Ohio Museums

Enjoy Ohio’s unique museums, halls of fame, and special exhibits. These displays, artifacts, and collections range from rare and peculiar to famous and infamous. Some are one-of-a-kind finds and national treasures.


Free Ohio Museums and Halls of Fame

Ohio Museums & Halls of Fame Worth the Price of Admission



Akron Police Museum

Welcome 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.

Cartoon Library & Museum

Admission to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is free.

  • Open: Museum hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm (Closed Mondays, holidays, and between exhibitions). Library hours are Mon-Fri only.
  • Location: (Map It) 110 Sullivant Hall at Ohio State University at 1813 N High St. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-292-0538 / Email: cartoons@osu.edu
  • Web: click here

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in Columbus at The Ohio State University 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. Periodically, there are exhibitions with guest speakers.

Cleveland Police Museum

Admission to the Cleveland Police Museum is free.

  • Open Wednesday & Thursday from 10am – 2pm, and tours by appointment.
  • Location: (Map It) Cleveland Justice Center at 1300 Ontario St. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-623-5055
  • Web: click here

Cleveland Police 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.

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 accordions, 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 & Library is free.

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

Dittrick Museum of Medical History

Admission to the Dittrick Museum of Medical History is free.

  • Open (Museum Gallery) Fridays 10am – 4pm, and Saturdays 12pm – 4pm
  • 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: https://artsci.case.edu/dittrick/

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 1870’s and 1930’s doctors’ offices, 1880’s pharmacy, and hospital medicines from 1865 – 1920.  The museum is also home to the Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception, the world’s most comprehensive collection of historic contraceptive devices.

Famous Endings Museum

Admission to the Famous Endings Museum is free.

  • Open: Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 803 N. Wooster Avenue in Dover, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-343-6132
  • Web: click here

Famous Endings Museum at Toland-Herzig Funeral Home in Dover, Ohio is a collection of more than 2,500 artifacts and pieces from famous funerals. It is considered the largest collection of its kind. View photos, documents, and audio recordings. Every piece has a unique story. And it all started when John Herzig wanted to add Joe Louis’ autograph to his autograph collection. Instead, he received a program for the famous boxer’s funeral. So, being a funeral homeowner, his collecting took a turn.

Glass Heritage Gallery

Admission to the Glass Heritage Gallery in Fostoria is free.

  • Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am – 4pm. March hours are Thursday – Saturday 10-3. Closed January and February.
  • Location: (Map It) 109 North Main Street in Fostoria, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-435-5077
  • Web: click here

The Glass Heritage Gallery in Fostoria:  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.

Akron Fossils & Science Center

Admission to Akron Fossils & Science Center is $10/person.

  • Open:  Memorial Day – Labor Day from Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. And Labor Day – Memorial Day on Saturdays from 10am – 5pm
  • Location:  (Map It) 2080 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd in Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: (330) 665-DINO (3466)
  • Web: https://www.akronfossils.org/

The Akron Fossils & Science Center is an interactive science center that features hands-on guided tours and activities for the whole family. Unlike many science centers, we don’t keep our exhibits behind glass.  As you make your way through the center, you will love interacting with our live animal collection, getting your hands-on real fossils, and even making your own fossil replica to take home!

For those looking to dive deeper into the study of the Earth’s origins, The Creation Education Museum housed within Akron Fossils & Science Center is open for self-guided tours throughout the day. The museum features 18 exhibits that explore topics such as the age and origins of our Universe, as well as some of the science behind what is recorded in the Bible.

General admission includes a hands-on guided tour, admission to our self-guided Creation Education Museum, and entrance to our 2-acre Truassic Park and playground, which features a 200ft long zipline (Please visit the Akron Fossils & Science Center website for zip line rules and guidelines). Hours change seasonally.

Akron Fossils & Science Center also offers a variety of enriching science programs for all ages. Programs include science-themed birthday parties, a monthly Super Science Saturday event, K-12 class for home-educated students, educational days, overnight lock-ins, and science-themed summer camps.

American Sign Museum

Photo of American Sign Museum by Alias Imaging

Admission to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati is $15/adult, $10/senior, and student.

  • When: Open 10am – 4pm Wed – Sunday. Guided Tours are provided at 11am and 2pm from Wed Thru Sat and 2pm only on Sunday
  • Location: (Map It) 1330 Monmouth Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-541-6366
  • Web: https://www.americansignmuseum.org/

American Sign Museum in Cincinnati:  This is a unique institution that celebrates the rich tradition of sign-making and sign design. Not only does the museum feature vintage signs, but the materials and tools, salesman’s samples, ad specialties, and more that characterize the sign industry.  Visitors to the museum first enter the lobby or “Sign Garden,” an indoor landscaped display of free-standing and hanging vintage signs.

The American Sign Museum has five sections:

  1. A timeline history of the sign industry exhibits the evolution of the three-dimensional letter with samples from 1900 to 1970.
  2. “Signs on Main Street” features a streetscape of four life-size storefronts and offers a backdrop to display period signage, while the store’s windows serve as themed display cabinets.
  3. A memorial tribute to Rick Glawson and the “art of gilding” celebrates
    goldleaf techniques and glass sign decoration.
  4. The entire left side of the museum traces the evolution of the electric sign–from the pre-neon, light bulb era of the turn-of-the-century to the late 1920s; through to
    neon’s heyday of the late 20s through the late 40s; and on into the Post
    WWII era of plastic – with restored vintage signs.
  5. An exhibit on porcelain enamel shows samples of this favorite technique of the late 1930s through the late 1950s.

National Barber Museum & Hall of Fame

Admission to The National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame is $5/adult, $4/senior and $3/child.

  • Open by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 135 Franklin St. in Canal Winchester, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-837-8400 or 614-833-1846

The National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame in Canal Winchester: For not advertising or promoting this Ohio gem, former owner/curator and barber Edwin Jeffers had had visitors from more than 40 states and five countries. The museum is one-of-a-kind. It features 58 barber poles, barber chairs from six eras, re-created barbershops from eras past, hundreds of mugs and razors that are hundreds of years old, and blood-letting and tooth-pulling tools that were used long ago when barbers sometimes moonlighted as surgeons and dentists. It’s no wonder Mr. Jeffers had appeared on many cable television shows and a Japanese station.

Toy and Plastic Brick Museum

Admission to the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum is approx. $8/adult and $6/child, 4 and younger free, $6.00/senior.

  • Open: Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm (Call in advance as they are expected to go seasonal)
  • Location: (Map It) 4597 Noble Street in Bellaire, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-671-8890 or email toymuseum@hotmail.com
  • Web: click here

The Toy and Plastic Brick Museum is the Unofficial LEGO Museum in Bellaire, Ohio. And it is being built one Lego at a time. It is housed in the old Gravel Hill School turned museum. Dan Brown, the founder of the Bellaire Historical Society and Toy Museum, boasts the world’s largest private Lego collection. Although that may be true, one distinction officially proclaimed by the Guinness Book of World Records cannot be denied. The Bellaire Historic Society and Toy Museum is home to the World’s Largest Lego brick image. The museum now holds many other records, such as the largest castle and longest castle wall, and there will be more to come in the future, such as the one being tried for now by building and breaking the tallest tower made of Lego.

Although originally conceived as a toy museum, the Lego exhibit grew and grew. And GREW! Now instead of a Lego room in the museum, each room has a theme. If you enjoy the sea, there’s an “aqua” room complete with ships built from Legos. And there are other rooms like Lion’s Den, a zoo, an old-west town, Star Wars (Has a real life-size Darth Vader!), Mars Mission Room you will glow in, and don’t forget life-sized Spiderman. The last time someone checked, it was estimated the total museum brick count exceeded 4 million!

