Akron Police Museum

akron-police-museumWelcome to the Akron Police Museum.

  • Tours by appointment only Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center / Mezzanine Level at 217 South High St. in Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-375-2390 (2-3 day notice for group tours is preferred)

The Akron Police Museum features confiscated weapons of all kinds and gambling and narcotics paraphernalia. It also displays counterfeit money and police related accessories, including uniforms and weapons. Hundreds of historic photographs are also available for public viewing. And, the museum has a vintage 1965 Harley-Davidson police motorcycle and keys to the original 1890 jail cell.

American Toy Marble Museum

Welcome to the American Toy Marble Museum in Akron – http://www.americantoymarbles.com/


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
by Robert Carpenter

Cleveland pays tribute to Rock and Roll, and Canton has enshrined the game of football, but it’s Akron that holds all the marbles—though hardly bullies of the playground.  They’re eager to share everything there is to know about the little spheres—the simplest of toys—that engender more wistfulness than any plaything in memory.

The history is chronicled at The American Toy Marble Museum which is inside the Akron History Museum at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron.  It’s on the original site of the defunct company bearing the same name, started in 1891 by Sam and A.L. Dyke.  The Dyke philosophy was to put a handful of marbles in the possession of every kid who had a penny.  Certainly they had the capacity.  At it’s peak the company produced an incredible million marbles per day.  Considering their longevity there must be an enormous cache of marbles consigned to attic and basement storage boxes, because today there are relatively few rolling free.

The game is rarely played on school campuses anymore.   It requires a skill long since relegated to antiquity in favor of electronic gimmickry displaying images on Cathode-ray tubes.

At its height of popularity during WWII, the game played down in the dirt of every schoolyard was preferred over all others.  It was traditional, but economically prompted as well.  At a time when many items were either rationed or unavailable, marbles were still cheap and plentiful.

The best recollection of grade school is a scene of grassless level areas inscribed with circles of various diameters to accommodate all ranks of players.  Liberation from the classroom would spawn a dozen or more games at once creating an atmosphere of excitement that rivaled that of any latter-day sport.

It was a time when every boy who valued his worth arrived at school equipped for the game, and hoped to depart with the spoils of victory.

Marbles conferred status.  Some were fortunate enough to buy their initial supply, and others were thankful for prizes from breakfast cereal boxes to seed their entry into the competition.  From there on it was a zero-sum game. If you won, someone else lost, and the larger your collection, the greater your image.  Your accumulation was in constant flux, and carried in a sack—the size being indisputable evidence of your skill. Up to about the fourth grade, the worship bestowed upon the school marbles champ was commensurate to that of a football hero. Knee patches and dirt ground into sometimes-calloused knuckles were badges of honor.

A few girls had their troves as well, but they were rarely interested in playing, instead displaying their collection for aesthetic value.

Most arrived well versed in the game but a few were unfamiliar.  There were loose interpretations of some rules, and the more arbitrary were often settled in a scuffle. Others were adhered to strictly, and ignorance didn’t excuse enforcement.  Those undiscouraged found the competition spirited and initiation unavoidably quick. Some rules like “no hunching,” were never bent.  That meant your first shot couldn’t be from inside the circle. If you didn’t yell “dubs” when scattering more than one marble out of the ring, you couldn’t keep them all. “Knuckle down bony tight” was an admonishment often shouted. No one quite understood the “bony tight” part of the rebuke, but that didn’t prevent liberal use in every game.  And then, of course there was “snatty grabs.”  Everyone quickly learned the meaning of that decree. It was the point at which the game became a contact sport.  When the school bell rang before the game ended, someone yelled the command making it legal to dive into the pot, elbows flying and heads butting, to grab as many of the remaining marbles as you could get away with.

Some marbles were especially attractive, and collections were envied as much for quality as quantity. There were glass marbles, those made of clay, china, porcelain, and rare ones carved from stone. “Cats eyes,” were desirable as were the rich-looking colors and designs that were called “beauties.” The larger sizes were referred to as “boulders,” and the small ones “peawees.” The most valuable were the heavier than normal marbles deemed “shooters.”  Their weight imparted a force that could thrust others from the ring with authority.  Only the most inept left their shooters inside the ring as fair game for the next player.

