Ohio Trains, Planes, Automobile & Maritime Attractions

Enjoy Ohio’s classic car museums, take flight in aviation history, ride the rails of an antique steam engine, or set sail today or into Yesteryear. There’s a pilot, driver, captain, or engineer that has the ticket to your next journey.


Free Ohio Maritime, Planes, Trains & Automobiles Attractions

More Ohio Maritime, Planes, Trains & Automobiles Worth the Price of Admission



Airstream Factory Tour

Admission to the Airstream Factory Tour is free.

  • When: Normally Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1-2pm (click here to reserve your spot)
  • Locations: (Map It) 419 West Pike Street in Jackson Center, Ohio
  • Phone: 877-596-6111
  • Web: click here

The Airstream Factory Tour is an immersive experience at the production plant. See the assembly before your eyes, as these iconic trailers are built by hand. Meet in the lobby of the service center to get eye and ear protection before the one-mile, two-hour tour begins.

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Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum

Admission to the Age of Steam Roundhouse Tours is approx. $20/person.

  • Open: Tours usually run from spring through fall on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm
  • Location: (Map It) 213 Smokey Lane Rd. SW in Sugarcreek, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-852-4676
  • Web: click here

Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum features train tracks, a locomotive shop, and an 18-stall roundhouse. It features a fantastic collection of steam locomotives. The tours run approximately 90 minutes and go through the entire Roundhouse, showcasing the steam locomotives, the restoration shop, and the Museum’s 115ft., operational turntable.

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American Packard Museum

Admission to the American Packard Museum is approx. $15/person.

  • Open: Wednesday to Sunday from 12-5pm (seasonal days and hours vary)
  • Location: (Map It) 420 S. Ludlow St. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-226-1710
  • Web: click here

The American Packard Museum features the world’s largest public collection of Packard automobiles and memorabilia.  The museum is housed in an actual former Packard dealership, complete with showroom floors and more. The gift shop sells clothing, books, videos, photos, and memorabilia.

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Cardboard Boat Museum

Admission to the Cardboard Boat Museum in New Richmond, Ohio is Free (Donations accepted).

  • Open: Usually Saturday & Sunday from 10am – 4pm (recommended to call ahead to confirm).
  • Location: (Map It) 311 Front St. in New Richmond, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-403-1675
  • Web: www.cardboardboatmuseum.com 

The Cardboard Boat Museum in New Richmond, Ohio, claims to be the world’s only cardboard boat racing museum and America’s cardboard boat racing capital. The museum is owned and run by some of the country’s best cardboard boat engineers and builders. They will provide tours and building tips. The exotic and unusual boats are constructed with only cardboard, duct tape, and paint. Visitors keep coming back to see what’s new. Don’t miss the annual cardboard boat regatta.

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Armstrong Air & Space Museum

Admission to the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta is approx. $12/person (less for kids and seniors).

The Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta:  Named in honor of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon, this museum located in his hometown portrays Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight. It opened in 1972. On display are an F5D Sky Lancer, the Gemini VIII spacecraft, Apollo 11 artifacts, and moon rock. In the Astrotheater multimedia presentations of space travel are unveiled. The site offers varied educational programs for school children. Tour guides are available with advance notice.

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Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum

Admission to the Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum is approx. $10/person (less for children).

  • Open: June – August from noon – 4pm on Friday – Monday (check days and hours for the remainder of the year)
  • Location: (Map It) 1071 Walnut Blvd. in Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-964-6847
  • Web: click here

The Ashtabula Maritime & Surface Transportation Museum is home to the world’s largest piece of beach glass. It was discovered in October 2017 on the shores of Lake Erie between Ashtabula and Conneaut. This 12” high, 17” diameter beauty weighs 275 lbs.

Also, at the Ashtabula Maritime and Surface Transportation Museum, visitors may view a working commercial coal dock and the best view of the lighthouse.  See a Hulett model, photo/harbor history, and artifacts of the Great Lakes.  The museum has the last remaining Ashtabula Hulett unloader “bucket” and a portion of its “Leg”, as well as other artifacts on the grounds. In addition, there is a display dedicated to U.S. Merchant Marines and Support Our Troops! Tours of the actual pilothouse are provided.  Included is a display of pictures of the sunken ship Daniel J. Morrell and the entire crew loss except for the “Lone Survivor” Dennis Hale. (He is pictured in the display).

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Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum

Admission to the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum is approx. $10/person and usually free for those younger than 21.

  • Open: Saturdays from March – December from 10am – 3 pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 200 N. Miami Ave. in Bradford, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-552-2196
  • Web: www.bradfordrrmuseum.org

The Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum:  The exhibit hall has photos, videos, and railroad artifacts of the rail operation at Bradford. A two-story mechanical interlocking tower (BF Tower) is located at 501 East Main Street in Bradford.

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Canton Classic Car Museum

Admission to the Canton Classic Car Museum is approx. $10/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: Wednesday – Saturday, from 10am to 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 123 6th St SW in Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-455-3603
  • Web: click here

The  Canton Classic Car Museum is currently home to 45 rare classic and special interest automobiles.  The museum also holds thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia on display to compliment the cars.  The museum features a 1937 Ahrens-Fox Quad fire engine; a 1937 Packard hearse; and a 1957 BMW Isetta to name a few.  In addition, the museum features vintage toys, steam engines, movie posters, and historic photographs.

