The Garst Museum

Earlier this week we talked about the Annie Oakley exhibit at the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio. They do a nice job telling the story of this famous Ohioan but there’s a lot more to see at this museum.

The museum uses local artifacts and regional history to tell a much bigger story. For example, one large room of farm implements, vehicles and other technology consists largely of items donated by locals. It’s all part of a big picture narrative about how Americans farmed, cooked, sewed and got around in the nineteenth century. Their collection of sleighs and their horse drawn mail coach are wonderful.

It is even fun to look at some of the machines and try to guess what they are for – I especially loved the apple cider press and early gas generators.

They have a Main Street where you can catch a glimpse of nineteenth century businesses like the bank and doctor’s office. The same concept is used in showing home life in kitchens, parlors and bedrooms – both plain and elaborate.

There’s an exhibit about the Treaty of Versailles and another about Lowell Thomas. One of my favorite exhibits has military uniforms from the wars we’ve been in. There are many, including a uniform worn by a local woman who was an Army helicopter pilot. Another favorite of mine was memorabilia and the cape of a Gold Star Mother.

There are Scout uniforms, folk art, doll houses, Currier and Ives prints, antique dolls and more packed into this space. There’s something to appeal to most history buffs.

The Garst also has a local research room that is currently closed because of Covid. However, volunteers are still around to help with visitor research needs.

In terms of pandemic safety, they do a great job keeping things sanitized. There are clean restrooms and a nice gift shop. The ladies running the place were also helpful, providing directions to Annie’s grave and lunch advice when asked.

I have another story to tell from this museum- a special story about a young man. Stay tuned. It’s sad but inspiring and one I think we should all know.

Visit their website to find admission, hours and more. And, of course, don’t forget to look out for the Annie Oakley attractions while you’re in the neighborhood.