Although initiated in the 1920’s, national marbles tournaments didn’t flourish until immediately after WWII.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored the tournaments, culminating with the national championship in Atlantic City.

Like most things appealing to youth, the wartime generation eventually put away early pursuits in support of more adult adventures.  But, it was assumed the marbles game would retain its momentum through endless cycles.  However, in the 1970’s interest on a large scale ceased—corresponding with the ushering in of the age of electronics. Sixty years ago no one suspected technology would nearly obliterate a respected pastime of centuries.

In retrospect one thing is clear. Marbles were the most economical and indestructible toys ever invented. The game was character building. It taught fair play and competitiveness at a formative age.  It’s questionable whether any game of the electronic age can claim the same.  One might ask too, if any of the techno-wizards have a clue as to where expressions such as “taking all the marbles,” or  “losing your marbles” came from. It’s doubtful.

By Robert Carpenter
Robert Carpenter was born and raised in the New Philadelphia, Ohio area. He’s a freelance writer presently living in Florida.

Cartoon Library & Museum

cartoon-museum-library-columbusAdmission to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is free.

  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm (Closed holidays and between exhibitions)
  • Location: (Map It) Sullivant Hall at Ohio State University on 1813 N High St. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-292-0538 / Email: cartoons@osu.edu
  • Web: http://cartoons.osu.edu/

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum houses the world’s largest collection of comic strip tear sheets and clippings. It also is home to unique, original art and manuscript materials.

The collection features editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons and magazine cartoons. It holds 300,000 original cartoons, 45,000 books, 67,000 serials (including comic books), 3,000 linear feet of manuscript materials and 2.5 million comic strip clippings and newspaper pages

Cincinnati Police Museum

pic-cincinnati-police-museum-webAdmission & parking to the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum is free.

  • Open for tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10a.m. to 4p.m.
  • Location:  (Map It) 959 W. Eighth Street in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-300-3664
  • Web: http://www.gcphs.com/

The Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum features uniforms, equipment, badges, photographs, artifacts, and other items telling the story of police agencies throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.  Items such as a percussion cap rifle used to quell the Court House riots of 1884 and a modern Taser are on display. Special displays rotate such as FBI and Policewomen exhibits.

Classical Music Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.

  • Open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 4 West Fourth St. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-621-3263 or 800-499-3263
  • Web: http://classicalwalkoffame.org/

The Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati:  Celebrate the history of classical music at this national institution honoring the best of American classical music’s performance artists. It recognizes individuals who have impacted symphonies, orchestras, schools and conservatories both past and present. And it provides recordings for visitors to listen to the works of the Hall’s inductees. In addition, there are many displays of classical music memorabilia, famous instruments, a bugle collection and stained glass from various opera houses.

Cleveland Police Historical Museum

Welcome to the Cleveland Police Historical Museum.

Cleveland Police Historical Museum has a wide variety of arresting displays and artifacts, including death masks, motorcycles, the first call box and case files and police blotters dating back to 1866. Many other photographs and scrapbooks depict chilling notorious crime stories in the area’s history.  In addition, the museum highlights Eliot Ness, weapons, mounted units and a Hall-of-Fame. Another point of interest is the first closed-circuit camera used in banks, which is displayed at the museum.

Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame.

  • Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Noon – 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Closed Wednesdays and Sundays)
  • Location: (Map It) 605 East 222nd Street in  Euclid, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-261-FAME or 866-66POLKA
  • Web: http://www.clevelandstyle.com/

The Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame:  Okay polka lovers, if you haven’t made your pilgrimage to this hall-of-fame, plan on it. Memorabilia from America’s Polka King – Frank Yankovic to turn-of-the-Century artifacts fill the collection at this museum. In addition to Yankovic’s stage outfits and accordion, visitors will see Johnny Vadnal’s accordion and other personal items, video library and dedications to the greatest all-time hits, lifetime achievement honors and pieces from Johnny Pecon and Eddie Habat.

