Ohio Open Doors
By Anietra Hamper

If you are looking for new places to explore in Ohio and need some fresh ideas, the Ohio History Connection’s Open Doors event taking place from September 7-16, 2018 gives you more than 230 reasons to discover something new.

Hundreds of historical sites around the state, some in places you’ve probably never heard of before, are opening their doors for fun and unique behind-the-scenes opportunities for tours, events and lectures. The introduction to some of these locations through Open Doors gives you a reason to go back or jot down places you want to visit after the event ends.

How about walking through the famous woodworking shop in featured in the movie The Shawshank Redemptionon a tour led by local actors who were in the film?

From historic railroad cars, one-room school houses and baseball history memorabilia to restored theatres, building preservation efforts, working farmsteads and graveyards, there are hundreds of opportunities in September to uncover new destinations in the state and learn more about Ohio’s history. All participating sites set individual hours and dates for their Open Doors events so check out the Open Doors website for specific details.

Here are just a few of the more than 230 historic places and events happening during Open Doors.

Take a tour through the tallest building in downtown Columbus, the Rhodes Tower and don’t forget your camera for the stunning views over Ohio’s capital city from the 40th floor

Trace the history of southern Ohio pork farms and how the state impacted the global economy in the 1800s during the “Rethinking Porkopolis” event at the Chrisholm Historic Farmstead in Trenton

Antique car and truck enthusiasts can visit the open House at the Salty Dog Museum in Shandon

Honor military men and women during the Shiloh Area Historical Society Open Doors event that will have memorabilia on display from the Civil War, WWI and WWII as well as presentations about the location being on the Underground Railroad and more.

  • Take part in a time capsule reveal at the Hughes one-room schoolhouse in Liberty Township that was buried in 1976
  • Get a glimpse of the historic Folger Home in Avon Lake and join a special program discussing the “Classic TV of the 1950s” presented by Dr. Joel Keller
  • Drive to Sidney where five locations are open for tours in Shelby County including the Great Stone Castle and the Monumental Building that celebrating a Civil War Living History Weekend
  • History enthusiasts will enjoy the Open Doors event in Lisbon, Ohio which looks at the preservation efforts of historic buildings in the area in various stages of restoration and what it takes to protect these historic treasures
  • Do a little star gazing at the Cincinnati Observatory and learn more about the birthplace of astronomy through an event that explores the importance of the city to astronomy research and see the first observatory in the country
  • Learn about life on the frontier as you take a tour through the Workman Cabin at Central Park in Loudonville
  • Step inside an historic one-room schoolhouse and learn about education in the 20thcentury in Pandora when the Bridenbaugh Schoolhouse in Northwest Ohio opens its doors for a special hands-on program
  • Take part in a ghost walk in Granville during an Open Doors event at the Old Colony Burying Ground with a guided tour through an 1805 graveyard


  • Walk through the Stephen Lumber Company, made famous by its role in the movie The Shawshank Redemptionin Upper Sandusky, guided by local actors featured in the film. It is also known as the Shawshank Woodshop.
  • Step inside an old railroad car, the Pennsylvania Rail Car NX-23 or the Masonic Temple in Urbana during the Champaign County Historical Society Museum Open Doors events throughout the county
  • Learn more about the history of the Hopewell Indians in Ohio with presentations by the Hopewell Mound Group in Chillicothe

For information on all of the Open Doors events taking place throughout Ohio, click here.

About the Author

For Anietra Hamper, writing is a passion. Anietra spent nearly 20 years as a top-rated television news Anchor telling thousands of stories that impact people's lives. Now, away from the spotlight, Anietra is a published travel writer. In fall 2013, Anietra was honored to be selected as a member of the prestigious Society of American Travel Writers. Anietra's zest for exploration and photography has taken her to untouched regions of Vietnam and tribal territories of the Philippines, sharing those journeys along the way through articles and blogs. Anietra is also a correspondent for Child Fund International; one of the largest non-Government Organizations in the world. Anietra graduated Cum Laude from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio and studied journalism at American University in Washington D.C. She enjoys fishing, photography, fitness and playing with her rescued dog Sunny. You can follow Anietra online at ThreeWordPress.com.