Author: sealofthenight

Airstream Factory Tour

419 West Pike Street
Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629
https://www.airstream.com/company/tours/

The history of Recreational Vehicles took a turn when Wally Byam acquired the Bowlus Company, took the door moved it to the side and created the Airstream Clipper. For about the next 16 years, except for a period during the war years, Airstreams were only manufactured in California.  In July 1952 a factory was opened in Jackson Center, Ohio. In 1979 the California plant was closed, leaving Jackson Center as the only place in the world where the unique trailer is produced.

The Factory is located in Jackson Center and is just down the highway from Armstrong Air and Space Museum. The tours start at 2pm and leave enough time in the morning to go the museum and have lunch at Al’s Woody’s Diner. The Airstream Factory also is a fitting location with the museum because NASA used Airstreams as Mobile Quarantine Facility for the returning Apollo 11 crew.

The Factory tour starts at the Service center. The center is where Airstream gifts and parts can be bought before the tour. This is where the guide will have each person a pen (a great souvenir ) to sign a wavier and give out ear and eye protection. The tour is on the actual factory floor and protection is needed.

The tour starts with a brief history of the company before heading outside. On the way to the main factory the guide will show some of the campers parked outside. This is not a museum tour or a Dealers lot. Wally Byam’s Gold trailer, “Stella’s Gold Airstream,”  is there but the rest are finished trailers about to be sent out and not really for display.

Inside the factory the noise can be loud at places. The earplugs protect visitors ears but also block out the guides voice. To get around this one member of the group is given a portable speaker. The guide can be heard from the front and back at most times, even over the noise of the factory. Sometimes the noise and spread of the group will make it hard to hear.

The tour goes through the process of constructing an Airstream from the ground up. Well more from sides to the floor to the internals. While it might not seem like much at first. Eventually the trailer comes together to the memorable shape. After the trailer is weather tested it is ready for interior. The interiors and wiring are added and the final product is ready to ship.

Overall the tour is a little under 2 hours depending on the size of the group. The distance is walked can be close to a mile. The process of building one of the most memorable trailers on the market is fun to see and the price (FREE) can’t be beat.

When we went the second factory building was being retooled for the next model years line of bus style touring coaches. Expect an update when we get a chance to return. 

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Al’s Woody’s Diner

9 N Wood St
Wapakoneta, Ohio, OH 45895

On a trip to the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta we decided to try something new for lunch. We really wanted something local and good. We decided to try out Al’ Woody’s Diner. What we noticed first is that is not a huge place and that it seemed everyone knew everyone. The menu ranges from burgers, pizza, sandwiches, to dinners. The menu also has lots of local advertisements in it, so one more reason it seems this place is connect to the community.

When we went it was lunch time and we took the last seats at the bar. If we would have waited we could have gotten a table. The place seemed to have a lot of locals and just the right amount of seating for everyone. The over all look was local Wapakoneta with a major kick to Ohio State University and the buckeye state. “Woody” in the name refers to former coach Woody Hayes.  The inside was not over done and a sports bar, but retained it’s local diner/restaurant feel.

At lunch they have a buffet. This is mostly Pizza and Fried Chicken. We had Burgers and Chicken sandwiches. The food was standard and nothing to fancy on paper. But was exactly what one would want from this type of diner. It was well prepared and came out quickly enough to be able to get back to work or the museum. We started with the Giant basket of onion straws and lost track of time. They were more than enough to share with 2 people or a group. The taste was of onions but not overpowering. The breading was well balanced with the insides to make for a great french fry substitute.

The food was good. It was well prepared and had a touch of homemade to it. Nothing felt “bagged” or factory prepared. The staff was friendly and service great. The selection was good and the price just right. The next time you visit Armstrong Air and Space save some time to go down the street to Al’s Woody’s Diner.

Ohio Irish Themed

St. Patrick’s Day is fun even if you have no ties to the Irish.

Ohio has some great Celtic or Irish Festivals. Not all happen on St. Patrick’s Day. One of these festivals is the Ohio Celtic Festival near Cleveland, in August. Another is the Dublin Irish Festival in Dublin, Ohio. The Dublin Irish Festival is also in August. Celtic Fest Ohio is in July on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville. All these festival are great, with lots of food, drink, dancing, crafts, and music.

Here is a sample from We Banjo 3.

We Banjo 3 Bill Cheatum’s Dublin Ohio Irish Festival 2015

Fort Ancient

6123 St. Rt. 350
Oregonia, Ohio 45054

Website: http://www.fortancient.org/

Quick Review: Historical museum with lots of walking trails to explore more history.

