Greenville, Ohio is the birthplace of Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter who performed with Buffalo Bill in his Wild West Show. Greenville is also the home of the Garst Museum. The museum is a mere two hour drive from Indianapolis and is located not too far the Indiana-Ohio border. A day trip to this historic destination will provide an enjoyable use of a free weekend.
Annie Oakley is still known as one of, if not the most renowned female sharpshooter in the history of the country. Her trick shots amazed and thrilled audiences during her performances. She married Frank Butler, another local resident of Greenville. This romance is portrayed in the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun.
The Garst collection of items in the Annie Oakely Center has something for everyone. Most visitors are surprised to learn that she had a very feminine side to her personality. Most have a vision of Annie Oakley as a rough and tumble gun toting tomboy. The reality of her life reveals a petite, pretty woman who had a love for the finer things in life. She loved elegant lacy clothing, silver services, and beautiful furnishings in her home. The Garst collection has great examples of all of these.
Annie’s firearms are also displayed. This remarkable collection features fancy presentation rifles as well as the used but meticulously maintained rifles utilized by Annie in her shooting exhibitions. Aficionados of Winchester and Remington arms will appreciate viewing these fine firearms. Die-hard Colt revolver fans won’t be disappointed.
The Oakley memorabilia is often displayed with background photographs showing Annie using the firearm, wearing the dress, or seated at the table with the table service. This unique display technique adds a degree of personalization to each item not commonly seen in museums.
The museum also offers detailed displays about the history of the historic 1795 Greenville Treaty, memorabilia from journalist Lowell Thomas, and a large display of antique farm implements, appliances, and machinery.
Take I-70 east to SR 1 north, turn east on US 36 to Ohio 121 north to Greenville. The Garst Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. Check the museum website for times and admission fees.