Although Dan Brown has had a hand in creating much of the museum’s displays, he has also been instrumental in acquiring one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of the one-of-a-kind exhibits feature Lego creations that were done for the NBA and Kellogg’s. Throughout the museum are eye-popping masterpieces demonstrating the engineering world of Lego. Some of the astonishing pieces even seem to come to life with animatronics, such as a working band.  There are fascinating pieces from all over the world and from artists such as Nathan Sawaya, Brian Korte (Brickworkz), and Dan Brown. Children make adult Lego fan-made displays and displays from around the world that came for a visit. Check out the second-floor map showing where all the visitors came from.

The museum will schedule private tours, motor coaches, schools, churches, scouts, and more. Walk-through tours are welcomed. Birthday parties, weddings, retirement, and red hat parties are also welcome. The Museum does school programs, lectures, and builds. The Museum will do a build or fun time for a festival, convention, or other.

Bicycle Museum of America

Admission to the Bicycle Museum of America: $3/adult, $2/senior, $1/student.

  • Open Monday – Friday from 12 – 5pm and  Saturday from 10am – 2pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 7 West Monroe St. (St. Rt. 274) in New Bremen, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-629-9249
  • Web: click here

Read the article:
A Bicycle Trip Thru History

Bicycle Museum of America:  The bicycle has to be the world’s most popular vehicle. The Bicycle Museum of America rotates over 1,000 bicycles through its displays, featuring over 300 at a time. It offers viewers an opportunity to see how it all began. At the museum, bicycles are displayed according to era. See the 1892 Victor, which must have seemed like the Rolls Royce in its time. It sold for $130 – during a time when salaries were generally $18 per month. The museum also offers glimpses of the 1880s high-wheeler designs and the 1886 model of the bicycle-built-for-two.  More modern bicycles, including race models, are displayed. But let’s not forget the balloon tires of the 1940s and 1950s. New Bremen offers a notable museum in a historic setting.

Buckeye Imagination Museum

Admission to the Buckeye Imagination Museum is $14/person (adults & children); under age 2 are free.

  • Open: April 1 – November 30 from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm; and December 1 – March 31 from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 44 W 4th St. in Mansfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-522-2332
  • Web: click here

Buckeye Imagination Museum is located in the heart of downtown Mansfield in Richland County, Ohio. It offers a hands-on, imagination-based facility with over 30 interactive play exhibits designed for children ages 2-10, making it the perfect destination for families and school groups!

Buckeye Imagination Museum understands that exploration and play are critical to healthy child development. They know that play benefits children physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. They also know that not every child gets the opportunity to play in a safe and developmentally stimulating environment.

Buckeye Telephone Museum

Admission to The Buckeye Telephone Museum is $2/person.

  • 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 for 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.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Admission to Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is $14.50 adults; $12.50 seniors; $11.50 Children 3-17 years old.

  • Open  Mon-Sat from 9am – 5pm and Sun 12-5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 2600 DeWeese Parkway in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-275-7431
  • Web: www.boonshoftmuseum.org/

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton is based on the understanding that science is the process through which we come to understand our world, and that play is the way children do science. We are a place where play and learning come together so that visitors of all ages can explore the wonders of the world. The Museum includes a host of places for adventure – – That Kid’s Playce, the Hall of the Universe, the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater, Oscar Boonshoft Science Central, EcoTrek, the Mead TreeHouse, Bieser Discovery Center, Charles E. Exley, Jr. Wild Ohio Zoo, and two galleries for temporary exhibits – where reality and imagination mix. Adventures are enhanced through real specimens and artifacts from the museum’s collection of 1.4 million items.

Castle Noel Christmas Museum

Admission to Castle Noel in Medina is approx. $29.50/person age 13+,  and $22.50/child age 12 and younger.

  • Open year-round. Hours vary per season and days of the week. See the website below for the current schedule.
  • Location: (Map It) 260 S. Court St. in Medina, Ohio
  • Phone:  330-721-NOEL (6635) or 440-453-5889
  • Web: https://castlenoel.com/

Click here to enjoy a multimedia feature story about Castle Noel: The Miracle in Medina, Ohio

Castle Noel Christmas Museum in Medina, Ohio:  Hollywood meets Christmas …in an old church in a quaint town. In it is America’s largest year-round indoor Christmas entertainment attraction.  Mark Klaus (It’s all in the name) and his wife, Dana, have created a wonderland. It features authentic props from Hollywood Christmas movies, including Elf, Grinch, Christmas Vacation, and many other holiday classics. It even has Eddy’s infamous RV from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Other delights are unique structures like Santa’s Squeeze simulating the feeling of going down a chimney.  There’s even a two-story slide coming down Santa Clause Mountain, a replica of the slide from the movie, A Christmas Story.  Toy Land allows people to relive childhood by revisiting favorite toys from Christmas past. And there’s $2 million worth of stunning Christmas displays from New York City stores.  All this and much more wait for your Xmas celebration any time of year.

Central Ohio Fire Museum

Admission to Central Ohio Fire Museum is $8/adult, $7/senior and $6/child.

The Central Ohio Fire Museum & Learning Center is an authentically restored 1908 engine house featuring hand-drawn, horse-drawn, and early motorized fire apparatus as well as other displays and fire safety education. Educational and Interesting guided tours for visitors of all ages.  Our primary focus is school-age children, with a complete fire station play area.  Free parking and handicapped accessible.

Chocolate Cafe & Museum

Welcome to the Chocolate Cafe & Museum in Put-In-Bay.

  • Open: Daily from May to September
  • Location: (Map It) 820 Catawba Avenue in Put-in-Bay, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-285-2268
  • Web: click here

The Chocolate Cafe & Museum in Put-in-Bay:  The café serves coffee, chocolate, and desserts.  The museum inside the store is based on the history behind making chocolate and can be visited while enjoying the collection of antique chocolate collectibles.  In addition to various exhibits, the museum also offers a short video to help educate about the history of chocolate making.

Clay Center of Ohio

Admission to The Clay Center of Ohio in Roseville is $4/adult, $3.50/senior, and $2/student.

  • Open: Call for hours
  • Phone: 740-697-7021
  • Location: (Map It) 7327 Ceramic Road N.E. in Roseville, Ohio
  • Web: click here

The Clay Center of Ohio in Roseville is a small local museum.  The Roseville, Crooksville, Zanesville, region of Ohio is known for having extraordinary pottery.  At the museum, visitors can see exhibits of some classic “old” pottery and some very good “new” pottery.

Cincinnati Museum Center

 

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal features the Cincinnati Children’s Museum,  Cincinnati Natural History & Science Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, and OMNIMAX.

  • Click here for ticket information
  • Open: Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: www.cincymuseum.org/

The Cincinnati Museum Center is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight, and inspiration. As one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest, Cincinnati Museum Center has served as an educational, research, and entertainment resource to millions of visitors from around the world. In October of 2009, The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) presented the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Cincinnati Museum Center as one of 10 recipients of the award. The honor is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make “extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental and social contributions.”

Organizations within Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. These organizations combine to serve more than 1.4 million visitors annually, reaching out to nearly 400,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs.

Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal stands as one of the last remaining grand-scale Art Deco style railroad terminals. The building is a National Historic Landmark and was renovated and reopened as Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. For information, call 1-800-733-2077 or visit www.cincymuseum.org.

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum opened in 1998 and has since consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the world. The museum’s exhibits allow kids to climb, crawl, explore and learn about themselves and the world around them. Discover hands-on fun for kids of all ages in our eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, including two specially designed for preschool-age children and younger—Little Sprouts Farm and Kids’ Town. Each year, the Children’s Museum presents over 1,800 hours of programming for children covering topics such as arts, culture, reading, science, and more. At the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, fun and learning go hand in hand.