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Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Admission to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s scenic excursions range from approx. from $15 – 40/person.

  • Open: Check schedules in the link below
  • Locations: Rockside Station (Map It) at 7900 Old Rockside Road in Independence; Peninsula Depot (Map It) at 1630 Mill Street in Peninsula; and Akron Northside Station (Map It) at 27 Ridge Street in Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-439-5708
  • Web: click here

Climb aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park in a new way! Travel by train on this three-and-a-half-hour loop through 26 miles of the National Park. Explore the scenery and natural wildlife of the Park, including the Beaver Marsh, Indigo Lake, and more! Passengers can download the CVSR Train Tracker app to listen to an audio tour that gives a history of the railroad, the National Park Service, and some of the wonders of the Cuyahoga Valley! Restrooms and concessions are available onboard. CVSR also runs Bike Aboard!, where visitors can bike along the Towpath Trail in one direction and then take the train back. Beer and wine tastings, as well as other special events, are also offered throughout the year. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone.

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Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum

Admission to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum is approx. $15/person.

  • Open: Friday – Sunday from 10am – 4pm, and Thursday from 12-8pm
  • Location: (Map It) 10825 East Boulevard at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-721-5722
  • Web: click here

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at the Western Reserve Historical Society in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, showcases nearly 200 antique, vintage, and classic automobiles and aircraft ranging from model T’s to modern-day Jaguars. In both Museums, special exhibitions focus on the many different chapters of life in the Western Reserve.

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Dennison Railroad Depot Museum

Admission to the Dennison Railroad Museum Depot is approx. $10/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: Tuesday — Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm and Sunday 11am – 3pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 400 Center St. in Dennison, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-922-6776
  • Web: click here

The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum: Return to a time when America’s Greatest Generation saw 1.3 million servicemen stop at the trackside canteen in Dennison, Ohio: A town that earned its friendly service offering a free cup of coffee and a sandwich to all the servicemen. At the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, you can find a great mix of WWII Canteen stories and tales of the railroad in an area where the trains made the town! Enjoy this whistle-stop’s museum, gift shop, theatre, and picnic area.

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EnterTRAINment Junction

Admission to EnterTRAINment Junction varies per package, but the train museum starts at approx. $20/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: Mon – Sat from 10am – 6pm and Sunday from 12-6pm
  • Location: (Map It)  7379 Squire Court in West Chester Twp, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-898-8000
  • Web: www.entertrainmentjunction.com

EnterTRAINment Junction is home to the world’s largest indoor train display. In addition to the overwhelming detail depicting an America shaped by the railroad as seen with large G-scale trains, there’s a kids’ playland, museum, and café, plus party rooms, shopping, and seasonal attractions at A-Maze-N Funhouse, which requires an additional admittance fee.

Entering the building for the EnterTRAINment Journey is like entering a new world. The sky is dark, and Main Street, complete with park benches and landscaping, is lit with street lamps. There’s a town hall, sidewalk café, hotel, and 1930s train depot. Simply walk up to the teller at the depot and name your destination. Now, enter a journey through three distinct epochs in American history, from the earliest days of steam-engine railroading to today’s modern diesel locomotives.

The EnterTRAINment Junction layout includes railroading’s Early Period (the 1830s through the Civil War to late 1890s), the Middle Period (1900 to 1950s), and the Modern Period (1960s to the present). Train tracks are bustling all around the visitor – below, at eye level, and some even 11 feet in the air. There are carefully handcrafted cities, towns, sawmills and factories, forests, bridges, mountains, valleys, plateaus, intricate trestles, tunnels, trolley cars, and fast-traveling subway trains. A cascading 11-foot waterfall provides a dramatic backdrop for the entire area; water flows through canals and rivers into a large lake. Each train car is about the size of a loaf of bread.

The sophisticated design prevents sneak-peaks ahead, for around every corner is a surprising new scene. There’s plenty; even an elevated platform provides a birds-eye view of much of the 25,000-foot layout where 90 trains may be seen chugging this way and that.

Visitors to EnterTRAINment Junction also become involved in the action with 13 interactive buttons (more still to come) along the EnterTRAINment Journey. Push a button to move a train along the tracks. Push another button to hear the haunting sound of the steam whistle of an Iron Horse rumbling down the rails. More buttons create the sound of the sawmill or reveille playing at the Civil War encampment or church bell pealing from an old wooden steeple. Visitors can also make cars and trucks honk as vehicles bustle between the tall buildings of a typical American city in the 1950s. Even a paperboy, at the push of a button, will call out from a street corner, enticing citizens to buy the latest edition.

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Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum

Admission to the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum is nominal.

  • Open: Friday from 1-4pm, Saturday from 10am – 5pm, and Sunday from 1pm – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 918 3rd Ave in Gallipolis, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-339-3726
  • Web: click here

The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum offers historical insight into the history of Ohio through the many pieces in its railroad collection. Visitors can see a reconstructed freight yard with different rail cars on display. The museum intends to educate visitors of all ages on its history through its unique railroad memorabilia. Children, students, and adults of all ages are encouraged to come to learn about the various equipment on display at the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum.

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Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway website below provides fares for a variety of excursions.

