hidden in ohio

12 days of Ohio Holidays – Day #6

The Legendary Christmas Lights at Historic Clifton Mill

75 Water St., Clifton, Ohio

 http://www.cliftonmill.com/

Clifton Mill is located in Clifton, Ohio. The mill is one of the largest still in existence and has a rich history. Include on the mill property is a restaurant and country store.

When the holiday times come around, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, the mill and property really comes alive. The whole property is filled with over 3.5 million lights. This includes the mill, buildings, gorge, trees, bridges, and the gorge. The place is truly festive.

There are more than just lights to see at Clifton Mill. During the holiday time there is a Miniature Village, Santa Clause Museum, and a Toy Collection. The miniatures are fun to look at and will have you spending some time as there are many moving parts. Many of the miniatures show local or Ohio locations or inspirations. The miniature village is a surprise highlight of a visit to Clifton Mills during the holidays.

Another attraction is the Santa Claus Museum. This building is filled with every imaginable kind of Santa item. Yours eyes will have lots to look at. This is the more popular attraction and usually has a line outside.

On the hour many of the lights go dark.  Then the lights come back on for the light show set to music. The light show is not something to miss. So time it right and one can see a showing or two.

It does cost for any over the age of 7. The price is reasonable. Going during the week before Christmas break is less crowded. Parking is free. There is food you can purchase and gifts you can buy. It is mostly outdoors, so dress accordingly.

Clifton Mill at the holiday times is perfect for couples, singles, families, friends, neighbors, and really anyone.

Repost: CRYPTOZOHIO: Most Haunted in Ohio II

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

This a continuing list of places that claim to be “The Most Haunted” in Ohio. The location itself might not make the claim, but the claim is made by many people. In our last post (click here) we covered The most haunted City, House, Government Building, Prison, and Cemetery. Today we cover a few more of Ohio’s “Most Haunted”

Most Haunted Museum:

National Museum of the United States Air Force

In our post about the Ohio’s haunted museums we touched on the stories from the museum. Dedicated to the History of a branch of the Armed Service and housing weapons of destruction, the museum is the perfect recipe for ghosts stories and urban legends. The NMUSAF is bound to have a few things that remain long after the battles are fought.

… 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 its 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 last 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 transferred 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.

Most Haunted Island:

Johnson’s Island

Some people say that the “Most Haunted Island in Ohio” is South Bass Island, but with the size of land mass it is more of a haunted town than a haunted Island. Per acre Johnson’s Island is considered the “Most Haunted.” The island maybe small but it played a big role in the Civil War.

Johnson’s Island is located off the coast of lake Erie near Marblehead Lighthouse. The proximity to shore, about 1/2 mile away, made it a suitable location for a Civil War Prison and later Fort. The island is close enough to bring supplies, but far enough to discourage escape attempts. Despite the distance to shore making swimming a challenge in the warmer months, it was not much of a deterrent during the colder months when the lake would freeze over. The frozen lake would also make resupplying the prison a challenge. The harsh winter months were hardest on the prisoners from the south who were use to more mild winters. Disease and weather took a toll. Despite the problems, few prisoners escaped and only 200 men died, making it one of the lowest mortality rates of any prison during the war. But from that 200 men many may have not had easy deaths.

After the war the island was abandoned by the Army. Eventually it was used as a resort, farm land and a rock quarry. From the time the first civilians started to come to the island legends of the former inhabitants had started to be told. In the rock quarry a group of Italian immigrants, many who did not speak english, started singing a strange song one day. It was later found out that this song was Dixie. At the Confederate Cemetery voices can be heard. It is also said the Monument to the fallen soldiers has been seen to move around. The strange sightings are not just confined to the cemetery. While most were buried in the cemetery proper, graves have been found all over the small island. Most of the properties on the now inhabited island are said to be on top of a grave or two.

Most Haunted Inn:

Golden Lamb

Opened shortly after Ohio became a state The Golden Lamb is one of the oldest continually operating Inns in the nation. Over the years many famous people have spent the night there. While it was more famous during the 19th century, with every one from Mark Twain to every Ohio President stopping by, it still sees a good number of visitors each year.

