootout Quantrill was struck by a bullet that lodged in his spine, instantly paralyzing him. He was taken to Louisville where he declined in agony for nearly a month before dying at the age of twenty-seven.  Fearing vandalism, his grave was disguised and left unmarked –which should have signaled the end to America’s most monstrous myth. It’s ironic that for years Quantrill’s name was spoken like a bad omen, but it was only after his death that the “raiders” designation was added—inserting new verve into the legacy and keeping it alive.

Twenty- two years later Quantrill’s saga was further resuscitated with the treachery and deceit befitting the subject and all the miscreants involved. Quantrill’s mother enlisted the help of William Scott, a boyhood friend of Quantrill’s, to bring his remains back home to Dover. In Kentucky the remains were exhumed and Mrs. Quantrill identified them by a chipped tooth. She was denied permission to remove the vestiges from the state—so a scheme was devised to steal them.

For two years following, Mrs. Quantrill toured Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas attempting to learn all she could of her son’s wartime activities, and returned to Dover for the final interment. However, Scott who had interim possession of the body parts pilfered the skull, some hair and five arm and leg bones. There was a burial, but it’s unclear whether it was with deception or agreement. There is certainty of course, that the coffin lacked all the remains. Afterward Scott tried to sell the skull to the Kansas State Historical Society, and the bones and hair were in their possession for a time. It’s also acknowledged that the skull was later in the possession of Scott’s son and used in fraternity initiations. Years passed before it was donated to a Dover museum where it remained until October 1992 when a decision for closure put the skull to rest in a tiny coffin in the Dover’s Fourth Street Cemetery. A flat marker can be found in the Quantrill family plot in the right rear of the burial ground near the alley.

In that same month the five bones and hair were finally re-interred at the Old Confederate Veterans Home and Cemetery in Higginsville, Missouri.

William Quantrill’s story is not the most dignified of Ohio’s past, and many are more than willing to let Missouri and Kansas have an outsized share of his legacy.  To this day there are descendents who deny connection to Quantrill.

Matt Lauezenheiser, director of the Dover Historical Society and the historical J. E. Reeves Mansion located at 325 E. Iron Avenue said, “We don’t celebrate Quantrill Day here in Dover.”  In the Carriage House Museum at the rear of the Reeves Mansion there is a life-size wax replica of William Quantrill’s head—but you’ll have to ask to see it. Lauezeheiser says they are not trying to hide it, but for preservation they keep it stored in a refrigerator.

In all its perversity, this Dover native’s tale is still among the most memorable of Buckeye state folklore. Who can forget the narrative of Quantrill’s Raiders? It’s part of history.

Go  to www.dovershistory.org or call 800-815-2794 for hours, tours, and prices.

Ray Chapman’s Grave

Admission to Ray Chapman’s Grave at Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery is free.

  • Open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Lake View Cemetery at 12316 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, OH 44106
  • Phone: 216-421-2665

Visit Ray Chapman’s Grave at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland:  The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds report for Spring Training in mid February. It’s the time of year when everyone talks about baseball legends and folklore and dreams of winning the pennant.

When I was a kid, I was (and still am) a die-hard Tribe fan. And the story I’ll share is one that is well-documented, little known, and told by my father and his father before.

Ray Chapman, “Chappie,” was a fan favorite and beloved by his teammates. He played shortstop for the Cleveland Indians from 1912 – 1920. In 1917, he set a record for most sacrifice hits, 67, in a season. He was a decent hitter with a career batting average of .278. He set a team record for stolen bases in a single season, 52, that stood until 1980. In 1918, he led the American League with runs scored and walks. He was an excellent bunter and if the Gold Glove were awarded then, he’d probably have a few of those too.

Back in the early 1900s, pitchers ruled the diamond. They could do things to the ball that today’s pitchers could only fantasize. They scuffed it, spit tobacco juice on it, smeared dirt all around it, and eventually turned the white leather into a dark mass. New York Yankee submarine pitcher Carl Mays mucked the ball up with the best of them.

And on August 16, 1920, Chappie stepped into the batters box to face Mays. Due to the lack of lighting and the invisible ball, many believe Chapman never even saw what killed him. It struck him in the head; batting helmets weren’t required until 30 some years later.

Although many say Chapman may have been inducted into the Hall of Fame had his career not been cut short, he will forever be remembered as the only modern-era professional baseball player to die as a direct result of being hit by a pitched ball.

