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What is the Western Reserve?

The Western Reserve encompassed approx. 3.3 million acres of land in what is now northeastern Ohio. Bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by Pennsylvania, it extended 120 mi. westward. On the south, the Reserve’s line was set at 41 degrees north latitude, running just south of the present cities of Youngstown, Akron, and Willard. This institution bears the name of the land area due to the historic significance of settlement in this region. Northeast Ohio belonged to the state of Connecticut in the post-Revolutionary War 18th century. The area was dubbed the Western Reserve because it was the westernmost part of Connecticut and a target for expansion and settlement.

What makes up the Western Reserve Historical Society?

Western Reserve Historical Society was founded in 1867 to preserve and present the history of all of the people of Northeast Ohio. Today, WRHS is one of the largest regional historical societies in the nation with a mission to inspire people to discover the American experience by exploring the tangible history of Northeast Ohio. Our collections are made accessible to the public through our two primary venues: the Cleveland History Center in Cleveland’s University Circle and Hale Farm & Village in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Bath, Ohio.

Where are all the costumes?

Costume and textile exhibits rotate regularly due to the sensitive nature of the historic fabrics. For more information on upcoming exhibits from the WRHS Costume Collections visit our Exhibitions page. To learn more about the collection itself, visit the page for the Costume Collection.

I have a car/book/photograph/etc, would the museum like to buy it?

Click here for information on how and what we collect.

I have this car/book/photograph/etc, how much is it worth?

As a matter of museum ethics, staff at WRHS cannot appraise materials. A list of appraisers is available through the Appraisers Association of America or your local Yellow Pages.

How do I make a donation or become a member?

To find out how you can get more involved click here.

Is WRHS connected with Case Western Reserve University?

Western Reserve Historical Society and Case Western Reserve University are two independent institutions. However, we do collaborate on a number of academic projects for scholars and the general public, including:

  • The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
  • SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) – WRHS hosts well over a dozen visiting SAGES classes each year for special sessions on exhibits, archives, and special topics
  • Individual class visits
  • HSTY 306/406 “History Museums: Theory and Reality” – a summer course offered through CWRU which consists of an intensive internship at WRHS
  • A Memorandum of Understanding with the Kelvin Smith Library at CWRU that works to increase access to the WRHS collection through digitization. Visit Digital Case to see what is available now.

Where do you get your exhibits?

Many of the current exhibits at the Cleveland History Center and Hale Farm & Village are developed from within our extensive collections. For instance, all of the vehicles seen within the Setting the World in Motion and REVolution exhibits are part of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum.

What is Shandy Hall and how can I visit?

Robert Harper built a four-room home in 1815 and then, over the next 20 years, transformed the house into what was then considered a mansion. The two generations that succeeded Robert Harper took great care to preserve the furnishings, tools, and traditions that exist today at Shandy Hall. This gem is located in Geneva, Ohio and is open by special appointment only.

What is Loghurst and how can I visit?

Loghurst is located in Canfield, Ohio. Originally built in 1805 as a home for the Conrad Naff family, this log structure is thought to be the oldest remaining log home in the Western Reserve. Loghurst continues to be part of the WRHS Collection of historic buildings and properties. Today, the Canfield Heritage Foundation maintains the property and public operation. Canfield Heritage Foundation offers additional information.

Can I take pictures during my visit?

Yes! Non-flash photography is allowed in all galleries. Tripods and other special equipment (such as external flashes, monopods, or other camera-assist devices) are not permitted unless prior permission has been obtained. Selfie sticks are allowed provided they do not go beyond barriers.

You, yourself, may be captured by museum photographers during your visit. These images may be used for promotional purposes.

Professional and commercial photography requires special permissions. Please contact Angie Lowrie at 216-721-5722 ext. 1402 or email alowrie@wrhs.org

Celebratory photos (such as wedding or prom photos) or portraits (such as senior photos) require special permissions. Please contact Angie Lowrie at 216-721-5722 ext. 1402 or email alowrie@wrhs.org

Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm