Nestled in the charming town of Dover, Ohio, the Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of Ernest “Mooney” Warther. Renowned as a master carver, Warther’s intricate works in ivory and his dedication to preserving the art of steam locomotives are showcased in this unique museum. Let’s delve into the history, artistry, and botanical beauty that define the Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens. Sugarcreek, OH can be seen here. 

The Legacy of Ernest “Mooney” Warther:

Ernest Warther, born in 1885, began his journey as a carver at a young age, whittling small objects from wood. Over the years, his passion evolved into a lifelong dedication to carving intricate masterpieces from materials such as ebony and ivory. Warther’s fame grew, earning him the title of “World’s Master Carver” as his works gained international recognition. Click here to read about Preserving Nature’s Bounty: The Norma Johnson Center Red Barn in Dover, Ohio.

The Knife Collection:

Central to the museum is Ernest Warther’s impressive knife collection, featuring over 5,500 knives meticulously carved from ivory, ebony, and other materials. Each knife tells a unique story, showcasing Warther’s extraordinary skill and attention to detail.

The Great American Steam Locomotive:

In addition to his carving prowess, Ernest Warther harbored a deep love for steam locomotives. The museum features a captivating display of the “Great American Steam Locomotive,” a meticulously crafted model composed of over 7,000 individual pieces.

Botanical Beauty at the Gardens:

The museum experience extends beyond the confines of the building into the meticulously landscaped Ernest Warther Gardens. Covering six acres, the gardens feature a stunning array of flora, pathways, and sculptures. Visitors can stroll through themed sections, including a rose garden, a butterfly garden, and a fragrant lilac garden. The Gardens provide a tranquil and picturesque backdrop that complements the artistic wonders housed within the museum.

The Button House:

A unique attraction within the Ernest Warther Museum is the Button House, a structure constructed entirely of 42,000 buttons. The Button House showcases Warther’s ingenuity and creativity, highlighting his ability to transform everyday materials into extraordinary works of art. 

Educational Initiatives:

The Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens is not just a static display of art but also an educational institution dedicated to preserving Warther’s legacy and promoting an appreciation for craftsmanship. The museum offers guided tours that provide insights into Warther’s life, his artistic process, and the historical significance of his works. Educational programs and workshops engage visitors of all ages, fostering a deeper understanding of the art of carving and the history of steam locomotives.

Community Engagement and Events:

The museum actively engages with the local community by hosting events, exhibits, and activities throughout the year. From seasonal garden tours to special exhibitions, the Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens remains a dynamic cultural hub that invites residents and visitors alike to explore the intersection of art, history, and nature.


The Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens in Dover, Ohio, stands as a testament to the extraordinary talent of Ernest Warther and his enduring contributions to the worlds of carving and locomotive history. The museum’s unique blend of artistic mastery, botanical beauty, and educational initiatives creates an immersive and enriching experience for those who venture into its hallowed halls and serene gardens.