The Allen County Museum’s traveling trunks bring history to you! The following traveling trunks are offered within Allen County to elementary age students and will vary somewhat depending upon grade level. The Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils presentation, the Westward Ho: The Oregon Trail presentation, and the Growing Up Amish presentation are most often requested for students in grade 3 or up. Traveling trunks may be scheduled for Tuesday – Friday mornings, as the schedule allows. Please contact Sarah Rish, Curator of Education, at 419-222-9426 or at, to book a traveling trunk or make inquiries.

Discover what life was like for the early settlers of Allen County and Ohio. Envision the trip west, with all its challenges. Imagine daily life in a log cabin. Learn how the pioneers dressed, how they made their clothes, how they cooked their meals, where they slept, and where the bathroom was. Learn about chores on the family farm. Find out what school was like in nineteenth-century America. Finally, discover what the pioneers did for fun. Time will be allowed at the end of the presentation for hands-on exploration.

Discover what school was like in nineteenth century America. Learn how the teachers and students dressed and what subjects they studied. Cipher nineteenth-century math problems with a slate pencil and slate; spell words from a nineteenth century spelling book. Find out what discipline was like in the nineteenth century – even the teachers had rules to follow! Envision the schoolhouse and all its furnishings. And lastly, learn about the students’ favorite “subjects” – lunch and recess. At the end of the presentation, students may try some old-fashioned reproduction toys and games.

Learn the difference between rocks and minerals. Find out ways to identify minerals – by streak color, hardness, etc. Understand the three classes of rocks and how they are formed. Discover some of the everyday uses of rocks and minerals. Learn what fossils are and how they are formed.

Specimens of both rocks and minerals are brought along for this experience. Most of the fossil specimens very good reproductions and include a mammoth tooth, a mastodon tooth, a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth, and a Velociraptor claw, to name a few.

Discover what life was like for the pioneer families who headed west on the Oregon Trail, a trip that could easily last six months. Learn how they dressed, how they traveled, how they prepared their meals, and how they washed their clothes. Discover what life was like for the children who journeyed the Oregon Trail. Time for hands-on exploration is allowed at the end of this presentation.

Imagine what life would be like if you had been born into an Amish family. Envision what an Amish house looks like. Learn how they dress, how they cook, and how they do chores, like washing and ironing clothes. Find out how they determine what appliances, clothing, etc., are acceptable or not acceptable. Discover what means of transportation they use. Understand that Amish communities – even those within the State of Ohio – are not all alike. Find out what school is like for Amish children. Learn what job opportunities are available for today’s Amish and how this has changed over the years. And finally, learn what Amish children do for fun.

Discover how the celebration of Christmas has changed from colonial and pioneer times. Learn that different immigrant groups brought their Christmas traditions with them to America. Find out the history behind the Christmas tree and its ornaments, and more.

This is an informal presentation, where we bring artifacts and the adults have fun guessing what the items are. This gives us an opportunity to cover a wide variety of topics, from hair jewelry to china painting.