The Museum of Natural History & Science allows visitors to walk through a glacier and step back 19,000 years into the Ice Age of the Ohio Valley. Or explore a re-created Kentucky limestone cave, complete with underground waterfalls, streams, fossils, and a live bat colony. Interactive exhibits of the human body, a natural trading post, and migration and extinction complement live demonstrations from gardening to collecting and cleaning fossils to teach how all facets of the natural world interact.

The Cincinnati History Museum opened in 1990 and is one of the largest and most significant urban history museums in the country. The Cincinnati History Museum displays materials and related aspects of the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Permanent exhibits include a re-creation of the Cincinnati Public Landing of the late 1850s, where you can step aboard a 94-foot side-wheel steamboat. The museum also has a large home-front exhibit on World War II and an actual 1940s streetcar. Visitors can also see a model of the city of Cincinnati from the 1900s to the 1940s with working trains and inclines, as well as interactive computer stations.

Cincinnati Children’s Museum

 

For Cincinnati Children’s Museum ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

The Duke Energy Children’s Museum in Cincinnati opened in 1998 and has since consistently ranked in the top 10 children’s museums in the world. The museum’s exhibits allow kids to climb, crawl, explore and learn about themselves and the world around them. Discover hands-on fun for kids of all ages in our eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, including two specially designed for preschool-age children and younger—Little Sprouts Farm and Kids’ Town. Each year, the Children’s Museum presents over 1,800 hours of programming for children covering topics such as arts, culture, reading, science and more. At the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, fun and learning go hand in hand.

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science

For Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science allows visitors to walk through a glacier and step back 19,000 years into the Ice Age of the Ohio Valley. Or explore a re-created Kentucky limestone cave, complete with underground waterfalls, streams, fossils, and a live bat colony. Interactive exhibits of the human body, a natural trading post, and migration and extinction complement live demonstrations from gardening to collecting and cleaning fossils to teach how all facets of the natural world interact.

Cincinnati History Museum

 

For Cincinnati History Museum ticket information, click here.

  • Open: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1301 Western Avenue in Cincinnati, OH 45203
  • Phone: 513-287-7000 or 800-733-2077
  • Web: Click here

The Cincinnati History Museum opened in 1990 and is one of the largest and most significant urban history museums in the country. The Cincinnati History Museum displays materials and related aspects of the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Permanent exhibits include a re-creation of the Cincinnati Public Landing of the late 1850s, where you can step aboard a 94-foot side-wheel steamboat. The museum also has a large home-front exhibit on World War II and an actual 1940s streetcar. Visitors can also see a model of the city of Cincinnati from the 1900s to the 1940s with working trains and inclines, as well as interactive computer stations.

Cincinnati Police Museum

Admission to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum $8/adult, $7/senior (65+), and $6/child (7-17 years old).

  • Open for tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
  • Location:  (Map It) 308 Reading Rd. in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-300-3664
  • Web: https://police-museum.org/

The Greater Cincinnati Police 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.

Clark Gable Museum, Home, Store

Admission to the Clark Gable Museum, Home and Store is $5.75/adult, $5/senior, and $3.50/child 5-16 years old.

  • Open: March – April & October – November from 10am – 4pm Wednesday thru Friday. May – September from 10am – 4pm Wednesday thru Saturday. June – September from 10am – 4pm Wednesday thru Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 – 4pm. Closed on major holidays.
  • Location: (Map It) 138 Charleston St in Cadiz, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-942-GWTW
  • Web: clarkgablefoundation.com/

The Clark Gable Museum, Home and Store in Cadiz
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Robert Carpenter

The number of people from Ohio who have made outstanding contributions to society is enormous.  The legacies of the famous—and a few infamous—would fill volumes.  A smattering of biographies includes the world’s greatest inventor, numerous titans of industry, the first man on the moon, eight presidents, and one king.

The gift of the king didn’t produce the same upshot to the nation’s progress as, for example, the benefaction of Kettering or Edison, but it’s also fair to say that during his reign he influenced the social order of our country more than any man elected to the nation’s highest office.

His humble origins certainly didn’t portend an empire.  Born into the working class, he grew up answering to names such as Willie, Clarkie, and Gabe. He dropped out of school to toil in the oil fields, a tire factory, and at farm work. But all of that was forgotten by the time he reached the pinnacle. And no one disputed the anointment of Clark Gable as “King.”

Recalled by many as an overnight success, his career took years of perseverance. As a young man, he worked his way west from Ohio with a second-rate theater company—ending in Oregon as a department store tie salesman. It was there he met his first wife and manager—seventeen years his senior—who saw the uncultured but strikingly masculine potential. She had his bad teeth fixed, fortified his chronically undernourished body, and coached him in lowering his naturally high-pitched voice before heading for Hollywood in 1923.

Still, the coronation was a long way off. His first venture in Tinseltown met with little success and he retreated to his love of the stage. But in the early Thirties with talkies revolutionizing the arts, Gable was back, transforming the role of the leading man with panache never before seen.

The crowning followed the 1936 movie, It Happened One Night. Ed Sullivan polled readers of his newspaper column resulting in twenty million fans declaring Clark Gable the “King of Hollywood.” Such was his influence, that in correlation to a scene where Gable was bare-chested after doffing his shirt, men’s undershirt sales nationwide went into the dumpster.  He went on to make his best-known film in 1939—Gone With The Wind—one of sixty-seven. Until his death in 1960, he never once abdicated the throne.

Regardless, and atypical of stardom, Gable never forgot from whence he came. He made constant references to his unpretentious Ohio origin, and once told a reporter “Look, I eat, sleep and go to the bathroom just like everybody else.”

It was strange then, that his birthplace of Cadiz, Ohio displayed no acknowledgment of Hollywood’s most famous celebrity. For years the only things existing on the location where he was born in an upstairs apartment, was a garage and flower garden—the house having long since been demolished—hardly proper recognition of royalty.

The inattention ended in 1984 when a group of Cadiz citizens formed the Clark Gable Foundation, raising money to place a monument on the spot where the house once stood. With numerous tourists stopping daily just to stand on what they deemed hallowed ground to take pictures, it was realized that the sovereignty of the foundation’s namesake deserved much more.

Their needs were answered in 1991 when they received a sizeable endowment from longtime Cadiz resident Isabelle Clifford. In 1999 after much research and preparation, the foundation opened the Clark Gable Museum—an authentic reconstruction of the house where William Clark Gable came into the world on February 1, 1901.

Perhaps the lack of homage in Cadiz was due to Gable’s residence only as an infant. His mother died seven months after his birth and his father moved to Hopedale, a small town a few miles to the east. Almost anyone in Hopedale can point out the house where Gable spent his formative years, but it’s a private residence. Other than the stories passed down, the house is the only Gable reminiscence in Hopedale.

Given the past oblivion, the Clark Gable Foundation has made a special effort to honor his beginning in their town. The two-story replica of his birthplace, and a bed and breakfast next door, are decorated in the period of his boyhood. The museum is filled with memorabilia from his early days of southeastern Ohio simplicity through the years of Hollywood glitz.  You can see the sled he rode down the formidable Hopedale hills and the 1954 Cadillac that symbolized success. There is the receipt for $10 charged by the doctor for his delivery that blustery February morning, to collectibles from the height of his career. Time Warner/Turner Entertainment, owner of rights to most of Gable’s movies agreed to provide stills and films. Both of the rooms in the small bed and breakfast are equipped with VCRs and tapes, as well as books in reference to Clark Gable. There are also keepsakes from his best-known wife, (there were five) actress Carole Lombard, and as proof of early interest in the performing arts, there is a program listing him, at age nine, as the performer of a duet and solo at the Patton Opera House in Hopedale.

