The Garst Museum, a historical museum with roots in the American experience, houses over 300,000 artifacts on display in 35,000 square feet of exhibit space within six major and two minor venues. The Garst House, which earlier served as an inn, has six additional building wings. The house was donated to the Darke County Historical Society in 1946 by the Garst family.

Major Exhibit Venues & Highlights Include

  • The National Annie Oakley Center

    • Personal and Professional Life ​​


  • Crossroads of Destiny

    • The Treaty of Greene Ville

    • Anthony Wayne, Little Turtle & Tecumseh

    • Meeting of Lewis & Clark


  • Lowell Thomas with Lawrence and Beyond

    • Lawrence of Arabia


  • Keepers of Freedom

    • Commander Zachary Lansdowne

    • Darke County Veterans

  • The Village Wing

    • Longtown

    • Early Main Street Experience
    • Kay Brown Photo Gallery

  • Americana Wing
    • Currier & Ives Collection
    • Period American Furnishings

  • Pioneer Wing
    • Early Agricultural Equipment
    • Early Domestic Equipment

  • Darke County Research Center
    • Genealogy

  • Garst Museum Store




On Sunday, February 23 at 2 p.m., Garst Museum welcomes Susan Trollinger, Ph.D.  Dr. Trollinger is a Professor of English at the University of Dayton (Ohio) where she teaches courses on rhetoric and writing as well as a year-long interdisciplinary course on the development of the West in a global context with faculty from English, history, religious studies, and philosophy. Her research interests include visual rhetoric, religion (especially the Amish and Protestant fundamentalism), and tourism. Her recent publications include Selling the Amish: The Tourism of Nostalgia (Johns Hopkins UP, 2012) and Righting America at the Creation Museum, co-authored with William Vance Trollinger, Jr. (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016).


The Amish have in the last few decades moved through an incredible transition, what some have called an Amish industrial revolution, that has profoundly changed their way of life. In this presentation, Dr. Trollinger will describe the traditional way of life that the Amish lived and how that has been transformed by the need to make a living off the farm. The question at the heart of this talk is: Can the Amish remain Amish in an economy that demands that they make a living off the farm?


All lectures are free and open to the public. However, regular admission will apply to tour Garst Museum, which includes the outstanding National Annie Oakley Center and Crossroads of Destiny in addition to the Lowell Thomas, Keepers of Freedom, and Longtown exhibits. Funding for this program was made possible by the Harry D. Stephens Memorial, Inc. Foundation.

Garst Museum Speakers Series: “Moving Off the Farm and Staying Amish”

It is with sadness that we recognize the passing of Emeritus Director and Annie Oakley researcher Marilyn Robbins. Marilyn played an instrumental role in the success Garst Museum has enjoyed over the years. She dedicated a substantial amount of her time, effort, and care in moving the museum’s mission forward and was generous with her knowledge about Annie Oakley. Marilyn was an inspiration in her selfless dedication to not only the Garst Museum but for all of her volunteer work. Marilyn has left a lasting legacy at Garst Museum that we are grateful for.

Honoring Marilyn Robbins

Garst Museum reopened its doors for visitors on Saturday, February 1.  A month-long closing in January allowed the museum staff time to clean and reorganize exhibits in preparation for an exciting new year.  Visitors will find the facility in top-notch condition. Dan Kagey, the grounds and maintenance manager, has dusted, cleaned, and waxed almost every nook and cranny in the museum.

Several improvements have been made to the exterior of the museum. Garst Museum must be maintained to preserve the building and make sure it is weatherproof and safe for patrons. In addition, the museum must be a safe and secure place to house priceless collections. The Board of Directors made the decision to have two large trees removed from in front of the museum. Both of these trees posed a great risk of damaging the museum if they came down during a storm. Other repairs to the building exterior included repairing and painting the front of the Coppock Wing, installing new gutters and leaf guards, repainting the antique iron planters, repairing handrails at both entrances, and replacing a faulty air-conditioning unit in the Pioneer Wing.  Garst Museum thanks the Coppock Hole Trust, Jeff Hole, Fred Brumbaugh, and the Lydia E. Schaurer Memorial Trust for funding these repairs. A special thanks also goes to board member Pete Hemer for overseeing these projects.

Garst Museum Reopened February 1, 2020

Garst Museum and the Darke County Park District are pleased to welcome Deb Shiverdecker as the 2020 Living History Encampment chairperson for The Gathering at Garst.  Deb has worked as the administrative assistant at the Darke County Park District for 15 years. During that time, she has helped organize history-related and other large events that the Park District hosts including Prairie Days, Candlelight Dinners on the Prairie, Maple Sugarin’ and the annual Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland. Deb was instrumental in the organization and planning of the bicentennial celebration of the Treaty of Greene Ville that the Park District hosted in 2014.  She has served as a co-organizer of the encampment at The Gathering for the past several years.  Jenny Clark, chairperson of The Gathering at Garst, states, "We are confident with Deb's leadership and the help of our committee members that the encampment will continue to be an exciting part of The Gathering. We are all looking forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Gathering at Garst in July 2020 as we welcome Deb to our team."


