Get Lost in the Troll Hole Museum

Kevin J. Elliott
The Troll Hole in Alliance, Ohio

Even though our journey to Alliance, Ohio, started early, leaving Columbus by 8 a.m., we were defeated in finding out the Feline Historical Museum, housed in a magnificent former bank and built like a brutalist granite jewelry box, is closed on Saturdays throughout the winter — a good reminder to always call. Don’t trust the internet.

The closure was a particularly huge disappointment since a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cat house the museum is displaying recently went viral. But the absence of one highlight in the sparse downtown of Alliance only magnified the star attraction: Sherry Groom’s Troll Hole.

The drive to Alliance is bleak. Once you pull off I-71 and head east, you’ll start to see the forgotten Ohio that is all too familiar in 2020. It’s a long strip of empty factories in Wooster, Akron and Barberton; closed storefronts; abandoned houses, and permanent Trump signs. The final stretch into Alliance is an exaggeration of that script.

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