Museums in Ohio house some of our oldest treasures. With these treasures come other things. Memories, value, skeletons, intrigue, wonder, strange happenings just to name a few. From tales of people still attached to the artifacts to visitors who came but never left, museums in Ohio are more than just a little strange.

Skeletons, Death masks, Hearses and more:
13267469_1626496387670226_320170361_nQuite a few museums have skeletons on display. Not old bones of animals, but skeletons of once living people. The Massilon museum has Oscar. On display since 1934 little is known of the man except that he was donated by Dr. Fred L. Rhodes, who dissected him in medical school. Another skeleton is on display at the Ragersville Historical Society. Jeff Davis was a bad man, who would not stop being bad. The citizens of Ragersville decided to stop him themselves by carrying out mob justice. This event gave the town the nickname “Hangtown”, and the museum eventually got the skeleton of a very bad man.

Not only are skeletons on display, but death mask and all forms of funeral memorabilia. In the laundry room of an East Liverpool B&B is the death mask of  Pretty Boy Flyod along with other items from the funeral home that worked on him. In West Union is a museum dedicated to the funeral profession. The William Lafferty Memorial Funeral and Carriage Collection house a few hearses and tools of the trade.

In Lima is the Allen County Museum. This local history museum house many strange and wonderful things. It has a collection of objects that have been swallowed. The museum house a strange collection of preserved animals. The Noah’s Ark displays showcase many varieties of animals along a moving conveyor belt. It also has what was once, and may still be, the world’s largest collection of Albino Animals.

Ohio History Center:
The Ohio History Center house many strange and unusual things from Ohio’s checkered past. The large collection of animals in the back of the natural history section are probably some of the most well known. Extinct animals that once roamed the land are next to specimens of ones that still do. This is home of the last Passenger Pigeon shot in the wild. Some of the strangest animals are however are not on display all the time. The museums two headed cow, or the display in the open air village with a tiger and the more exotic fare. Every once and a while the museum will bring out some it’s more controversial items, such as the Electric Chair once used by the state. When on display, and put in the proper context, one can feel the history of the items all around them. Sometimes in a good way, some times not.

National Museum of the United States Air Force
A museum which house artifacts from war and is national museum for 1/5 of the armed services is bound to have some ghosts in it. In the WWII exhibit ghost are said to haunt the planes they once flew. The Lady B Good’s entire crew is said to haunt the area surrounding it’s memorial stain glass window. Near by the plane is also said to be haunted, but it could just be the crew from the Lady mistaking it , the same model of plane, as their own.  One or two planes have even been said to be “piloted” by ghost who are trying to finish their las mission. Additionally almost all of the Prisoner of War sections of the museum seem to have an eerie feel about them. Almost as if those who never returned have found away back.

This museum is more than just ghost stories though. On July 8th, 1947 something crashed outside of a farm in Roswell, New Mexico. Was it a spy balloon or something else? Some stories say that what ever was found was transfered to the base and stored in Hangar 18. The Base also has stories surround it and the technology it houses. It is said that it has reverse engineered alien tech and that the owners are coming back to claim it.

Cleveland Museum of Art: 
This is one of those big, expanded art museums. The type where the new building is built around the old one. This is also one of those old art museums which just celebrated it’s 100 birthday. With that much history something weird is bound to happen.  In one of the galleries battery powered lights will suddenly turn off only to go back on after the leave. The person in Portrait of Jean-Gabriel du Theil at the Signing of the Treaty of Vienna  has been said to stare at himself at night. The gallery in which this painting hung was said to have problems until the painting was put in storage. Finally former director William Mathewson Milliken has been said to visit the 1916 gallery from time to time.

Cincinnati Museum Center / Union Terminal: 
Union Terminal is being repaired. This is causing havoc to the Museum inside. The question that this leaves unanswered is “What will happen to the visitors that never leave?” The terminal has a long storied past, first as the original site of Pro Baseball, Then as a major train station for the armed forces leaving for war during WWII, and now as a museum center. In the back section, near the tracks, loved ones of those who never returned from war can be heard crying and waiting to this day for them to return. During a break in in 1989 a security guard was killed. She is said to still patrol the grounds hoping to prevent another break in.

While extensive this is just a quick look in to the strange and wondrous site around Ohio. Most museums in the state have some stories of their own.