With so many years of operation it is expected that tragedies and strange occurrences will happen.  Probably the weirdest accident to happen was that of lawyer Clement Vallandigham. While in his room trying to show fellow lawyers how his client’s “victim” could have shot himself accidentally, he accidentally shot himself. His client was found not guilty.  Vallandigham was not the only member of court to die in the inn. Charles Sherman, a Supreme Court Justice for the state of Ohio, while doing his required rounds of his district became ill. He was transferred to the Golden Lamb, which is across the street from the courthouse. He died a few days later. His death left his wife and children in dire straights, including future Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. The ghost that haunts the middle floors is said to be one of these two men.

Probably the most famous Ghost of the Inn is that of Sarah. She was the daughter of a former innkeeper and grew upon there.  Her room has been turned into a museum on the fourth floor. Some say this is to appease her, other say it is just a tourist attraction. It is said that late at night a young girl can be seen wandering around the halls near the room. Some say that the ghost is not that of Sarah however. Having lived to adulthood it is strange that she would come back as a child. The tricks the ghost play are not that of an adult but of childish youth. Many think it could be the spirit of Eliza Clay, daughter of famous senator Henry Clay, who died in the inn of a fever.

The Golden Lamb is open year round as a restaurant and working Inn. The Inn does not shy away from its history but celebrates it. This is one place that can be stayed in at night and one might get to experience the strange happenings. One can also visit during the day and see the historic rooms with a chance at a close encounter. For more stories of the Golden Lamb check out https://www.citybeat.com/home/article/13016077/golden-lamb-inn-ghost-hunt 

Most Haunted Park:

Wayne National Forest – Athens Unit

Wayne National Forest may not be a single park, but the parks within it can run together so much that it is hard to distinguish one from the other at times. The area of the forest that has been most cited in stories and legends is the portion surrounding Athens. This area includes Hocking Hills State Park and Lake hope State Park.

Moonville tunnel ror

As we wrote in our post on haunted state parks of Ohio, Lake Hope State Park  is home to Moonville Tunnel. This tunnel is an old abandoned rail tunnel that has seen it share of tragedies. Tales of former rail workers, citizens who fell from the bridges connecting the tunnel. Even without the stories the modern location is creepy all by itself.

… The tunnel is located off the Moonville rail trail. There is a high water trail down the road. This path will lead around the creek that runs high most of the warmer months. The tunnel itself is a run down popular area. The walls are lined with graffiti and trash. Even in the light of day the area is creepy and scary. The idea that the ghost of a lost railroad worker, or a local citizen, becomes almost a guarantee once one has visited the area. Well worth the hike.

Also located in this portion of Wayne National Forest is the ever popular Hocking Hills. This place is so popular that it draws citizens from across the state every weekend. Some stories are from first time campers who see or hear things that are natural in the deep forest of the region and attribute it to the legends of the park. While this may explain some of the tales told, so many more are told that there must be something lurking in the park.  From the natives who first inhabited the land to the Early explorers who are the name sake of the region, many a visitor has come to the place never to leave.

(These parks only contain a portion of the legends from the region see our post here for more)

Most Haunted Subway:

Cincinnati’s Abandoned Subway

Okay this is Ohio’s only Subway. The creepiness and the abandoned nature of it got it on our list. It is also one of, if not the, largest abandoned subways systems in the nation. The size of the thing has attracted many urban explorers ( We do not encourage trespassing), homeless citizens, and wild animals to visit the tunnels.

The subway system was very well-built and is in good order almost 100 years later. This in part due to the workmanship of the people who built it and in part to it supporting a busy road above. Like most projects of the time, a few workers deaths was not unheard of. But did the workers ever leave, or do they continue to stay and work on a system with little hope of becoming active. Explorers who have gone into the tunnels have said to hear creepy noises and even moaning. Many have also said to have found the camps of the homeless who have made the tunnels home. Most visitors come away from the Cincinnati Subway with an uneasy felling.

A documentary on the System has been produced and airs on PBS from time to time. It is available on Amazon. If you would like to visit the Tunnels of Ohio’s Subway, tours are offered on occasion. We recommend a tour due to the nature of the location and the legality of exploration. Visit https://www.cincymuseum.org/heritage-programs#subway-talk-and-walk for more information.

 

 

Repost: CRYPTOZOHIO: Most Haunted

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Some place seem to have residents that love the place. Really love it to death. Some places even have a lot of residents that seem to love the place beyond death. In Ohio a number of locations have decided to give themselves the title of “Most haunted…” Are they “The most Haunted”? Can anything really be the “Most.” We will let you decide. Here is a look in to some of them.