In the past ten years, visitors to the museum have come from nearly every state and several foreign countries. Gable’s only son, John Clark Gable (born after his death), and stepdaughter Joan Spreckels, as well as many cast members from his movies, have toured the museum.

Number 138 Charleston Street isn’t and wasn’t befitting of majesty, but it’s a sincere portrayal—and you’re hastened to remember one of Gable’s most unassuming statements:  “This ‘King’ stuff is pure bullshit,” he said.  “I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Sure, every success is attended by a bit of luck, but it takes more than coincidence to be a king.  You be the judge.

COSI Columbus

Admission to COSI Columbus ranges from approximately $20 – 25 per person.

COSI – Center of Science & Industry – is located in downtown Columbus, Ohio.  COSI Columbus is one of the most respected science centers in the nation serving more than 30 million visitors since it opened. For decades, COSI has continued to create programs and experiences that make science fun, while empowering and engaging visitors through hands-on discovery.

At COSI, you’ll be dazzled, amazed and delighted as your family explores one incredible wonder after another. COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout our discovery-based and ten-themed exhibition areas including Ocean, Space, Gadgets, Life, little kidspace®, Progress, Adventure, Innovation Showcase, the outdoor Big Science Park, and WOSU@COSI. The exhibition areas provide experiences for all age levels to creatively combine science facts and learning through play. Beyond the exhibits, you’ll find COSI’s hair-raising Electrostatic Generator Show, a High-Wire Unicycle, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, Science 2Go! retail store, and the Atomicafe’ restaurant. COSI also hosts world-class traveling exhibitions from other museums throughout the year.

COSI’s groundbreaking, award-winning education programs have touched more than six million teachers and students. These innovative outreach education programs are tailored to support national and statewide science curriculum and standards. Unique programs such as Electronic Education and COSI On Wheels bring science learning to students throughout Ohio and across the country. Camp-In®, an overnight experience for Girl Scouts that began 40 years ago, is now duplicated nationwide.

Dr. John Harris Dental Museum

Admission to the Dr. John Harris Dental Museum in Bainbridge is approximately $5 – 7/person.

  • Open June through August from 12 – 4pm and Sunday from 1 – 4pm.  April & May and September & October open only on Saturday from 12 – 4pm and Sunday from 1 – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 209 Main Street in Bainbridge, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-634-2228
  • Web: click here

The Dr. John Harris Dental Museum in Bainbridge, Ohio is home to 11 very unique exhibits that showcase fascinating, fun, and interactive showcases and artifacts all about dentistry. The National Museum of Dentistry exhibits range from the George Washington Gallery, which uncovers the truth behind the president’s teeth, to MouthPower- an interactive role-play and dress-up area of a dentist’s office that teaches kids proper dental care. The museum’s aim is to help all of its visitors celebrate the heritage and future of dentistry.

First Ladies National Historic Site

Admission to the First Ladies National Historic Site and Library in Canton is $7/adult, $6/senior, and $5/child under age 18.

  • Open: Wednesday – Saturday from 9 am – 4 pm (October to April), and Tuesday – Sunday from 9 am – 4 pm (May to September).
  • Location: (Map It) 205 Market Avenue South in Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-452-0876
  • Web: www.nps.gov/fila

First Ladies National Historic Site is the home of the National First Ladies’ Library (NFLL), which is the only organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the lives and legacies of the First Ladies of the United States. The unique historic site incorporates on-site interpretation from NFLL and National Park Service staff and rotating exhibitions aimed at highlighting the first ladies through artifacts.

Guests are able to learn about the unique influence first ladies had while in the White House and gain insight into the personal lives and histories of these women, creating an informative and educational experience.

The site consists of two properties in downtown Canton, Ohio – the home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley and a small museum with exhibits and a film. First Ladies National Historic Site is essential for any American history buff who is interested in learning more about how the role of a first lady has evolved over time

Great Lakes Science Center

Admission to the Great Lakes Science Center ranges: click here

  • Open:  Usually daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Noon – 5pm on Sunday). For more details, click here.
  • Location:  (Map It) 601 Erieside Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio (Located between Browns Stadium and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum)
  • Phone: 216-694-2000
  • Web: www.greatscience.com/

Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland is one of America’s largest interactive science museums.  The Science Center features more than 400 exciting hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, breathtaking OMNIMAX® films, live science demonstrations, special events, and exciting educational programs.  Separate admission for Great Lakes Science Center plus NASA Glenn Visitors Center and the Cleveland Clinic OMNIMAX® Theater and Steamship William G. Mather.  Combination tickets are your best value!

History of Time Museum

Admission to the History of Time Museum at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute is Free.

  • Open Mondays through Fridays by appointment only
  • Location: (Map It) 701 Enterprise Drive in Harrison, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-367-9800
  • Web: www.awci.com/about-us/

The History of Time Museum & Library at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute:  If you just like to watch time go by, this museum is just the place to do it. It celebrates the art and science of time-keeping devices, also known as horology. It has interesting exhibits displayed from rope clocks and sundials to modern-day watches. In addition, there are plenty of pocket-watches, ship chronometers, and anything else with a face and hands.

Imagination Station Toledo

Admission to Imagination Station Toledo is approx. $12-14/person.

  • Open: Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12-5pm. (Closed Mondays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Day)
  • Location: (Map It) 1 Discovery Way in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-244-2674
  • Web: http://imaginationstationtoledo.org/

Imagination Station in Toledo: In an age of technology and everyone trying to get 15 minutes of fame on one screen or another, the LIVE Report! at Imagination Station is like flypaper to flies. This mock television studio makes sportscasters of anyone willing to step in front of the green screen, face the camera and read the teleprompter. Then, on a delay screen, the budding television stars can view their newscast as if they were on location at an area sporting event. Imagine that!

Sticking to the screen theme, enter Simulator Theater. But hold onto your seat. It moves! In fact, it hovers more than 20 feet off the ground facing its riders toward a big screen that sucks everyone into a ride of their life. To put it in perspective, you must be 42 inches or taller for this thrill ride.

Now that the adrenaline is rushing, it’s time to heat up a screen. The Infrared Camera sees the thermal spectrum in colors. Roy G. Biv has never been so cool. Know your science, get the joke. Moving on.

Time to defy gravity.

You too can be a human Yo-Yo so hop up to BOYO. Just add energy and before you know it, you’re bouncing 13 feet into the air. After your body chemistry is grounded again, you just might absorb a science lesson. Imagine that!

Or perhaps while you’re head is still floating, you may want to trust your life to a two-inch cable and take a spin on the High Wire Cycle. No worries, it’s safe. Strap in and pedal away. You’re only 20 feet high with no mat, no net, just a hard floor below.

In order to experience these gravity activities and science lessons first-hand, you must be 54 inches or taller.

But there is mind-bending fun for everyone just around the corner.

Sometimes you have to see it to believe it, but in Mind Zone that may be a stretch even for the best of imaginations. Here you’ll discover how we process, interpret, and create illusions and perceptions. Are you getting curiouser and curiouser? Then step into a wonderland of learning fun!

Inside the Distorted Gravity room, doors, windows, etc. seem perfectly normal at a glance. But the floor is tilted 25 degrees. And that’s enough to throw off anyone’s perspective!

While your mind is trying to recover from that experience, enter another room where in just a few steps, you can grow big or shrink small depending on which end of the room you stand. Line up with friends and at one end, a person needs to bend over so their head doesn’t hit the ceiling and at the other end, a person can wave their hands freely overhead. All those who pass by can see the irregularity on a TV monitor or through peepholes.