Croatian Heritage Museum

Admission to the Croatian Heritage Museum is free.

  • Open Fridays from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 34900 Lakeshore Blvd. in Eastlake, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-946-2044
  • Web: http://croatianmuseum.com/

The Croatian Heritage Museum represents Croatian-American cultural history and has exhibits promoting appreciation for Croatia descendents. Many traveling collections are also featured at this museum throughout the year.

Glass Heritage Museum

Admission to the Glass Heritage Museum in Fostoria is free.

  • Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. only. March: Thursday through Saturday 10-3. Closed January and February. Other hours by prior arrangement: 419-435-1939 or 419-435-7014
  • Location: (Map It) 109 North Main Street in Fostoria, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-435-5077
  • Web: Click here

The Fostoria Ohio Glass Association Museum:  Fostoria had 13 glass factories from 1887 – 1920. The museum today has more than 1,000 glass artifacts from that period by those companies. The colorful displays feature clear, three-layered and prism colored glass and more. Fostoria provided 60 percent of all manufactured kerosene lamps in America once upon a time. These included large, small and multi-colored models. Another attraction is the tableware displayed at the museum.

Hoover Historical Center

hoover-historicalAdmission to Hoover Historical Center is free.

  • Tours are hourly at 1pm, 2pm, 3.pm and 4pm Thursday – Saturday from March through October. Advance reservations available for groups of 8 or more and a.m. reservations available Monday – Friday
  • Location: (Map It) 1875 East Maple Street in North Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-490-7435
  • Web: Click here

The Hoover Historical Center:  A vibrant part of Walsh University, the story of the Hoover legacy unfolds in the Victorian Italianate-style farmhouse at the Hoover Historical Center. This small museum preserves the history of the invention and development of a household product that made a huge impact on housecleaning.

The “Sweeping Changes” chronological display provides a unique walk down memory lane in the boyhood home of William “Boss” Hoover, founder of The Hoover Company. Amid Victorian elegance, visitors view vintage vacuums, advertisements, ladies’ fashions, home décor, and war memorabilia. Interactives are available throughout the tour. Herb gardens enhance the grounds.

The Center offers a variety of programs that have grown to become favored traditions in the community:

  • An 1860s base ball team, the Hoover Sweepers, play from May – September, with home matches played at Hoover Park. Visit www.hooversweepers.com for current schedule.
  • Outdoor storytelling each summer by some of the area’s best storytellers.
  • An annual Christmas Open House includes Santa & Mrs. Claus, live holiday music and a Christmas tree in every display room. Horse-drawn wagon rides and Christmas caroling through Hoover Park are part of the agenda.

The Hoover name is known around the globe. The unique history of the Hoover family and business are preserved and shared on the Hoover family homestead.

Knox County Agricultural Museum

The Knox County Agricultural Museum is open by appointment only.

The Knox County Agricultural Museum:  This agricultural museum captures Ohio farm-life during the 1800’s and early 1900’s. It has more than 3,000 pieces exhibited, including household items, farming tools and machinery, a one-room schoolhouse and a log house.

Mansfield Fire Museum

Admission to the Mansfield Fire Museum is free.

  • Open June 1st through September 1st Saturdays through Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and from September to June on Saturdays and Sundays only from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1265 West Fourth Street in Mansfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-529-2573

The Mansfield Fire Museum itself is a reproduction of a turn-of-the-century firehouse where firefighters hitched their fire-wagons to horses. The museum opens the window to a fascinating history of firefighting and the people, tools and lifestyle of these brave public servants. Visitors will feel as if they took a step back into time.

Dittrick Museum of Medical History

& Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception

  • Open Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. only
  • Location: (Map It) Third Floor of the Allen Memorial Medical Library at 11000 Euclid Avenue (at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Adelbert Road) in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-368-3648
  • Web: http://artsci.case.edu/Dittrick/
  • Play Video

The Dittrick Museum of Medical History, on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, will make visitors marvel at the medical advancements made or have a coronary to think how archaic today’s medical devices may look to future generations. The collection has more than 10,000 images and 60,000 rare books and museum objects. Artifacts displayed represent medical history from 1800 through 1965 and include items such as a 1952 infant respirator, 1928 X-ray machine, 1861 amputating set, 1882 antiseptic sprayer, 1890 surgical chair and much more. The museum’s displays  also include an 1870’s and 1930’s doctors’ offices, 1880’s pharmacy and hospital medicines from 1865 – 1920.  The museum is now home to the Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception, the world’s most comprehensive collection of hisoric contraceptive devices.

Museum of Postal History

The Museum of Postal History is open to groups by appointment.

Museum of Postal History:  Here, visitors can see a 1906 Harrington Rural Mail Coach and see additional displays covering some 7,000 square feet. It includes memorabilia and media presentations regarding the progress made in American mail history. Stamps, letters and postmarks are just some of what’s here. Other highlights include a research library and films available in a mini-theater.

Ohio Craft Museum

Admission to the Ohio Craft Museum is free.

  • Open:  Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 1 p.m. 4 p.m. Weekend hours are only during exhibition dates.
  • Location: (Map It) 1665 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-486-4402
  • web: http://ohiocraft.org/

The Ohio Craft Museum’s exhibitions features Contemporary American Crafts Artwork. It includes displays of works created in ceramics, glass, wood, fiber and metal. Exhibitions feature Contemporary Fine Craft by American artists as well as international artists.

Ohio Society of Military History

Admission to the Ohio Society of Military History is free.

  • Open Wednesday through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 316 Lincoln Way East in Massilon, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-832-5553
  • Web: ohiomilitarymuseum.com/

The Ohio Society of Military History in Massilon:  This museum honors the men and women who served and fought in our nation’s armed forces. It features many old uniforms, historic documents, prestigious medals and interesting photographs. The memorabilia covers all periods of Ohio’s military history. In addition, it is home to the memorial honoring First Lieutenant Sharon A. Lane, who died on June 8, 1969 in Vietnam.

Ohio Veterans Museum & Hall of Fame

Admission to the Ohio Veterans Museum & Hall of Fame is free (donations accepted.

  • Open: Saturday through Wednesday 10:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. or by appointment to individuals, families, and for group tours.
  • Location: (Map It) Johnson’s Island in the Marblehead area near Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-625-2454, extension 1447

The Ohio Veterans Museum & Hall of Fame: Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Sandy Zeigler, Travel Journalist

Do you know where thousands of Confederate Civil War prisoners were sent? Ohio. Nestled up near Sandusky, Ohio, along with tourist attractions like Cedar Point, Put-in-Bay, Wild Animal Safari, and Wolf Lodge is another special place.  We were shocked when we “happened upon” a cemetery for Confederate prisoners.

Driving in an area about three miles from Sandusky, we came to a small bridge which allowed our entrance onto another area called Johnson’s Island. Curious as to what was on this island, we inserted the mandatory two dollars at the tollgate, which allowed the crossbar to rise, and our entry onto the island was permitted. Continuing for a short distance from the causeway, we spotted a small cemetery. Stopping, we read signs which indicated that this was the location of a former Prison Camp for Confederate soldiers who had been captured during the Civil War. I learned afterwards that this was the only camp designated for captured Confederate officers. There were also prisoners held there who were non-commissioned Confederate officers, as well as a few Union soldiers who had been charged with desertion or other war crimes.

During the period of operation from April 1862 through September 1865, about 10,000 prisoners were incarcerated at the POW Camp on Johnson’s Island. In spite of that large number, according to records only 267 people died. Their deaths were attributed mainly to the harsh Ohio winter weather, food and fuel shortages, and diseases. The many rows of gravestones that we spotted marked the final resting places for 206 of the deceased. Some of the soldiers who died at the prison were taken elsewhere for burial, and it is believed that there are additional graves in this cemetery which are not marked.

As we walked the cemetery and looked at gravestones, we read the deceased soldiers’ names, ranks, company numbers, and their company’s locations, which included the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Our hearts were saddened even more when we came to tombstones which read “Unknown Soldier.”

