If there is one Barnes tradition that can never be broken whilst in Canton, Ohio, that is a pit stop to the McKinley National Memorial. For a person like me who thinks tombs of famous personalities need to be included in any travel itinerary, this place is certainly a must-see.
William McKinley was the 25th US President and was assassinated in 1901. I honestly wasn’t familiar with McKinley until my visit to the memorial, but it was a huge honor to see how he has been commemorated up to this day. Not everybody gets the privilege to be remembered a hundred years from his death.
Going inside the monument will take some exercise as you have to climb 108 steps to reach it, but your sweat and labored breath are all worth it. Take some time to observe his bronze statue because it was sculpted based on his photograph taken hours from his assassination. And if you would look even closer, there is a green tennis ball stuck between the legs of the statue. For Pete’s sake, somebody get it out of there!
Afterwards, we went to the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, which was right next door. The building appeared smaller than city museums I’ve been, but boy, was I surprised by the amount of artifacts and displays they have. A day was absolutely insufficient to give everything a minute to peruse. It consists of a Science Center, History Galleries, Planetarium, Research Library and Museum Shoppe. Of course, we went only to the first three places and snubbed the other two.
At the Science Center, the huge replicas of dinosaur skeletons immediately caught our attention.
The Center was also interactive and had special hands-on activities for children to learn and enjoy. In the picture below, Kyle used a simple aluminum foil sheet and rolling pin to sketch a fossil of what looked like a fish with fangs!
In the History Galleries, they built a charming miniature town with classic shops and offices like a barber’s shop, bakery, lawyer’s office, fire department, hotel and many others.
As much as we wanted to look around more, we needed to run to the Planetarium to catch the viewing session in time. It was my first time to one so I don’t have much to compare but it was fun as we learned about how to find constellations in the sky.