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Johnny Appleseed Museum Urbana, Ohio {Profile}

As we were driving out of Urbana after our walk at Cedar Bog and trip to Freshwater Farm, the city pulled us in again. My apple-loving self spied a sign for the Johnny Appleseed Museum and had to follow it. playing games around apple shaped tableThe one room museum is nestled in Bailey Hall at Urbana University. Bailey Hall is the first building on the right on top of the hill as you enter Urbana University, a fact I wish I'd known as we circled around the tiny campus several time before locating it.

Stepping into the small museum, I expected we might stay 15 minutes, maybe 20. Thanks to recent renovations that include interactive displays and games, tired Lil, Anna and I stayed about an hour.

We chatted with other guests, watched the classic Disney short on Appleseed, played apple games on their awesome apple tables (I want!) and read well illustrated signs about Chapman's work as an apple grower and Swedenborg missionary. (There is a Swedenborg bent, as the University is affiliated with the Swedenborg movement and the church helped fund the museum renovation.) We also enjoyed the displays of Johnny Appleseed memorabilia.

johnny chapman diplay at urbana museumI learned that Appleseed was an herbalist who advised early settlers about plants that can heal. I read about where Chapman visited Ohio and enjoyed the pictures of Appleseed trees, including several on the Urbana University campus. I did not take time to page through the wall of additional texts and resource binders available to researchers and teachers.

What I appreciated most about the Urbana Johnny Appleseed Museum was the way in which the legend and truth were presented side by side to let visitors discover what was embellishment and fact.

If you go:

  • Visit Tues-Fri, from 10 to 2pm; Sat, noon to 4pm or by appointment.
  • Study up about Appleseed before your visit.
  • Be ready to browse their small but well curated gift and book shop.
  • Consider bringing a cash donation to support the museum.

Johnny Appleseed Museum on Urbana University Campus Bailey Hall 579 College Way, Urbana, OH Urbana, Ohio 43078

Phone: 937-484-1303

 Read about our whole day in Urbana, Ohio.