Most Haunted City:

Athens

The most haunted city in Ohio, or even one of the most haunted in the nation. Athens is located in the middle of the foothills of southeast Ohio. It is the hub of the area and most of the regions major services are located there. If people needed health care, higher education, or other things, they had to travel in to town. The Athens Lunatic Asylum was a mental health facility for over 100 years that served this purpose. It was known for performing lobotomies, electroshock therapy, hydrotherapy, and the use of psychotropic drugs. The hospital also had a cemetery on site. Around 1930 residents are buried in there. Many without names and just numbers. The facility is now The Ridges and houses the Kennedy Art Museum. As expected from a former mental facility, the location is said to be forever inhabited by many former patients.

The area that is Ohio University has more stories than rooms it seems. We have already mentioned the many stories and legends that the university holds. Some of these stories just don’t add up when looked into. This could be a case of students, wanting to believe in the strange, passing on legends to the newer crowd. Halloween is a big deal at OU with the Halloween block party being one of the largest in Ohio. Despite this large number of story that are made up, many more exist that are based in fact. This could be the former mental facility on campus, the area’s history as an American Indian village, or the fact that the school started almost 15 years before Ohio even became a state.  A place does not get the title of one of the “Most Haunted Universities in America” with a few things happening.

Most Haunted House:

Franklin Castle

Slightly outside of the heart of Cleveland is what some say is the most haunted house in Ohio. Built around 1883 this house was the former residence of Hannes Tiedemann and his family. About ten years after the house was built it saw its first death, the Tiedemann’s 15-year-old daughter. Soon after the family’s grandmother passed away. Within 3 years 3 more children had died. A year later Louise, the family mother, passed away.

Soon the house was sold and used as a German social club for many years. In 1968 the Romano family bought the castle. After a while the family complained of ghost. They performed exorcisms and had ghost hunting groups investigate, all to no avail. After years of hauntings they sold the property to Sam Muscatello. Muscatello had plans for the place but needed cash. To make money he offered haunted tours. Many say that the stories of the location seemed to increase during this time. Muscatello was known for inviting the media to the house and promoting its haunted nature. In one of the towers he even found human bones, which some wonder if he placed there himself. Despite

Over the years many rumors have been attached to the location. Stories of bootlegging, murders, and eerie happenings. Even if the stories are the work of an overactive promoter, many people say they have felt things in the house.

Most Haunted Prison:

Ohio Reformatory

Of course the most famous prison in Ohio is the considered the most haunted.  The Ohio Reformatory, Ohio’s official State Penal Museum. Opened to prisoners in 1896, the prison lasted almost 100 years. The Reformatory saw a large share of prisoners and was closed due to overcrowding.

With such a large population in a small area disease, accidents, and violence were bound to happen. During its time over 200 people died within the prisons walls. the East Cell block, the world’s largest free-standing cell block, was where most of the inmates were housed, but not the location of the most deaths. The 8 most haunted spots seem to be spread out all over the place. The most haunted being the location where men were left to themselves, Solitary Confinement.

Over the years many TV shows and movies have been filmed in the prison. The most famous being The Shawshank Redemption. The most popular thing to film however, besides music videos, is Ghost Hunting shows. Almost every paranormal show has taken time to visit.

Tours are given of the overall prison, the Hollywood history of the location, and the popular haunted areas. Tours can be booked from the Reformatory’s website: https://www.mrps.org/explore/paranormal-programs/ghost-walks

Most Haunted Government Building:

Ohio Statehouse

The cornerstone of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus was laid in 1839 and the building first opened for business in 1857. During that time many workers were from the nearby prison. Some even died during the construction. Throughout the lower levels and parking garage it is said that sounds of construction can still be heard. During the 1990’s restoration graffiti was found from the workers.

While many government building had been opened before it, the Statehouse is the most famous in the state. With all the people who have worked in the building, and the many famous visitors, it is also considered the most haunted. The most famous visitor said to revisit from time to time is Abraham Lincoln. He first visited in 1859. He returned in 1861 on his way to DC to be sworn in as president. It was inside the statehouse that he learned he had officially won the presidency. His final visit was in 1865 when he laid in memorial after his assassination. Some say that he can be seen wandering the rotunda. Sometimes he is seen with the daughter of Governor Samuel Chase. He is also said to dance with the lady in grey from the nearby Camp Chase cemetery. Along with the 4 working cannons the grounds of the Statehouse are guarded by Civil War veterans who never left their post. Some even say they are even guarding Lincoln to this day.