Okay, let’s really shake things up and step inside a hurricane. The Hurricane chamber is a simulator that puts you in the middle of windy mayhem. Anyone can step inside and face category 1 winds of up to 95 MPH. But here’s a little-known tip, you may have a chance to withstand the horrific cat-5 hurricane winds of 156 MPH. Just ask!

With that, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Imagination Station teaches how water, nature’s most powerful resource, works. It’s wet. It’s fun. It’s for everyone. A Science Studio teaches biology, chemistry, and physics in ways that won’t be forgotten. The Energy Factory explores our world’s natural resources using stimulating hands-on exhibits. For those who really want to get their hands-on science, they can Engineer It! This open-ended discovery process allows you to think it, build it, test it …and do it again. There’s even a little KIDSPACE, complete with storytime. It’s a land of make-believe while learning science fundamentals about forces, motion, math, and science. Imagine that!

Maltz Museum

Admission to Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: Adults $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Children (5-11 years old) $5. Admission prices may vary during special exhibitions.

  • Open: Wednesday thru Sunday from 10am – 5pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-593-0575
  • Web: Click here

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage joins an elite group of world-class institutions as a living testament to the courage, conviction and achievements of Cleveland’s Jewish community. The stories of individuals and families – past and present – come to life through state-of-the-art exhibitions, interactives and films, oral histories, photographs and artifacts. The Museum includes The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally-recognized collection of Judaica, and a special exhibition gallery featuring important exhibitions of national and international acclaim.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is a partnership of The Maltz Family Foundation, the Jewish Community Federation’s Centennial Initiative and The Temple-Tifereth Israel with research support from the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Merry-Go-Round Museum

Admission to the Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky is $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children 4-14 years old, and children three and under are free.

  • Open:  Tuesday – Saturday from 11am – 4pm, Sunday from noon – 4pm (Closed Monday and the month of January)
  • Location: (Map It) 301 Jackson St. in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-626-6111
  • Web: click here

The Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky is where you may take a carousel ride into history. Your visit features a tour and woodcarvers demonstrations. In addition, there are special events throughout the year and birthday party packages (call for details). ADA compliant.

CLICK HERE FOR A PICTORIAL OF WHAT YOU’LL SEE

Motts Military Museum

Admission to Motts Military Museum is $10/adult, $8/senior (62 and over), $5/student, and children under 5 are free.

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 1-5 pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-836-1500
  • Web: mottsmilitarymuseum.org/

The Motts Military Museum’s goal is to preserve, protect and display items from an area of history that is often overlooked and sometimes misunderstood.  Military history was and still is the backbone of American and world-historical accounts.  Military conflicts have shaped the makeup of America and the world.  It has established governments, freed people, and overthrown dictators.  Motts Military Museum is unique because it encompasses all periods of military history with all countries in which the United States has been involved.  The museum is committed to telling the stories of the brave military men and women that have served and are still serving this great country allowing us to live in freedom.

National Heisey Glass Museum

Admission to the National Heisey Glass Museum is $4 per adult; children under 18 and HCA members are free. Groups of 12 or more $2/each.

  • Open: Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. year-round except major holidays and the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Location: (Map It) 169 West Church Street in Newark, Ohio in Veteran’s Park at the corner of Sixth & Church Streets
  • Phone: 740-345-2932

The National Heisey Glass Museum:  Owned and operated by the Heisey Collectors of America, Inc. (HCA) since 1974, the National Heisey Glass Museum displays more than 5,000 of glassware and plant memorabilia from the A.H. Heisey & Co. The plant produced high quality, hand-wrought glass in Newark, Ohio from 1896 to 1957. Highly skilled craftsmen produced, cut, and etched glass in many styles and colors. The beauty and superior quality of this glass makes it a highly collectable item.

The Museum is housed in the historic Samuel D. King residence, an 1831 Greek Revival home that was moved to the site in 1973, and an additional wing added in 1993. The Museum Gift Shop offers original Heisey pieces as well as re-issue pieces made from the original Heisey molds.

National Imperial Glass Museum

Admission to the National Imperial Glass Museum is $5/person.

  • Open for guided or unguided tours
  • Location: (Map It) 3200 Belmont Street in Bellaire, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-671-3971
  • Web: click here

The National Imperial Glass Museum: On display at the Museum are many fine examples of Imperial glassware. Also, a photo gallery, mold-making display, and gift shop make a visit a truly educational experience.

National Afro-American Museum

Admission to the National Afro-American Museum is $6/adult, $5/senior and $3/child (ages 6-17). Closed major holidays.

  • Open: Wednesday through Saturday from 9am – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1350 Brush Row Road in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-376-4944 or toll-free 1-800-752-2603
  • Web: https://www.facebook.com/naamcc

The National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center:  The museum provides African-American history and culture from African origins to the present. It features a permanent exhibit, From Victory To Freedom: Afro-American Life in the Fifties. A small theater inside shows the award-winning Music As a Metaphor, tracing the origins of African-American music from its roots in Africa to the 1950 and includes Gospel, Jazz, BeBop, Classical, and protest music. Call the museum for special events and traveling exhibits.

National Construction Equipment Museum

Admission to the National Construction Equipment Museum is $7/person over age 12. Outside viewing only is free.

  • Open: Weekdays from 1 – 5pm (recommended to call ahead).
  • Location: (Map It) 16623 Liberty Hi Road in Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-352-5616
  • Web: click here

The National Construction Equipment Museum by the Historical Construction Equipment Association:  If you like to visit offbeat places, here’s one you won’t want to miss, especially if you have children who like playing in the dirt. Turn north off US Route 6 onto Liberty Hi Road west of Bowling Green and drive 1-1/4 miles. Now, look to your left. There, emerging from the trees like a giraffe foraging for food, you’ll see the tips of two crane booms. A little bit further on, a sign at the head of a long gravel driveway signals that you’ve arrived at the National Construction Equipment Museum, one of NW Ohio’s most unusual attractions.

The NCEM, established by the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) to preserve the history and equipment of the construction, surface mining and dredging industries, is guaranteed to thrill both junior and adult construction equipment enthusiasts. Be sure to bring your camera.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the equipment that dots the museum’s thirty acres of land. Don’t worry, though, they haven’t been abandoned. Each piece is waiting patiently for its day (or more likely, months) of attention in the museum workshop, where volunteer enthusiasts from all walks of life spend every Wednesday night and one Sunday a month cleaning, dismantling, fabricating, painting, and restoring donated equipment to its former glory.

Once a machine is finished, it is then moved into the museum, where hulking metal monsters arranged in displays will take you back to childhood days spent in the sandbox. The displays include signs packed with historical information, but you won’t need them if you get the pleasure of a tour conducted by museum archivist Tom Berry. After nine years with the museum, Berry seems to have almost everything at the tip of his tongue, and as he bubbles over with story after story, you can tell he loves what he does.

Although enthusiasts come from all over the world to ooh and ahh over the museum’s contents, the museum isn’t just for sightseers. It has been the venue for several of the HCEA’s international conventions. The museum archives also hold an extensive collection of historical documents, photos, slides, movies, and videos representing over 2,600 companies, including dozens from Ohio (among them Bucyrus-Erie, Euclid, and Marion Power Shovels), providing research material for researchers around the world..

Several things not to miss: the cool wall of advertising signs, both restored and original condition; the glass cabinet full of construction equipment toys and memorabilia in the Office and Archives Building’s lobby; and the guest book, with signatures from visitors as far away as Australia and the UK. If you time it just right, you might even be able to take some pictures of your junior construction equipment enthusiast seated at the controls of one of the machines. However, do be sure to ask for permission first before allowing your children to climb on anything, to avoid injury to both your children and expensive equipment.

