Allen County Museum

& Historical Society

Why does the Allen County Museum matter and what are you most proud of?
  1.   The museum is a repository for the area’s history and a disseminator of said history to researchers, and the general public.  I'm most proud that with a small staff, under adverse conditions, they have been able to provide service and maintain the reputation the museum has built over the years.


  1.   Our museum regularly offers programs and opportunities to educate and entertain our citizens.  I have enjoyed free concerts there... I know that the people running the museum LOVE LIMA. 


  1.   Our museum is a repository of many and varied things that help people remember and establish mental connections with things that have caused others to be inventive and creative...  I am always amazed at the new discoveries a little investigation or research often reveals, and generally leaves me hungry to find more!


  1.   What I am most proud of about our museum is its accessibility  to the public.  The museum is open as needed during the school year for visits by local schools, and hosts many community events throughout the year.  In an age when noisier and shinier  distractions of an electronic nature compete for the attention of both young and old, our museum is a beacon of education and excitement that has improved tremendously the  downtown environment of Lima.  The daily traffic at the museum is one of the best indicators that our museum does indeed, matter.


  1.   I’m mostly proud of the Museum staff and their endeavors to reach the largest and most diverse audience.  By sharing their Sherman tank throughout Ohio, they bring diverse communities together in celebrations that honor our country’s history.  They inspire our future by sharing our past.  As our Nation struggles with financial recovery, you can walk the halls of the museum and learn about our nation’s past struggles with a staff that reflects the historic heart of America.


  1. I've lived here, except when in the military, all my life, and like one's genealogy experience, one associates, in this case, Allen County as a factual part of this life.  I am most proud of what this museum does in preserving so many facets of my life in a most professional and comprehensive way.  Allen County should be most proud to have such an outstanding museum.


  1.   The Allen County Museum is a gem in this community.  It shows us through words, through photos, through displays and through hands-on activities how this community was created. ...the best part about the museum is that It's free.  Visitors can make a donation if so moved, but anyone and everyone can come and take part in our community museum to see all the reasons our ancestors staked out their claim and stayed in Allen County.  It's inspiring.


  1. Our museum is one of the most complete comprehensive museums around.  It is well displayed and has knowledgeable docents to guide and advise our tourists.


  1. Not only does the Allen County museum link us to Allen County's past which it does magnificently well, it has many unique items not found in other museums.  We have the Children's Discovery Center.  Many patrons have remarked that it is similar to COSI, only smaller.


  1.   As only a volunteer in support of the museum and their field projects, such as making the Sherman tank "Thunderbolt" available throughout the state and elsewhere on request, it’s a very interesting and wonderful thing that a county historical society would make one of their largest and most significant pieces available to help current and future generations understand and appreciate the real history and the sacrifice made by countless hundreds of thousands of men and women for the purpose of freedom.  The Allen County Historical Society is becoming well known hundreds of miles into the hinterland beyond the normal reputation of such an organization.  My hat is off to the Society for their great effort on behalf of the people, on behalf of history.

                                                                                                                Captain P.N. Thompson, USMM

                                                                                                                               President, Firelands Military Vehicle Group

                                                                                                                                                Sandusky, Ohio

  1. I feel the museum has prospered all these years because it has heightened the awareness of our community by displaying not only the rare...but, often unique collections of the County's past.  My favorite?  Noah's Ark would be my favorite because it proves what can be done by harnessing the imagination to create.  James Grosjean could have settled in any community in our great country; but, he chose Lima.  At the time, men like him were creating wondrous ways to improve the quality of life of fellow Americans.


  1.   Our museum matters because it tells the story of how Lima and Allen county came to be.  We also have a child friendly museum that welcomes children and people of all ages.  I am most proud of those who have shown an interest in the museum; staff, docents, volunteers, and the far seeing individuals who have forged ahead to raise the money for all the work that has been done and will be done.


  1.   Our museum matters because it preserves the history of this area and displays it for all to see.  The museum is wonderful in educating the young and old alike about our history.  In addition, it is the county archives preserving the written records, photos, and family histories in its outstanding library.  It also plays an important role serving the community with many special events and programs and as a meeting place for many organizations.  It is the finest county museum that I’ve ever been to and one of the finest museums of any kind that I’ve been to - and I’m a museum nut.  I never pass up the chance to go through a museum and have been to more museums than I can count.


  1.   The museum matters because there are answers to our questions about the past there, and perhaps nowhere else.  ...while local history is given scant attention in our institutions of learning, it remains here for all to learn and remember.  ...I am proud of the generosity and support of our community, not only with monetary gifts, but with their treasured family heirlooms that they entrust to the society and museum.


  1. The Allen County Museum matters simply by nature of what is was designed to do.  It’s purpose of acquiring, maintaining and exhibiting objects and artifacts of our local, regional and state history simultaneously “exhibits” ideas and creativity that teach us how we got to where we are, and where we have the capacity to go.  The museum tells a story that not only educates but creates civic pride in our community that greatly adds to our quality of life.  Our culture, who we are and what we stand for is preserved by our museum, and visiting is an opportunity to remind ourselves, in this uncertain and sometimes unstable world, what we stand for.  The museum is sharing not just artifacts but also our identity.   The museum also has a broad economic impact by not only being a source of employment, but by being a part of tourism that provides an experience that sparks visitor spending that ultimately benefits the entire community.


The Allen County Museum is undergoing the “self-study” portion of its re-accreditation process with the American Association of Museums.  There are many sections to this study that help us to examine all aspects of our operations.  The final section involves writing an essay that answers the above question.  The commission recommends asking the community to respond to this question.  We are displaying answers below.  If you’d like to participate, e-mail us at

Visit Paddy’s Place for more information about programs and Allen County History