In May 1890, wooden grave markers were replaced with the current Georgia marble tombstones. Concerned citizens in Georgia raised the necessary money for this to be accomplished.

Besides the gravestones, there are three other monuments in the cemetery. The largest monument, the “Bronze Monument to Confederate Soldiers on Johnson’s Island,” was added to this setting with its dedication in 1910. This very impressive tribute was placed at the rear of the cemetery. Two additional monuments were dedicated on June 21, 2003. These two show additional information concerning those buried in this cemetery.

This sacred burial ground is the only part of the original POW Depot that is open to the public. The area where the actual prison was once located is being excavated for additional clues concerning this Civil War Prison.

In the summer of 2001, the Johnson’s Island Museum was opened as an attempt to publicly share artifacts from the Prison Camp on Johnson’s Island. Because of lack of space for these materials, the Johnson’s Island artifacts were moved and are currently on display for public viewing in the Ohio Veterans Home Museum in Sandusky, Ohio. This display includes letters and other items from private collections regarding the Civil War POW Depot, information on the attempt to change the island into “Pleasure Resorts,” and the quarrying business that occurred on the island.

The Ohio Veterans Home Museum and Hall of Fame is located on State Route 250 just before the city limits to Sandusky. The Hall of Fame was not established as a military hall of fame, but instead it was intended as a place for recognition of veterans who had served honorably and continued to serve their country with lifetime accomplishments. The museum is housed in the Isaac Foster Mack Building on the Ohio Veterans Home Grounds. The other archives there are divided into “War Rooms” which include artifacts for each of the different wars and conflicts from the Civil War to present times. The museum is open Saturday through Wednesday 10:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. or by appointment to individuals, families, and for group tours. Group tour reservations can be made by calling 419-625-2454, extension 1447. There is no charge to view the museum, although a donation box is available for those who want to contribute.

To go to Johnson’s Island, exit at the SR 269 exit ramp, follow the ramp and bear to the right (South) onto SR 269. The first intersection will be Bayshore Road. Turn left (East) onto Bayshore and travel East 5.9 miles to Gaydos Drive. (Before reaching Gaydos, be careful to remain on Bayshore Road as it bears right (East) while Hartshorn Rd. goes straight (North). Turn right (South) onto Gaydos and drive to the tollgate and causeway to the island. Once on the island, proceed straight after stopping at the four-way intersection. The Confederate cemetery is a short distance on the left (East) side. Please remember to bring $2.00 (payable by either dollars or quarters) to pay the toll to the island.

To go to the Johnson’s Island Museum (from Johnson’s Island / Marblehead area); take Ohio State Route 2 East to Sandusky. Exit at US 250 (Cedar Point) and go North toward Sandusky 1.9 miles. The Ohio Veterans Home is on the left (West). Enter US 250 gate and proceed to the I.F. Mack Building (large building across from flag pole).

Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame

Admission to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame is free.

  • Open 8:30 – 4:30 Monday – Friday
  • Location: (Map It) 274 E. First Avenue, Suite 300 in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-466-3847
  • Email: lhengst@ohioana.org or bpoley@ohioana.org
  • Contact: Linda R. Hengst, Executive Director, Ohioana or Beth Poley, Office Manager, Ohioana
  • Web: click here

The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to honor and publicly recognize the outstanding contributions by Ohio’s women throughout the state’s history. The Hall currently has 365 inductees. It is a very inspirational exhibit for anyone, but especially for women and young ladies. The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame is run by the Ohioana Library Association through a contract with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  For more information, please visitwww.ohioana.org. For a searchable database of the current OWHF members, please click here.

Orton Geological Museum

Admission to the Orton Geological Museum is free.