Woodland Cemetery – Dayton Ohio

118 Woodland Avenue, Dayton, OH 45409-2892
This is a review of a cemetery. As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required.

Woodland Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in the state of Ohio.With hillside paths winding through the namesake woods and a large lake in the back Woodland is not just historic but one of the prettiest place in the city too.

Opened in 1842 and with over 170 years of history to it’s name. Woodland Cemetery is one of the most historic places in the city of Dayton. Most of the buildings are on the National Registry of Historic Places. The history also flows on to the grounds with it’s century old tress and large list of famous people laid to rest there.

100_2541Quite a few nationally known people are buried there. Orville and Wilbur Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Erma Bombeck ,  Charles Kettering to name a few. The list of local celebrities buried in the cemetery is even bigger. Former mayors, sports figure, inventors, actors, gypsies, and others are all interned there. Most of the major streets in the Dayton are named after a person in the cemetery. John Patterson has a hillside plot. James Ritty, the man who’s invention made Patterson famous, is just on the other side. Almost every location in the cemetery has a view of one famous person or another.

The natural beauty of the place is another reason it is so famous. More than 3,000 trees grace the cemetery. 9 of them being Ohio Champions. They are big and beautiful through out the entire property. In the fall they give one of the best glimpses of Ohio foliage in the city. The large hills provide excellent views of surrounding area. Woodland Cemetery houses the highest point in the city of Dayton. The hill has been turned into Lookout Terrace. The terrace is a great place to get a view of the city or of the grounds. As with most of the cemetery grounds the walk is quite strenuous with roads going up and down in both directions. There is a road that leads to the top of the hill for cars to drive, but parking can be a problem.

Tours are offered quite often. There are a lot of tour options available. Tours of the nature of the cemetery, Tours of the famous people, Tours of the Historic landmarks, and many more are offered. Some are self guided, with plenty of brochures and maps available.  Some are guided by a tour guide. The guided tours often fill up fast, especially in the fall.

If in the Dayton Area and looking for a good walk through the history of not just Dayton but the world, visit Woodland cemetery. This should be on everybody’s Dayton must do list.




Ever since Settlers have been moving into Ohio they have had a need to take care of their dead. The most popular option has been to bury them in local cemeteries. As the cemeteries filled up stories of strange happenings have been told. These are just a few of the more popular ones from Ohio’s  most well know cemeteries.

DO NOT GO INTO A CEMETERY UNLESS ALLOWED! As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required. If you want to go at night take a tour.

Cincinnati’s Spring Grove:
One of the United State’s largest cemeteries with over 700 acres of land. This along with the other of Ohio’s large rural garden cemeteries is a great place to walk around. But be careful, this place is said to be haunted. One such story is of a bust in section 100 that is said to have human eyes follow visitors as they pass. The Deter memorial is said to visited by to glowing white dogs. Other stories include the groundskeepers seeing hand and fingers sticking out of the ground as they mow.

Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery:
With a president, one of the the riches men ever, and the untouchable man who helped bring down Al Capone, the history of Lakeview is everywhere. James Garfield  was shot only four months after his inauguration as America’s 20th president. It took over two months for him to succumb, not to the bullet, but to the poor care he was given by his doctors. At the time people commented that he had  already left his body and gone wondering around at times. Even after his burial this is said to be the case. The cemetery also houses it share of Weeping Angles and moving statues. The most famous is “The Angel of Death Victorious.” The Collinwood Memorial, where 10 unknow children from the Collinwood school fire, is also located here. Probably the most eerie stories from the place are that of the moving tombstones.

Columbus’s Green Lawn Cemetery:
Home to many famous Ohioans, and not just politicians. The most famous haunted site in the 360 acre grounds is Hayden Mausoleum. A knock on it’s doors is said to be returned, or even more, by one of it’s residents. James Snook, Olympic medal pistol shooter, and murderer haunts the grounds.

Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery:
Most of the cities most famous residents are buried here. From the Wright brothers to James Ritty the names just seem to pop up around every corner. So do the less famous and more infamous. Some even say the residence themselves seem to pop up. The most famous is that of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse was a boy who drown in the local canal. His dog tried to save him but was too late. For several days the dog was said to watch over the boys grave site. Since then the dog has been said to return to watch over the site from time to time. The cemetery also houses a lady in white ghost who is said to haunt the tops of the hill near her grave. A more modern teen girl is also said to inhabit the hillsides. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily through out the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.


Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens


Address: 714 North Portage Path, Akron OH 44303


Rating: *****

This place has been on our to see list for a long time. Stan Hywet is Akron’s largest historical landmark. The nations 6th largest historic home open to the public. There are 70 acres with historic buildings and gardens.

Tickets range from the grounds and gardens to a full behind the scenes tour. A visit to the site, should include a manor house tour. The tours leave many times during the day. The 64,500 square foot manor house if a fine example of Tudor revival architecture. It was built in  between 1912 and 1915 by the Seiberling family who founded Goodyear Tire.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tour is awesome you get to see many of the rooms and learn about how this family really lived in the house. You get to see how the family lived and how the family entertained. You get a sense of who the family was an how the enjoyed life. You will see many period pieces and rooms that serve many different functions. The are kitchens, bedrooms, dinning rooms, ballrooms,  bathrooms, pantries, studies, libraries, workrooms, indoor pool, sewing rooms and even a basement with gymnasium. Each room seemed to be more exciting than the last. You will not see many historic house with this many different types of rooms. Each one updated very little over time and still hold the feeling of the time they were built. A guided tour is nice as the tour guide will give you some really good history of the family and uses of each room. You can also take a self guided tour. If you do take a guided tour, you can go back after the tour is over and explore the house more. The house is multi story with steps to climb.


Japanese Garden

The property also house some very lovely gardens. The gardens are a great example of the family wanting not only a great house, but also well thought out gardens. There are English and Japanese gardens, both of which are fun to walk around. You will find many types of gardens on the property. Their is also a the Corbin Conservatory, a greenhouse. There is a kids play area near the conservatory. If you like hiking, flowers, and/or history, the gardens are a must see.

Stan Hywett is the location of the first AA meeting. The Stable house has been turned into a museum about it. This is just one of the gems that is hidden in though out the large property. Their is also a cafe and gifts shop on the property. They are both well worth a visit. The grounds and buildings, with it’s many attractions and many hidden surprises, will take you a good few hours to see. You should plan on some time. Bring comfortable walking shoes and your camera. You will have lots of great opportunities for photos.


Guggisberg Cheese

Address: 5060 SR 557, Millersburg Ohio 44654


Rating: *****

This is going to be a short review, more of a discovery post. IMG_0165

If you going to Chalet in the Valley or Amish country in Ohio, you must stop off at this shop. They make award winning cheese in their factory and are known for Baby Swiss Cheese. This company has been making cheese for over 50 years. The have lots of varieties of cheese. The shop is packed full of other products also. We remember candy, soda, snacks, mmustard, meat, gifts, butter cheese, crackers, and cider. IMG_0167There are lots of products. This is a must stop into, you will find something to buy. This place is worth it just for the samples.

Note: Chalet in the Valley is across the street.

Chalet in the Valley

IMG_0160Address: 5060 OH-557, Millersburg, OH 44654


Rating: ******

Note: Not always open in the Winter months.

Chalet in the Valley is an Austrian, Swiss and Amish cuisine restaurant in Ohio’s Amish Country. This restaurant is a real treat allowing one to get something you do not find at your typical restaurant. The building is a Swiss chalet overlooking the Doughty Valley. This restaurant really gives you an authentic and special feeling when you arrive in the parking lot and then enter.

We started off with sauerkraut balls. These balls were deep fried and contained sauerkraut and pork. A nice treat that came along with Dijon mustard. The mustard really complimented the balls. They offer also other great appetizers, like fried pickles, cheese curds, pierogi, and more. One item they have that is probably popular is cheese or chocolate fondue. This is made even more special as they are across the street from a cheese factory.

They have lots of great main dishes and are know for their schnitzels. You can also get wurst, spaetzle, sauerbraten, sandwiches, salads, and more.  There is also a great line up of desserts.

The food was really good and had great flavors. The food was well cooked and was authentic. We loved the spatezle steak tips which had a great gravy. We also loved the sauerbraten which was tender and very tasty. Our meals came with pretzel breadsticks which were a nice addition.

