Cleveland History Center

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The Cleveland History Center houses exhibits that tell the story of Northeast Ohio through items, documents and artifacts. Through the use of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s extensive collections Cleveland History Center provides the public with a much-needed sense of place in today’s mobile society. Each document and artifact tells a story that personally engages individuals, young and old to make these stories come alive.

From the very first map of Cleveland to LeBron James’ championship shoes, journey through Cleveland’s history from 1796 to today, with the extensive collection and interactive exhibits at the Cleveland History Center. Ride on the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, walk through two historic mansions, experience the evolution of the automobile in Cleveland and the world in the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, and discover why Cleveland is Mad For Plaid. Cleveland Starts Here®. Cleveland Starts with You!

Our exhibits include:

Cleveland Starts Here®

 Crawford Auto-Aviation MuseumEuclid Beach Park Grand Carousel

Mad For Plaid |Carl & Louis Stokes Making History 

 Kidzibits Playzone | Research LibraryBingham-Hanna & Hay-McKinney Mansions


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Here’s what other’s are saying about Cleveland History Center….

4-Stars on Facebook (09/2018)
Happy to have such a great space to teach school-age learners, and adults too, about building materials and development history. Also, loved the inclusion of LGBT and minority in the exhibits. It was great to talk to my children about late 19th POC entrepreneurs in Cleveland and show official Bears’ kilts in Mad about Plaid.


5-Stars on TripAdvisor (08/2018)
I have always enjoyed going to the WRHS. The Crawford Automobile Collection is a treasure. And the Euclid Beach Carousel is part of my own families shared history. And my 4 year old loves it. There is much more in the exhibition and activities spaces. And I always seem to see weddings in the courtyard.


Debra V. – 5 Stars on Yelp (08/2018)
If you are interested in Cleveland history or not, this museum is very interesting and entertaining for everyone. Exhibits show many things that were invented in Cleveland, famous people from here, clothing, the first DeLorean car off the assembly line…the list goes on. The display of vehicles is one of the best and includes cars from the 60s and newer, not just the old cars. The carousel is reminiscing of childhood and is fun to ride. Included in admission is the tour of the Hay Mansion that is connected to the museum. That tour is worth the price of admission. Sign in at the gift shop. This museum is one of my favorite go-to activities since it’s easy to get around, and has good lighting for people of all ages. There is a parking lot and street parking.


My husband and I came here for an afternoon of discovery with my former roommate, who still lives in Cleveland. I have visited Cleveland at least 5 or 6 times and my husband grew up there, but neither of us had ever been to this museum. We had a blast. My favorite memories are of course riding on the carousel, which has been lovingly restored, but also reading about the stainless steel cars. Wow! Never knew THOSE existed. Very cool. Also, in one of the homes, I found a whole wall of photos of how buildings in Venice were protected from bombings in World War II. Did not expect that in a Cleveland museum, and it was fascinating. I spent quite a while staring at those pictures. Let’s see: I watched an entire loop of a film of an early airshow in Cleveland which was probably 15 minutes. The announcer’s voice was hilarious. Another highlight was seeing LeBron’s shoes. And my husband and roomie and I played a game where we picked the one car we would want to take home. That was super fun. I was shocked to learn there were around 1,900 car companies when cars were first invented. Who knew? Everyone was an inventor back then. My husband especially loved the Euclid Beach information because he had a memory of going on an amusement park ride as a youngster that he had never been able to place … until he saw a picture of The Flying Turns in a book in the gift shop. So he bought a sweatshirt with a picture of his beloved childhood memory. Pretty great. I would say we spent well over 2 hours wandering around this wonderful museum. It was really a bargain in my opinion. You received two rides per person on the carousel with each admission. We only used one of our ride tickets. It’s a nice long ride, so we felt we got our money’s worth. All in all, an excellent visit.

Jesse W – 5 Stars on Google (08/2018)

The Allegheny/Ford Stainless steel cars (in the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum) are pretty neat. Not the biggest auto museum, but cool to check out nonetheless.

Elizabeth T. – 5 Stars on Facebook (08/2018)

We visited yesterday and had a great time. We were a little bummed that the storefronts were closed for renovation, but that just means we will have to come back. The kids and I loved it!

Wayne O. – 5 Stars on Google (07/2018)

Definitely worth the admission

Alan F. – 5 Stars on Google (07/2018)

Truly an excellent museum and display. Don’t miss it.

Took Grand Kids. – 5 Stars on Trip Advisor (07/2018)

This was our third visit and we’d go again. Our grandkids loved it. So much to see so plan to be there all day. It’s walkable from a number of hotels. Exhibits change from time to time. Be sure to take in the videos and interactive displays. The gift shop is amazing so be sure to browse.

Euclid Beach Day Was Wonderful! – 5 Stars on Trip Advisor (7/2018)

Thank you for this trip down memory lane! Every year from 1957-1969 our family, along with my aunt, uncle and cousins , would converge on The Beach on nickel day and ride our hearts out! Your lovely display of memorabilia brought it all back in a flood of memories. We loved the carousel, it is a spectacular display! We also enjoyed Lolly the Trolly and our trip to the original site. It’s quite sad the only thing remaining on that “hallowed ground” is the arch but our tour guides were wonderful and full of knowledge and stories about our favorite park. Everyone in your facility was as friendly and helpful as can be. We didn’t have much extra time to absorb everything in your building (cars, costumes , the mansion, etc). We are saving that for another day. Thank you, again, for preserving Cleveland’s history for generations to come. P.S. of course we left with Humphreys Popcorn, Kisses, and a souvenir shirt!!

Michelle R – 5 Stars on Google (06/2018)

Wonderful museum, love the CLE starts here exibit.

Patrick S – 5-Stars on Google (06/2018)

Must-see for anyone interested in the history of Cleveland

So many cars…Make sure you take a ride on the carousel! – 5 Stars on Trip Advisor (05/2018)

This was by far one of the best places that we went in Cleveland. We took the guided tour through the 2 homes that are a part of the museum, which was wonderful. Lots of history that you would miss if you didn’t take the tour. My husband loved the antiques cars. The last thing we did before we left is take a carouel ride. Such fun.”

“Stopped here while visiting CWRU with our teenage son and delighted that we did. Our favorite exhibit was the classic car display of more than 30 rare automobiles, airplanes, motorcycles and even campers like the one featured on an episode of I Love Lucy. My favorite classic was the Willy’s Wheeler. Aside from the car collection, the carousel and mansion exhibits, which are impeccably maintained, take the visitor back in time to the great industrial time period in Cleveland with its grandeur and attention to finery and detail. The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable too.”

More reviews about the Cleveland History Center available HERE