Columbus – August 2015 – Ohio History Center

The Ohio History Center Museum, located on 17th Avenue across the street from the State Fairgrounds, is filled with exhibits exploring everything from life in the 1950s to extinct and endangered Ohio species to an exquisite collection of restored Civil War battle flags.

At the History Center Museum is Ohio Village, a recreated 1860s Ohio town. Open only during the summer I wanted to visit it before we left on vacation

The 22 buildings that make up the village are a mixture of reproductions and historic structures moved to the site. Among those currently standing are the Town Hall, Print Shop, General Store and Masonic Lodge, Education Center, Pharmacy, Blacksmith Shop, Tinsmith Shop, Broom and Basket Shop, Cabinetmaker/Undertaker’s Shop, Harnessmaker’s and Weaver’s shops, Ladies’ Soldiers Aid Society, Village Bakery, Market House, Livery Stable, Schoolhouse, Doctor’s Office and Residence, the Ohio Village Bank, the Colonel Crawford Inn, Church and the Elk’s Head Tavern.

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The museum itself had a number of exhibits including the “1950s through the eyes of a family” living in central Ohio with a hands-on, walk through of their Lustron home. Step back in time as you explore the nooks and crannies, cupboards and drawers of the family’s real, full-size Lustron house, built right inside our museum

Featured in the same area were tributes to noteworthy Ohio products and companies, including airplanes, automobiles, tires, and White Castle. The history of White Castle, America’s first hamburger chain, is celebrated in this panel exhibit. Visitors get a taste of artifacts and images from White Castle’s 85-year history, nearly all of it as a Columbus-based company. Items on display include plates and mugs, fountain glassware, posters, burger boxes, matchbooks, employee recognition pins, paper caps for men and women, sacks and a White Castle “clock” that has no hands because “we’re open all day and all night.”

Another section featured some of the Society’s most significant archaeological artifacts, such as the Adena Pipe, the mica hand, and the Wray figurine, as well as many animal effigy pipes from Tremper Mound are centrally featured in tower cases. Fiber optic lighting enhances visitors’ almost 360- degree view of these, and other, unique and beautiful artifacts. We were able to explore multiple artifact drawers to see what the ancient people used on a daily basis, as well as for special purposes.

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All in all the Ohio History Center Museum is a nice way to spend the day, although the Ohio Village needs some serious work and upkeep.