Dotting Northern Kentucky are several museums highlighting the history of their communities and the region as a whole. Uniquely sharing stories and offering events and programs, all are worth a visit to learn more about what took place in our own backyard.

The Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum celebrates the area’s military history through several wars and the role the area continues to play. The museum also commemorates the lives tragically lost in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire and pays tribute to the first responders on that fateful eve. Recently featured on the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, the Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum, located in Tower Park, has a collection of objects that includes historic uniforms and equipment used by several military branches (such as a graphotype dog tag machine and a USO portable communications center), a cash register badly burned in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, maps that show the many Civil War Batteries that dotted Campbell County, and a conservancy room containing fossils and Native American artifacts.

Roll the dice with a visit to the Northern Kentucky Gambling Museum in Newport. Examining the rise of and eventual fall of “Sin City,” the museum’s delightfully decadent collection includes slot machines, uniforms, gaming tables and customized chips from the various casinos that were once in Newport, such as The Yorkshire, Glenn Schmidt’s, The 633 Club and others. The museum is housed in the old Mustang Bar, which is a bit notorious itself and reputedly the site of at least three murders! Founder Larry Trapp will share stories about the famous and infamous people who helped give Newport its once scandalous reputation—and you’ll be amazed at the stories he will tell.

Fort Wright’s James A. Ramage Civil War Museum’s mission is to inform visitors about the defense of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati during the Civil War and how the community came together to defend the area during this critical period in our nation’s history. Mission accomplished! Archeological and historical records interpret the history of the region and the very important role of the Black Brigade with the help of a nearby Battery Hooper, which hosts re-enactments and other events.

All aboard for a good time at the Railroad Museum of Greater Cincinnati. Located in Latonia, you can enjoy a self-guided tour of locomotives and many railroad cars including Pullmans, a Post Office Car and a 1943 wartime troop Sleeper. The circa-1912 Post Office Car is a reminder that not all that long ago, the United States lacked the network of highways it has today. Your mail came on the train and this car is one of thousands that were once in service.

Ever hear stories from your grandparents about the Ludlow Lagoon? Learn about it and more at the Ludlow Heritage Society and Museum. Books, maps and other historic and cultural artifacts are on display, telling the story of this river town from its incorporation in 1864 through today. This city is only two square miles, but packs quite a historic punch. The Ludlow Lagoon was a major area attraction and operated from 1895 until 1920. It featured rides, a large lagoon dotted with islands and a Victorian style clubhouse where dancers welcomed in the Jazz Age.

Other local museums and exhibits well worth the visit are the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park, the indoor/outdoor exhibits at Big Bone Lick State Park in Union and the Vent Haven Museum in Ft. Mitchell.

From locomotives to lagoons, these homegrown museums make Northern Kentucky proud.