COSHOCTON — As a special "thank you" to the community, the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum will be offering free admission to all Coshocton County residents and their guests, beginning Dec. 15 and extending to the end of the year.

If you haven’t been to the Museum lately, this holiday season is a great time to bring family and friends to rediscover it, or perhaps see it for the very first time. Featuring five permanent galleries and a rotating special exhibit, visitors can expect to view the extensive collection which once belonged to brothers David and John Johnson, whose world travels created one of Coshocton’s most beloved institutions.

Born in the mid-1800s, the Johnson brothers grew up on a farm near Keene in Coshocton County. Their childhood fondness of collecting filled their parents’ home until their father constructed a three-room stone building to house the collections, including among others, Native American artifacts they had discovered on their property.

John served as a sergeant in the Civil War and was part of Sherman’s "March to the sea." The post-Civil War era found both brothers prospering in the family business of banking and real estate, which ultimately led to their investment in the lucrative real estate phenomenon of Tacoma, Washington.

For the remainder of their lives, David and John traveled and collected extensively—Mexico, Asia, Europe, and western U.S. and Canada (with particular emphasis on Native American).

Never forgetting their ties to Coshocton County, the Johnson brothers bequeathed their collection to the city with the intentions of opening a museum. In 1931, a few years after their deaths, more than 15,000 items were shipped by rail across the continent to begin a museum named after their mother (Mary Humrickhouse Johnson) and father (Joseph Kerr Johnson).

On May 8, 1931, the entire town of Coshocton celebrated the opening of the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, located in an old school on Sycamore Street. In the late-1970s, the Museum found a permanent home in Roscoe Village.

Jennifer Bush, Director, invites Coshocton residents to continue to be a part of the creativity, love of learning and appreciation of diverse cultures and local heritage that the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum represents.

Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Beginning in January and lasting through February, museum hours will be Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is located in Historic Roscoe Village, a restored canal-era town, at 300 N. Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, OH 43812. For more information contact the museum at 740-622-8710 or at jhmuseum@jhmuseum.org.