Cleveland Starts Here Cleveland History Center

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Cleveland History Center


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A place 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 experience firsthand the history of Cleveland and the region.

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Guests of all ages can immerse themselves in Cleveland’s stories, from the 1790s to today, when they experience Cleveland Starts Here® sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Explore Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s rich history as you use the latest technologies to interact with rarely seen documents and artifacts made accessible for for the very first time.

From the first Cleveland map and early survey tools, to a lunar descent engine and LeBron James’ championship shoes, Cleveland Starts Here® tells the stories of the triumphs and tragedies that define Cleveland. Discover why Cleveland Starts Here®, Cleveland starts with you!

“It’s a celebration of the past and the present, and we welcome everyone to come and make connections to their lives.” – Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO.

“The new Cleveland Starts Here® exhibit at the Cleveland History Center should make it possible for generations to pass along the stories and experiences that help connect the past with our world today.” – Morton Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.


Why Cleveland Starts Here?

Until 2017, there was no one place in the city to discover Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s history. On the occasion of its 150th anniversary year, the Western Reserve Historical Society presented Cleveland Starts Here® to tell the story of more than 220 years of history, and to provide context for the critical conversations taking place in our region, nation, and around the world.

Cleveland Starts Here® energizes guests as they discover the stories of innovation, immigration, entrepreneurship, and diversity and inspires visitors to create their own chapter in this ever evolving story.

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More Information

This project was completed thanks to the generous support from the community. WRHS received broad support from the community for the exhibition from many individuals, foundations, and corporations, including a title sponsorship for the exhibit from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Thank you!

Full List of Donors

Cleveland Starts Here® was created in partnership with Dennis and Kathy Barrie of Barrie Projects, a local consulting firm specializing in museums, exhibits, and cultural planning projects around the globe.  Gallagher & Associates contributed to content development and exhibit design.  Multimedia elements and the orientation film are produced by Northern Light Productions.  Fabrication, equipment, and gallery preparation are in partnership with ExPlus, Zenith, and AECOM.

Join us on social media with #CleStartsHere

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