His death later led to changes in rules governing “doctoring” the baseball.

For the rest of the 1920 season, the Cleveland ball club wore black armbands to honor their fallen teammate. Together, they achieved winning their first World Series that year.

Ray Chapman is buried in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery. More than 100,000 others spanning all walks of life join him, including President James A. Garfield, Eliot Ness, and John D. Rockefeller. Lake View Cemetery is also considered a beautiful botanical garden. If you want to pay homage to a fallen hero of America’s pastime, put a flower on Raymond Johnson Chapman’s grave this season and whisper “play ball.”

Excerpts from article written for OhioTraveler.com eMagazine by Frank R. Satullo

Superman Born in Cleveland

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in Cleveland but they made little for their efforts.

“Look! Up in the air. It’s a bird. It’s a plane.
It’s S-U-P-E-R-M-A-N !!!”

We wonder how many fans know that Superman started out as a villain. It was a short-lived effort before creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster turned the action hero into a good guy, who stood for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

With Siegel doing the writing and Shuster the drawings, their Superman character got off to a slow start in 1933, and was rejected again and again by various magazines and comics.

A new publisher — DC Comics — had used other works by Siegel and Shuster, so they weren’t exactly unknown. When the publisher’s new magazine “Action Comics” was getting ready, they got their chance. Shuster’s art of Superman lifting a car with his hands, and the comic book story inside written by Siegel, appeared in Action Comics No. 1 in the summer of 1938.

By the time issue No. 4 appeared on the newsstands, sales were off the charts. Sounds like a real success story for a couple of young teenagers who had dreams of Superman being known all over the world. Oops! The problem was Siegel and Shuster had signed over the rights to DC Comics for a scant $130, and a contract to supply the publisher with on-going material.

By World War II Superman was one of the most recognized comic superheroes in the world. At the same time other comic superheroes included Captain Marvel, Batman and Robin, The Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. In 1941 The Saturday Evening Post reported that the pair was then earning $75,000 each per year for their creative efforts, but a mere fraction of DC’s Superman profits which by then had soared into the millions of dollars.

Five years later Siegel and Shuster sued for more money and DC Comics fired them. That prompted still another legal battle, and two years later they accepted $200,000 and signed away any further claim to Superman. DC Comics soon took their names off the comics.

Through the lean years the Superman co-creators prevailed even though it was hard to find work. With the pending release of the “Superman” movie in 1978, and with the backing of some of the biggest names in the comic book industry, DC Comics was persuaded to give the creators life-long pensions, health care benefits, and credit to them as creators was restored.

Many in the comic industry felt it was not enough, considering Superman had become an icon and earned DC Comics billions of dollars. The Man of Steel had become one of the most recognized comic superheroes in the world through comics, toys, clothing, other merchandise, cartoons, radio, television, movies, video games, and even the Broadway stage. The money was just pouring in. Over the years there has been legal wrangling as to the rights to the Superman character, as well as appropriate payment to the co-creators. There are still on-going legal ins and outs, with some decisions being worked out.

Few know that Siegel’s wife Joanne was the model for the Lois Lane character. She initially modeled for Shuster, not realizing she would become Superman’s heart-throb. Joanne and Jerry married 10 years after Superman made his debut, following Siegel’s divorce from Bella Siegel.

A few years after Siegel’s death in 1996, his wife wanted to donate some of his personal papers and other items (his typewriter, glasses, and the like) to set up a permanent memorial, but no one in Cleveland was interested.

Some of that material has ended up at the Matlz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood (a suburb of Cleveland) for the permanent Siegel and Shuster exhibit.

Today there are three specific locations marking the important beginnings of Superman on Cleveland’s east side back in the late 1930s. One is the bronze-like historical marker by the clock tower on the corner of East 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue. A few blocks away is the original home of Siegel. And a bit further away is the corner property where Shuster lived.

Some of the streets have also been given honorary names, with signs bearing the familiar stylized “S” insignia in a triangle.

So if you are a fan of that high-flying character who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and who can leap buildings in a single bound (and can only be brought down by a little kryptonite), then you might enjoy self-touring the tight-knitted area where Superman first made his appearance.

However, The Man of Steel had a redo by DC Comics in 1986. Gone are

the iconic red shorts, the flowing red cape, the familiar S on his barrel-chest, and the clean, muscular lines of the superhero.