The service was good and the atmosphere very warm and inviting. This is s a great addition to any vacation to the area. It is nice to have something a little different from the other restaurants in the area. This is really a great place to bring the whole family. You can get a great meal in a great location.


Happy Centennial National Parks

Today marks the 100th birthday of our National Parks Service. The parks service started in 1916. The first park was established in Ohio in 1923.  From that day forward the parks have been one of the great attractions in the state. The parks have something for everyone.

A Brief Timeline of National Parks Service in Ohio

1923 –Hopewell Culture: Started as part of the Mound City Group National Monument. It is fitting that this was the first park because it is dedicated to the history of Ohio’s earliest inhabitants

1966 – Perry’s Victory & International Peace MemorialA monument to the Commander of the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. Also memorializes the war as the last conflict between the United States, Britain, and Canada.

1969 – William Howard Taft National Historic Site: The boyhood home, and later family home, of the 27th president of the United States.

1980 – David Berger National MonumentA monument to one of athletes killed at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
North Country Scenic Trail: Established as one of the longest of the 11 scenic trails. In Ohio it connects to the Buckeye Trail and runs through Hocking Hills, one of Ohio’s most hiked areas.
James A Garfield National Historical Site: The Home of 20th President James A Garfield. Considered the first Presidential Library in America.

1992 – Dayton Aviation HeritageCelebrates the history of flight and the two Dayton Brothers who solved the problems of getting man in the air. Is spread out in 5 different locations through out Dayton.

1999 – Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis: The site of the battle of Fallen Timbers, the final battle in the Northwest Indian War, and the site of Fort Miamis, a British fort built to stop Gen. Wayne, which he eventually held.

2000 – Cuyahoga Valley: Originally created as a recreational area in 1974, Cuyahoga became a National park in 2000. This park celebrates the history of the people, canals, and nature of the northwestern Ohio valley.
First Ladies National Historical Site: Built in the home of Ida McKinley, this site is dedicated to the history of the wives of the Presidents of The United States.

2004 – National Heritage AreaIncorporated just after the Centennial of Flight this large area of western Ohio houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and Woodlawn Cemetery (with the graves of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and The Wright Brothers)

2013 – Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers: So new that it is not even finished opening yet. The Monument is dedicated to one of the most famous Buffalo Soldiers and first African-American national park Superintendent.

David Warther Carvings

IMG_0136Address: 1775 State Route 39
Sugarcreek, Ohio   44681

Rating: *****

This is a museum/gift shop/workshop/headquarters. It is located in the heart of Ohio Amish Country.  David Warther is a master carver who has been carving since a young age. David comes from a tradition of carving, as his farther, who also has a museum, and grandfather are carvers. The main carvings that David does ships made of ivory.

The museum is a display of many of David’s carvings. There is a cost to visit the museum.  The building has many spacious rooms. You will see ships through out history. You will see boats from ancient Egypt all the way up to the 1900s. The museum offers tours, which is a great way to learn not just about the ships, but also the carving techniques. A lot of the time David Warther himself will show some of his techniques or lead a tour.The museum guest is helped out by magnifying glasses strategically place around the exhibits. You really need these to see all the tiny details. The carvings have lots of tiny scrimshaw, intricately carved pieces, and small work on the ships, which is amazing to look at. When we were at the museum we were able to talk to David and he showed us some of his techniques. You can also see into his workshop and him at work. You get a feel for his passion and his willingness to share, when you got to the museum.

This is truly and not to miss attraction. The museum is easy to navigate. The price is well worth it. You will not be disappointed.

Alpine Hills Historical Museum & Sugarcreek Information Center

Address: 106 W Main St, Sugarcreek, OH 44681
This museum has three floors and tons of displays. The museum displays the Amish, Swiss, and German heritage of the area. There are interactive and static exhibits. The exhibits do a good job in showing how people live and lived in the area. There are many displays showing what the insides of homes and businesses in the past. There is an audio accompanying these displays, which is a nice touch. Everywhere you turn in this museum you will find an artifact. This museum is stuffed with items to look at. The overall time in museum will depend on how long one stops to read and look at each artifact. One could spend between 1 to 3 hours in this place. There are many interesting items to look at. This museum also serves as the information center for the area. This museum is a must stop if in the area. When we went the museum was free, but accepted donations. It would be a good idea to bring a little cash to donate, so the museum can continue.