Cincinnati – July 2017 – Underground Tour

While in Cincinnati for the day we took the ‘Ultimate Underground Cincinnati’ tour. While the tour guide was funny, informative and insightful, the tour itself seemed to lack in content. While we did go under a church to see a crypt and in an old brewery to see some long forgotten underground rooms, for a 2 hour tour they seemed to not have enough places to see  – filling much of the two hours with amusing stories.

Still once we were in the two underground portions, they were fascinating. We did come away knowing much more about the ‘Over The Rhine’ neighborhood of Cincinnati.

The neighborhood had a mix of gentrification and scruffy.

2017 07 29 12 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG


The crypt under the St Francis Church was filled with graves of Irish immigrants from the 1800s, which is unusual given the neighborhood was noted for the German immigrants. The Irish had been there first.

2017 07 29 18 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG


An old brewery that is being rehabbed into condos included some ‘art’ that are the burnt columns from a church that had caught fire in 2008.

2017 07 29 30 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG


The massive rooms underneath the old brewery (as well as the modern day Moerlein Brewery) were great to see.

2017 07 29 36 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG


A mural on the front of the old brewery.

2017 07 29 44 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG


The tour ended at the Moerlein Brewery.

2017 07 29 48 Cincinnati Underground Tour.JPG

Springfield, OH – July 2017 – Airplane Barnstorming Festival

The Springfield, Ohio airport hosted a ‘Barmstorming Festival’, celebrating vintage aircraft. Open to the public there were aircraft from the 1910s through the 1970s on display, with their owners more than happy to tell you about their planes.


There were a number of bi-planes.

2017 07 15 111 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


A WWI vintage plane.

2017 07 15 121 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


They lined both sides of the taxiway.

2017 07 15 126 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


Who flies with 3 instruments and a leather helmet?

2017 07 15 129 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


Some great piston engines.

2017 07 15 135 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


The paint jobs were outstanding on all of the airplanes.

2017 07 15 149 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


The Springfield Municipal Airport was the host.

2017 07 15 156 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


What a way to refuel your plane, stand on top to reach the upper wing where the fuel tank is.

2017 07 15 161 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


In addition to the planes there were a few vintage trucks.

2017 07 15 164 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG


And they flew off into the sunset.

2017 07 15 171 Springfield OH Barnstorming Festival.JPG

Grove City, OH – July 2017 – Flashlight Museum

As I research various unique places to see I sometimes come up with one that doesn’t really appear to exist. One such place is the ‘Flashlight Museum’ in Grove City, a Columbus suburb. There is a website for it (, as well as a contact page, but no actual address, so I entered some information in a contact page of the website and a couple of weeks later received an email.

After a phone call I realized the museum itself is actual one person’s (Steve Giterman) personal collection. Steve was more than happy to have us stop by for a visit to see his collection.

In his home he had ‘thousands’ of flashlights, virtually all in working condition.

In addition he had a great collection of peripherals and advertising.

2017 07 08 16 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


Who knew that flashlights came in so many different looks.

2017 07 08 22 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


They were loosely grouped together by age and style.

2017 07 08 25 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


All were in excellent condition, including the advertising.

2017 07 08 29 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


Steve had many unique flashlight accessories, including these stamps.

2017 07 08 34 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


Of particular interest are the ‘novelty’ flashlights.

2017 07 08 41 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


2017 07 08 42 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


The older, standard flashlights have a great streamlined look to them.

2017 07 08 43 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG


More novelty flashlights.

2017 07 08 44 Grove City OH Flashlight Museum.JPG

In addition Steve does flashlight repairs. If you have a classic old flashlight that doesn’t work, contact Steve at, he will be more than happy to help you, and welcome you to see his fantastic collection.

Columbus – July 2017 – Here’s Looking at You, Doll Face

In the Columbus suburb of Canal Winchester is the Doll & Toy Museum. The museum is well displayed in a building next to a winery, with thousands of dolls and toys.

One of their feature collections is the marionettes for Scrooge.

2017 07 08 49 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


They had numerous shelves full of small collectible figures with familiar faces.

2017 07 08 51 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


Among the collection were many from the 30s and 40s, including Shirley Temple.

2017 07 08 54 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


Most have lifelike looks.

2017 07 08 60 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


They also had 3 ventriloquist puppets.

2017 07 08 61 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


A large collection of foreign dolls.

2017 07 08 67 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG



2017 07 08 82 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG


Flintstones, meet the Flintstones….

2017 07 08 93 Canal Winchester OH Doll Museum.JPG

Moundsville, WV – July 2017 – West Virginia State Prison

When West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War it instantly found itself needing many institutional venues that were previously served by those now located in Virginia.

One of those venues was a prison, so in the late 1860s they started building a prison in Moundsville, just south of what was then the state capital of Wheeling.

The Moundsville Prison was generally regarded as one of the most violent prisons in America, with numerous murders and other acts of aggression regularly occurring. Eventually in the 1990s it was closed, and now serves as a tourist spot and training facility.


Visitation Area

2017 07 02 58 Moundsville WV Prison.JPG


Gallows  – There were over 90 executions at the prison, initially by hanging. It is thought this was the first location for the gallows, they were later moved to the ‘Death House’, which is no longer standing.

2017 07 02 70 Moundsville WV Prison.JPG


A cell block.

2017 07 02 77 Moundsville WV Prison.JPG


2017 07 02 95 Moundsville WV Prison.JPG


The exterior wall.

2017 07 02 107 Moundsville WV Prison.JPG

Washington, PA – June 2017 – Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is about an hour south of downtown Pittsburgh, near the town of Washington, Pennsylvania. They are one of the oldest trolley museums in the country, having started in 1949 when the trolleys were still running. It is well worth a visit, one of the best streetcar museums I have seen, and we enjoyed our time there checking out the cars, with the bonus of going for rides.

One of their highlights is a New Orleans streetcar number 832. When New Orleans was disposing of some old streetcars to museums they ‘mistakenly’ allowed this car to go to Pennsylvania. It turned out this was the car used in the 1950s movie ‘Streetcar Named Desire’.


2017 06 30 3 Washington PA Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.JPG


The museum has a number of well kept ‘barns’, with numerous cars in each. The Fifth Avenue car was from the early 1900s when they were still horse drawn. The one below was used to take passengers through the week to work, and mourners to funerals on Saturdays.

2017 06 30 12 Washington PA Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.JPG


The West Penn Streetcar lines were represented.

2017 06 30 15 Washington PA Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.JPG


An interurban from Toledo.

2017 06 30 28 Washington PA Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.JPG


A newer PCC streetcar painted in the ‘PAT’ (Port Authority of Pittsburgh) colors.

2017 06 30 43 Washington PA Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.JPG

Cincinnati – June 2017 – Observatory

The Cincinnati Observatory is located on the aptly named Mount Lookout. As one of the oldest observatories in the country, they feature two fantastic telescopes. A visit to the Observatory is highly recommended.

The main building has a 1904 Alvan Clark & Sons 16″ refractor telescope. The docent who took us up to the telescope allowed us to open the large metal roof with amazing ease with the rope and gears. Once open we spun the telescope over so we could look into the lens.

2017 06 11 137 Cincinnati Observatory.JPG


2017 06 11 142 Cincinnati Observatory.JPG


The second building houses what is thought to be the oldest continually used telescope in the world, a 1945 wooden and metal Merz and Mahler 11″ refractor scope. While not as functional as new ones, you will not find a more beautiful telescope!

2017 06 11 161 Cincinnati Observatory.JPG


2017 06 11 153 Cincinnati Observatory.JPG


2017 06 11 154 Cincinnati Observatory.JPG