The “new” Superman “uniform” has been overhauled to a more modern and futuristic form in an attempt to re-capture a new generation of fans. His new appearance is akin to the characters of computer action games. Whether or not the regenerated Superman catches on remains to be seem.

So here’s what to look for Superman fans. . . . . .

HISTORICAL PLAQUE

A large, two-sided Ohio Historical Marker honoring the Superman creators.

has its home in front of a small clock tower on the northeast corner of a busy intersection. It was set in place in 2003, on the 65th anniversary of the 1938 release of the fabled comic book featuring the initial appearance of Superman.

Commissioned by the Ohio Historical Society, the $2,500 marker was sawed off its post and stolen last year, but was returned by the thieves three weeks later undamaged. Bronze in appearance, the plaque is actually aluminum.

Oddly enough, Siegel’s name is misspelled on one side of the plaque.

SUPERMAN HOUSE

Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel grew up in a home off East 105th Street in what is called the Glenville neighborhood (or area) on Cleveland’s east side. Today a private residence lived in by a quiet couple for more than 25 years, the home has been restored and refurbished by the Siegel and Shuster Society, which has the first right of refusal when the house might go on the market.

At one time painted in the Superman colors, today the home is a more traditional color scheme. However, there is the familiar Superman “S” shield on one side of the front fence, and a triangular marker on the other side. These plaques were sponsored by the Siegel and Shuster Society.

It was in a second floor bedroom of this house that the co-creators wrote and drew their Superman character.

In the summer of 2009 there was a grand ribbon-cutting to mark the completed restoration of the home. While sparsely attended, plus a rain-soaked day, Siegel’s widow and daughter were on the front porch for the ceremonies.

WHERE SHUSTER LIVED

A dozen blocks away, at the end of Amor Avenue where it meets Parkwood Drive is the site of what once was an apartment building where Shuster lived (he died in 1992). The corner property is now a private home, and is surrounded by a wooden fence. Panels from the first Superman comic book are on the fence facing the sidewalk.

And that first Action Comics No. 1 fetched a stunning $1 million not too long ago. It is considered the Holy Grail of comic books, and was sold from a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. Oh, it originally cost just 10 cents — a mere dime.

So if you are a fan, you can add to your enthusiasm, and perhaps get a bit more inspiration at all three locations on Cleveland’s east side. And who knows what might happen. . . . . . “Look! Up in the air. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s S-U-P-E-R-M-A-N !!!”

WHERE TO SEE, AND MORE TO KNOW. . . .

The Superman historical marker is at the northeast corner of East 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue, not far from the Lakeland Freeway (Route 2), on Cleveland’s east side in what is called the Glenville area. Be sure to read both sides of the plaque, and see if you can find Siegel’s misspelled last name (hint: it’s on the continued, second side). Siegel’s original home is still a private residence, although it is easy to spot at 10622 Kimberly Avenue (Jerry Siegel Lane), off East 105th Street, just three blocks from the historical marker. Shuster’s original home in an apartment is gone, and a private residence is there now at the corner of Amor Avenue (Joe Shuster Lane) and Parkwood Drive (Lois Lane). You are welcomed to stop and read the comic book panels.

Excellent background material and information is available by reaching out to the Siegel and Shuster Society’s website at: siegelandshustersociety.org.

More information is available by contacting the Glenville Development Corporation, 10640 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44108. The local telephone is 216-851-8724.

Other sightseeing information should be available by contacting Positively Cleveland (the name for the visitors bureau), at 334 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114. The local telephone is 216-875-6600 and toll-free is 800-321-1001. The website is positivelycleveland.com.

By Tom And Joanne O’toole, Travel Journalists

Tom and Joanne O’Toole are fulltime freelance travel journalists and photographers. The husband/wife writing team is published in newspapers and magazines across the country, and throughout Canada. They make their home in a little community in northeast Ohio when they are not off in search of new travel adventures — like learning more about the origins of superhero Superman. They are now on a search for an elusive copy of the first 1938 issue of Action Comics.

Unique Northern Ohio Libraries

Here are some interesting Libraries in Northern Ohio.
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler.

In my opinion, the best place to be during an Ohio winter is indoors with a good book, within arm’s reach of hot chocolate. However, by February, even I’m tired of hibernating. Snow or no snow, I need to get out! Often, I kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Wood County District Public Library, spending hours reading by the fireplace, chatting with friends, and going online. I love it there!