The Living History Encampment at The Gathering at Garst has become a premier living-history event receiving statewide attention. The encampment is staged under the shade of 300-year-old oak trees on land owned by the Darke County Park District. The partnership between Garst Museum and the Darke County Park District helps ensure the longevity of the encampment. It is the excellent leadership over the past nine years that has helped the encampment grow in popularity. Hank Steinmetz and Galen Delk, his successor, were both instrumental in starting and making the encampment the success that it is today. Their hard work and dedication along with help from loyal committee members are deeply appreciated.  It is the hope of Garst Museum, Darke County Park District, and The Gathering at Garst Committee that the encampment continues its success.

Gathering at Garst Welcomes New Encampment Chairperson

October 20, 2019, at 2:00 pm: “A Greene Ville Map 1793”


November 10, 2019, at 2:00 pm: A special Veterans Day program focusing on the end of World War I with featured speaker Dr. Jonathan Winkler of Wright State University.


February 23, 2020, at 2:00 pm: Moving off the Farm and Trying to Stay Amish with Susan Trollinger, Ph.D.


March 22, 2020, at 2:00 pm: The Other Trail of Tears: The Removal of the Ohio Indians with Mary Stockwell, Ph.D.


*Support for the Garst Lecture series comes, in part, from the Stephens Foundation.

Fall and Winter 2019/2020 Speaker Series

Garst Museum volunteers enjoyed a delicious volunteer appreciation lunch on Friday, October 25. Garst Museum is grateful to all the volunteers who help at the Gala and the Gathering along with those who volunteer as docents and help with all the different museum functions. We couldn't do it without you! 

Garst Museum Volunteers Recognized 

Dear Museum Supporter:

The Garst Museum owes our success to people like you that have supported our efforts to Educate, Preserve, and Share the history of our region. Whether you have donated your time or supported us through your Garst Museum Membership and general good will, we want to thank you! We hope you will continue to support our efforts at the Garst Museum.  

Unlike our Membership Program, which is earmarked strictly for operations costs, the Garst Museum Annual Fund will help us maintain and grow our Education Programs and the museum’s Artifact and Exhibit Preservation efforts as well as help build our Community Outreach efforts.

We hope that you will consider helping us build on our success by making a tax-deductible gift of $100 or more to the Garst Museum Annual Fund. Gifts of any amount are always welcomed. Please share the news with your friends, family, and others like you who understand the value of the award-winning Garst Museum.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our Education, Preservation, and Share programs or how you can get involved with our Volunteer and Outreach Groups.

We truly appreciate your loyal support.


Clay Johnson, Ph.D.

Garst Museum CEO


It is easy to donate to the Garst Museum! Just visit garstmuseum.org/donate and click the Donation Button under Annual Fund.

A Great Way to Support Garst Museum

The 2019 Gathering at Garst is now officially closed. Thank you to everyone that visited, volunteered, or helped sponsor the event. It was a great success!

There are some great images on the Gathering's Facebook page here.

Stay tuned and wait for some exciting news about the 10th-anniversary Gathering next year!

2019 Gathering at Garst is a Success!

This year’s Annie’s Star-Spangled Gala was a great success and loads of fun. The Gala is a fundraiser for The Garst Museum and the National Annie Oakley Center.  


The Garst Museum would like to thank all the donors, guests, ticket buyers, and volunteers who made this year’s Gala a wonderful event. 

2019 Annie’s Star Spangled Gala...Thank You!

The Darke County Historical Society’s Heritage Award was created in 2004 to recognize distinguished citizens or organizations for their outstanding contributions or actions of unusual excellence that help connect people to Darke County’s past. Dr. Clay Johnson, CEO of the Garst Museum, notes, “For those familiar with the area, Darke County is rich in its history and traditions, and its significance touches so many in the community. The Darke County Historical Society (DCHS) recognizes this importance and feels its responsibility is to honor those that join in its mission in celebrating the county’s past.” The DCHS operates the Garst Museum according to its mission to collect, preserve, exhibit, study, and interpret materials relating to the history and culture of Darke County. This year’s Heritage Award goes to the Fort GreeneVille Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.


The Fort GreeneVille DAR chapter was organized in January 1922. Over the years, the chapter has flourished and received high honors for its work in various areas that the DAR stands for. Honoring patriots of the Revolutionary War, the women’s service organization promotes historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Today, the chapter has 61 dedicated members that own the Studebaker Schoolhouse, the first brick school house erected in 1840 in Darke County. The schoolhouse was gifted to the DAR in 1934, and the chapter has maintained the grounds and school as a beautiful entrance to Greenville on St. Rt. 49.


