Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Warther Museum


As I had mentioned in THIS post, on Sunday in Amish country, most things are closed (such a nice, slow pace...). Jason, the innkeeper at the B & B we were staying at, suggested we go to the Ernest "Mooney" Warther museum...as it *was* open on Sunday!

Oh my, Mooney was amazing! He had only a 2nd grade education...but the man was a genius and a *master* carver! It was only his hobby...and although he could have made millions by selling his pieces, he chose not to. He and his wife were content with their little house and simple life. If you go HERE, you can read a much more detailed biography on him. If you are ever in Dover, Ohio...you definitely *must* make time to stop at this museum. It is truly wonderful. There is a small admission fee for the hour long guided tour....this is the money that keeps the museum going. The Warther's make their livelihood by making hand-crafted knives. They learned this art from their father/grandfather, Mooney.

The top photo shows his little workshop (I have pics of inside it below...just wait til you see!). The museum is attached to his workshop. Below it...in the grassy area is a place Mooney built for his children (and any children of the community). It had a fun little cave in the wall and then there were swings etc. Apparently it was a great, fun place for all the children of the area! In the photo below, you will see a photo of Mooney's home. It is located directly across from his workshop.


Chris went to check out the cave...there he is peaking out of the window...


Inside Mooney's workshop...he and his wife collected arrowheads when they went hiking. Then they put them all together in these elaborate ways and put them in his workshop. They are just fantastic and truly, the pictures don't do them justice...



Mooney's workbench (he didn't use power tools for the things he carved!)...


One of the first (completely accurate, to scale) trains Mooney carved (the white on it was carved from soup bones...as at the time he didn't have the money for the ivory he wanted)...


More complete trains he carved (they are just amazing and there are sooo many things I didn't get photos of...you *must* visit!) as well as the knives he hand made...




The trains had thousands of parts and could move! He took one apart so that all the parts could be shown (Mooney could pin-point to the day when he would have one of these amazing things finished carving!)...


He carved a copy of the steel mill he worked in...


And underneath was a mirror to show how the gears and bands all worked together to make all the moving parts...


Mooney had started out with making pliers out of one piece of wood (before he started with the trains). He got more elaborate with them (wasting no wood...doing them all from one piece...knowing exactly how many cuts he would have to make....remember..he only had a 2nd grade education!!! Amazing!!!!). He called them families...they start out as one then open up to make two pliers (the parents), then more pliers opened up (the children) and so on!


Below is a photo of the largest tree he made...from one block of wood...31,000 cuts. Oh my, just amazing!!!


Here's a photo of him, outside of his workshop, holding one of the ivory tusks he used to carve (and he never wasted *any* of what he carved)...


More of the amazing trains he carved (I wonder how many times I have said the word amazing in this post?)...





The history of the steam engine....carved by Mooney...


Mooney's father died when he was three...so a father-figure that Mooney looked up to growing up was Abraham Lincoln. He carved these canes with Lincoln on them...


Ivory train (carved while Mooney was in his 80's, I believe)...


 Back outside, a fun, vine-covered area outside Mooney's home...


Trains and a station down by the parking area at the museum...




I haven't even scratched the surface about the life of this incredible carver. If you go HERE, you can watch a video (one I found on youtube...I don't know the lady who made it) of the tour. If you don't think you can make it to the actual museum...it is worth it to watch the video. *And* this is great homeschooling material for your little ones...just amazing! ;)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

6 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome. What a great feildtrip!!

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  2. What a nice place to visit and spend time together learning new things! I just watched a video last night of Amish Living and really enjoyed it. Hi Katy, had a few moments to visit... James is doing better after heart surgery, and I'm able to do other things now. Hope you all have an enjoyable time. Hugs

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  3. Well, this post really was truly AMAZING!!! Tell your children that you get an A+++! Very informative, well written and interesting! We may never get to the museum but we can learn about it through your words and pictures. Mr. Mooney sounds like a remarkable man! Thank you, Katy.

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  4. that is absolutely incredible! i've have to tell my pastor about that place... he is a train lover!

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  5. Katy~ Sorry I haven't been around commenting on your posts but well things are just so crazy right now. I sometimes feel like I shouldn't be doing things like enjoying reading and commenting on blogs and such because my mom just passed away, but it does seem to take my mind off of things even if just for a few minutes. Really enjoyed this post. His workmanship is just wonderful and your pictures are as always very very nice. Have a wonderful week my friend, Blessings,Joann

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy