After a two-year closure, the Grand Reopening of the new and improved Rev. Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum is slated for Saturday, Jan. 20 at noon at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center in Logan, Ohio.
Today, more than 5,000 sharpeners line the walls of the brand new facility. Built by the tourism association after the Pencil Sharpener Museum’s original shed-like structure was unrepairable, the new space is handicapped accessible and features museum-quality cases that house the mind-blowing array of sharpeners.
The world’s only pencil Sharpener Museum originally was housed in a small garden shed at the private home of Paul Johnson and his wife. After Rev. Johnson’s passing, his wife, Charlotte, graciously agreed to move the collection to the Hocking Hills Welcome Center in 2011, making it accessible to the millions who visit the Hocking Hills every year. Rev. Johnson’s family retains ownership of the collection and his daughter Carol will be on hand for the Jan. 20 ribbon cutting of its new home.
Tampa, FL native Frank Parades was a longtime antiques enthusiast with a similar pencil sharpener penchant. After Parades passed away, his wife, Stephanie, discovered the Pencil Sharpener Museum in 2022 – and immediately knew it was the ideal home for her husband’s collection. The addition grew the impressive museum, adding more than 1,000 new pieces. As Parades traveled the world, his souvenirs were always pencil sharpeners, including the earliest models from the early 1800s, which were produced in Spain and have many moving parts. Parades noted that while sharpeners may look alike, they in fact often differ and come from different manufacturers. Museum guests are encouraged to try and discover the subtle differences in similar-looking sharpeners.
Beyond the celebrated waterfalls, rugged rock formations and spectacular gorges that draw millions of travelers to the region each year, the Pencil Sharpener Museum is one of several quirky experiences they’ll also find in the Hocking Hills. Columbus Washboard Co., the last remaining washboard factory in America, is still making washboards and welcoming travelers for tours. And Hocking Hills Orchard boasts the largest collection of apple tree varieties, with visitors invited to pick their own apples and learn incredible apple history, trivia and tips from orchard owner, apple historian and amateur horticulturist Derek Mills.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio’s Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an astonishing variety of lodging, from cabins, cottages, hotels and inns to yurts, treehouses, geodomes, hobbit houses and tiny houses – even a cabin built into a cave. Thousands of acres of hiking trails, parks and forests, the dark skies of John Glenn Astronomy Park, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, rappelling, guided hikes, canoeing, horseback riding, golf and more help visitors experience the region’s extraordinary natural beauty and its warm, friendly people. Unique gift and antique shops, outdoor saunas, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information, including lodging, is available at www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).