However, there are many other libraries in Ohio worth a visit, some tucked away in places you might not think to look, including public gardens, museums, professional organizations, and universities. Specialty libraries usually welcome visitors and allow collection use during visiting hours. Some also allow borrowing, although a membership or borrower’s card may be required first. One warning: be sure to call about policies, visiting hours, admission fees, and material availability before you visit; the current economic crisis is forcing a lot of changes.

One of my favorites is the Warren H. Corning Library, a breath of spring located at Kirtland’s Holden Arboretum. Planning future gardens here is a perfect antidote to snow! Only members can check books out, but the public is welcome whenever the library’s open. (The rare book room isn’t open to the public, but the curator might let you take a peek.)

Look for the free landscape bulletins, too, which offer helpful gardening information. (These are also available online, at www.holdenarb.org.

Need some fresh air? The arboretum has great hiking and cross-country ski trails –borrow a field guide and see how many animal tracks you can identify!

If there’s a child in the house, a trip to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is a nice diversion.  The main branch has a really fun children’s section that can keep kids busy for hours, complete with characters from favorite stories and a huge children’s magazine section. They also have a nice eatery and gift shop.

Then there’s the Sanger Branch Library in Sylvania, home of a reading room filled with larger-than-life scenes from author/illustrator Denise Fleming’s picture books. (Interesting trivia: Fleming got her first library card as a child at the original Sanger.) A peek-a-boo brick wall, a tree twinkling with fireflies, a fish pond – kids can spend hours here finding favorite book scenes.

Take heart. Winter won’t last forever. Spring is on its way. When it finally arrives, a trip to the Bainbridge Library herb garden (brainchild of gardening enthusiast Kathy Catani) will banish the rest of your winter wearies.

“My daughter worked at the library [in 1988-1989],” says Kathy, “and whenever I’d … pick her up, I’d look at that piece of ground and think what a perfect place it would be for a garden. I finally put an article in the paper asking if anybody would be interested in helping me start an herb garden there, and I got a great response.”

These eager responders eventually formed the Chagrin Valley Herb Society, which is still involved in caring for the garden, as well as holding meetings and programs in the library.

The garden, divided into smaller gardens (such as a culinary garden, a potpourri garden, a butterfly garden, and a medicinal garden), includes two wheelchair-accessible fragrance gardens in raised beds labeled in Braille. Personal tours can be arranged through the library.

Many Ohio public libraries offer more than just reading material to their patrons. Here’s just a sample of unusual items that are available with a library card.

  • Cake pans of various shapes and sizes [Reed Memorial Library – Ravenna; J.R. Clarke Public Library – Covington; Hubbard Public Library]
  • Toys, puppets, puzzles, and games [too many to list]
  • Original art and art prints  [Norwalk Public Library; Wayne County Public Library – Wooster]
  • Woodworking and crafts patterns and blueprints [Lorain Public Library]
  • Polaroid cameras [Milton-Union Public Library – West Milton]
  • Microscope [Wornstaff Public Library – Ashley]
  • Video games [Morley Library – Painesville; Hubbard Public Library]
  • 10’ x 10’ gazebo with netting; live animal traps; sewing machine; telescopes [Canal Fulton Public Library]

There are too many great Ohio libraries to list them all; below are a few more you can investigate on your own, plus the contact information for all the places mentioned in the main article above. Happy hunting!

Check These Out:

  • Avon Lake Public Library
    32649 Electric Blvd.
    Avon Lake OH 44012
    Phone: 440-933-8128
    Website: [library] http://www.alpl.org
    [DiscoveryWorks]
    Website: Click here
    Email: refdesk@avonlake.lib.oh.us
    Hours [DiscoveryWorks]: M-Th 10:30 am – 12:30 pm; 2:30 pm – 5 pm & Fri 10:30 am – 12:30 pm; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Home of DiscoveryWorks, a hands-on arts and science learning center for children
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden
    11030 East Boulevard
    Cleveland, Ohio  44106
    Phone: 216-707-2812
    Website: http://www.cbgarden.org
    Email:  [garden] info@cbgarden.org
    [librarian] gesmonde@cbgarden.org
    Hours: After Labor Day until Memorial Day Tue-Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun Noon – 5:00 pm, Closed Mondays. Hershey Children’s Garden closes for winter November 1; all other gardens remain open throughout winter. Extensive horticultural library [the Eleanor Squire Library]
  • Hudson Library and Historical Society
    96 Library St.
    Hudson OH 44236
    Phone: 330-653-6658
    Website: www.hudsonlibrary.org/
    Email: tjojtk@gmail.com [Gwen Mayer, archivist]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am -5 pm; Sun Noon -5 pm.
    Extensive collection of abolitionist John Brown material, including all books written about him or Underground Railroad/Anti-Slavery activities in Ohio.
  • North Canton Public Library
    Home of The Little Art Gallery
    185 North Main Street
    North Canton, Ohio  44720
    Phone: 330-499-4712
    Website: [library] www.ncantonlibrary.org
    Email: gallery@northcantonlibrary.org
    Hours: M-Th 9 am to 9 pm; Fri  9 pm to 6 pm; Sat 9 pm to 5 pm; Sun 1 pm to 5 pm, Labor Day through Memorial Day.
    Features artists from Stark County and surrounding NE Ohio in monthly shows; they sometimes include art by local children.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Archives and Information Center
    2121 George Halas Drive NW|
    Canton OH 44708
    Phone: 330-456-8207
    Website: www.profootballhof.com
    Email: tourism@profootballhof.com
    Hours: M-Fri 9 am – 5 pm [call first; AIC open only by appointment]
    Everything you want to know about pro football; huge collection of Spaulding guides, clippings, scrapbooks, media guides, etc.
  • Rocky River Public Library
    1600 Hampton Rd.
    Rocky River OH 44116
    Phone: 440-333-7610 [museum ext. 3763]
    Website [library]: http://www.rrpl.org
    Website [museum]:  Click here, www.cowanpottery.org
    Email [museum curator]:  c.jacobs@rrpl.org
    Hours: M-Th 1 pm -9 pm; Fri & Sat 9 am -6 pm; Sun 1 pm -5 pm
    Home of Cowan Pottery Museum, world’s largest publicly owned collection of Cowan pottery (over 1200 pieces, including “Jazz Bowl”, by Viktor Schreckengost); also in-depth collection of ceramics and porcelain reference materials. Contact museum’s curator to schedule tour.

Libraries Mentioned in Article:

  • The Bainbridge Library
    17222 Snyder Road
    Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
    Phone: 440-543-5611
    Website: Click here
    Email: bainbrid@oplin.org
    Hours: [library] Fall/Winter M-Th 9 am- 9 pm; Fri-Sat. 9 am – 5 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5 pm [garden] Dawn to dusk.
  • Holden Arboretum
    9500 Sperry Road
    Kirtland, Ohio 44094
    Phone: 440-946-4400 (Warren H. Corning Library: ext. 225; Rare Book Room: ext. 139)
    Website: www.holdenarb.org
    E-mail: holden@holdenarb.org
    Hours: T-Sat 10am – 5pm; Closed Mondays
    Rare Book Room use by appointment only. ID guides available from library or Corning Visitor Center information desk.
  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – Main
    325 Michigan St.
    Toledo, OH 43566
    Phone: 419-259-5207
    Website: www.toledolibrary.org
    Email: Dorcel.Dowdell@toledolibrary.org [main library manager]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am – 5:30 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – Sanger Branch
    3030 West Central Ave.
    Toledo, OH 43606
    Phone: 419-259-5370
    Website: Click here
    Email: Erin.Connolly [branch manager]
    Hours: M-Th 9 am – 9 pm; Fri-Sat 9 am – 5:30 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Wood County District Public Library
    251 N. Main St.
    Bowling Green OH 43402
    Phone: 419-352-5104
    Website: http://wcdpl.lib.oh.us/
    Email: woodref@oplin.org
    Hours: M-W 10 am – 8:30 pm; Th-Fri 10 am – 6 pm; Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Sun 1 pm – 5 pm

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Betty Winslow

Van Wert County Historical Museum

Admission to the Van Wert County Historical Museum is free.

The Van Wert County Historical Museum:  What’s not to see at this local treasure? The museum is inside an 1896 Victorian home and has many displays covering virtually every period in Van Wert history, including its native-American ancestor age. In addition to Indian artifacts, exhibits include old pictures of the town and memorabilia regarding its military involvements. Other attractions feature the 1951 Pennsylvania Railroad caboose, one-room schoolhouse built in 1906, a large barn and 1860 log cabin home.  The school house is fully equipped and includes an extensive history of Van Wert County schools.  The barn also includes many artifacts from the county agricultural history, fire fighting equipment, and county fair history.

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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