Finally, when you get back outdoors, check out the patio, which is made up of bricks and pavers recognizing donors from all over. (My favorite was the one from New Zealand…)  There’s also a pond, so be sure to keep an eye on the little ones.

Excerpt from from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Betty Winslow

National Museum of Cambridge Glass

Admission to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass is $5/adult; $4/Senior, AAA members or groups of 12 or more;  children under 12 are free. 

  • Open: April through October except for Easter and July 4; Wednesday through Saturday from 9am – 4pm, and Sunday from Noon to 4pm.
  • Location:  (Map It) 136 South 9th Street in Cambridge, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-432-4245
  • Web: https://cambridgeglassmuseum.org/

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass, featuring works by The Cambridge Glass Company, is owned and operated by the National Cambridge Collectors, Inc. (NCC).  It houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of Cambridge Glass, plus the tools, molds, and etching plates used to manufacture the glass.  There is something of interest for everyone.  Enjoy the beauty, the history and learn about this highly skilled craft.

The Museum includes dioramas depicting the glass-making process; a dining room appointed with Cambridge glass; the Edna McManus Shepard Education Center where hands-on exhibits are available; and a gift shop featuring genuine Cambridge Glass, limited-edition reproductions, and books on glass collecting. The Museum is accessible to the handicapped and parking is free.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Admission to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is approx. $15 for adults; $13 for seniors, $10.50 for kids 3-12 years old.

  • Open: Open Wednesday – Sunday from 10am – 5:00 pm
  • Location: (Map It) 50 E Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-333-7500 or toll-free 877-648-4838
  • Web: https://freedomcenter.org/

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati pays tribute to the Underground Railroad and all efforts to “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.” It features The Slave Pen, a two-story 1830 log structure used to house slaves being shipped to auction: and many other exhibits and films addressing the struggle for freedom. There is also an interactive iPod tour.

Ohio Glass Museum

Admission to the Ohio Glass Museum is $6/adult, $5/senior, and $3 per child 6-18 years old.

The Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, Ohio:
Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Robert Carpenter
 

Here’s a thought you may not have considered: What would we do without glass? A glance around the average household reveals the most common use in windows and doors but also table tops, light bulbs, light fixtures, picture frame glass, tableware, shelves, art items, mirrors, jars, bottles, and that tube that brings us news and entertainment for hours every day—all taken for granted. Attempts at alternatives have been made, of course, but how often have you picked up an item to discover that it’s “only plastic.” Glass is “quality,” and for some things, there is no substitute.

Glass was discovered as far back as the Bronze Age and the first manual on glassmaking is dated 650 B.C.  Yet for all the technology developed in the last half-century, there are applications for which nothing exceeds the superiority of this most ancient of manufactured materials.

The history of glass in chronicled in the movie, Born of Fire shown continuously at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster. The museum, established in 2002, documents the science of glassmaking throughout time and emphasizes the glass industry in Fairfield County that has been a mainstay of the economy for over 100 years.

It’s hard to imagine a finished material more dissimilar to its ingredients than glass. Although there are minor elements in the mix, normally glass is 75 percent silica. For us laymen, that’s sand—the same stuff you scooped and shoveled around in that big box when you were a kid.

Fairfield County is rich in natural resources, and two of the most abundant are sand and the natural gas that provides flames of extraordinary temperatures to transform silica to a molten state. The glass industry, innately compatible to these resources, resulted in the 2003 State Legislature’s designation of Lancaster the “Pressed Glass Capital” of Ohio.

Throughout the year there are different themes that are featured such as Milk Glass and Milk Bottles. Regardless of the description, they have related only to material and the fact that both became obsolete decades ago. Those experienced with such simple items as milk bottles never dreamed they would become treasures of archival interest. But they’re one of the items for which we’ve found more efficient construction—meaning cheaper—such as plastic and waxed cardboard. It seems inconceivable that there are people of middle age who have never experienced pouring from one of those cold slippery bottles—one of the most ubiquitous items of the modern age—but, that’s why they’re in museums today.

And they were recyclable long before the word was commonly used. When empty, they were rinsed and taken back to the dairy, or if you were on a route, you put them out for the milkman who exchanged them for full ones. There is hardly a nostalgic note more pleasant than the clank of those bottles at 5 a.m.—knowing that your fresh, cool breakfast milk was waiting at the door. The most common were round quart bottles with small necks and cardboard caps pressed into the opening, but in the museum display, you will find every conceivable size and design ever made.

And there is the milk glass exhibit. The most popular was the milky white translucent glass from which it got its name, but it was also manufactured in a variety of colors including blue, pink, yellow, brown, and black. Milk glass has been around since the sixteenth century, although it did not acquire the name that is meant to describe its appearance until early in the last century. It came into vogue in the nineteenth century, and French milk glass in particular is highly collectible today.

There was a time when milk glass was a symbol of style and privilege in American homes. Large domestic glass makers such as New England Glass Company, Bryce Brothers, and Atterbury & Company were quick to embrace the fashion, and it appears that collectible plates is not the recently conceived industry that some imagine. Most sought after were plates of early American historical figures like George Washington whose picture along with stars of the flag were pressed in relief into plate bottoms. Christopher Columbus was popular as well, and presidential nominees used commemorative plates as part of their campaigns.

Unlike dinnerware that demanded a certain level of functionality, platters were manufactured with extreme decorative effects. The relief, for example on the exceptionally rare Lincoln platters, is so deep they could hardly have been used for anything but ornamental objects. There were other more generic designs that were admired as well and some were not conventionally shaped at all but formed as ducks, fish, and other animals.

There were some companies that made their name and entire reputations on milk glass, but the milk glass fashion trend, like all others, finally came to an end. During the Depression it began to lose its luster and at the end of the ‘50s—about the time milk bottles were phased out, milk glass ceased to be a symbol of status.

Of course its demise, at least after a period, caused it to become more valuable. The whole story can be found currently at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, and it’s advisable to look closely—that forgotten piece you inherited from Grandma and have tucked way in the back of your upper closet shelf may have gained more than cobwebs and dust.

The museum is located at 124 West Main Street in Lancaster and is complete with a gift shop of service ware and art glass. With holidays coming, you may find that special present you’ve been looking for. The doors are open from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and if you really want to make a day of it, there is a bonus of the Georgian Museum, Sherman House Museum, and the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio—all within walking distance. For more information call 740-687-0101.

Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame (wall of fame) at Scioto Downs by Eldorado Gaming. Hours vary.

  • Location: (Map It) At Eldorado Gaming & Scioto Downs Race Track, 6000 S. High St. in Columbus, Ohio (two miles south of I-270 on Rt. 23)
  • Phone: 614-295-4700
  • Web: click here

The Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame at Scioto Downs by Eldorado Gaming:  The hall of fame is better described as a “wall of fame” at Scioto Downs. The racetrack has offered harness racing for over 50 years, and now honors people who made it all possible. The display is located about midway into the main level of the clubhouse. Live racing is usually held from early May through mid-September.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is $43/adult and $36/child ages 6-12 (see link below for discounts, including seniors, area residents, students, and military or first responders).

  • Open daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day from 9am to 8pm and 9-5 the rest of the year (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).
  • Location: (Map It) 2121 George Halas Dr. NW in Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-456-8207
  • Web: www.profootballhof.com/

Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio:  The names are revered. The plays are forever etched in the collective memory of football fans everywhere. They are the giants of this game. And to pay homage, you must go to the one place sacred enough to immortalize such heroes; the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is here that childhood memories are revisited and new ones made. Here, your passion is rekindled, and breathtaking moments are brought to life. It is here…that legends live.

