Ottawa Metro Park Campground
Pull Thru # 13
Bill wasn't excited about seeing any sights yesterday until I told him there was a display on John Dillinger at the local county musuem. I checked the hours and they were open from 1 to 4. Didn't sound like much of a museum to have hours like that but we took a chance.
What a chance we took! We were immediately greeted and told there was no charge but they did except donations.
The docent told us to take the circular steps downstairs as we'd have a good view of the Shay Locomotive. Now if you saw the title of this blog, you'd think we were bragging about our daughter, Shay. She is a ten, but actually this is about a 24 ton, locomotive that was built in 1925.
The interesting part about the Shay Locomotive number 10 was that when they expanded the museum, they put the locomotive in place and erected the building around at.
There were so many unique exhibits. There was one on the wall I almost missed until a docent pointed it out. A doctor had a collection of items that he removed from patients esophogus and lungs. Each item was on a card, with the date of removal, the name and age of the patient. You'd think these were all children, but I must say there were more older people than children.
There were the usual wagons but the Conestoga wagon was complete with all the items the pioneers would have taken west and no where to sleep or have babies as in the westerns movies.
Much to Bill's delight there was a collection of antique firearms, a military exhibit and a display of the bomb squad for the local police department.
I didn't realize that Westinghouse which made the toaster, fans, and radios was in this area.
There was a unique story about the Artkraft Sign Company that made neon signs. In 1946 a neon sign was shipped to Logan, Utah where a new Westinghouse appliance store was scheduled to open. A small business across the street which sold Westinghouse appliances complained about unfair competition. Westinghouse scrapped the idea of the new store and gave the neon sign to business owner "as a token of good will". Unfortunately, the business owner did not have enough room on his storefront to erect the neon sign. In 1992 the owner's grandson found the sign still in a crate and donated it to the museum.
Another interesting item was six-pounder brass cannon which was built in 1843 and had a range of 1500 yards. It was donated by the Buckeye Pipe Line Company of Lima, who used
TThe Allen County Museum had this to say about John Dillinger:
"The 1930's was the decade for notorious bank robbers like Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma and Pa Barker and her boys. In October of 1933 the Allen County Sheriff's Department had the responsibility of guarding one such infamous bank robber, John Dillinger.
The death of Sheriff Sarber lead the FBI to name Dillinger as Public Enemy #1. Law offices eventually captured or killed Dillinger and his 6 men in the resulting manhunt."
They had the jail, the camera that took his photo, the sheriff's gun that was in his desk and later retrieved in Tucson, life size statues of Dillinger and Sarber.
There was a Mt. Vernon display. Every detail of Mt. Vernon was captured in this scale size home. I was amazed at all the tiny accessories.
There was a mineral exhibit room and had an ultra violet light darkroom to show how the minerals changed under the light.
There were so many interesting different displays. Sometimes I think museums are so so, but this one proved to be a real jewel. I'm glad we arrived at 1 pm to have time to tour it. The MacDonnell house, a Victorian mansion, had tours, but we didn't finish the museum in time to see it.
Now you may have noticed that I didn't insert any photos. As we entered the museum we were told personal photos were okay, but not for the internet. The brochure also had a warning "unauthorized publication is a violation of US Copyright law."
This was the Children's Garden which we even enjoyed walking through.
We are meeting friends tomorrow in Monroe for the next week.
We'll stay here another day to catch up on laundry and just relax. It promises to be a busy week.
I'll save the next blog for last nights adventure.