Cleveland Starts Here


Cleveland Starts Here Is:

A place for newcomers and travelers to discover the rich history of Cleveland and the region
once commonly known as the Western Reserve.
A place for Northeast Ohioans to locate their own stories and place themselves in the rich story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
A place for schoolchildren to see and experience firsthand the history of Cleveland and the region, and expand upon the lessons learned in the classroom.


We are pleased to announce that we have reached the campaign goal for this project thanks to the
generous support from the community.  Click here to see the complete list of donors to date.

In 2017, we’re creating a dynamic, new exhibition experience called Cleveland Starts Here – a permanent core exhibit and digital portal that explores the rich and diverse history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. At present, there is no place in the city or region for audiences to discover this history. As the trusted steward of the region’s history for nearly 150 years, WRHS is responsible to the city and region to use its collections and resources to educate and enlighten – to provide historical context that informs today’s conversations and the critical decisions that impact society.

Cleveland Starts Here is a place – both physical and virtual – for these critical conversations to occur.

Cleveland Starts Here will be installed at the main entrance to the Cleveland History Center, in the recently renovated 3,500 square foot “Reinberger Gallery,” the starting point for audiences’ exploration of the social, creative, economic, political, and cultural history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Using the latest technologies and techniques available to museum designers, guests will discover how a small wilderness town on the shore of Lake Erie became an industrial giant, the home of immigrants and American presidents, a world-class center for arts, culture, and education, and a world-renowned innovator in medicine and health care.

PicMonkey Collage

Through Cleveland Starts Here, guests to the Cleveland History Center and around the world will be able to explore the history of Cleveland and how the region helped shape and continues to influence the American experience.


Exhibit Opens to the Public November 29, 2017.  Stay tuned for more information!