Travel Destination: The Airstream Heritage Center in Ohio

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You do not have to be an Airstream owner to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy The Airstream Heritage Center in Jackson Center Ohio.  It is located mere minutes from the I-75 in mid-Ohio, at the Airstream Factory.  This museum has been a long time coming and was delayed because of the pandemic, but let me tell you, it was well worth the wait!  To say that the Heritage Center exceeds expectations does not really capture the experience of visiting this world-class museum. There are interactive displays throughout, many Pinterest-worthy photo ops and so many innovative displays.  

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Actually, they had me at the huge "Welcome To The Mothership" backlit sign when you walk in.  Referring to the Airstream factory as the "Mothership" is an owner colloquialism that has been around for some time, referring to our little "ships" returning home to Jackson Center.  The company is celebrating its 91-year anniversary and when you follow the curving, the dramatically lit path through the Heritage Center displays it all makes sense how the iconic brand evolved, innovated, and changed to meet the marketplace demands.
Items from the Schwamborn collection.

 The history of Airstream is of course inextricably woven into the life of founder, inventor, and marketing genius, Wally Byam.  This is the man in the beret seen in so many historic photographs leading a string of silver bullets, boldly through the non-roads of Mexico, Africa, Europe, and so many more places.

Some of the many items from the Schwamborn collection.
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 I grew up with National Geographic magazine in our home and the ever-present ads and occasional articles that promised adventure and the open road stirred my imagination at a very young age.  When the space race of the 60s and 70s was going full tilt, Airstream was part of that as well, so the adventures even went beyond this earthly realm.  The NASA/Airstream connection is also well documented at the Heritage Center.

 Curator Samantha Martin is a true visionary and with her team of able supporters and donors she has pulled off the hat-trick of style, information, and entertainment that all galleries and museums strive to achieve.  The Heritage Center is less than five hours from here, (that's closer than the Big Nickel in Sudbury Ontario) and there are great State Parks in the area as well as other tourist destinations.  The Airstream factory itself is resuming daily plant tours and that alone is something so worthwhile to see.  Airstreamers will love the Airstream Supply Store's offering of some of the most unique brand-related items I have ever seen. Everyone will benefit from knowing the inside story about how the USA and Canada became RV nations and that airstream london ontario was there every step of the way.

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