  • Open Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) Orton Hall on Ohio State University’s main campus at 155 S. Oval in Columbus, OH 43210
  • Phone: 614-292-6896
  • Web: https://ortongeologicalmuseum.osu.edu/

The Orton Geological Museum: Some may think of this museum as Ohio’s little Jurassic Park. After all, it features a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex scull, skeleton of a giant ground sloth and teeth from a Mastodon and Mammoth. But that’s only the beginning. Visitors will find other eye-opening exhibits such as fluorescent minerals, crystals, fossils and a meteorite that fell in Ohio. Tell the kids your going to a museum of Ohio’s “rock” history and open the fascinating world of geology to them. Tours are available for groups with prior arrangement.

Pencil Sharpener Museum

Welcome to Pencil Sharpener Museum at the visitors center at  Hocking Hills in Logan, Ohio: Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Beverly Johnston

It’s an early spring day and my husband and I are out for a Sunday drive. Trying to stay on back roads only.  We venture through Vinton county and into Hocking, and then on  to, oh never mind you get the drift. We are in southeast Ohio. We pass a sign that says, Pencil Sharpener Museum. “I wonder what that’s all about” I say.  My husband pauses and replies, “There was a phone number on the sign”.  We make a quick turn around for that number.

A couple of weeks later, I pick up the phone and dial. “Is this the Pencil Sharpener Museum?”  “It is”, replied the lady on the other end. “Just one minute I’ll let you speak to my husband Paul”.  I introduce myself, and ask Paul if I can come to see his museum. “Sure, just let me know when”, he said with enthusiasm, like a child wanting to ride a bike for the first time. Arrangements were made and a time was set. I was off to see my first Pencil Sharpener Museum.

I drove south on State Route 33,(my husband says it’s east, but we all know men and women usually understand directions differently), I went into Nelsonville, OH, the home of The Rocky Boot Outlet Store, and The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, and turned left at the 278 junction. Carbon Hill, that’s the location of the famous sharpener museum. “Here we are”, I tell myself. My curiosity is piqued, so many questions to ask.

I knock on the door, a gentleman in his retirement years answers. “Are you Paul, Paul Johnson”? “Yes, step on in here”.

I make my introduction and we head out to the museum. Stepping inside, “My what  a large collection you have“,(spoken like little red riding hood). Instantly his eyes lit up and the words started to roll.

“The whole thing started with two metal cars, my wife bought for me as a gift in 1989”. “Little did she know I would take off running with the idea.” “I now have over 3000 different sharpeners, with NO duplicates in here.”  “Duplicates are used for my mobile collection.” Paul retired in 1988 thus a hobby was needed, the pencil sharpeners came at the perfect time.

Paul continued with his story saying how he is still collecting, showing me some of his favorite ones like the smallest one in his collection,(which is, he thinks the oldest also), a sharpener about ¾ inch long that has its own snapping leather case.  He also pointed out the wooden old crank phone sharpener, one of his favorites. The collection used to be displayed in the house, but it out grew the space and Da-Da the museum was built.

“Paul where do you find all these”?

“Oh everywhere, Wal Mart, K Mart, just stores most of them.” A smile crept on his face and a chuckle filled the air as he remembered telling his wife, Charlotte, one school shopping season, “I might have to knock down a few kids to get a sharpener from the school supply section today”. He has several sharpeners

that people have given to him. Heck, if I find one he doesn’t have I’ll probably give him one too.

I gazed with awe at all the variety of shapes and sizes. Paul was proud to share with me that he has a metal sharpener in the shape of the Twin Towers. (Now that’s a collector’s item for sure). My favorites, the monster that burps after he eats the shavings off your pencil, and the souvenir skateboard sharpener Paul gave me.

People from different areas come to see Paul’s collection. His says the winters are slow, but so far this spring(early June) he’s already had about twenty visitors. Why does Paul continue to collect, I wondered the same thing.

His answer, “It’s interesting, I like the attention it gets, and it keeps my mind SHARP”.

Paul shared his knowledge about some of the sharpeners, where they came from, how he got them, and if they were a gift or a purchase. He told of different regions of which he had gotten a few, places like Venezuela, England, Spain, and even Bulgaria. I was swirling in all the information he was so eager to share.

With an invitation to retreat to the screened in porch with a swing and some chairs, I followed him to the coolness of the shade and gentle breeze that drifted through. Feeling welcome, as though I were visiting my gramps on a Sunday afternoon, we sat on the porch engaged in conversation for the longest time. Charlotte took a seat on the swing and chimed in on the visit. Telling me how she’s just glad that Paul has the museum to help occupy him, and that he has always been a social person, so the visitors are good for him.

During our visit, I learned that Paul will be 82 this summer. This led me to wonder what will happen to the collection when…Paul said, “My kids ask what about your collection when you…, and I just tell them, I’m taking it with me”. Sadness filled my heart, but only for a moment, until the laughter began.

This has to be the most relaxing and social museum I’ve ever visited. Not only was the collection interesting, but so was Paul and his wife Charlotte. I finished my visit by asking if I could take some photos of them and the museum.   Captured, a memory for a lifetime. The smiling faces of the proud owners of the Pencil Sharpener Museum.

If you’d like to meet Paul and Charlotte, and visit this unique museum, they ask that you please call ahead to make arrangements. They also want everyone to know that admission is FREE and donations are NOT accepted. They are just happy to share and enjoy the company. I hope that you take time and get to know these beautiful people, I did and I came away inspired.

  • The Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum is open to the public Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center is located at 13178 State Route 664 South, Logan, Ohio, 43138. Phone 1-800-HOCKING for more information.
  • Hocking Valley Scenic Railway – www.hvsr.com – 1800 967-7834.
  • Rocky Boots Outlet – www.rockyboots.com – 740 753-3130.

By  Beverly Johnston

Marietta Soda Museum

The Marietta Soda Museum was formerly known as Butch’s Coca-Cola Museum. Admission is free.

The Marietta Soda Museum:  Seeing the history of Coca-Cola and all kinds of Coke memorabilia through the ages is like traveling through American history and “pop” culture. The collection of Coca-Cola artifacts amassed by Butch Badgett is a site to see. Butch’s father handcrafted many of the unique Cola items found in the Cola shop from wood. The museum features many collectibles such as dolls, carry-on airline coolers, billfolds, aluminum bottle carrier, signs, tins, dinner ware, machines, clothing and just about anything else you could imagine from the 1920s to present.

Spirit of ’76 Museum

Admission to the Spirit of ’76 Museum is free.

  • Open from April 1 through October 31 on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) 201 N. Main St. in Wellington, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-647-4367
  • Web: http://thespiritof76museum.org/

The Spirit of ’76 Museum:  Come see the celebrated history of painter Archibald Willard, artist of the famous “Spirit of ’76.” This painting is considered by many to be the nation’s most inspirational painting of all-time. Willard spent most of his life painting in northeastern Ohio. In 1875, influenced by the death of his father, he decided to do the very serious piece depicting the American Revolutionary, which became famous. In addition to the many paintings by Willard, the museum contains Revolutionary and Civil War artifacts.

Stengel True Museum

The Stengel True Museum is open by appointment.

The Stengel True Museum:  This museum home was built in 1864. It features firearm collections from the Revolutionary War, Civil War and other wars. It also displays Indian artifacts, pottery and glassware, a collection of primitive light fixtures, antique clocks and children’s toys. The interior of the home includes ornate architecture such as the fine Italian marble fireplace. In general, the museum has a very fine collection of antiques.

Telephone Museum – James Thomas

Admission to the James Thomas Telephone Museum is free.

  • Open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 68 East Main Street in Chillicothe, Ohio  inside the Horizon Chillicothe Telephone Office Building
  • Phone: 740-772-8200

James Thomas Telephone Museum:  James M. Thomas pioneered the non-Bell independent telephone industry and this museum is dedicated to his accomplishments. It features a wooden underground conduit, which contained early Western Union cables that ran beneath the streets of Chillicothe. And an old switchboard, phone directories as early as 1897 and many other telephone equipment displays.

The Buckeye Telephone Museum

Admission to The Buckeye Telephone Museum is free.

  • Open by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) CWA Union Hall at 581 Bellefontaine Avenue in Marion, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-947-8676 or 800-371-6688

The Buckeye Telephone Museum:  With the  Clare E. Williams Telephone Museum Association, a volunteer group of telephone retirees and employees worked to preserve the telephone industry’s history. The public museum display will keep alive memory of the items that made the telephone industry what it is today. Many items have been donated from local telephone companies from years as service and system changes. View various open wire insulators, operator switchboards, wall mounted magneto crank phones, maps, phonebooks, testing gear and much more.

Tiffin Glass Museum

Admission to the Tiffin Glass Museum is free.

  • Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 25 South Washington St. in Tiffin, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-448-0200
  • Web: http://www.tiffinglass.org/

The Tiffin Glass Museum: The Tiffin Glass Club honors the heritage of Tiffin’s Glass House by exhibiting 2,000 pieces of Tiffin glass at the museum to preserve the town and glass company heritage. The factory ran from 1889 to 1984. The museum features memorabilia, historic documents, popular Tiffin Glass lines, stemware, lamps, optics and more. The items are displayed in chronological order in beautiful wood cabinets.

Toledo Firefighters Museum

Admission to the Toledo Firefighters Museum is free.

The Toledo Firefighters Museum:  This museum will provide its visitors an opportunity to learn about fire safety and experience Toledo firefighting history. It features the uniforms and equipment used by the earliest firefighters as well as vintage pumpers.

Ukranian Museum and Archives

Admission to the Ukranian Museum and Archives is free.

The Ukranian Museum and Archives in Cleveland:  Ukranians and others have come from all around to attend events and see the museum and archives dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Ukraine. One of the most popular displays in the museum is the Easter eggs or pysanky. The books and periodical section of the museum’s archives cover a vast range of topics spanning Ukranian prehistory to modern headlines around the world.

Whitney Store Museum

Admission to the Whitney Store Museum at the Newell K. Whitney General Store is free.

The Whitney Store Museum at the Newell K. Whitney General Store:  Okay, so you’ve been to Cracker Barrel, but this is a truly authentic restored 1830s country store and post office. It features more than a thousand items and replicas of merchandise that lured shoppers more than 150 years ago. Whitney’s General Store was the very first store in the Kirtland region.

Ye Olde Mill Ice Cream Museum

Admission to the Ice Cream Museum at Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream Company is free.

  • Open May – October (call for hours)
  • Location: (Map It) 11324 Mt. Vernon Rd. in Utica, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-589-5000
  • Web: www.velveticecream.com
  • Visitors Center with hourly tours
  • Ohio’s only ice cream museum
  • Ice cream production viewing gallery
  • 1817 Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Mill Room Restaurant
  • Gift shop
  • Weekend family entertainment
  • Picnic park and shelter houses
  • Children’s playground
  • Nature trails
  • Farm animal petting zoo
  • Buckeye tree grove

The Ice Cream Museum at Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream Company:  Each year, Ye Olde Mill attracts 150,000 nature and ice cream enthusiasts from all over the country. Ye Olde Mill, on 20 picturesque acres nestled in the gently rolling hills and forests of lovely Licking County, is the perfect spot for family fun, reunions, weddings, and more.

The restaurant can accommodate large groups for any occasion. For group reservations, contact Guest Relations at 740-892-3921 or 800-589-5000.


Ye Olde Mill features Ohio’s only ice cream museum, an 1817 Ice Cream Parlor, The Mill Room Restaurant, and gift shop. The Velvet adventure begins with the Visitors Center, built to resemble Grandpa Dager’s old milking parlor, which offers hourly tours of the Mill and museum, along with observation of the Velvet Ice Cream factory at work.  Outside, the adventure continues with the Visitors Center’s livestock barnyard, children’s farm animal petting zoo, and scenic natural trails and picnic grounds.

Open May to October: Call for hours

Mill Room Restaurant, Ye Olde Mill, Ice Cream Museum, and 1817 Ice Cream Parlor

May 11am – 6pm.  June, July, August 11am – 8pm.  September 11am – 7pm.  October 11am – 6pm.

Tours of Ye Olde Mill and Factory

Weekdays: 11 am to 3 pm on the hour

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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