Allen County Museum and Historical Society . . .

"The mission of the Allen County Museum and Allen County Historical Society is to provide a meaningful representation of the history of Allen County, Ohio and surrounding region through visual displays and written educational materials of interest and significance to scholars and the general public."  Hours of operation are 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. every day except Monday and national holidays.

620 West Market Street
Lima, Ohio  45801
Phone:  419-222-9426
Fax:  419-222-0649

The Allen County Museum and the Allen County Historical Society are two entities. The Museum, a county owned and staffed public building, houses the headquarters and collections of the Historical Society. In addition, it contains an auditorium available for rental by individuals and organizations for special meetings, lectures, recitals, and exhibitions. The Museum is an educational establishment operated for the community's betterment, and open regularly to the public.

The Museum originally opened in 1908 with space supplied in Memorial Hall and moved to its present site on West Market Street in 1956. In 1976 an addition was built by the county and dedicated as the James A. MacDonell Museum Wing.

Displays within the Allen County Museum show why Lima was once known as the "Oil capital of the world," as well as how the locomotive industry thrived in and influenced this region.

The large variety of exhibits located in the Museum include:

  • A comprehensive prehistoric and historic Native American collection
  • Pioneer room settings
  • Turn of the century country store, doctor's office, and barber shop
  • Antique firearms
  • An extensive assemblage of vehicles, such as: an 1830 covered wagon, a carriage, a sleigh, a horse-drawn hearse, bicycles, tricycles, velocipedes, motorcycles, a 1909 Locomobile in mint condition, a World War I Liberty truck, and electric car
  • A steam and electric railroad collection including a scale model considered one of the finest in the country
  • Fire fighting equipment
  • An entire room devoted to minerals
  • Fossils, especially of Western Ohio
  • Rare glass and china
  • Buttons
  • Old musical instruments including a restored page theater pipe organ
  • "Noah's Ark" - a 1901 mechanized exhibit
  • An oriental room which includes a rare, gold oriental household shrine
  • The Faurot Opera House: A mechanized exhibit describing Lima's grandest building in 1882, the "finest opera house between Boston and Denver"
  • And much, much more!

The Allen County Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is one of the finest county museums in the Country. Hours of operation are 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. every day except Monday and national holidays. Volunteer guides are on duty every afternoon and also at other hours for prearranged tours.