Last spring my friend Jacqlyn and I accompanied Pat on one of his many trips around southeastern Ohio as he filmed stories for Athens Midday. One afternoon we journeyed west on State Route 56 to Etta’s Lunchbox Cafe and Museum, a small, independently-owned museum ran by Timothy and LaDora Seewer.
The museum and restaurant was named after Timothy’s grandmother who grew up in the area. “We thought it has a nice, country-sounding name and that it was a good fit.”
With over 900 lunchboxes, some have described the museum as a look back through 150 years of pop culture, while others simply visit for a trip down memory lane. This little gem encompasses the charm of southeastern Ohio. Some lunchboxes include superheros like Spiderman and Superman to cartoons like Garfield and Peanuts, from a wall full of Barbie boxes to tributes to TV shows like Happy Days and Charlie’s Angels. The museum also hosts a small restaurant where patrons can purchase sandwiches, pizzas, chili and other homemade dishes, as well as a farm in the back with llamas and goats and chickens, oh my!
Ugh, my man voice makes another appearance in this video.
Unfortunately, with the passing of Timothy, the current status of the museum is unknown. Another small museum in Nelsonville, the Pencil Sharpener Museum, has also recently closed due to the death of its owner, Paul Johnson. It’s important to visit small museums like these, as well as the Glass Museum in Lancaster or the Soda/Coca-Cola Museum in Marietta, or the Toy & Plastic Museum in Bellaire, to enjoy creative and family-owned attractions around southeastern Ohio. Hopefully Odd Ohio has introduced some interesting places to visit and hopefully we can help to prevent the future closings of some of these amazing, hometown attractions.