Akron Police Museum

Admission to the Akron Police Museum is free.

  • 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)
  • Web: click here

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.

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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.

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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, displayed at the museum.

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Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame

Admission to the  Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame is free (donations accepted).

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, a video library, and dedications to the greatest all-time hits, lifetime achievement honors, and pieces from Johnny Pecon and Eddie Habat.

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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 Croatian descendants. Many traveling collections are also featured at this museum throughout the year.

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Dittrick Museum of Medical History

Admission to the Dittrick Museum of Medical History is free.

  • Open (Museum Gallery) Friday, from 10:30am – 4pm, and Saturday, from  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, a 1928 X-ray machine, an 1861 amputating set, an 1882 antiseptic sprayer, an 1890 surgical chair, and much more. The museum’s displays 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.

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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 over 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.

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First Ladies National Historic Site

Admission to the First Ladies National Historic Site and Library in Canton is free.

  • Open: Thursday – Saturday from 9am – 4pm (usually extends to Tue & Wed in summer).
  • 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), 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 can learn about the unique influence first ladies had while in the White House and gain insight into these women’s personal lives and histories, 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

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Glass Heritage Gallery

Admission to the Glass Heritage Gallery in Fostoria is free.

  • Open: April – December on Tuesday through Saturday from 10am – 4pm (closes at 3pm Saturday). March hours are Thursday – Saturday 10-3.
  • Location: (Map It) 109 North Main Street in Fostoria, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-435-5077
  • Web: click here

The Glass Heritage Gallery in Fostoria had 13 glass factories from 1887 – 1920. Today’s museum has over 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.

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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.
  • 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 greatly impacted 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 by some of the area’s best storytellers each summer. September features garden tea and unique boutique & garden tours. 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 is preserved and shared on the Hoover family homestead.

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Knox County Agricultural Museum

The Knox County Agricultural Museum (The Ag Museum) is open by appointment only.

  • Location: (Map It) 125 Fairgrounds Rd. in Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-398-6617
  • Web: click here

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.

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Mansfield Fire Museum

Admission to the Mansfield Fire Museum is free.

  • Open: Mid-May to Mid-October on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 4pm.
  • 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.

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Museum of Postal History

The Delphos Museum of Postal History is currently closed.

  • 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 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.

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Ohio Craft Museum

Admission to the Ohio Craft Museum is free.

  • Open:  Monday – Friday, from 10am – 5pm, and Saturday from 11am – 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.

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Ohio Veterans Home Museum

Admission to the Ohio Veterans Home Museum in Sandusky is free (donations accepted).

  • Open: Currently Closed
  • 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 about 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 that 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. Despite 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 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 are divided into “War Rooms,” which include artifacts for each war and conflict from the Civil War to the present. 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. Viewing the museum is free, although a donation box is available for those who want to contribute.

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Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame at the Ohio History Center.

  • 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 of Ohio’s women throughout the state’s history. The Hall currently has 365 inductees. It is an inspirational exhibit for anyone, especially women and young ladies. The Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame now resides at the State Archives in the Ohio History Center.

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Orton Geological Museum

Admission to the Orton Geological Museum is free.

  • Open: Monday – Friday, from 9am – 4pm.
  • 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 consider this museum Ohio’s little Jurassic Park. After all, it features a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull, the 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 you’re 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.

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Paul Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum

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

  • Open: Normal visitor center hours, which are usually Monday – Saturdays from 9am – 5pm, and Sunday from 11am – 5pm.
  • 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 named 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 closely examine 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 include globes, skateboards, people, animals, you name it. And they are constructed from just about any material under the sun.

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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: 740-373-1112
  • 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. You’ll see fascinating memorabilia from the undertaker’s profession during your visit, like the reusable ice casket. You’ll also learn where the term basket case came from and why the home’s front room changed from the parlor to the living room.

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Spirit of ’76 Museum

Admission to The Spirit of ’76 Museum is free.

  • Open from April 1 through October 31 on Saturday and Sunday from 1 – 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 his father’s death, he decided to do a 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.

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Telephone Museum – James Thomas

Admission to the James M. Thomas Telephone Museum is free.

  • Open: Usually on Monday – Friday, from 9am – 4pm.
  • 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.

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Tiffin Glass Museum

Admission to the Tiffin Glass Museum is normally free.

  • Open: February – December on Wednesday – Saturday from 12 – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 27 South Washington St. in Tiffin, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-448-0200
  • Web: click here

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.

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Toledo Firefighters Museum

Admission to the Toledo Firefighters Museum is free.

  • Open: Saturday from 12 – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 918 Sylvania Avenue in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-478-3473
  • Web: click here

The Toledo Firefighters Museum:  This museum will allow visitors to learn about fire safety and experience Toledo’s firefighting history. It features the uniforms and equipment used by the earliest firefighters and vintage pumpers.

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Ukrainian Museum and Archives

Admission to the Ukrainian Museum and Archives is usually 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 worldwide.

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