Take a walk down Olde Main Street and view life as it used to be in the early 1940s. Twenty-three store fronts take you back to businesses that served their customers in that era.
Through the inspiration of Barb and Vane Scott II, the Olde Main Street Museum in Newcomerstown opened its doors in 2009 after four years of much hard work and dedication to the project.Since opening, a dressing room and parking lot have been added.
The Ford car dealership of Lell Shumaker was originally in this building back in 1915, followed by a factory making carbide tools. The carbide residue created an extensive cleaning problem when organizing the museum.
Today family members are still keeping up that tradition as Vane Scott III, and his granddaughter, Meredith, participate in the enactment of scenes. They both take great pride in carrying on this family inspired project.
Ray and BJ McFadden have been instrumental in organizing this immense project.Their purpose was to restore an authentic village using only things that came from Newcomerstown. They wanted to establish a Community Center where groups could be entertained and served a catered meal while enjoying the feeling of stepping back in time.
Now bus tour groups frequently take a break here to have lunch while hearing tales of a bygone era. Class reunions step back to the era of their high school days as shopkeepers dress in costumes according to the time period. Visitors sitting on Main Street feel like they’re reliving their teenage years.
Many of the store fronts have shopkeepers who tell a little about their line of work. There was even a prisoner in jail, who had been arrested for making some home brew out in the woods. Main Street came alive with memories of the days of WWII as shopkeepers complained of there being little male help at their business.
Showcase Alley contains rotating collections of local people. Former area residents Cy Young and Woody Hayes each have their own showcase of memorabilia.
In 1948, there was great excitement in town as the whole town was invited to Cleveland Stadium where Cy Young was to be honored on his 80th birthday. Owner of the Indians, Bill Veeck, made it possible for the C&M Railroad to stop in Newcomerstown and carry the entire town to Cleveland at no cost to residents.
A miniature circus, purchased by Vane Scott II, was used as a traveling display by the Scott family. The fine details of this circus were first created in Germany, but Vane, the sign painter, touched them up to perfection.
It’s so pleasing to see a community cooperate on such a large project such as this with just volunteers. They take great pride in their museums and rightly so. Next door is a second historic stop, Temperance Tavern, which is packed with local history.
When scheduling a tour there or attending one of their many events, enjoy time in this living history museum. Meander down Main Street of long ago and smile as the memories appear.
Olde Main Street Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10-4, and on Sunday from 1-4. If you would like to have your group visit for one of their many interesting programs, they will rearrange their schedule.