  • Location: (Map It) The Depot in Nelsonville contains the ticket office, and it is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 33 and Hocking Parkway (Fulton Street), behind the Rocky Outdoor Gear Outlet Store at 33 E. Canal Street on U.S. Route 33 in Nelsonville, Ohio
  • Phone:  740-753-9531
  • Web: click here
  • Play Video

The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway has a variety of trains from the daily scenic excursions to the specialty, seasonal, and themed trains like the popular elegant dinner trains. Its purpose is the restoration and preservation of historic railway equipment for the education and entertainment of our members and the public in general. Its regular season begins the weekend before Memorial Day and continues each Saturday and Sunday through the end of October. For specialty, seasonal, and themed train schedules, visit the website listed above.

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John & Annie Glenn Museum

 

Admission to the John & Annie Glenn Museum is approx. $7/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: Hours are usually Wednesday to Saturday, from 10am – 4pm, and Sunday from 1pm – 4pm.
  • Location : (Map It) 72 W. Main St. in New Concord, Ohio
  • Phone:  800-752-2602
  • Web: click here

The John & Annie Glenn Museum: Learn about life during the Great Depression and the Home Front during WWII through a captivating living history presentation.

Astronaut/Senator John Glenn’s boyhood home has been moved back to Main Street in New Concord, Ohio, and restored as it was when he lived there until his enlistment in World War II.

John Glenn once said that he and his wife have lived one-third of American history. It is our goal to bring to life aspects of that time, namely life during the Great Depression and on the Home Front during WWII.

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Lake Erie Islands Sailing School

Welcome to Erie Islands Sailing School.

  • When: May through October
  • Location: (Map It) 1 Huron St. in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-376-3430
  • Web: click here

Lake Erie Islands Sailing School is the premier sailing company on Lake Erie.  Operating from Sandusky, Ohio, they offer sailing lessons, sailing charters, and day excursions aboard luxury sailing yachts from May through October.  Join them and sail gorgeous Lake Erie!

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Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad

Train fares at Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M RR) are posted on the web link below.

  • When:  Most Saturdays and Sundays from Easter to Christmas (and seasonal and specialty train rides too!)
  • Where:  (Map It) 16 E. South St. in Lebanon, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-933-8022
  • Web: click here

The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M RR):  Experience a nostalgic train ride on the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad through the countryside in Southwestern, Ohio. The LM&M Railroad invites you to reminisce and capture moments with family. Walk to the back of the train to the open-air gondola for panoramic views. Informative conductors describe railroad history and operation.  Inquire about weekend special events. Highlights include Easter Bunny Express, Civil War Train, All Steamed Up – The Great Train Robbery (featuring a real work steam engine), Pumpkin Patch Express, and North Pole Express.

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Mad River Railroad Museum

Admission to the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum is approx. $10/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 12 – 4pm. (During May, September, and October, the museum is open only on weekends)
  • Location: (Map It) 253 Southwest Street in Bellevue, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-483-2222
  • Web: click here

The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum in Bellevue offers a “hands-on” approach to the history of railroading.  There’s also an extensive gift shop where anything from vintage hats to railroad videos can be purchased.  The museum offers a picnic shelter in the former LS and MS passenger depot areas.  In addition to the displays already housed in the museum, the former Bellevue Monument Works now houses some of the displays, wooden cars, and video viewing areas.

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MAPS Air Museum

Admission to MAPS Air Museum is approx. $15/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open Thursday – Saturday from 9am – 4:30pm, Sun from 11:30am – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 2260 International Parkway in North Canton, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-896-6332
  • Web: https://mapsairmuseum.org/

MAPS Air Museum is the home of the Military Aviation Preserve Society. It offers a wide array of exhibits from the first airships, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to the present day.  A broad collection of aircraft adorns this unique museum, ranging from the 1908 Martin Glider, the first heavier-than-air aircraft to carry a woman aloft, to the massive F-14 Tomcat, made famous by the movie Top Gun.  This is a hands-on museum allowing visitors to sit in a Russian Mig-17 fighter, control a World War II anti-aircraft gun, tour a Goodyear blimp gondola, and more.  Active restoration projects allow visitors to witness planes being brought back to life, including several Cold War-era fighters and one of the last World War II B-26 Marauders bombers known to exist.  Many artifacts, uniforms, and original artwork adorn this attraction. In addition, it now houses the collection of the Ohio Military Museum. There is also a large gift shop.  Handicap accessible, and Guided or Self-Guided tours are available.  Group Rates apply for tours of 15 people or more.

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Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

Admission to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is approx. $10/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Daily from 9am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 13515 Yarmouth Drive  in Pickerington, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-856-2222
  • Web: click here

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum:  One can almost hear the resonating sound of revving motors while passing by the more than 200 motorcycles on display at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, home to an impressive collection of motorcycles and memorabilia.  The Museum tells the exciting stories of motorcycling by creating rotating exhibitions covering a wide range of topics featuring many motorcycles borrowed from the foremost collectors in North America.  Three main galleries showcase machines of every description and age – from the board trackers and streamliners of the sport’s early days to competition Superbikes and motocrossers of the modern era.  Spindly motorized bicycles from the turn of the century keep company with today’s championship-winning racers.

