PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Are you a history buff, an aviation buff, or maybe even a classic cars buff? Or perhaps you're in the mood for a throwback meal from a bygone era?
There's a one-stop shop in Port Clinton than can meet all of those needs.
Originally founded in 1991, The Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton officially opened in a specially built airport hangar in 2012.
Since then, another larger hanger has been added to now offer 88,000 square-feet of museum space, featuring relics of our national and regional aviation and automobile past.
Every vehicle on display is also fully functional.
"If the airplanes aren't flying, they're either in restoration or in maintenance. It's a working museum, so everything you see does operate or will operate," said Ed Patrick, museum founder and CEO
The centerpiece of the museum is an ongoing project to fully restore a Ford Trimotor from the 1920's.
Trimotors were the first planes to offer commercial transcontinental flights, and was integral in establishing the Island Airline right here in northwest Ohio that ferried people to and from the Lake Erie islands.
The museum already owns a fully operating trimotor that offers flights three times a year, and the plan is to have this second Trimotor up and running within three years.
Along with all of the historical artifacts you can see in the museum, you can actually experience a living historical artifact in a fully refurbished and operating Tin Goose Diner.
"The diner was actually built in 1948, and we restored it. It's an all stainless steel diner. They say food brings everyone together, so when we designed this place we always said we wanted to have a food component, so we have the diner," said Patrick
With most COVID-19 restrictions phasing out, The Liberty Aviation Museum is offering events and vehicle rides all summer long through October.
The family friendly atmosphere is the perfect stop for visitors young and old to see how far aviation has improved over the years, and how it has become a vital industry for our region, state and country.
"I think it's critically important. As we all realize now, the world has become a much smaller place because of transportation and the ease at which we can get about. It's basically how people have become free," said Ed