Fort Ancient is a museums and grounds representing the Native American cultures which once inhabited the area. It contains a museum and surrounding grounds.

The history of the area is long and complicated. The first people to build a village at the site were the Hopewell people. They were a mound building society, which they inherited from the Adena. Some of the best examples of this are at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. The Hopewell Culture only lasted till the 500’s. About 500 years later people of the Fort Ancient culture took over the site and used th area until the arrival of Europeans. It is because of the walls and mounds that the first archaeologist to study the area thought that the recent inhabitants had used it as a fort. Only recently has it be understood that the walls and the later village were from separate unrelated cultures.

img_0386The museum offers 9,000 sq ft of exhibit space. There are exhibits on the first Ohioans, how they used the land, their first contact with the Europeans, and the conflict which ensued. There is also a prehistoric garden, showing all the crops that would of been grown during the time There are lots of hands on exhibits.

Fort Ancient is not just a museum but also and great outdoor space. It is the largest outdoor historic site of its kind in the country. There are 2.5 miles of walking trails. These trails allow one to see the historic mounds and also the surrounding countryside.  There are two overlooks that give a great view. The trails are easily accessed from parking lots through out. The park is nice because what is learned at museum can be experienced in the natural setting. The maps and dioramas in the museums show off where everything used to be, so seeing this outside really adds to the overall experience.

Tip: Fort Ancient is worth a visit on its own, but is also part of the Ohio History Connection and is free with Membership

The Dome and The Castle

Here are two unusual places to visit in Ohio.

Materials Park /Headquarters of ASM International

img_0236The ASM International Headquarters and Geodesic Dome, at the Materials Park. This building is at 9639 Kinsman Rd, Novelty, OH. This is an office building, but one can walk around the grounds. The grounds are open to the public during business hours, the building is not. So this place might not always be open. The dome is great to look and the grounds are well taken care of. Inside of the dome is a garden with different types of materials and some information about them.

img_0212Glamorgan Castle

The castle is located at Glamorgan St.  in Alliance, OH. This castle looking building is  property of the Alliance School District. They might offer tours, but we did not try. Just a few blocks away is the Feline Historical Museum

 

 

We did not go into either building. This is mostly because they were not really open to the public type of place. These are two places that are great to see even if you can not go inside.

 

 

Grass Skirt Tiki Room

img_0362This is going to be a mini celebration review.

Address: 105 N. Grant Ave, Columbus, Ohio

Website: http://grassskirttiki.wcom

Rating: ****

The Grass Skirt Tiki Room is one of those fun places to eat, drink, and discover. The atmosphere is matched by the great food and drinks. This restaurant is not huge, so it could get busy. we went in the late afternoon on a summer day and the place was not crowded. So if crowded is not your thing middle of the afternoons are good. The Grass Skirt is a bar type of restaurant, so late nights could be fun with a group of friends.

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If you loved the Kahiki, and are looking for something to fill its place, this is it. The whole place, as the name suggests, is tiki themed. Very tiki themed. It is fun and festive. The decor is almost over the top, but stops at just the right point. There is a real laid back feeling to it. This does not mean your treated poorly. We were treated professional and the staff was attentive. This place is one where you really feel like you want to hang out. The menu has lots of choices all following theme.

So, give The Grass Skirt Tiki room a try.

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Massillon Museum

Address:

121 Lincoln Way East
Massillon, Ohio 44646

Cost: Free (donation are welcome)

Website: http://www.massillonmuseum.org

We are always on the look out for another museum in Ohio. Our latest find is the  Massillon Museum. The museum has a long history. This museum is like many others and learning the history is just as fun as visiting the museum.

The Massillon Museum is open most weekdays and weekends. This museum is multi floored and full of different exhibits. There are permanent exhibits, rotating exhibits,  and some good temporary exhibits throughout the year. One we fondly remember is their famous Immel Circus Gallery. This gallery  features a 100 foot hand carved miniature circus. This is a very impressive exhibit to look at.

The second floor contained some ofRCA Megaphone and dog statue the artifacts and artwork. We saw some real great artifacts from the permanent collection when we visited. It was nice to look at older items and discover some real historic treasures.  Their seemed to be something around each corner to look at. This is not the biggest museum in Ohio, but this does not limit the museum. The collection is on a nice rotation, so repeat visits do not mean seeing the same thing each time. It takes an hour or more to see the whole museum. When we went it was free, so it was way more than worth the price to stop in while we were in the area.

The Massillon Museum also has a café and gift shop. The gift shop has lots of great history and local items for sale.

This museum is not one to miss. You can easily fit this museum into any trip.
For more of our photos of the Massillon Museum visit our Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/randomohioreviews/

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