The Hall of Fame recognizes the great racers, inventors, promoters, designers, enthusiasts, and journalists who have made our sport so exciting by placing the people and their machines in the context of their time and place in the history of motorcycling. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum offers excitement and education for everyone, with unique exhibits showcasing some of the most elegant and remarkable designs and technologies from motorcycling’s past and present.  See why motorcycles have long been on the cutting edge of transportation and motorsports.

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National Packard Museum

Admission to the National Packard Museum is approx. $10/person.

  • Open: Tuesday through Saturday, 12-5pm, and Sunday, 1-5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1899 Mahoning Avenue NW in Warren, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-394-1899
  • Web: click here

The National Packard Museum collection contains artifacts and photographs related to the Packard family, Packard Electric, and the Packard Motor Car Company. Vehicles on display include two rare early 1950s Packard Pan Americans, a 1911 Packard Flying Squad Car Fire Truck, and other vehicles displayed dating back to the 1903 single-cylinder Packard. The gift shop sells clothing, books, videos, photos, jewelry, and memorabilia.

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National Museum of The Great Lakes

Admission to the National Museum of the Great Lakes is approx. $17 for the Museum + Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, $11 for the Museum only.

  • Open: Mon, Wed – Sat from 10am – 5pm and Sun from 12- 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1701 Front St. in Toledo, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-214-5000
  • Web: https://nmgl.org/

The National Museum of the Great Lakes and Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship in Toledo, Ohio, tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artifacts, several powerful audiovisual displays, and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits, including the 617-foot iron ore freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug Ohio. The Great Lakes are a Powerful Force, and our museum tells tales spanning hundreds of years—from the fur traders in the 1600s to the Underground Railroad operators in the 1800s, the rum runners in the 1900s, to the sailors on the thousand-footers sailing today.

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National Trail Raceway

Admission to National Trail Raceway varies by event.

  • Location: (Map It) 2650 National Rd, SW in Hebron, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-928-5706
  • Web: click here

The National Trail Raceway:  Serving motorsports fans since 1964, National Trail Raceway is an NHRA Drag Racing facility with an extensive weekly racing schedule and special events, highlighted by the World’s Largest single-make event, The Mopar Nationals. Luxury suites, group ticket specials, and corporate hospitality allow visits tailored to your needs. Located just 20 minutes from Columbus and just 2 miles from the I-70/Rt.37 interchange, access to National Trail Raceway is quick and easy.

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Northwest Ohio Railroad

The Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation & Riverside Train fares and special events are found through the weblink below.

  • Open: Usually from late March to mid-September on Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. Call for special events planned every September, Halloween, and Christmas season.
  • Location:  (Map It) 12505 County Road 99 in Findlay, Ohio
  • Phone:  419-423-2995
  • Web: click here

Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation, Inc. and Riverside Train are operated by an all-volunteer 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to railroad preservation, promotion, and education.  Take a train ride powered by a restored quarter-scale, coal-burning, live-steam Engine 901 around a 1/2 mile of 15″ gauge track; only $1.00 per passenger.  Tours of a 1920s-era B&O caboose are the first Sunday of the month, April thru September. The railroad museum is nearing completion; in addition to railroad artifacts and memorabilia, it will include an HO model train layout and Lionel toy trains.  A conference room and/or kid’s birthday room are available for rent.  Outside static displays include a 1950s Plymouth switcher and a 19th-century wooden boxcar, both slated for future restoration.

Special events:  Flag City Train Show in the spring, Tracks To The Past in September, Pumpkin Train in October, Train of Terror & Haunted Engine House in October (special evening hours), and North Pole Express in December.  Call for details.

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Ohio Railway Museum

Admission to the Ohio Railway Museum is approx. $10/person.

  • Open: May – December Sundays (ride demos may be included with admission)
  • Location: (Map It) 990 Proprietors Road in Worthington, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-885-7345
  • Web: click here

At the Ohio Railway Museum, visitors can take a one-mile ride on one of the museum’s streetcars or interurbans.  They can also take a history lesson on electric rail transportation and its effects on the lives of those living in America and the country’s economic growth during the first half of the 20th century.  Demonstrations of the various designs of equipment are given.  Visitors can also tour the Post Office Car, where mail clerks had to process mail from city to city while it was transported.  The museum is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the oldest railway museums in the country.

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Orrville Railroad Heritage Society

Admission to Orrville Railroad Heritage Society varies depending on the event.

  • Open for special events. Click the website below to see the upcoming schedule. The gift shop is usually open April thru November on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 12 – 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 145 Depot Street in Orrville, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-683-2426
  • Web: click here

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society offers historical facts about trains, many train pictures, and much information on Ohio’s railway heritage.  Visitors can tour many historic train cars and even some engines, including an F-7 ABB diesel locomotive.  The society also owns and offers tours of the interlocking tower controlling the junction.

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Snook’s Dream Cars Auto Museum

Admission to Snook’s Dream Cars Auto Museum is approx. $10/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • Open: Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm (closed for lunch 12-1), and weekends by appointment only. It is recommended to call ahead to confirm the hours.
  • Location: (Map It) 13920 County Home Road in Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-353-8338
  • Web: click here

Snook’s Dream Cars Auto Museum:  Housed in a 1940s-style Texaco service station, visitors may view cars from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. The museum also contains a large collection of “automobilia” from past years.  The facility houses a four-bay shop for fixing and maintaining classic cars and a warehouse for storing collector cars.  Snook’s Dream Cars can also be rented for banquets, parties, and special events.

