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Explore Columbus: 9 Unusual Museums in Central Ohio

Julia Norris Julia Norris Explore Columbus: 9 Unusual Museums in Central Ohio
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You’ve been to the Columbus Art Museum, the Wexner Center, COSI and the Ohio History Center. But have you been to the doll museum, the cartoon museum or the motorcycle hall of fame? Central Ohio is home to numerous niche and speciality homes for collections, memorabilia, and historical relics of yesteryear in many communities including Hilliard, Urban, Worthington and Groveport. Today, we take a look at what nine of them have to offer you:

The National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame

Located in Canal Winchester at 2 South High Street, the National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of professional barbers. See their large collection of shaving mugs, antique barber chairs and the faces of the great men who created  over a century of sharp cuts and close shaves. The museum is currently “open by chance or by appointment,” so either test your luck or call (614) 837-8400 to arrange a visit. Entrance to the museum costs $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for students.

For more information, visit www.nationalbarbermuseum.org.

Doll and Toy Museum

Also located in Canal Winchester, at 700 Winchester Pike, is the Doll and Toy Museum dedicated to “preserving the heritage of children.” Here you will find many of your favorite childhood toys like Barbie and Chatty Cathy as well as collectors items. The museum also offers a doll repair service and a gift shop. The Doll and Toy Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission costs $3 and is free for children under six.

For more information, visit www.dollmuseumohio.org.

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum

Located in Sullivant Hall on the OSU campus at 1813 N. High St, is the world’s largest collection of comic strips. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum holdings include 300,000 original cartoons, 45,000 books, 67,000 serials, 3,000 linear feet of manuscript materials, 2.5 million comic strip clippings and newspaper pages. Everything from editorial cartoons to graphic novels are researched and kept on the premises. Current exhibits of note include “Exploring Calvin and Hobbes” and “Eye of the Cartoonist: Daniel Clowes’s Selections from Comics History.” According to Jenny Robb, the Curator of the museum, “I think that what I would want our legacy to be is the place that really saved comics.” Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit cartoons.osu.edu.

Central Ohio Fire Museum and Learning Center

Located at 260 N. Fourth Street is the Central Ohio Fire Museum, a restored 1908 fire station. Found within are pieces of fire equipment dating all the way back to the days of push carts and horse draw carriages. Group tours can be arranged by appointment and there is also a children’s play area. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for children.

For more information, visit www.centralohiofiremuseum.com.

The Early Television Foundation and Museum

Located in Hilliard at 5396 Franklin Street is The Early Television Foundation and Museum. Here you will find television equipment that dates back as early as the 1920s, much of which is still in working condition. The museum is “dedicated to the preservation of the technology from the early days of television” and its collection includes 150 sets on display. Museum hours of operation are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment during weekdays. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children over 6.

For more information, visit www.earlytelevision.org.

The Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum

Located on the campus of Urbana University at 570 College Way is the Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum. The museum has the largest known collection of memorabilia and texts written about John Chapman. Holdings include a cider press from 1850, wood and bark from original trees planted by Chapman and seedlings from the last known plantings of Johnny Appleseed that have now been transplanted in the courtyard of the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional times can be arranged by appointment.

For more information, visit www.nationalapplemuseum.com.

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

Located in Pickerington at 13515 Yarmouth Dr., the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is dedicated to the purpose of recognizing, recording and preserving the heritage of motorcycling. Historical information, memorabilia, a collection of classic bikes and special exhibits related to motorcycling can all be found there. A current exhibit of note is “Dirt-Track! All-American Racing.” The museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for AMA Members is $5, $9 for members of national motorcycle organizations, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for students 12-17 and free for children 11 and under. Family rates are also available.

For more information, visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

Motts Military Museum

Located in Groveport at 5075 South Hamilton Rd is the Motts Military Museum. The goal of the Museum is to “educate the public on the importance of America’s military past through the documentation, collection, interpretation, and preservation of tangible artifacts and personal stories of the men and women who served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces.” There is an array of collections and exhibits but of particular note are the “POW Exhibit,” “NASA,”“1776,” and the “World War I” exhibit which is particularly relevant as the centennial remembrance of the Great War is now underway. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $4 for seniors.

For more information, visit www.mottsmilitarymuseum.org.

Ohio Railway Museum

Located in Worthington at 990 Proprietors Road is the Ohio Railway Museum, one of the oldest railroad museums in America. According to them, “If you love trains, this is the place to be. We have steam, electric, and diesel to see.”Train Rides are offered every hour on their streetcars and passenger coach. Exhibits and displays showcase the history of railroading for all ages. The museum is open Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for military, $6 for children four and over and free for children under three.

For more information, visit www.ohiorailwaymuseum.org.

gallerie-bar-bistroColumbus Underground is kicking off the summer with Explore Columbus Week! From June 2nd to June 8th, we’ll be sharing unique places to visit and experiences to have all throughout the region, sponsored by our friends at the Gallerie Bar & Bistro. Gallerie Bar & Bistro proudly embraces Ohio’s rich agricultural heritage and remarkable craftsmanship by featuring items from local farmers and artisans who maintain sustainable practices in the creation their products. Starting July 10, on the second Thursday of each month we are offering a monthly Supper Club for our city to experience creative coursed dinners from the kitchen of Chef Bill Glover and his team matched with unique pairings of wine, spirits, and beer. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.galleriebarandbistro.com.

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