Built in 1788 as a civilian fortification by the Ohio Company of Associates, Campus Maritus housed some of the first American settlers in what would soon become the state of Ohio. Although the fort was eventually disassembled, the blockhouse of General Rufus Putnam remained as a testament to the fort's important. In 1931, the house was joined by the Campus Maritus Museum, an institution dedicated to giving future generations a glimpse at the lives and migration of Ohio's pioneers, native inhabitants, and historical luminaries.
Size: The museum stands three stories high, with exhibits housing more than 100 artifacts that tell the story of Ohio's move from frontier to familiar state during the years from 1788 to 1970.
Eye-Catcher: The Rufus Putnam House remains in the same spot it stood when it was built in the 18th-century. Now restored to its original state, the house offers an interactive look at pioneer life complete with guided tours of the kitchen and bedchamber.
Rotating Exhibits: Temporary installations include Imagining Marietta, a 12-mural series depicting the settlement of the Northwest Territories, and Touched By Conflict: Southeastern Ohio & The Civil War.
Don't Miss: Billed as the oldest known building in Ohio, the original Ohio Company Land Office lets visitors step into the life of General Putnam as he surveyed and and divded the landscape of the territories.
While You're in the Neighborhood: You can also pay a visit to the Ohio River Museum?only one block away on the Muskingum River?to see the last intact coal-powered sternwheeler towboat.
The Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley may be a small space housed inside a storefront, but the square feet pack in a lot of fun and hands-on activities that enable kids to explore science and art through play. Past and current exhibits cover such topics as magnets?which can be used to push and pull ping pong balls?as well as more physically active explorations such as rock climbing walls or the opportunity to stand inside a giant bubble. Members and regular attendees get additional learn and play opportunities through classes, family events, kid-friendly performances, or even by hosting a child's birthday party in a museum without any decrepit mummies putting a damper on the fun.
Motorcycles have long played a crucial role in the American mythos. The vroom of a twin-cylinder engine conjures images of Evel Knievel soaring through the sky on a daredevil jump or James Dean perched astride his 1955 Triumph Trophy, clad in a black leather jacket and brimming with smoldering angst. Even those who haven't felt their hands on the throttle can appreciate the motorcycle as an all-American icon of freedom, rebellion, and individuality.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrates this iconography with exhibits that pay tribute to every aspect of motorcycling history. The museum's permanent collection is chock-full of memorabilia and ephemera from the early days of motorcycling, such as a 1885 Daimler Reitwagen and a turbo-powered penny-farthing from the same era. Visitors can also tour the Hall of Fame itself, a main-floor exhibition that celebrates the heroes of the racetrack and blacktop.
Whether defending the country at home or abroad, the American military has been responsible for some of the greatest achievements in human history. Motts Military Museum provides a permanent home for military artifacts, personally donated by many of the men and women who have served our country protecting our freedom and liberty, from the past two centuries of hard-fought battles.
Size: More than 10,000 square feet of exhibits on a four-acre parcel of land.
Eye Catcher: The Civil War exhibit features Union uniforms, a life-mask of President Lincoln, and belt buckles with bullets embedded in them.
Permanent Mainstay: A 36-foot Higgins Boat, one of very few left in the world. This one participated in seven landings in the South Pacific.
Don't Miss: A corn cob pipe that belonged to General Douglas MacArthur.
The Warther Museum, which was named Best Museum of 2010 by CityVoters, houses the Warther family's collection of intricately carved steam locomotives, more than 73,000 buttons, and more. The heart of the museum is Ernest Warther's wood, ebony, and ivory carvings of working steam engines, which include the Empire State Express, an eight-foot-long ivory train that was used to transport the Brooklyn Dodgers to state fairs. Mr. Warther, who earned the title World's Master Carver in the ’20s, also carved and displayed presidential canes and a working reproduction of a steel mill where he once worked.
The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum thrusts visitors into the midst of Pennsylvania's Trolley Era, conjuring bygone methods of travel with exhibits, rides, and a full roster of antique trolleys, including a horse-drawn streetcar from the 1870s. Hourly tours shepherd guests and members on their exploration of the museum's collection, starting with a video introduction before a scenic, four-mile ride fills the air with the sounds of century-oldf trolleys. Inside the visitor-education center, pictorial exhibits breathe life into storied eras, and stops inside the restoration shop illuminate how volunteer craftsmen restore vintage trolleys. Trolley fans can also add to their own memorabilia collections with souvenirs from the store, or borrow the museum spaces for birthday parties and rentals.