When I first came to Huntington, I told my friend that before I graduated, I needed to visit this small, hidden “museum” I kept seeing on my way through downtown. Two years later we settled my need to explore the building by visiting to this quaint attraction. Located in downtown Huntington and neighbor to the popular eating attraction Pizza Junction, the Huntington Co. Historical Museum is a small gem that is often overlooked due to its humble building size. But do not be fooled – what the museum lacks in size, it more than makes up for with the significant collection of eclectic historical pieces displayed inside.
Previously housed on the fourth floor of the Huntington Co. Courthouse, the Huntington Co. Historical Museum was moved to its own building in 1999 and now claims over 8,000 square feet of exhibit space. This space is taken up by an enormous variety of pieces depicting Huntington County’s history, such as preserved pioneer clothing, old medical instruments, delicate dishware, instruments, tools and more. Of particular interest to me during the visit was an intricate miniature display of the Huntington railroads, which is located on the second floor of the museum. Because of its relatively small size, the Huntington Co. Historical Museum possesses an intimate atmosphere where workers and volunteers clearly value and appreciate the history contained within the artifacts kept safely inside, which is part of what made the visit so enjoyable!
The museum displays treasures from the county’s rich history, including (but not limited to) the Miami Indians and French Voyageur period, the Canal era, and pioneer settlement. It hosts programs featuring some aspect of local history on a few specific months throughout the year, though their primary focus is on educational group tours (though drop-in visitors are always welcome!). The museum is supported by memberships, newsletter advertising, visitor donations, and the Huntington Co. Commissioners. The museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 10am to 4pm, and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. These unique hours make visiting a little tricky – but that’s just part of the fun of checking out the little place, and part of what gives it such great character. This museum makes for a fun, casual outing – not only because of the grand displays within it, but also because of the museum’s quirky and eclectic nature, so be sure to check it out!