By Theresa Russell
Posted On: Nov 9, 2020
Note: Please check directly with places before your visit to stay up to date on all safety precautions and learn more about the guidelines surrounding COVID-19. Motts Military Museum requires guests to bring and wear a face covering during their visit.
Had my neighbor, Gene, not sung the praises of the Motts Military Museum where he regularly volunteers, I never would have discovered this incredible museum just southeast of Columbus. The unimposing building belies the vast treasures waiting to be discovered within.
The motto of the museum is "Preserving America's military heritage from the colonial era to Iraqi Freedom." Founder Warren Motts has done just that. The original museum started in the basement of his home, but more space was required to display his collection, parts of it donated by members of the military and their families.
Befittingly the displays are arranged in chronological order starting with the American Revolution. Most fascinating about the displays are the items not often seen in other museums. This collection isn't simply a duplicate of another museum, but very personalized.
As a fan of Abraham Lincoln, Warren Motts has devoted considerable space to this president. A life mask of Lincoln sits amongst a variety of other interesting artifacts dispersed throughout the Civil War era section.
Special exhibits include medals, the space program and women in the military. Local hero Eddie Rickenbacker is showcased for his contribution to the war effort. Volunteers have constructed an exact replica of his boyhood home; the original now sits deteriorating and forgotten in central Columbus. This on-site replica allows visitors a chance to not only see how people lived during that time, but also gives more details about the life of Rickenbacker, in addition to the comprehensive displays in the main museum.
Paul Tibbets, who visited the museum in the past, is recognized as the pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. The collection is one of the largest of Tibbets' memorabilia.
The extensive World War II collection includes many unique artifacts.
The museum displays continue outside the building and to the back where the Rickenbacker replica house - as well as a collection of military equipment - are displayed. A Howitzer, airplanes, tanks, amphibious landing craft and helicopters dot the back area. A small memorial park honors Ohioans who have died in military action.
Recent acquisitions to the museum include a fire truck from 9/11.
The Motts Military Museum constantly evolves with new displays. It won't disappoint and those visitors with a keen interest in military history could easily wile away an entire day. I was surprised that two hours passed by in no time. I'm sure that you'll be especially impressed by the quality and diversity of this Groveport museum.
*This blog was originally published Aug. 2014 and updated Oct. 2020