To the Point
Paul A. Johnson collected the nearly 4,000 pencil sharpeners on display at his small namesake museum.
Today, keyboards have all but commandeered the writing world, leaving accessories like the pencil sharpener without much to sharpen. But in Hocking County, there’s still a place for the device — nearly 4,000 of them to be precise.
Tucked next to the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center in Logan, the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum pays tribute to the trusty schoolroom staple.
Paul A. Johnson, a retired minister, began the collection in 1988 after his wife bought him a small collection of transportation-themed pencil sharpeners as a whimsical Christmas gift.
“He was very hard to buy a gift for,” Charlotte Johnson says of her late husband. “He’d say, ‘Just buy me some shaving lotion.’ Well, you can’t buy shaving lotion every time there’s a holiday.”
Charlotte’s gift sparked her husband’s interest, and soon he was thumbing through catalogs and scouring flea markets for new pieces to add to the collection.
“Every place we would go he would look for pencil sharpeners,” she recalls. “One time, I think he brought home 20.“
Once the collection outgrew an office at the couple’s home, they built a small shed in their backyard to accommodate the sharpeners that range from cars to furniture to famous landmarks. “One of his prized pencil sharpeners was the twin towers from New York,” says Charlotte.
When the collection outgrew its original shed, the Johnsons built a larger one and invited the public to see the array of pencil sharpeners by making an appointment or just stopping by.
Prior to Paul’s death in 2010, he asked that the collection stay together, and that’s when the Hocking Hills Tourism Association stepped in to move the museum, building and all. Now, guests can stop in to see the collection any time the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center is open.
Visit website for center hours; 13178 St. Rte. 664 S., Logan 43138, 800/462-5464, explorehockinghills.com