Enjoy America’s Premier Sports Museum and Showplace.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame is more than a museum -an interactive experience!  Over 83,000 square feet of awe-inspiring exhibits present pro football’s unique story and bring to life words such as courage, skill, and dedication.  Interactive exhibits act as windows to the dramatic stories behind the artifacts.

Don’t miss three new galleries, including the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery featuring Super Bowl Theater.  Experience the defining moments of the NFL season and Super Bowl in a wide-screen, surround sound, rotating theater.

Before exiting, don’t miss the 4,000-square-foot Museum Store; shop for yourself or friends and family.  There is something for all fans with merchandise from all 32 NFL teams plus Hall of Fame collectibles.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is approx. $28/person ($18 for ages 6-12).

  • Open Sunday – Friday from 11am – 5pm and Saturday from 10am – 6pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1100 East 9 St. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-781-ROCK
  • Web: https://www.rockhall.com/

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland:  The Rock Hall houses a number of interactive exhibits, films, videos, and many priceless artifacts used by many of the artists featured in the Hall of Fame.  Not only does the museum have a number of permanent exhibits, but also each year it houses a variety of temporary ones that will sometimes be so large they take up the top two levels of the building.  The museum offers a number of services to the public including concerts, lectures, film series, and teacher education.  The main attraction of the museum, however, is the large number of artists that have been inducted to the Hall of Fame and therefore have their own exhibits at the museum.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

If you try to name anything that has had more influence on our culture than the music of the last fifty years you’ll have to think long and hard—and you may still come up with a blank. That’s because it was never a mere evolution. We’re talking revolution—rock and roll, baby—the sound that changed everything. Cynics said it wouldn’t last, but generations later, devotees have manifested their passion with a $92 million, 150,000 square-foot shrine to honor every performer, songwriter, producer, and disc jockey who contributed to this phenomenon of the music world.

And why Cleveland? It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact birthplace of rock and roll, but Cleveland was where the real commitment began.  Every act of consequence made its debut in Cleveland, sometimes on TV, but often in ordinary high school auditoriums. Cleveland was the Mecca—where the new sound gained traction—where rock and roll took on the fuel that blasted it into the stratosphere.

Those of us who were around, in the beginning, didn’t realize the significance of what we were hearing on Cleveland stations. We sang, danced, and listened to the disc jockeys while the fuddy-duddies said it was only a fad, that it would destroy our hearing, that it was corrupting the youth of America. They didn’t know either that we were at ground zero of a movement that soon swept the country—and then the world. From its inception, rock music has branched off in several directions, but I have to agree with the way Billy Joel summed it up: “Everybody’s talking bout the new sound. Funny, but it’s still Rock and Roll to me.”  That’s the way it’s been for more than five decades and it has never gotten old.

The Hall of Fame Foundation, a nonprofit organization, selected Cleveland as the site in 1986, after being formed three years earlier. Groundbreaking wasn’t until 1993, and the grand opening was in September of 1995. Since that time 7 million visitors have passed under the dual-triangular-shaped glass “tent” that forms the entry façade to a 65,000 square-foot plaza. From the beginning, the structure and the exhibits were intended to be of a caliber commensurate to the impact the music has had on society. Architect I. M. Pei, one of the world’s most renowned, said that in designing the building he wanted it to “echo the energy of Rock and Roll.”

Located in downtown’s North Coast Harbor, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame houses more than 55,000 square feet of exhibition space. All of your old favorites are there, but not all the current artists. Eligibility requires twenty-five years to pass from the time of their first recording. Due to the Rocker lifestyle, this means that more than a few are inducted posthumously—but then, what is rock and roll without its excesses.

To date over 225 artists as well as members from the non-performer and early influence, categories have been inducted into this temple of Rock greats. They represent careers beginning in the ’50s and ’60s to those defining the modern sound, demonstrating a miscellany of talent as well as the rich diversity of the music itself.

Through changing exhibits, the Museum continually offers fresh new experiences from the Rock and Roll past. There are thousands of instruments, costumes, and personal effects such as John Lennon’s passport and green card, and Buddy Holly’s high school diploma. A favorite of sentimentalists is the photo display of George Shuba known as the “Grandfather of Rock and Roll photography.” He not only captured the images of all the early performers but fans as well—teenaged guys in suits and ties, and girls in short cotton dresses and lacquered beehives. Another of the more interesting is Janis Joplin’s Porsche. A few years ago a major car magazine persuaded curators to let them test-drive it around the streets of Cleveland. The little two-seater—heavily abused like everything at the hands of Janis—barely made it back with help.  If only cars could talk.

But there is plenty of talk emanating from three theaters that take visitors on a cinematic journey through Rock and Roll history, plus the live concerts that are scattered throughout the year. Anchoring more than fifty exhibits this year is MOTOWN: The Sound of Young America Turns 50.

Like the music, the displays give a fast-paced trip, chronicling Rock and Roll from one-hit wonders to legendary Inductees, from its roots in gospel, country and blues to important music scenes such as Memphis, Detroit and San Francisco. You’re even reminded of political protests against the music and the interplay between fashion and rock. For young, old, or in-between: If you love Rock & Roll you’ve got to go.

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

The Sanctuary Museum

Admission to The Sanctuary Museum is $10/person.

The Sanctuary Museum is inside the former St. Hedwig’s Church. It displays a collection of beautiful statues and other Catholic artifacts. Each piece has been personally restored by the owner, Louis McClung, who has also provided visitors with historical information on each piece. By doing this, he hopes to preserve Catholic history and traditional art. The oldest artifact found in the museum (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) dates all the way back to 1855.

Susie’s Museum of Childhood

Admission to Susie’s Museum of Childhood at Bluebird Farm Park is $2/person.

  • Open: Monday – Friday from 11am – 3pm.
  • Location: (Map It) Bluebird Farm Park at 190 Alamo Road in  Carrollton, Ohio
  • Phone 330-627-8046
  • Web: click here

Susie’s Museum of Childhood at Bluebird Farm Park:  This museum features a vast range of playthings available to American children from the 1700s to the present day. The toys are featured in imaginative and colorful displays, and include wooden, wax, china, French and German bisque, mechanical, paper-mâché, composition, and cloth dolls; and stuffed animals and Teddy bears, most notably those manufactured by the German maker Margarete Steiff. Special sections are devoted to some of America’s most beloved and certainly most popular toys – Raggedy Ann and Andy, Shirley Temple, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and all the 1930’s Disneyana! Also, a miniature fantasy world awaits you – toy china sets, antique dollhouses, doll-size kitchens, doll, and child-size furniture, and a detailed circus filled with both Steiff and Schoenhut circus pieces. Make plans for a whimsical step-back in time. Hopefully, during your visit, you will be happily transported to a world of wonderful childhood memories. Group tours are encouraged and special occasions can be accommodated. Upon request, special programs can be prepared and presented to groups such as doll clubs on topics ranging from Madame Alexander Dolls, Steiff animals, advertising dolls, SUN rubber, Bernard Lipfert, doll designers, and antique dolls and toys. Whatever your area of interest, arrangements can be made to discuss it.

The Troll Hole Museum

Admission to the Troll Hole Museum is $10/adult, $8/senior, and $6/child ages 6-12.

The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio is the world’s largest collection of troll dolls.  Explore this one-of-a-kind museum and discover the history and creation of the dolls along with the myth, magic and folklore of the ancient trolls themselves! The museum features rooms containing floor to ceiling trolls, but also a troll hunters’ cabin, a walk-through troll cave & treasure room, and an indoor waterfall. By the end of the tour you’ll love the trolls just as much as the curator herself​!

The Works

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology

Admission to The Works is $12/adult (18 – 54 years), $10/senior (55+ years), and $8/child (3-17 years).

