Friedrich Nietzsche said everything. He really did. Look it up. But for our purposes, what he said about travelers is particularly relevant: “Like tourists huffing and puffing to reach the peak we forget the view on the way up.”  Being a good Nietzschean, I am loathe to argue with the (uber)man; and so, on my way up from the Cincinnati area, I made a necessary stop in Lima, Ohio.

The best way to learn about a place is to either go to an attraction it has that is notable, or, when possible, a museum! There is nothing better than learning while walking (Nietzsche also said something about this, too). Being surrounding by regionally important things is very exciting to me.  The Allen County Museum offers such an opportunity. And a tank!

In 1933, famed bank robber and all around no-good-nick John Dillinger was being held in the county jail in Lima while awaiting trial. Dillinger’s men impersonated state police officers, shot and killed the sheriff, and Dillinger made his escape. A fascinating footnote in history without a doubt. And you’ll find the jail cell where it all went down right here.

Despite the wooden acting, this is not a scene from the Johnny Depp's Dillinger.

But the good people of Lima, Ohio were not satisfied with this one measly exhibit. They wanted a whole museum. So, what’s a town to do? From what I observed: Ask everyone in town to empty their attics and garages, bring it all in, and make yourself a museum! 

An Iron Lung, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Lima".

Along with the above relic, one can observe a collage made entirely of things recovered from people’s esophagi (an unusually large number of Lima-ites have swallowed safety pins); a room size scale replica of Mt. Vernon, an old dentist’s chair, a replica of a ye old storefront, and, my personal favorite: the uniform worn by Paul A. Moore. Paul was an employee of Westinghouse in Lima  for 30 years. In all that time, he only missed 1 day of work.

Good sir, you are a credit to your uniform.