Eventually it’s destined to arrive: the final day of vacation. For us, that last destination was the Ohio History Center.
The morning was leisurely, beginning with one of the trip’s highlights for me — the cinnamon rolls on the breakfast bar each day at Holiday Inn Express, where we spent most of our nights. Yum!
We had a short, 30 minute drive to Columbus, Ohio. Easy, right?
Well, you would think so. But as we edged closer and closer to the History Center, we noticed the traffic getting worse and worse. This was strange. On a Saturday morning?
As we got really close to our destination, the traffic became truly awful. Policemen were everywhere. We realized at some point that there was a huge, and I do mean huge, auto event of some type right next door. I later learned it was the Goodguys 19th PPG Nationals. Friends, I have no idea what this involves. But trust me when I tell you, there are many people, many MANY people, who do.
A few wrong turns and some police assistance later, we finally rolled into the Ohio History Center parking lot. I think we were one of maybe a dozen people here on this particular day (this may have been due to others knowing about the event next door and therefore avoiding the Center at this time; I hope so).
So. The Ohio History Center was a nice museum, with lots of what you’d expect from a museum. I walked through at a brisk pace, because the gargantuan event next door had put us behind schedule, plus this was the end of an entire week of visiting such places. We all have our limits.
A two-headed calf — isn’t this just the type of thing you’d expect to see in a museum? The info said that this calf had been a fixture here for years, and that it was one of the most popular exhibits with school kids.
One of the exhibits I most enjoyed was Lustron Homes. These homes were made of porcelain-enameled steel and were built in the post-WWII era. They were prefab and were popular since houses often needed to be put up quickly after the war. There are still many around the country, and I remember reading an article about one locally that was moved in recent years due to road construction in the area.
There were several beautiful photographs of current Lustron Home owners in their homes, along with their thoughts on the houses. And there was an actual Lustron Home to walk through. It kind of reminded me of the Dymaxion House, which I really enjoy at the Henry Ford Museum.
It was neat to walk through the house. The walls were all metal — you hung pictures not with a hammer and nails, but with magnets. Out back, there was the entrance to a bomb shelter. So fascinating to see how times change with home decor. I thought often about how much bigger our houses are these days. How much more “stuff” most of us have. In some ways, it would be refreshing to return to these simpler times.
There was a small display on White Castle, too. Did you know that the chain originated in Ohio? I didn’t, although I have good memories of eating White Castle hamburgers on trips to Cincinnati Reds games as a child.
The fun doesn’t stop with the museum. Out back, there is a historical village — kind of like Greenfield Village or Conner Prairie, on a smaller scale.
The buildings with flags outside the door had costumed reenactors inside. I popped into a few to see what I could learn.
This lady, in the millinery shop (I think), was fascinating. She had made her outfit (she showed me the hoops and petticoats — AND the wool leggings she was wearing on this hot, humid day). She talked about all the research she had done about sewing during this time period, and the facts she had come up with to help her keep the sewing machine in good repair. And she does all this on a volunteer basis. I was reminded again of the fact that the majority of jobs that sound really interesting to me are either volunteer-only or offer dirt-poor pay. Why couldn’t I be fascinated with physics? Ha.
After a bit more walking around, we piled back into the van for the trip home. It’s been a good one — thanks for sharing it with me!