Cleveland

CRYPTOZOHIO: Museums

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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 Massillon 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.

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CRYPTOZOHIO: Cemeteries

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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.

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.

Summer Time in Ohio

As the weather warms we prepare for the changing of the season. Like the rain watering the flowers the warmer weather makes Ohio’s outdoor options grow. Ohio does not disappoint in the summer.

We have big plans for this Summer. We are excited to visit some more sports teams, see the new stuff at The Ohio History Center, goto a Drive in, and see a bunch of different roadside attractions along the way. So stay tuned over the next few months for a flurry of posts and reviews about the great state of Ohio.

Want to see the state, plan a trip with the help of Ohio’s tourism board or other helpful sites. Or just use our suggestions (click for more info):

Goto an Amusement Park:
Kings Island
Cedar Point
Coney Island
Zoombezi Bay

See a Show:
Drive-ins
Fraze Pavilion
Blossom Center for the Performing Arts
Riverbend Music Center
Express Live – Columbus
Toledo Zoo Ampitherater

See a game:
Dayton Dragons (the hardest seats to get in pro sports)
Cleveland Indians
Columbus Crew
Columbus Clippers
Cincinnati Reds
Toledo MudHens
Akron Rubber Ducks
Lake County Captains

Goto a Zoo:
Columbus Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Toledo Zoo

Go to a park:
Ohio State Parks
National Parks in Ohio

Goto a Festival:
Ohio Festivals – a crazy good list of them.

Goto a Museum:
Cleveland History Center (formerly Wester Reserve Historical)
COSI
Cincinnati Museum Center
Toledo Museum of Art 
Dayton Art Institute

Go for a Drive:
Ohio Roadtrips

While we hope this gave you some great ideas for the summer, this is just a small portion of things to do in Ohio.

 

 

 

Ohio’s Great 8: A large collection of presidential sites in Ohio

Ohio has given this mother of presigreat nation 8 of its 44 presidents. Because Ohio is “The Mother of Presidents” it has gained a large collection of presidential items and locations. From small knick knacks to house, planes, and even battlefields her is our list of places to see a bit of presidential history.

Presidential Memorabilia:
The National Museum of the United States Air Force – Planes from every president to fly
Golden Lamb – Historic Inn and restaurant that has been visited by every Ohio president and many more.
First Ladies National Historical Site – The home of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley which celebrates the wives of all presidents
Ohio Statehouse – Houses artifacts from presidential visits
Ohio Historical Center – Houses many artifacts ( not many on display) from Ohio’s historical presidential campaigns
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Tells the story of slavery and the struggle to end it. Talks about Lincoln, and many other presidents, struggle with the dreaded institution of slavery.
Cleveland History Center – Talks about the history of northwest Ohio and the area that made James Garfield. Right next door to Garfield Tomb.

William Henry Harrison:
Fallen Timber Battlefield
Fort Miegs
Adena Mansion and Garden – Visited many times as a Governor and General.
Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama – A loud Outdoor Drama telling the life and troubles of the great Tecumseh and his interaction with Harrison.
Tomb of William Henry Harrison

Ulysses S. Grant
Land of Grant – Birthplace, Boyhood home, and Schoolhouse

Rutherford B Hayes
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center – Also house the Tomb of the late President

James A. Garfield
James Garfield Birthplace
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
James A Garfield Tomb

Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison Birthplace – A small plaque .3 miles from his grandfathers tomb denotes the site of his birth

William McKinley
The William McKinley Birthplace Museum 
William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum – Also house the Tomb of the late President

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft National Historical Site

Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding Home
Warren G. Harding Tomb

 

Cryptozohio: Stories of the Stage

Photo by J. Ellwood

Theaters have a long standing history of ghost and strange things that go bump in the night. It has become a practice to leave a single light burning on stage when the theater is empty. Some say this is for safety, but the name, ghost light, says otherwise.

From former actors to patrons who never wanted to leave Ohio’s theaters have some stories of their own.

Victoria Theater: It is said that the private box on the left is haunted by a former patron who was attacked there. People have reported feeling uneasy and even been attacked by the woman. Another ghost is that of a man who committed suicide by stabbing himself with a knife fastened to the back of a seat. It is said that his face can be seen in the curtains back stage from time to time. One night an actress vanished from her dressing room. She is said to have never left the building however. Her perfume can be smelled, her petticoats heard as she crosses the stage, and she has even been reported in the 3rd floor restroom.

Playhouse Square: Made up of many theaters, Playhouse  is a destination for Cleveland’s patrons of the arts, both living and not. The Hanna Theatre is one of the most haunted of the bunch. Over 70 different entities have been said to reside there. Patrons have been seen in the balcony dressed for a show. Most of the mischief is said to happen backstage with props, paint, and tools seeming to move around on their own.

