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Milan, OH - 10/09/2011

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Thomas Edison's birthplace home in Milan, Ohio


Today we took some lazy back roads, through beautiful Ohio land, to the little town of Milan (pronounced m-eye-l-ann).  Milan is the birthplace of Thomas Edison, and is where he lived until he was about seven years old.  Milan looks like a little town on a postcard.  Neat lawns, a historic town square.  Back in its 'golden era,' Milan shipped more grain in the world than any other except for Odessa, Russia.  The Milan Canal connected Milan to Lake Erie and opened up access for shipping in the area. 

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that this little museum is a part of the Blue Star Museum program, which we didn't know about. Blue Star Museums offer free access to military members, and retirees, and their families up to a total of five people.  So we were all free!  We got to the museum just in time to join the last tour of the day.

The 'birthing' room


On the first floor of the room is the 'birthing' room where Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847.  There is also a parlor where social gatherings were held, another informal room, and a small room that houses some of Edison's inventions and a large chemistry set he owned.

Edison's coat, hat, and cane


Upstairs there is a bedroom where some of the children slept.  There was a small, doll-sized set of bedroom furniture that matched the furniture in the room.  The furniture in the room belonged to one of Thomas's older sisters.  The master bedroom across the hall contains an original knitted bedspread belonging to Thomas's sister and made for her wedding gift by their mother, Nancy Elliot Edison.  The two closets in the room have been converted to display cases.  One contains two hats and two dresses owned by Edison's second wife, Mina Miller Edison.  The other contains Edison's own coat, hat, and cane.

The back of the house


The large basement houses the kitchen, where Edison's mother Nancy apparently spent all of her time, and it overlooks a beautiful garden and part of the Milan Canal basin.  There were authentic tools belonging to Nancy Edison in the kitchen.

It was an interesting tour, and we learned a lot about Thomas Edison the man.  After we finished the tour, we walked around Milan and explored the 19th century historical 'town' that is set up by the Milan Historical Museum.  Although the buildings and exhibits were closed by this time of day, the grounds are open to walk through and enjoy.

Dinner!
After our stroll through town, we decided to have dinner at a local favorite, Jim's Pizza Box.  How could we pass that up with a name like that?  The kids loved the pizza and Jim and I enjoyed our deli sandwiches.

Cody at Kar's
After pizza, we walked down to Kar's, which offers hand-dipped ice cream.  Cody helped us with our order and delivered up tasty treats.  Their ice cream supply is quite large during the summer, but once fall approaches, they use up whatever they have and don't reorder any until March.  Being so cold in the winter, they don't have much of a demand for ice cream, so they shut down that part of the store until spring.

It was a beautiful day with lots of learning!  Tomorrow we are on to Columbus, the state capital!

More pictures in the Photo Gallery.



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