The DAR is very active in the county searching for the gravesites of Revolutionary War veterans. Over 20 Revolutionary War patriot graves in Darke County have been identified with grave markers or rededicated since 2016 with more to come. The members donate their time and money to preserve veterans’ uniforms and memorabilia in the Veterans’ Building at the Darke County Fairgrounds. They have encased 31 uniforms over the past two years.  They help organize and participate in Veterans Day parades and activities. This past December, they participated in Wreaths Across America at the Greenville-Union Cemetery and placed approximately 300 wreaths on veterans’ graves. The chapter has donated countless genealogical and historical books to local libraries and presents historical programs at local schools.


Sustaining its legacy, the organization continues to accomplish its mission with such high integrity. It is with great appreciation that Garst Museum recognizes the members of the Fort GreeneVille Daughters of the American Revolution and honors its members with the 2019 Heritage Award for their dedication in preserving history, promoting education, and honoring patriots.

2019 Garst Museum’s Heritage Award Honors Fort GreeneVille DAR

Our history connects us to our past. Help preserve that history by becoming a volunteer at Garst Museum. Our patrons are interesting folks to meet. The children that visit are excited to learn and are so much fun. Come visit us and see what we have available for you!

Questions? Please contact:

Linda Newbauer



Volunteer Opportunities Are Available at Garst Museum!

The online Museum Store at Garst is now officially open! Check it out here!

The Online Museum Store at Garst is Now Open!

The “Green the Garst” tree donation program was created so the community can participate in beautifying the museum grounds and help create a lasting legacy. Since 2014, 33 new trees have been planted:

  • Drs. Chris and Clay Johnson and Blaine Baker for Sherlie S. Baker (24 trees planted April 10, 2014)

  • The Jasenski Family (planted December 4, 2014)

  • The Roy Bankson Family (planted June 26, 2015)

  • The Kagey Family Memorial Tree (planted November 29, 2016)

  • Dan Esarey for Ann and Patrick Esarey (two trees planted April 26, 2017)

  • In memory of Joan Hawley (planted May 1, 2018)

  • In memory of Victor Hauberg, Herbert Hauberg, and Arlene Hauberg Shiverdecker (planted July 3, 2018)

  • Gathering at Garst Committee in memory of Elaine Bailey (planted August 27, 2018)

  • In memory of Charles Rollin Fowble (Spring 2019)


Spencer Landscaping, Inc. of Greenville helps administer the program. Currently, the program will focus on the museum’s main grounds, east of the museum between Garst Avenue and Wilson Drive. Trees donated throughout the year will be planted in the spring or fall based on the museum’s landscaping plan. The donation includes professional installation.

Following the donation of the former Buchy Food Service property in 2012, the museum grounds expanded to over nine acres. The Darke County Historical Society is actively planning to convert the former Buchy property into an attractive, landscaped property and to create additional parking for the museum. As the planning for the former Buchy property evolves, additional landscaping donation options will be made available.


For more information about the “Green the Garst” program, please contact the museum at 937-548-5250 or information@garstmuseum.org.

Green the Garst Tree Donation Program

  • We live in Celina and had no idea such a wonderful museum was just 30 min away.  Be proud Darke County!

  • What a beautiful collection of your local history.  One of the best I have seen. [visitor from the Philippines]

  • We traveled from Southern Oregon just to see Annie Oakley.  Fabulous exhibit-I found so much more to admire about her and Frank.  Thank you so much, Eileen and Nancy for all your time and information.  I loved my visit.  Thank you.

  • This place is a grand treasure. It is a wonderful piece of this town I've called home all of my life.

  • The best original and informative museum we've visited. We want to return with our granddaughters.

  • Friendly Museum Keeper! Beautiful Exhibits.

  • I’ve been to many museums; this one is great because of so many true artifacts and not replicas.

  • We live in D.C. and I have always been obsessed with Annie Oakley that this was a wonderful experience to learn about.

  • Very nice and well-organized museum.  Well informed about Annie Oakley by the time we left.

  • Everything was so well organized.  Very informative and entertaining.  Great experience.

  • Wow!  What a great museum!

  • Best kept secret in the land!

  • Nicest museum I have ever been to of this size.

  • Fascinating, interesting, educational.  Thoroughly enjoyable to a couple from England.


​In 2019, the Garst Museum has had visitors from all 50 states except Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.  International visitors like us too! Many have come from Canada and 8 other foreign countries.

See What Patrons Have to Say about Garst Museum!

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Contact Us

The Garst Museum

205 North Broadway

Greenville, Ohio 45331

Phone: 937-548-5250

Fax: 937-548-7645

Email: information@garstmuseum.org

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