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Steamship William G. Mather Museum

Admission to the Steamship William G. Mather Museum is approx. $12/person (less for students and seniors). Discounted combo tickets when combined with the Great Lakes Science Center.

  • Open: Usually May – October, but call or visit the website below for days and hours of operation.
  • Location:  (Map It) 601 Erieside Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-694-2000
  • Web: click here

The Steamship William G. Mather Museum is located at the Great Lakes Science Center at Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor across from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Gracing the waters of the Great Lakes for 55 years, the Steamship William G. Mather retired in 1980 and opened as a museum ship in 1990 – one of only four Great Lakes vessels designated as a National Historic Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Visitors are fascinated with what they see on the tour of the historic vessel, which is four stories high, longer than two football fields, and carries 14,000 tons of cargo. It progressed throughout time with updates to keep it modernized in a rapidly changing world since its christening in 1925. Originally a coal-powered ship, it converted to oil in 1954 and used more than 25 gallons per mile. Later, it was the first on the Great Lakes to incorporate automated controls that were computer-operated.

The tour lets guests see and feel firsthand what life on this shipping relic was once like. It features the cramped crew quarters to the stately captain’s quarters. A captivating view of Cleveland’s skyline comes high atop the pilothouse where maps, radio beacons, and other instruments once guided the ship through stormy Lake Erie weather en route from Cleveland to Detroit. Other points of interest include the galley, enclosed observation lounge, and hands-on displays depicting Great Lakes maritime history.

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USS Cod Submarine

Admission to the USS Cod submarine in Cleveland is approx. $15/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: Daily from May to November from 10am – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 1201 North Marginal Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 440-832-9722
  • Web: click here

The USS Cod submarine in Cleveland:  Operating from Australian ports during World War II, Cod is a World War II-era GATO class fleet submarine. The 312-foot, 1,525–ton submarine was launched on March 21, 1943, and was commissioned on June 21, 1943.  Her five diesel engines were built in Cleveland, Ohio.  Cod received a battle star for each of her seven war patrols, sank more than 12 enemy vessels, totaling more than 37,000 tons, and damaged another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping, including the Japanese destroyer Karukaya.  On Cod’s seventh and final war patrol, she was honored for performing the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history. In the South China Sea, she aided the Dutch Submarine O-19, which had grounded on the coral reef outcropping.  After rescuing the 56 Dutch sailors, the two captains decided there was no hope of freeing the sub. The Cod destroyed it, and the rescued sailors were delivered to the recently liberated Subic Bay naval base. The Cod is now docked in Lake Erie in Cleveland and is maintained and operated as a memorial to those submarine sailors who have lost their lives during the United States history.  Because of her unique status as the very last unmodified U.S. submarine from the WWII era, she has been named a National Historic Landmark.

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WACO Air Museum

Admission to the WACO Air Museum is approx. $10/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: year-round (seasonal hours vary). See the link below.
  • Location: (Map It) 1865 S. County Rd. 25A in Troy, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-335-WACO (9226)
  • Web: click here

WACO Air Museum & Aviation Learning Center:  Whether the sky was filled with the drone of bi-planes or the silent shadow of gliders, this aircraft company figured largely in the history of Troy as it made history in the world. Find out who, how, and what.

This active airfield has special events every year. The museum showcases restored WACO aircraft and features memorabilia from the company and times inside a climate-controlled hangar.

The Glider Theatre is a one-of-a-kind scale replica of the original WACO CG4A glider designed by the WACO Factory and chosen by the military to use in WW II. Visitors can sit inside the glider (like the troops did) and watch a video of the manufacturing process and the actual performance of the glider in the European & Asian sites. The WACO Factory in Troy produced over 1,000 of the CG4A, while additional gliders were manufactured at locations all over the country.

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Champaign Aviation Museum

Admission to the Champaign Aviation Museum is free (Donations accepted).

  • Open: Tuesday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 1652 N Main Street at Grimes Field Airport in Urbana, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-652-4710
  • Web: click here

At the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio, visitors get to watch as volunteers rebuild historic aircraft like the “Champaign Lady” B-17 WWII Bomber. You can even try your hand at being “Rosie the Riveter.” See this aircraft and the “Champaign Gal” B-25, A-26 Invader, C-45 Expeditor, Fairchild F-24, and a Civil Air Patrol plane that sank a German sub off the U.S. East Coast. It also features special exhibits such as Women Air Service Pilots and World War II artifacts. It’s an up-close and personal hands-on experience, all in an open hangar. You can even sit in the cockpit of a C-47 cargo plane. Grimes Field Airport and restaurant are just down the tarmac. Come, help make these old warbirds fly again.

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Harrod Railroad Heritage Park

Admission to the Harrod Railroad Heritage Park is free.

  • Open daily from dusk – dawn (indoor artifacts can be seen by appointment)
  • Location: (Map It) Napoleon Road in Harrod, Ohio
  • Web: click here

The Harrod Railroad Heritage Park:  Have you ever wanted to show the kids the “man on the caboose” but discovered that trains today rarely have a caboose at all? Well, at this little “depot” you can see a renovated caboose, a 1905 Shay Engine, and a one-hundred-year-old lumber office building, and inside, plenty of artifacts and memorabilia. The park also has a full-size military U H-1 Huey Helicopter.

