Fun and funky: 6 astonishing sites to visit in just a short drive

Ohio is filled with fun and quirky places to see. 

Here’s a look at six sites you should make a point to visit:


7 nearby places to lose yourself in amazing history and beautiful art

Treasures from the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center

7 totally obscure museums worth a drive from Dayton

Hartman Rock Garden, Springfield 

Harry George “Ben” Hartman spent 12 years arranging hundreds of thousands of individual stones into a folk art treasure, Springfield’s Hartman Rock Garden. 

His project began in 1932 during the midst of the Great Depression when he built a small fishing pond lined with pink granite in his backyard. From there he built more than 50 stone structures following historical, religious and patriotic themes. 

The masterwork of the garden is a 14-foot-tall cathedral made of concrete, dolostone and chert. 

Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe, Greenville 

Blobs of chewing gum cover the brick exterior of the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville. 

The gum-sticking tradition has taken place at the restaurant, a popular spot for loose-meat sandwiches, since 1934. 

According to its website, couples have declared their love “spelling out one another’s initials separated by an arrow-pierced heart in strategically placed wads of gum.” 

Temple of Tolerance, Wapakoneta 

The Temple of Tolerance, a sprawling garden collection of rocks and boulders dotted with unique objects, is a hidden gem in Wapakoneta. 

The “master” of the temple, Jim Bowsher, has worked on the garden for more than two decades, according to the website He occasionally will give visitors a personal tour. 

Among the gems within the garden are a piece of a bank counter gangster John Dillinger jumped over and the front step of the former Ku Klux Klan headquarters in Wapakaneta. 

 Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges),  Dublin

“Cornhenge” is the tongue-in-cheek nickname is for an art installation completed in 1994 in a grassy field in Dublin. 

The 109 concrete ears of corn, each 6 feet, 3 inches tall, were created by artist Malcolm Cochran and honor the role Franklin County played in corn production. 

The installation is located on a field once farmed by man who specialized in hybridized corn. 

Longaberger basket building, Newark 

A seven-story replica of the Longaberger Company’s best seller, the “Medium Market Basket,” was constructed as the company headquarters in Newark. 

The 180,000-square-foot building has two 75-ton heated handles on top and cost $32 million to build in 1997. 

The staff has moved to the company’s manufacturing plant and the basket building property is currently in foreclosure. 

Feline Historical Museum, Alliance 

A museum dedicated to our feline friends opened in 2010 on the ground floor of The Cat Fancier’s Association Foundation headquarters in Alliance. 

Among the collection is a cat house designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a wooden cat carrier from the 1900s and more than 160 Maneki Neko, or “Japanese Welcoming Cats.” 

The museum also houses a non-lending library of 1,400 cat related books.

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