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Toledo Police Museum: Old Sparky

Field review by the editors.

Toledo, Ohio

For years an exact replica of Ohio's "Old Sparky" electric chair was displayed in Mansfield Reformatory, the prison where The Shawshank Redemption was partly filmed. When the prison acquired the real chair, which fried 17 men, it gave the replica to the Toledo Police Museum in 2015. The replica had its own moment of screen fame: Lil' Wayne sat in it for his 2004 music video "Go D.J."

The Police Museum takes care to honor the 30 policemen and one dog killed in the line of duty but, surprisingly, other dogs have their place in the museum as well, including "Bum," a pit bull who simply showed up and started catching Toledo criminals in 1905, and Owney the postal mascot, who was infamously shot and killed by a Toledo patrolman in 1897.

The exploits of colorfully nicknamed Toledo criminals are chronicled in the museum, including Public Enemy No. 1 "Pretty Boy" Floyd (who was later gunned down elsewhere in Ohio), gang-family leader "Mother Mack" McDonald (Toledo's version of Ma Barker), and "Crane Neck" Nugent, one of the Valentine's Day Massacre killers, who disappeared and supposedly wound up as alligator food in a Florida swamp.

Toledo Police Museum: Old Sparky

2201 Kenwood Blvd, Toledo, OH
Northwest of downtown, on the south side of Kenwood Blvd, at its intersection with Midwood Ave., across from Toledo Hospital.
Th-Sa 10-4 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
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