The most famous worker to have stayed is that of Thomas Bateman. Bateman was a clerk of the senate for over 50 years. Very studious and rule bound, it is said that at exactly 5 o’clock he can be felt moving from the senate floor to the hall way outside and the lights can be seen flickering to indicate the end of the work day.  Along with Bateman many other workers have been heard late at night. Some say it is just the echoing of the stone floors, others say it is lawmakers forever trying to get one last bit of work done long after they should have left.

The State house offers haunted tours yearly along with its daily tours. Ohio Statehouse event page has information on this popular tours and many more things to do at the Statehouse..

Most Haunted Cemetery:

Woodland Cemetery – Dayton

While most cemeteries have a story or two about something “living” among the non-living, this location has a few more than most in the state. We have talked about the many hauntings at this picturesque location before. The most famous is of a dog who is said to return to visit his young owner. The statue of the dog has been said to breath and move the many tributes left beside it. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily throughout 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.

Haunted lantern tours and most of the scenic fall tours fill up early in September. To book checkout their website. Many other tours are available throughout the year.  Even without the haunted aspect this is worth a visit.
http://www.woodlandcemetery.org/tours-and-events

 

CRYPTOZOHIO: Creepy Columbus

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

We have talked about a lot of creepy places across the city before. The ghosts of OSU, the creepy graves of Green Lawn, the creepy creatures of the Ohio History Center, or the most haunted government building. Here are a few more creepy places:

Camp Chase:
During the Civil war space was needed to train soldiers. Space was also needed to house prisoners of the war. Camp Chase was such a place. Unfortunately not all the prisoners made it to the end of the war. The training grounds are gone but the graves remain in the Camp Chase Cemetery. A lady in grey is said to be found from time to time searching the grave markers for her lost love. Soldiers have also been reported come back to the site.

Ghost Trolley:
Just outside Columbus is a little hidden gem of a museum. The Ohio Railway Museum. While most of the state may not know of the place, come October it is crowded with people hoping to get a ride on the Ghost Trolley. Aimed at younger kids, riders are given a short ride then the lights are turned out and the story of the Ghost Trolley is told.

Chief Leatherlips:
Chief SHATEYORANYAH was a Wyandot leader. He was well liked by most and was given the name “leatherlips” because he always kept his promises. He was also one of the signers of the Treaty of Greenville. He was also worked with the American settlers. This angered many of his people, including his brother Roundhead. He ordered Leatherlips executed for witchcraft.  He was buried in Dublin, Ohio.

After his death the site was untouched until 1889 when a monument was built. As the story goes when it was built workers unknowingly had the correct location and disturbed his bones. The bones were replaced and the headstone was lovingly placed. All was good. A local golf tournament that is held nearby is said to be cursed however for bringing to much traffic and noise to the area. Almost every year the event is rained on, with it having to be shortened some years.

In a near by park is a larger statue honoring the man. This statue is more well known and is where most people visit. The head is large and an overlook is on top it. The face seems to be staring off in to the distance.

Otherworld:
Otherworld (https://otherworldohio.com) is a permanent art display in an abandoned shopping center. It is a strange place with things everywhere, but unlike an art museum this place is open for touch. Half of the exhibit is just figuring out what is interactive and what is not. There is no description to the story and the visitor must find out what is going on on their own. All that is known is

“You have volunteered as a beta tester at Otherworld Industries, a pioneering tech company specializing in alternate realm tourism. But upon arrival at the desolate research facility, you’re left on your own… Exploring restricted laboratories inevitably leads you to discover a gateway to bioluminescent dreamscapes featuring alien flora, primordial creatures, and expanses of abstract light and geometry…”

The whole place is well themed and trippy. While the place is not haunted it is very creepy. The artists did a great job of theming the location. Every room is different but fit well together. A great place to have a night out and be creeped out, without worrying about bringing anything strange back with you.

Repost: CRYPTOZOHIO: Bridges of Ohio

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

It seems like stories about bridges have been around as long as we have been making them. Songs have been written about their weaknesses. Folk tales tell of trolls taking a toll to cross them. Everywhere there is a body of water that needs crossing and a bridge is made, a story seems to follow. The rivers and lakes of Ohio are no exception.

Cry Baby Bridge – this is one of the most famous of all tales. A mother is distraught for some reason and tosses her baby in to the water. Late at night the cries of the baby, or the mother, can be heard. This is such a popular tale in Ohio that almost every county has one or two. If you can find a teenage person, they can tell you where the nearest one is. Here is a list of just a few.

Jilted Lovers – From the famous star-crossed lovers of Shakespeare, to the modern angsty teens of today’s movies,  stories of love gone wrong has been around a long time. Ohio even has its own tales of love gone wrong over water. Hummell Bridge (Sugar Grove) is the haunted by a young woman who took her lovers head and her own life when the fighting got to be too much. Jonson Covered Bridge (Revenge,Ohio) haunted by a woman who killed herself after finding out about her husband’s infidelity. Bessie Little Bridge (Dayton) the site of a womans murder made to look like a suicide. The stories of jilted lovers and bridges is almost as numerous as that of cry babies.

Silver Bridge
– Once crossing the Ohio river at Gallipolis, Ohio was the famous Silver Bridge. During Rush hour, December 15, 1967, the bridge collapse. The bridge took with it 46 souls. The cause of the collapse was found to be just one eyebar in a suspension chain. The collapse was a tragedy, and a story in its own right, but the events surrounding it make it a legend. For almost a month before the citizens of the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia reported seeing a mysterious creature flying around. The creature, later named Mothman, was described as a man with 10 foot wings and glowing red eyes. After the collapse of the bridge, the sightings ended. This has caused many to think the bridge and the Mothman were linked.

The Y Bridge – As with most famous landmarks the Y bridge in Zanesville has ghost too.The Licking River ghost rattles the windows of the area and Dr. Isaac Fowler recreates his mis-fortunate ride, where he missed the bridge and went into the drink.

Many more stories of haunted bridges live across the great state. Some other site with great info are: http://www.forgottenoh.com/Haunts/roads.html 

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

Address:

Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43210

https://cartoons.osu.edu

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus. This museum houses the world’s largest collection of cartoons and comics. The college started collecting artwork in the 1970’s when it was given the collection of Dayton native and world famous cartoonist Milton Caniff, and has grown since. The museum is open to public most afternoons. Their is also library where one can study cartoons and comics.

The collection includes, editorial cartoons, comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, spots cartoons, magazine cartoons. The museum itself is made of a few galleries filled with cartoons and comics. There is tons to look at an explore. The museum has special exhibits through out the year and many exhibits are rotated. When we went there was a really great Mad Exhibit.

The admission is free, so coming many times a year is needed to see the new exhibits. There is parking in the area, free and at a cost. Most likely, one will have to pay, so look at the options and find out the best deals. The time it takes to visit the museum all depends on how long one spends reading the cartoons. There is lots of fun comics to read, so take the museum leisurely.  The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is really unique museum that is easy to access. You do not have to be a lover of comics, to enjoy this museum.

Tip: The museum is located on the campus of one of Americas biggest Universities. The place will be busy during the school year and a madhouse at football time. 

 

 

The hills of Hocking County Region and what to do.

In the southwest corner of Ohio, about 1/4 of the way up the map is the region surrounding the county of Hocking. The county has less than 30,000 residents. The region is in a part of the state crisscrossed with back roads and no interstates. Yet despite it small size and out of the way location millions of people visit it each year. The big question is what do all these people do in Hocking County and the surrounding region?

Museums:
For such a lightly populated place the region has a large number of museums. From the small museum with a great point to the giant washboard and its museum and factory  How about the birthplace of a famous Civil War General, or a glass hot shop and museum. Like art? The region has many art museums too. A good list is available at http://www.explorehockinghills.com/things-to-do/indoor-activities/arts/museums/

Outdoor Activities:
Paddling on the Hocking River or Lake Logan is always a popular option. They even have a water jetpack adventure. Biking, both mountain and road, are a good way to get exercise. Golf, both mini and big, is offered in the region. The area is known for its large forested hills and state parks. Hiking and simply enjoying nature seems to a very popular.

Shopping:
The region does not have many large big box chain stores, but makes up for it in the many little art studios and mom and pop shops dotting the region. A quick search on the internet, or with the help of the friendly staff at the regional welcome centers, will bring up a large list of places to find that unique item or gift.

Free Stuff:
The amount of free stuff to do in the area will make it a sure draw for people from all over the state. We tried to put a list together but found this one covered more than we could even imagine. http://www.explorehockinghills.com/things-to-do/free-fun/

Or one could just visit  the State parks with ravines. They always seem to be a popular option.