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art, and Technology, central Ohio’s only destination where you can experience history, art, technology, and glass blowing – all under one roof. Come face-to-face with an Ohio mastodon (and learn his fate!) in The Works’ history exhibits; discover the beautiful work of local artists in The Works’ art gallery; build and race your own race car, or see what’s printing on their 3-D printer, in the interactive science labs; and create your own blown glass with help from a professional glass artist in The Works’ hot glass studio. It’s like visiting four museums for the price of one. Guests can also visit The Works’ restored Ohio-Erie Canal lock, Interurban streetcar, and refresh in the beautiful courtyard. Visiting The Works is a great family day trip, school field trip destination, or a unique venue for your private or corporate event – from kids’ birthday parties and bridal showers, to corporate retreats. The Works offers activities and programming for kids, teens, families, grown-ups, and educators. Plan your discovery at The Works today!

Hoover Historical Center

Admission 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) Walsh University at 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. These include outdoor storytelling each summer by some of the area’s best storytellers. September features garden tea and unique boutique & garden tours. And the 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 (The Ag Museum) is open by appointment only.

Knox County Agricultural Museum (The Ag Museum):  This agricultural museum captures Ohio farm-life during the 1800s and early 1900s. 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: Mid-May to Mid-October on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 1265 West Fourth Street in Mansfield, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-529-2573
  • Web: click here

The Mansfield Fire Museum 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 in time.

Marietta Soda Museum

The Marietta Soda Museum was formerly known as Butch’s Coca-Cola Museum has closed. It was located in Harmar Village.

Museum of Postal History

The Delphos Museum of Postal History is open Thursday from 1 – 3pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm.

  • Location: (Map It) 339 N. Main Street in Delphos, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-303-5482
  • Web: click here

Delphos 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.

Wyandot Popcorn Museum

 

Admission to the Wyandot Popcorn Museum is $6/adult, $5/senior and $3/child age 5-17). (Linn School is $2 for adults and $1 for children).

  • Open May 1 – October 31 from Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  And weekends from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in November, December, March & April.
  • Location: (Map It) Heritage Hall at 169 E. Church St. in Marion, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-387-4255
  • Web: click here
  • Click here for an article in a past edition of OhioTraveler

Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion:  Everybody loves popcorn! Back in the glory days of the vaudeville theatres and movie houses, one of the reasons to go out on the town was to get some popcorn from the popcorn wagon. These beautifully crafted traveling snack machines, with their wafting aromas of fresh popcorn and roasted peanuts, were as popular as the theatres they were parked in front of. The Wyandot Popcorn in Marion will take you back to that earlier time with the largest collection of poppers all in one place. Horse-drawn, steam-powered, and electric, enjoy your guided tour and watch some of the machines as they pump, turn, and whistle! These priceless wagons date back as far as the turn of the century and have been restored to their original condition. Actor Paul Newman’s antique popcorn wagon, which sat in New York City’s Central Park, is also on display at the museum. All of the classic antique poppers are here – Cretors, Dunbar, Kingery, Holcomb & Hoke, Cracker Jack, Long-Eakin, Excel, and more. Even a few homemade one-of-a-kind antiques.

Located inside the Marion Historical Society’s Heritage Hall, admission to the Popcorn Museum includes entry into the Society’s exhibits covering prehistoric times to early life in the Ohio frontier and through the mid-20th century. Heritage Hall itself is worth a visit. The former Marion Post Office, with its colonnaded entrance, high ceilings, and beautiful woodwork, is a perfect setting to explore the past.

Ohio Craft Museum

Admission to the Ohio Craft Museum is free.

  • Open:  Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday & Sunday 1 – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1665 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-486-4402
  • web: http://ohiocraft.org/

The Ohio Craft Museum’s exhibitions feature 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 Veterans Home Museum

Admission to the Ohio Veterans Home Museum in Sandusky 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) Ohio Veterans Home and I.F. Mack Building at 3416 Columbus Ave. in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-625-2454

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
by Sandy Zeigler, Travel Journalist

Ohio Veterans Home Museum in Sandusky

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 that 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 afterward 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 that 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 that 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 in an attempt to publicly share artifacts from the Prison Camp on Johnson’s Island. Because of the 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 is located on State Route 250 just before the city limits to Sandusky. 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 from 10:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. or by appointment to individuals, families, and 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.

Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.

  • Location: (Map It) Ohio History Center’s archives at 800 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-297-2300 or 800-686-6124
  • 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 now resides at the State Archives in the Ohio History Center.

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, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-292-6896
  • Web: click here

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 skull, 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 arrangements.

Paul Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum

Welcome to the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum at the Hocking Hills Visitors Center in Logan, Ohio.

  • Open: Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) The Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center is located at 13178 State Route 664 South in Logan, Ohio
  • Phone 1-800-HOCKING for more information
  • Web: click here

The Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum in Logan, Ohio is a tiny place with a huge collection of over 3,000 pencil sharpeners. It started in 1989 when a gentleman by the name of Paul Johnson received a little gift after recently retiring. His wife, Charlotte, bought him two little metal cars. This fueled an idea that Paul drove to what you see on display today.  The wide variety of pencil sharpeners is amazing. When you take a close look at these miniature art forms, you can appreciate the imagination behind this eclectic collection. It is interesting to hear the excitement of people of every age examining the pieces declaring, “Look at this one” or “Found my favorite.” Heck, there’s even a monster sharpener that belches after devouring pencil shavings. Sharpeners take the form of globes, skateboards, people, animals, you-name-it. And they are constructed from just about any material under the sun.

Peoples Mortuary Museum

Admission to the Cawley & Peoples Mortuary Museum is free.

  • Open: Upon request
  • Location: (Map It) 408 Front Street in Marietta, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-373-1111
  • Web: Click here 

The Cawley & Peoples Mortuary Museum at the Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home in Marietta has a connection to Hollywood. The movie, Get Low, starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek featured Bill Peoples 1927 Henney Hearse throughout the film. This famous hearse is on display in a very large old hearse garage for the Cawley and Peoples Funeral Homes along with several other mint-condition classic hearses such as a one-of-a-kind 1938 Packard Hearse and an 1895 Horse-drawn hearse. During your visit, you’ll see fascinating memorabilia from the undertaker’s profession like the reusable ice casket. You’ll also learn where the term basket case came from and why the front room of the home changed from the parlor to the living room.

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 1pm – 3:30pm
  • Location: (Map It) 201 N. Main St. in Wellington, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-647-4367
  • Web: click here

The Spirit of ’76 Museum celebrates the history of painter Archibald Willard, an 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.

Telephone Museum – James Thomas

Admission to the James M. 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 M. 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.

Tiffin Glass Museum

Admission to the Tiffin Glass Museum is free.

The Tiffin Glass Museum features over 2,000 pieces of Tiffin glass 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.

  • Open on Saturdays from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: (Map It) 918 Sylvania Avenue in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-478-3473

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.

Ukrainian Museum and Archives

Admission to the Ukrainian Museum and Archives is free.

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 3pm or by appointment
  • Location: (Map It) 1202 Kenilworth Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-781-4329
  • Web: click here

The Ukrainian Museum and Archives in Cleveland:  Ukrainians 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 Newel K. Whitney General Store Museum is free.

  • Open Mondays through Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – Dusk and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – Dusk
  • Location: (Map It) 7800 Kirtland Chardon Rd. in Kirtland, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-256-9805

The Newel K. Whitney General Store Museum: This establishment was restored to its 1830 condition. Joseph Smith lived here and began the School of the Prophets in one of the upper rooms. Smith was a religious leader and founded Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was just 24 years old, he published the Book of Mormon. The store 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.

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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