The Other Museums of Ohio

Oh sure, you can visit MOCA, The Cleveland Museum of Art, go see Balto stuffed and on display, or visit any number of Hall of Fames in this god forsaken state — and why not? Sure they’re great, you could go and do that. However, if you are a fan of road trips, the bizarre, kitsch, or just have super specific interests that you are certain no one else has — you are in luck. Ohio has a lot of weird collections on display for public consumption! Here are some of the “other” museums on my list…

If you find yourself on the way to Cedar Point or the Erie Islands, you can check out the Merry-Go-Round Museum. No, not the clothing store from the 1980s! I mean actual carousels.

Alliance, Ohio now has The Feline Historical Museum. It is brand new, and I know some of you crazy cat people are curious to check it out. 260 E. Main St., Alliance , Ohio. It’s free!

Also in Alliance is a bizarre favorite and something to behold. The Troll Hole! They have a cafe and gift shop of course, but there is a waterfall, a grotto, and children get their own doll to hold during the tours.

Photo Jul 06, 2 49 39 PM

Canton is a horrible and awful place, but if you do go, check out the weirdness that is the Canton Classic Car Museum. My husband and I spent part of an afternoon here looking for Johnny Carson’s DeLorean (which was sold off) and I can tell you this place is bizarre. Lots of non-car related artifacts, toys, and collectibles combined with an array of hood ornaments and funeral cars. It’s kind of fun.

If that doesn’t do the trick and you still need to keep yourself busy in Canton — city of the former HQ of the Hoover company — you can visit The Vacuum Cleaner Museum. Um, yeah.

If you venture down to Cincinnati, there is the American Sign Museum. See, you don’t have to go all the way to Vegas for the Neon Graveyard after all (which is never open when I’ve gone anyways!). I am a lover of signage and Americana, so I may have to venture to this place next time I’m in Cincy.

The Harris Dental Museum. I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t feel pain or mind going to the dentist. “Is that all you got?” is what I said after my last root canal. So if you aren’t afraid of the dentist — or the creepy little house the museum is housed in — you might enjoy this place.

Of course there is the new Museum of Divine Statues in Lakewood Ohio that I recently visited.


The Dittrick Museum of Medical History Located at Case Western in Cleveland, it is a great place for research, lectures, and old medical illustrations through the centuries. This is one of my favorite places in Cleveland! According to the illustration below, if you are a young man who touches himself, you will get ill and start wearing a turban (those French people in the 1700s sure were wacky)


The Bicycle Museum. Hey, I know the whole fixed gear bike thing is all the rage. Bike messengers and tweed ride fetishists are sure to get excited about this one!

The Wyandot Popcorn Museum, because some people are nutty about their popcorn, and here is a place to see vintage machines among other popcorn related items.

Barber Museum and Hall of Fame Apparently it has lots of cool old chairs, signs, and blades. It would have been funnier if this were located in Barberton.

The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magic had gotten so big and popular they moved to a larger space and still are bursting at the seams! Besides the private collection of Mr. Buckland, the curators put on art exhibitions and event talks with special guests. Dig their bookstore too! 

And there you have it! Just some of the museums here in Ohio!

5 thoughts on “The Other Museums of Ohio”

  1. The history of contraception collection at the Dittrick is pretty cool. I believe there is a part of the collection endowed by a Dr. Harry Beavers, real name! What are the chances?

  2. Hi! I just came across your blog while looking for some pictures of Mary Coyle, in Akron. I’m from Canton, and while reading this post I thought it’s too bad you didn’t have someone from Canton to show you around the city. After hating Canton for a while, and leaving for college, I returned to meet some great people who helped me find this whole Canton sub-culture I didn’t know existed here- open-house shows with great local bands on balconies of downtown apartments, a hidden warehouse downtown run by independent artists and musicians who collaborate and throw random parties open to whoever stumbles by, new art galleries, the best coffee & tea shop I’ve experienced in northeast Ohio, a farmer’s market downtown, some new, fun restaurants & a great sorta hidden martini bar on 4th & Market, kitschy bars full of interesting people, two amazing historic ice cream joints, a semi-new new live music venue, some vintage shops, some pretty epic festivals and parades… all of this is behind what you might see at first glance- a glance that might not be spectacular at first, but even at a cursory judgement I wouldn’t call horrible and awful. I guess it’s all in who you meet and what they show you to love about the city.

    All that being said, when our gang tires of winters filled with bowling, bars, and the same ol’ places, we definitely enjoy hanging out in Akron and the quirky neighborhoods of Cleveland too! That’s another thing I like about Canton- being pretty close to other fun places. Anyways… sorry this turned into an epic comment! Just wanted to share some Northeast Ohio love. 🙂

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