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Bored in Ada?

The Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta, OH, epitomizes the general oddity that is Wapakoneta. Explore massive stone arrangements, temples, and learn a bit about the underbelly of American history.

I’m sure everyone has heard by now that Ada was voted one of the 10 worst college towns. So, if you’re one of the people who is bored in our little town, check out these interesting and unique historical attractions!

Temple of Tolerance in Wapakoneta (23 miles): At first glance, this looks like a normal, if creepy, old house. Inside, however, you will find Jim Bowsher’s large collection of things that would rival a museum’s own collection. But as impressive as the inside of the house is, the backyard is another wonder. Bowsher built an architectural landscape, including glacial boulders that form a monument to its namesake, a Vietnam War memorial, a Tree of Life and many other historical pieces.

Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta (23 miles): This museum’s name basically speaks for itself. With exhibits dedicated to Neil Armstrong (the first man to walk on the room, who was born near where the museum is now), Apollo 1, the Challenger and the Columbia. There’s also a piece of the moon, space food and even a display teaching visitors how to go to the bathroom on the moon. The museum’s hours vary by season but tickets stay at the low price of $8.

Allen County Museum in Lima (15 miles): This museum is far from the conventional expectations of museums. Its artifacts range from a room-size model of Mt. Vernon to a wall display of various items that have been swallowed by people and recovered by a local doctor named Dr. Yingling to James E. GrosJean’s dead animal dioramas. What more reason could you need to go to this place? The Allen County Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday and tickets are $5.

Hungry? Take a trip to Urbana and see the world’s largest loaf of bread (46 miles). The loaf comes from the American Pan company—a baking equipment manufacturing company. The business is owned by very private owners, so the factory where the loaf of bread is can be hard to find. Make sure you have good directions when you go to see not only the world record bread, but also several fiber glass loaves.

National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein (42 miles): The Sisters of the Precious Blood care for over 1,000 religious relics in the shrine. Of the relics, 14 come from Jesus Christ, the body of Saint Victoria lays under the altar, and pieces of Roman Catholic Saint remains hang in lockets on the walls. The shrine is open Tuesdays-Sundays from 12-4:30 p.m.

Wood County Museum in Bowling Green (42 miles): This small museum offers an interesting artifact: the fingers of Mary Bach, who was murdered by her husband, Carl. Although those are generally the main attraction, the museum has other items such as a pheasant shot by Clark Gable and “Victorian’s Secret,” a display of women’s underwear from the 19th century. Visitors can also see the Lunatic House, which is detailed with cells and a “Reasons for Admittance” book that offers some interesting explanations. Tickets are a suggested donation of $4, and hours vary by season.

Up for a true ghost story? Head over to see the Moving Tombstone in the Marion Cemetery in Marion (39 miles). The tombstone, for a C.B. Merchant, has a 5,200 pound granite ball on top. Less than two years after the tombstone was erected, someone reported that it had rotated so that the unpolished spot of the ball, which had been resting on the actual tombstone, was showing. The Merchant family had the ball repositioned, but the ball moved again. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” newspaper cartoons featured it in 1929. If you’re interested, the grave is located in the northeast part of the cemetery.

Interested in seeing more cool places near Ada? Go to www.roadsideamerica.com and map your own adventure!