Allen County Museum

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Allen County Museum
Museum Front crp.jpg
Location620 West Market Street
Lima, Ohio 45801 United States
Coordinates40°44′25.9872″N 84°6′49.8528″W / 40.740552000°N 84.113848000°W / 40.740552000; -84.113848000
TypeChildren's Museum, History Museum [1]
WebsiteAllen County Museum

The Allen County Museum is located in the city of Lima, the county seat of Allen County, Ohio, United States. Occupying a half city block, the museum campus includes the main museum building, a log house, the MacDonell House (a Victorian mansion), a Shay Locomotive display, the Children's Discovery Center, genealogy and local history library, railroad archives, and the Children's Garden. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. According to recent reports of the American Alliance of Museums Accreditation Department, less than 800 museums, out of more than 11,000 in the United States, are accredited. Standards for accreditation apply across the board to both small and large institutions.

The Allen County Museum is operated by the Allen County Historical Society which was formed in 1908. Originally located in Lima's Memorial Hall, the Historical Society outgrew the available space by 1935, and began privately raising funds to build a museum. Spearheaded by Elizabeth M. MacDonell, and supported by the notable John Wesley Van Dyke, Chairman of the Atlantic Refining Company, the organization successfully raised the needed funds to build a separate facility.

World War II interrupted construction plans, but by 1954 the cornerstone was laid—a stone from the original White House, Washington, D.C. Since that time, the Historical Society has amassed a large collection of items—both local and international. Archival and documentary railroad collections include builder's prints and diagrams from the Lima Locomotive Works, which was the third largest steam locomotive builder in the United States. Central to the production of the Lima Locomotive Works was the Shay engine, invented by Ephraim Shay.

MacDonell House[edit]

MacDonell House
MacDonell House in Lima, front.jpg
Front of the house
Allen County Museum is located in Ohio
Allen County Museum
Allen County Museum is located in the US
Allen County Museum
Location632 W. Market St., Lima, Ohio
Coordinates40°44′25″N 84°6′58″W / 40.74028°N 84.11611°W / 40.74028; -84.11611Coordinates: 40°44′25″N 84°6′58″W / 40.74028°N 84.11611°W / 40.74028; -84.11611
Arealess than one acre
Architectural styleVictorian Shingle Style
NRHP reference #78001999[2]
Added to NRHPSeptember 20, 1978

The MacDonnell House, also known as Banta-Van Dyke House, is a Shingle style house that was built in 1893. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The listing included two contributing buildings.[2]


The Museum offers monthly lectures and programs, Traveling Trunks, demonstrations, and special events, including the annual Christmas Tree Festival.


  1. ^ "Allen County Museum Museum: About". ARTINFO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-24.
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

External links[edit]