Frequently Asked Questions About the Oberlin Heritage Center
Oberlin Heritage Center
Where is the Oberlin Heritage Center?
Our mailing address is 73 ½ South Professor Street and the ½ means we are located in the middle of the block and very difficult to find. The easiest way to find us is to Google or MapQuest our parking lot using the address 20 West Vine Street, which is just behind the Midas shop at the corner of Main Street (State Route 58) and Vine Street at the southern end of downtown Oberlin. The brick Monroe house, where our offices are and tours begin, is located at the end of the parking lot. Visitors can walk around the Monroe House fence to our front door. See our Find Us page for a map and more detailed directions.
When may I come for a tour?
The guided "Oberlin Origins" are offered at the following times: every Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., or by group reservation Tuesday–Saturday (3-weeks advance notice required). Tour last approximately 45 minutes. Self-guided tours of the Monroe House and tablet tours to rent are available Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Additional History Walks of Oberlin and special event tours are listed on the Event Calendar.
When is the Oberlin Heritage Center open?
Our offices and museum store are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. See our Event Calendar for tour and program offerings. Visitors to the Resource Center must make appointments. The Oberlin Heritage Center is closed on major holidays.
What is the tour fee?
The "Oberlin Origins" tours cost $4 per adult and college students and children under 18 are free. History walks are $6 per adult and college students and children are free. Group tours are $6 per adult for adult groups and $3 per child for youth groups. Members receive discounts on tour fees.
Except for workshops and summer camps, nearly all programs offered by the Oberlin Heritage Center are free of charge.
How can I arrange a group tour?
We are happy to offer group tours by appointment Tuesday through Saturday. We require groups of 8 or more to make reservations at least one month in advance and submit a deposit to hold their reservation. Large groups that make reservations to tour with the Oberlin Heritage Center are charged $6 per adult for adult groups and $3 per child for youth and school groups. Full payment is due two weeks in advance. Group tour reservations may be made by calling (440) 774-1700 during regular office house (Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.). All tours are subject to availability of docents. See our Bring a Group and Bring a Youth Group pages for more information.
How can I contact the Oberlin Heritage Center?
We can be reached by email, phone, or at our offices Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact Us
May I take photographs or video when visiting?
Yes. Visitors are welcome to take photographs in the Oberlin Heritage Center buildings, provided a tripod is not used and the camera flash is turned off to protect our objects from light damage. If photography or video is intended for commercial use or publication in any way, permission from the Executive Director is required.
How is the Oberlin Heritage Center funded?
We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by an 18 member Board of Trustees. Our organization is funded by memberships, contributions, endowment income, investments, grants, special projects and planned gifts. We are not funded by Oberlin College or any government organization, excepting occasional project grants.
Would you like my grandmother’s clock, or wedding dress, or china, or…?
Potential donors of artifacts should call or make an appointment with the Collections Manager by calling (440) 774-1700 or by e-mailing [email protected]. Unexpected drop offs are strongly discouraged – we want to collect as much information as possible to make our acceptance decisions, so please make an appointment to talk with us first!
Do you have any jobs?
Available positions are posted on or Work Opportunities page. Volunteer and internship opportunities are frequently available.
Are there public restrooms at the Oberlin Heritage Center?
Visitors should plan to use the restroom before visiting the Oberlin Heritage Center. We have minimal restroom facilities that are not accessible to individuals using wheelchairs.
Are your tours wheelchair accessible?
The Oberlin Heritage Center seeks to ensure that all visitors feel welcome on the museum campus and that all interested people may access high quality programming about Oberlin’s rich history. Due to the historic nature of our buildings, some areas are not currently accessible to visitors using wheelchairs. In the coming years, OHC has committed to improving our ability to provide all visitors with an equitable experience. For more information on the accommodations available for our tours and programs, see our Accessibility page.
Are there lunch facilities or food available at the Oberlin Heritage Center?
We do not sell food and there are no spaces large enough to accommodate groups wishing to eat at the Oberlin Heritage Center, unless groups are interested in picnicking on our lawn. We can direct group leaders to several local organizations that may have available space or check out our dining list for a list of local restaurants.
Can any of your buildings be rented for special events?
No. As a museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, we maintain very safe and clean environments to protect our object collections and buildings.
What is O.H.I.O.?
Our organization was formerly known as the Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization and sometimes the acronym O.H.I.O. still appears on outdated signs and publications. That is still the legal name of our organization but we do business as the Oberlin Heritage Center.
Is the Oberlin Heritage Center part of Oberlin College?
No. The Oberlin Heritage Center is a separate non-profit organization. Oberlin College students are involved in volunteer activities and serve as interns. Faculty members are also involved as members, volunteers, experts, etc. Many Oberlin Alumni are members and volunteers.
Please see our Fact Sheet for more detailed information about the Oberlin Heritage Center’s organizational structure, programs, publications, and awards.
To learn more about Oberlin History, Oberlin College, the Underground Railroad, etc., visit the Oberlin History FAQ and other pages under the Research and Learn menu on the homepage.
I want to learn more about my family and their connection to Oberlin.
Check the Just for Genealogists page for resources available online. Genealogy questions may also be directed to [email protected].
I want to learn more about my house in Oberlin.
Our online City Directories and City-wide Historic Site Inventory may contain information about your property. If they do not, make an appointment to visit the Resource Center to browse our available files.
Do you have a picture of …?
See our Historic Photographs page or email us. We have many photos of Oberlin buildings and events, but we generally only have photographs of individuals if they were donated to us by family or community members. You may also wish to contact the Oberlin College Archives.
Who can tell me more about ….?
If you have not found what you are looking for under our Visit or Research and Learn menus on OHC's homepage, please contact our Collections Manager by email at [email protected] or call (440) 774-1700. We will try to help find the answer or guide you to an appropriate resource. If you do not receive a response within a few days, please email us again or call to be sure we received your message. Please note that research questions that take some time to answer may be subject to fees, which are outlined on our Use the Resource Center page.
Visiting Oberlin and the Area
I’m visiting Oberlin, but don’t know anything about it. Tell me about it. What else is there to do in Oberlin? Lorain County?
If you want to learn about the history of Oberlin, see our Oberlin History FAQ.
Feel free to stop in our office to pick up brochures about many organizations, events, things to do, bike trails, self guided tours, and more.
Where is the Frank Lloyd Wright House? How can I go on a tour there?
This historic structure, the Weltzheimer-Johnson House, is owned and operated by the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Please see the AMAM website for tour times. The house is located off Morgan Street, on the north side just west of Westwood Cemetery.
Where is a good place to eat?
Please see the dining options on our Explore Oberlin page.
Do you offer grant money for historic preservation?
The Oberlin Heritage Center does not offer grants for historic preservation. Please see our Historic Preservation page for more information about other organizations that may be able to help.
Where can I find resources on historic preservation?
See our Historic Preservation and Links pages for information about historic preservation.