Special thanks to Hocking Hills Tourism Association. Their Website is overflowing with things to do in the region. Their Welcome Centers are a must stop for the beginning of any tour of the area.

 

12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #11

The “A Christmas Story” House

http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com

Every year TBS has a tradition of playing a Christmas Story for 24 hours on Christmas eve and day. Many people across America do not know that the film, based on stories from Jean Shepherd‘s book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash“, was filmed in Cleveland. The house that was used for exterior shots and the opening of the “Fragile” package has become a museum and is open year round. This time of year, however, is the perfect time to visit the house. The original house has been decorated to match the sound stages from the movie and tours are given. Overnight stays are also offered.  The Bumpuses’ house next door (for overnight stays), a Museum across the street, and a gift shop are also on site. The House is located in a residential area so be mindful of the neighbors when visiting.

a few blocks away from the House is

West side Market

http://westsidemarket.org

Our Review of The West Side Market

The West Side Market is a nationally known market. The market is a great place to stock up on fresh meat, vegetables, and other goodies for your holiday meals. The site is also a great place to see the history of Cleveland. The citizen of Cleveland have been going to the market for the last 106 years so you know they must be doing something right.

12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #1

The Legendary Christmas Lights at Historic Clifton Mill

Our review

The Legendary Lights at the Historic Clifton Mill have been lighting up the holidays for the last 31 years. The display started with a few lights on the mill and has exploded to the hills, cliff, and creek surrounding it. The display will even put on a show on the hour every hour. The Light display maybe a reason to go but it is so much more than that. The Mill also features a vintage toy room, a Santa room, and a miniature city with many moving parts.

With over 4 million lights every year is a big year. 2018, however, is a big year for the lights at Clifton Mill. This year they have made the USATODAYS 10best public holiday lights display nomination list. They also will be on the December 3 Great Holiday Light Fight on ABC. With so much national exposure make sure dress warm and take some time to see them this year.

To vote for Clifton Mill as the best public lights:
https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-public-holiday-lights-display/legendary-lights-of-clifton-mill-clifton-mill/

Bicycle Museum of America

7 West Monroe St., New Bremen, OH 

http://www.bicyclemuseum.com

There is a museum in New Bremen that houses a large collection of bicycles. Yes, bicycles. This is a classic example of a museum that house a unique focused collection.

When we entered this museum we were given the option to watch a short movie. This movie was about early bikes on display at an outdoor show. The movie did a good job at explaining early bikes. At first, it seems like a movie, might not seem like something to watch, but it did help with understanding the rest of the museum.

When visiting the museum we were given a guided tour and guide pamphlet to the bikes on the first floor. The guide has on it numbers that correspond with number located next to the bikes.  This was very handy in explaining the bikes. This really helped us in understanding all the historical bikes. The museum house the first bike, big wheeled bikes, and many other historic bikes.

The museum seemed small to us, until we traveled to the second floor. On the second floor there was Pee-wee Herman’s bike, recumbent bikes, classic kids bikes, and other bikes from more recent decades. There really was so many fascinating bikes to look at. These bikes brought back many memories. There was such a vast array of type of bikes.

Then a stairway appears leading to another higher section. At first it looked like just a room full of military bikes. The bikes were cool. Some were for transporting equipment, some were actual gun platforms. Then we saw the largest portion of the museum and realized we were on the third floor. The large room in back has a nice collection of bikes from all over. The room is so full of bike it starts to become a little overwhelming.

There is a room on the first floor full of medals, minerals, and other artifacts on display. It is a hodge podge of items well displayed. Most related to the area, or biking culture. The room is a nice to see before heading up stairs to the larger array of bikes.

For all the bikes on display there are many more in storage, so coming back to museum might mean seeing some new bikes in rotation.

The Bicycle Museum of America is a hidden find of a museum. This museum is very interesting and has some very historic artifacts. One does not have to love bikes or even really any interest to find this museum fascinating. Being able to be so close to historic bikes is very unique. Also the staff is knowledgeable at explaining the bikes and putting them in historic context. The museum is a must see, so pedal on over to this gem.

Tips:

  • Watch the film presentation first.
  • Take a guided tour
  • Use the guide to tour the first floor
  • Visit the second floor
  • Take time to see each artificat
  • Ask lots of question, the staff is very knowledgable
  • It might be helpful to visit the bikes in chronological order.