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Honda Heritage Center

Admission to the Honda Heritage Center is free.

  • Open: Usually on Thursday from 10am – 3pm (call ahead to confirm)
  • Location: (Map It) 24025 Honda Parkway, Marysville, Ohio (Just off of Rt. 33)
  • Phone: 937-644-6888
  • Web: click here

The Honda Heritage Center in Marysville celebrates Honda’s success in North America. The latest technology like the NSX Supercar and the groundbreaking HondaJet sits side-by-side with products from Honda’s rich heritage. See the revolutionary CVCC Civic that changed the way automakers built cars in the 1970s, and experience a timeline of motorcycles from the earliest Super Cub to Jeremy McGrath’s Supercross bike. See the ‘Engine Ring’ that shows the evolution of Honda engines, and learn about all of the products that are powered by Honda engines including boats, lawnmowers, side-by-sides, and even Miimo, the robotic lawnmower. Walk-ins are welcomed, photo ID is required. Reservations for tours are available.

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Huffman Prairie Flying Field + Interpretive Center

huffman-prairie-flying-fieldAdmission to the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center is usually free.

  • Open: Contact directly to confirm
  • Location: (Map It) the flying field can be entered at Gate 16A off of State Route 444, Wright-Patterson AFB; the interpretive center is two miles from the field on Wright Brothers Hill at 2380 Memorial Road in Dayton, Ohio, close to the intersection of State Route 444 and Kaufmann Road.
  • Web: click here

The Huffman Prairie Flying Field and Interpretive Center in Dayton:  On this 84-acre patch of rough pasture outside Dayton, the Wright brothers learned to control and maneuver their powered machine and taught themselves to fly between 1904 and 1905. It was also the site of the Wrights’ flying school, where many of the world’s first pilots learned how to fly. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990, the Flying Field is located on an active military installation and subject to unannounced closure; however, this “School House of Aviation” is open to the public most days. Visitors are urged to call 937-425-0008 for current information on field closures. The Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center is two miles away across from the Wright Brothers Memorial. Exhibits focus on the Wright brothers’ development of the world’s first practical airplane at Huffman Prairie, their flying school starting in 1910, and the development of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the continuing legacy of the Wright brothers.

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International Women’s Air & Space Museum

Admission to the International Women’s Air & Space Museum in Cleveland is free.

  • Open: Daily from 8am – 8pm (ReserachCenter & Gift Shop open M-F from 10am-4pm)
  • Location:  (Map It) Burke Lakefront Airport at 1501 North Marginal Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-623-1111
  • Web: click here

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the historic accomplishments of women pioneers of air and space travel. Some of the great women recognized at this museum include Sally Ride – the first American woman in space, Katharine Wright – sister of the Wright brothers, and Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman to orbit the Earth. In addition, there are many personal artifacts of great women in flight and some personal memos by these women. News copies, magazines, and speech manuscripts are also displayed.

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Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit

Admission to the Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit is free.

  • Open: Daily from 8am- 8pm
  • Location:  (Map It) Corner of Elm and Shawnee Street in Lima at 199 S Shawnee Street in Lima, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-221-5195

The Lincoln Park Railway Exhibit is an outdoor display featuring the following which are also under lights after dark:

  • The last steam engine built at Lima Locomotive Works (Locomotive NKP # 779)
  • 1883 luxury private car (official car #5) for NKP probably used by Chauncy DePew
  • 1882 Nickle-plated caboose #1091
  • and authentic 1895 Country Station by DT&I Railroad
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Marion Union Station

Admission to the Marion Union Station is free.

  • Open: By appointment. Saturday from 10am – 4:30pm (call to confirm).
  • Location: (Map It) 532 W. Center St. in Marion, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-383-3768
  • Web: click here

The Marion Union Station, built in 1902, is now a museum and train-watching spot where more than 100 trains pass daily. The museum showcases an impressive collection of memorabilia and the AC Tower, which was once the main switching facility for the Erie Railroad Marion Division. The unusual nature of the station is the fact that it is located between two diamond cross-overs.

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National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Admission to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton is free (fee for theatre and flight simulators).

  • Open: Daily from 9am – 5pm, but some exhibits may have special hours. Closed major holidays.
  • Location: (Map It) 1100 Spaatz St. at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-255-3286
  • Web: click here

The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton is the world’s oldest and largest military aviation museum. Attracting more than one million visitors annually, the museum boasts more than 400 aerospace vehicles and thousands of historical items. Sensory-rich exhibits, hands-on educational programs, and entertaining special events entice the imagination and bring the Air Force story to life. From the Wright brothers through the stealth age, the museum offers visitors a dynamic tour through the portals of aviation history. Highlights include the only permanent public display of a B-2 bomber, President Kennedy’s Air Force One, a Doolittle Raiders exhibit, and much more. Also available are an IMAX Theatre, a souvenir shop, and a café. Museum admission and parking are free.

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NASA Glenn Research Center Tours

Monthly tours of the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are free.

  • Open: Click the link below for virtual tours. Advance registration is required when normal tours are offered (Citizen I.D. required for adults).
  • Location:  (Map It) 21000 Brookpark Rd. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-433-9653
  • Web: click here

The NASA Glenn Research Center Tours:  You may think you have “the right stuff” but until you tour NASA, you won’t know for sure. When open, the public facility tours include the zero gravity research facility, wind tunnels, and space simulation chambers.

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Northern Ohio Railway Museum

Admission to the Northern Ohio Railway Museum is by donation.

  • Open: Normally on Saturdays 10am – 4pm from the 3rd Saturday in May to the last Saturday in October
  • Location: (Map It) 5515 Buffham Rd. in Seville, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-769-5501
  • Web: click here

The Northern Ohio Railway Museum features trolley car rides. Altogether, there are over 40 trolley cars, streetcars, interurbans, and rapid transit cars. Enthusiasts and volunteers work diligently to restore and preserve these beautiful old streetcars and railway equipment for education and entertainment. It is a work in progress and quite a sight to see. Tour the two enormous carhouses and see what moved greater Cleveland through the years. There’s even a three-mile demonstration railroad where – during special events – these relics ride the rails once again with passengers eager to capture that feeling of Yesteryear.

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Wright “B” Flyer

wright-b-flyer-reproductionAdmission to the Wright “B” Flyer is free.

  • Open: Normally  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: (Map It) Dayton Wright Brothers Airport (MGY) 10550 Springboro Pike in Miamisburg, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-885-2327
  • Web: click here

See a Wright “B” Flyer lookalike aircraft in its hanger at the Dayton – Wright Brothers Airport. This aircraft is a flight-worthy version of the 1911 Wright “B” Flyer, the first mass-produced aircraft. Purchase an Honorary Aviator annual Membership for $100 and receive an orientation flight in the Wright B Flyer. The museum is operated completely by volunteers.

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Wright Cycle Company

wright-cycle-company-bicycle-shop-daytonAdmission to the Wright Cycle Company is free.

  • Open: Usually daily, from 9am – 4pm
  • Location: (Map It) 16 S. Williams St. in Dayton, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-225-7705
  • Web: click here

The Wright Cycle Company building is just outside the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton, Ohio. Visitors are free to see where two of the world’s most famous inventors labored in their craft. Two buildings where the Wright brothers worked at their cycle and printing businesses still stand at their original locations here and are open to the public. Their restored printing businesses, where they worked from 1890 – 1895, can be seen at the adjacent Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. The Wrights had five different bicycle shops, this being the fourth location. The restored building was home to Wright’s bicycle business from 1895 – 1897. It is where they were when they became obsessed with flying. And from there, these men, self-trained in aviation science, went on to build the world’s first manned-powered, heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, and sustained flight.

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David Warther Carvings

Admission to David Warther Carvings in Sugarcreek is approx. $10/person (less for kids and seniors).

  • When: Usually open Monday – Saturday (see website below for seasonal hours).
  • Location: (Map It) 1775 State Route 39 in Sugarcreek, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-852-6096
  • Web: https://warther.org/

David Warther Carvings in Sugarcreek is a newer attraction in the center of Ohio’s Amish community. The exhibit features over 80 carvings made by David Warther, a 5th generation carver of Swiss heritage. The carvings created by Warther depict the “ History of the Ship “ from 1st Dynasty Egypt to the present day. Created in miniature from legal antique ivory and ebony wood, the details include intricate scrimshaw engraving and finely carved ivory rigging lines that measure just twice the thickness of a human hair. David carves daily in his on-site workshop, where he regularly demonstrates carving techniques to the visiting public, including his hand filing and sanding technique of making the ivory rigging lines. 

The exhibit consists of five spacious rooms dedicated to different eras of shipbuilding. The Medieval room with its Viking ships is a favorite among visitors. It is the Ancient room where ancient Egyptian, Roman, Phoenician, and Greek ships convey the story, in David’s beautiful art form, of how ships appeared in these early times. Amish and Mennonite guides conduct lively tours of this interesting and highly educational exhibit. 

David Warther Carvings is an enjoyable place to visit for every family member, any season of the year. The hilltop portico clock tower pavilion and observation deck provide exceptional views and photo options of the neighboring Amish farms in Walnut Valley. The DWC is also home to the DWC Gift Shop, which has become an attraction and can be visited separately.

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Warther Museum & Gardens

Admission to the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens in Dover, Ohio, is approx. $20/person (less for students and seniors).

  • Open: March through December. Guided tours are offered Thursday – Saturday, at 10am, 12 pm, and 2pm. Self-guided tours are available most days from 9am – 4:30pm.
  • Location: (Map It) 331 Karl Ave. in Dover, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-505-6003
  • Web: click here

The Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens:  This world-class facility is a fitting tribute to Ernest “Mooney” Warther, the World’s Master Carver. Warther created a collection of steam locomotives carved of ebony and ivory appraised as priceless by the Smithsonian Institution. The carvings are displayed in a beautiful Swiss chalet with a new theater handcrafted solid curly maple. You will also experience new displays and the expanded knifemaking & woodshop. Freida Warther’s Button House is still a sight to see, and the Swiss gardens are magnificent in the summer.

The original Warther Carving Museum opened three generations ago and has blossomed into an attraction that draws visitors worldwide. The amazing Warther story is presented by knowledgeable guides and enhanced by films that include family photos and movies of Mooney carving in his shop. Some of the new displays show his traveling years, his love of reading, and commando knives made during World War II.

