Ohio is full of oddities.
From our quirky roadside attractions to our unique houses, we’ve got a lot of interesting things to look at and visit. But some of my absolute favorites have to be the weird exhibits and museums we’ve got sprinkled throughout the state.
Whether you’re looking to learn about this history of contraceptives or you want to see a massive collection of Troll dolls, Ohio has your back. Here are the weirdest museums in the Buckeye State.
The Columbus Washboard Company has been manufacturing hand-made washboards since 1895 and continues to offer a range of vintage laundry items and Appalachian gifts. You can book a private tour of the museum where you’ll learn everything from how to use a washboard to how to play a washboard.
Address: 14 Gallagher Ave., Logan, OH 43138
More info: Washboard Museum
The Troll Hole has over 20,000 troll items, with floor to ceiling shelves full of troll dolls, a Dreamworks Troll-themed room, an eclectic gift shop and the Grumpy Troll cafe. There is even a Troll Bridge and a Troll Sculpture garden that includes a 10 ft. Troll Mountain.
Address: 228 E Main St, Alliance, OH, 44601.
More info: Troll Doll Museum
Considering Marion’s hugely successful annual Popcorn Festival, it’s hardly surprising that they have a fantastic museum to go along with it. From popcorn wagons to peanut roasters, this museum is full of all kinds of popcorn machines. It’s one of two popcorn museums in the world and visiting is a popping good time.
Address: 169 E Church St Marion, OH 43302
More info: Wyandot Popcorn Museum
Located in the Dittrick Museum of Medical History at Case Western Reserve University, The Percy Skuy Collection on the History of Contraception is the largest, most comprehensive collection of historical contraceptives in the world. The exhibit showcases over a thousand items, from ancient texts with recipes for birth control to modern items like IUDs.
Address: 11000 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106
More info: History of Contraception Exhibit
The American Sign Museum is dedicated to the art and history of commercial signs, as well as sign making. It’s the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the country and covers over 100 years of American sign history. It’s a large space and as you wander through the 20,000 square feet, you’ll see the progression of technology and design, from painted metal to neon and everything in between.
Address: 1330 Monmouth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225
More info: American Sign Museum
Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum
If you find yourself in Hocking Hills, you should absolutely save a little time to check out the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. Reverend Paul Johnson began his collection more than 20 years ago and you can see the fruits of his labor, over 3,400 pencil sharpeners to be exact. It’s quirky and I don’t really understand why it exists, but I’m so happy it does. I do have some bad news. The museum is temporarily closed for renovations, but you can get updates over on Facebook.
Address: 13178 OH-664, Logan, OH 43138
A visit to the Allen County Museum is an absolute must. There’s a lot to check out here, but the highlight has to be the “things swallowed” exhibit. That’s right, folks. The Allen County Museum is home to an exhibit of over one hundred objects that the patients of Dr. Walter Yingling and Dr. Estey Yingling swallowed through the years. The items include a diaper pin, a lengthy piece of rubber hose, and even a set of dentures.
Address: 620 W Market St, Lima, OH 45801
More info: Allen County Museum
Established in 1988, the National Barber Museum and Hall of Fame strives to preserve and promote the history of the barbering profession. From the tools barbers have used throughout history to the barbers themselves, you can learn all about this profession that dates back thousands of years.
Address: 135 Franklin St, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
More info: National Barber Museum
The Early Television Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the technology from the early days of television. At the museum, you can learn about the history of early tv, from the mechanical systems of the 1920s to the life-changing introduction of color television in the 1950s. Television certainly feels like it’s been around forever to us, but it debuted 5 years after Betty White was born. That was just a teaser fact. To get the real scoop on all things tv, you’ll need to visit the museum yourself.
Address: 5396 Franklin Street, Hilliard, Ohio
More info: The Early Television Foundation and Museum
From 1893 to 1933, the Anti-Saloon League was a major force in American politics. Through lobbying and printed pamphlets, the Anti-Saloon League had a brief victory when the Prohibition Amendment was added to the United States Constitution. At the museum, visitors can learn all about the effectiveness of the Anti-Saloon League and how they lead a crusade against alcohol at the turn of the 20th century.
Address: 110 S State St, Westerville, OH 43081
More info: Anti-Saloon League Museum