Ohio Theatre (Columbus): An old stage manager is said to haunt this theater in Columbus. He is reported opening elevators and playing pranks on the crew. A child is said to haunt the basement. As with most other old theaters the balcony is houses patrons who never wanted to leave.

Music Hall: One of the most haunted theaters in Ohio, but not because of the people working in it. The theater was built on top of the Cincinnati Orphan Asylum, an orphanage for children of the insane asylum. Ghost were reported before the theater even opened.  The sounds of the ghost making mischief or going about a normal routine are heard through out the building. They are patrons, cast, and crew who should not be. The Travel Channel even named it one of The Most Terrifying Places in America. If you want to experience the Ghost of Music Hall, take a tour. (yeah they sell out early so check back next year)

Is this all of them, no. This is just a small portion of the haunts from the stages of Ohio. Stay tuned for more Stories from the Stage.

If you go to one of the theaters listed above go for a show. Do not harass the theaters. They do too much good for that.

Cryptozohio: Your stories?

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Do you have a story of the strange and unusual in Ohio? Creatures that should not be, places that are too eerie to go to. We are looking to fill up the series with stories from the depths of Ohio.

If you are a place make sure to include your website so that we can let people know how to visit you. If you do not want people to visit email us and we will obscure the details.

So if you have a story to tell please leave us a comment or email us.

Cleveland Play House, Winner of the 2015 Tony Regional Theatre Tony Award

The 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award has been won by Cleveland Play House. It has also been named one of the best regional theaters in America. Opened 100 years ago the Cleveland Play House was the first professional regional theatre in the nation. From groundbreaking new works to American classics, CPH has provided entertainment for many an Ohioan.

The award is not won just for what is on the stage. Education is a big part of it. CPH’s continuing commitment to education is seen in their in school productions, C.A.R.E program, CPH college, and much more. Cleveland Play House also is committed to making sure the teachers get a chance to learn with Educator Evenings, a night of professional development, food, and a show.

The behind the scenes work of CPH keeps the lights lit and the speakers sounding. Wonder how a show gets made? Take a behind the scenes tour. Want to know more about the show before it starts or talk about it afterwards? They have that.

With the many theaters competing for the prestigious Tony, Cleveland Play House has shown that you don’t have to be on an ocean’s coast to be a great theater.

Western Reserve Historical Society History Center

 

Rating: ****

Address: 10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Website: http://www.wrhs.org/plan-your-visit/history-center/

Review: The Western Reserve Historical Society is more than just a museum. For this article we are only reviewing the museum. The museum contains many parts: Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, Browns Town 1964, Bringham-Hanna & Mckinney House, Crawford Auto Aviation Collection, In Grand Style: Fashions form 1870s to 1930s, Kidzbits Family Education Center, and Research Library. Some of these are exhibits and some are permanent areas.

The museum is maybe one of the hidden gems of the Cleveland Area. The museum a very good way to learn about the history of the Cleveland area. The museum has something for all tastes. Kids will love the kids area and adults might like the classic cars.

The upstairs area of the museum houses lots of aviation memorabilia and other interesting artifacts. The downstairs houses Crawford Aviation Collection. This collection has cars that range from old to newer. There are race cars, protype cars, and your typical classic car. This was an area that one can walk around in for a while. Even a non car person would find something to love.

The museum does give tours of the Hanna & Mckinney House, which is housed inside the museum. Their are tours daily to see the house. Tours are included in admission. The house is set up with rooms that represent different historical periods. Having the house lead by a tour guide is a good idea because you learn so much more about the house than if you went on your own. The house is a great place to see how people once lived, especially how the well to do lived. Make sure to sign up in the gift shop for a house tour as early as possible. The tours are limited and can fill up fast.

This museum is bigger than it lets on from the outside. You snake down one exhibit hall to another, with more to see. The Browns area is great, probably better if you are a true browns fan, but it is nice to see the history. The invention exhibit area was another great exhibit. It was nice to see some local inventions. It is hard to talk about museum exhibits in a review, as they might change, but these two exhibits were fun to see.

Their is a grand carousel to ride. This carousel comes straight out of 1910. We can not do the carousel justice in our description, so after your done reading this review hop on over to the carousel’s website page.

http://www.wrhs.org/explore/exhibits/euclid-beach-park-grand-carousel/

Call before hand and time your visit to go along with when a house tour is happening. This way you can see the museum after or before your tour and not have to wait around.

If your coming to Cleveland put the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center on your itinerary, you will find something new to learn.

This museum does cost along with a separate parking fee. Two carousel rides are included with admission.