Dave Warther, Mooney’s son or grandson Mark, is usually in the lobby greeting visitors and carving souvenir wooden pliers for children. Mooney made the pliers famous by placing 10 interconnecting cuts into a wood block. Another grandson, Dale, makes handcrafted kitchen knives. You can observe the cutlery and knife blocks being created from the knife shop viewing area. The Warther gift shop is operated by Dave’s wife, Joanne, and his daughter Carol. It is the exclusive home of Warther Cutlery.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler

CARVING A SPECIAL NICHE IN LIFE

When a guy is named Mooney, you expect something out of the ordinary.  Mooney Warther would not have been a disappointment. He was witty, funny, gifted, eccentric, ambitious, and entrepreneurial—genius would not adequately describe his stature.

Ernest “Mooney” Warther was a woodcarver extraordinaire.  Terms such as “world’s greatest” or “world’s best” are often used as fictitious hype, but when applied to Mooney’s aptitude with a knife, they are not an exaggeration.

Hearing such exalted claims to believe such talent is found only in some strange faraway venue is a quirk of human nature. In truth, one of the most skilled artists in history was born, grew up, and plied his trade—largely unnoticed—in our back yard: Dover, Ohio.

His father died when Mooney was three, and he acquired only a second-grade education that took him four years to complete.  Mooney didn’t have much time for school—he was working.  His cattle herding for a penny a day was the source of his name—an adulterated version of “moonay” from his Swiss heritage that means bull of the herd.

On one of his herding excursions in 1890 at the age of five, he found a pocketknife and began carving.  Mooney said it was a hobo who taught him to cut a pair of pliers from a solid block of wood.  It was a procedure he perfected and claimed as his signature. It is estimated that Mooney made and gave away 750,000 of the little wooden devices in his career.

By age fourteen, he worked in a steel mill but continually carved models of steam locomotives that had enthralled him since early childhood. At one point, however, he found time to carve a working model of the mill, including an animated figure of his old friend who liked to hide behind a furnace and steal a nip from his flask.

Mooney carved hardwoods like walnut and ebony and was dissatisfied with store-bought knives that wouldn’t hold an edge.  No doubt, aided by his experience at the mill, Mooney researched different types of steel and techniques of tempering and sharpening. He first made a kitchen knife for his mother. It was so good that word spread rapidly, and by 1923 Mooney left the mill and began making knives as a business.

It was the same year that the New York Central Railroad discovered his locomotive carvings. He was offered fifty thousand dollars, plus five thousand per year to stay with the display. Henry Ford made an even more generous offer, but Mooney declined both.  “My roof doesn’t leak, I’m not hungry, and my wife has all her buttons,” he said.  (His wife was a collector of buttons, which are displayed along with Mooney’s carvings.)

While Mooney designed his carving knives, he decided to see how far he could go with his pliers-making expertise.  He started with a large block and hewed one pair after another—all connected until he had a “tree” of pliers—511 that could be folded back, recreating the block from which they were fashioned.  It was an exercise in mental dexterity as well as carving skills. Engineering professors from what was then the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland studied the sculpture and proclaimed it was impossible to have been produced in one piece. Yet undeniably, there it was.

As a young boy, I received one of Mooney’s pliers.  His bushy snow-white curls bounced as he talked non-stop in his high-pitched gravelly voice.  He held a four-inch rectangular piece of wood in one hand and, with the other, made a series of quick strokes with a short-bladed knife. He opened it in about five seconds, revealing handles hinged to jaws just like a pair of pliers. My eyes bulged in wonder as he handed it to me, the youngest in the family of viewers.

But the pliers rate only as a parlor trick compared with his train carvings.  They’re done in exact scale and authentic in minute detail.  Some of them have as many as 7,500 parts:  pipes, rivets, screws, connecting rods, perfectly round wheels—each created on a simple bench with a vise and Mooney’s carving knives.  Many are equipped with electric motors that turn all the moving parts, held by bearings he made from a Brazilian “oily” wood that never needs lubrication.  As well as wood, he used ivory for some almost microscopic pieces. Because of his love for elephants, his ivory carvings were mostly from old billiard balls.  Engineers have poured over his models with precision instruments and measuring devices, drawing the same conclusions as most nonprofessional observers: The replicas are so exact that they couldn’t have been carved by hand. But they were.

By the time railroads began phasing out steam engines; Mooney had carved 54 exact-scale counterparts of his favorite iron horses, but swore as long as he lived, he’d never carve a diesel locomotive.

Instead, he began a series of “Great Events in American Railroad History.”  He created a solid ivory rendition of the driving of the golden spike connecting the transcontinental railroad, the great locomotive chase, and the Lincoln funeral train. He was working on the Lady Baltimore locomotive when he died at eighty-seven, leaving it unfinished.

All of his work can be seen at the museum in Dover, displayed in a style worthy of the Smithsonian.

Mooney’s carvings are so notable as to make the cutlery business seem secondary, although since its inception, it has been a foundation of the family business. Mooney taught his sons and grandsons the art of making knives, and they continue to this day—everyone annealed and hand ground to Mooney’s specifications.

During the Big War, starting with a single request, Mooney made 1,100 personalized commando knives carried by every rank, including Generals. The Walthers have made special knives and kitchen cutlery for several presidents and dignitaries. Yet the most important contribution to the commercial success was allowing Mooney to pursue his true passion.

Like one bull in a herd—Mooney Warther had no peer.

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

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