Events and News

Mark your calendar. Attend a program and learn something new.  
Have your say.  Hear what others have to say.  Celebrate. Connect with the past and present.


Events Calendar pdf
Online Event Calendar
Online News Room


Summer / Fall 2018

All programs are FREE and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.  If reservations and or payments are needed, you will be linked to the online event calendar or call (440) 774-1700 or send an email to to request a registration form. 


Community Programs / Activities


June - August: Outdoor Games for All

Unplug those earbuds. Put that phone away. Grab a friend, sibling, parent, grandchild, or anyone else looking for some fresh air and fun. This summer the Oberlin Heritage Center will be putting games outside for people to enjoy in our yard. Choose from classics like ring toss, jump rope, hoop and stick, and more. The games will be available, for FREE, during OHC's open hours, Tuesday through Saturday. All you have to do is sign them out.

P.S. If you're willing to support the purchase of these games and replacements, please contact Executive Director Liz Schultz.


June 22 (Friday, 4:00 p.m.) A Reading and Book Signing with John A. Vanek

Book lovers, suspense fans, and Oberlin history enthusiasts all are invited to a free, public, one-hour presentation in the intimate setting of the Monroe House parlor. John (Jack) Vanek highlights excerpts from his new novel DEROS, a Father Jake Austin Mystery (with OHC's Jewett House on the cover!), which features the Oberlin Heritage Center and even a brief appearance by retired Executive Director Patricia Murphy. Following the reading, he'll take questions and sign copies of DEROS, which is the first in a planned three-part book series. Seating is limited; registration recommended and can be completed on-line. Location: Oberlin Heritage Center Monroe House.


June 23 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Chalk Walk

Observe or take part in Oberlin’s 13th annual Chalk Walk celebration, which continues the tradition of festive, colorful sidewalk painting that began in 16th century Italy. All skill levels are welcome to work alongside master artists and local artists in creating works of sidewalk art. High quality chalk is provided free. Stop by the Heritage Center’s table on South Main Street for a fun break! For more information, visit Location: Downtown Oberlin. (Rain date: June 24).


July and August (Three Select Weeks, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Summer Camps for Kids

Hands-on history learning and fun come together in each of these day camps designed for boys and girls ages 8-13. The cost is $110 per child ($100 for children/grandchildren of OHC members). Register by June 23 to receive an “early bird” discount of $5 per child. Partial scholarships are available to those who qualify for schools' free or reduced lunch programs. All camps this summer are taught by OHC Museum Education and Tour Coordinator Amanda Manahan. Register online  or call (440) 774-1700 for information. Location: Oberlin Depot, with some walking field trips nearby.

July 16 – 20 From Farm to Fork to Fun
Ever wonder where your food comes from? How it is made? What happens to it before you buy it? This camp gives participants a taste of the history of growing, selling, and serving food. Campers also will learn about ancient food preparation and preservation techniques from around the world through hands-on activities and field trips.

July 30 – August 3 Architecture Camp
Discover the basics of architecture through hands-on learning! We’ll tour Oberlin architecture, explore building materials, try construction challenges, sketch designs and envision buildings of the future. Scouts attending this camp also complete some requirements for Architecture badges.

August 6 – 10 Explore Oberlin
Staff Only! Keep Out! Do you ever wonder what's behind that door? In this camp, we’ll explore behind-the-scenes of museums, businesses, and landmarks in Oberlin to learn more about what makes the town run. Our week-long expedition focuses on the realms of education, art, history, entertainment, and city services.


July 20 (Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon) OHC Members-Only Trip to Leek Pipe Organ Company

Join us for a mechanical, musical, magnificent visit to Leek Pipe Organ Company in Berea, Ohio. After a brief welcome, we’ll head back into the shop where the pipe organ magic happens. We’ll learn about pipe families and materials, "voicing" a pipe, and how organ technology has changed (and not changed) over time. This family-owned company was founded in 1976 by John G. P. Leek (also an OHC member), former Curator of Pipe Organs at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His son, James P. Leek, is a master organ builder and president of the company, which was based in Oberlin until 2014. The company specializes in building custom Tracker/Electro-pneumatic pipe organs, restoring historic and modern pipe organs, technology upgrades to consoles and controls, voicing, tuning, repairs, and maintenance. Field Trip cost: $20/person. Recommended for adults and youth ages 12 and up. Reserve on-line for one of the 25 spaces available.


July 24 (Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) Vintage & Vintner at Matus Winery

This annual midsummer gathering offers an opportunity to explore another Lorain County winery, enjoy the fruits of the earth, a splash of history, and good company. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with guests greeted by the smooth jazz guitar of musician Rich Holsworth. Following a brief presentation by the winery, OHC Executive Director Liz Schultz offers a 15-minute program about The First Automobiles in Oberlin. Each guest receives tickets for two glasses of wine, and more will be available for purchase. Non-alcoholic refreshment and finger foods will be provided, along with a fun array of items to be raffled ($1/ticket). Cost: $30/person (21 and up). All proceeds benefit the Heritage Center’s Pat Murphy Endowment for Heritage Preservation. Advance reservations required / Register online. Location: Matus Winery

Premier Sponsor:         Co-Sponsor:


July 25-29   The Wheelmen (and Women) Are in Town!

You won't have to look hard to spot high wheel bicyclists when The Wheelmen arrive in town. Upwards of 200 riders are expected to come for the 51st Annual Meet, hosted right here by Oberlin College. While they will have a packed schedule of rides, programs, meet-ups, movies, and more, there will be community-wide events as well, including a Friday night “Old-Fashioned Picnic & Concert” on Tappan Square. The Heritage Center's Monroe House will be open to all for free self-guided tours on Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Stop by to enjoy a special Heritage Center display of bicycle-themed photos and artifacts, including an 1890s lady's Geneva bicycle with beautiful curved wood fenders and a carbide headlamp!


August 4 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Family Fun Fair & Jewett Reunion

Oberlin's 26th Annual Family Fun Fair features free activities all over town for families with young children. At the Oberlin Heritage Center, visitors can try their hand at old-fashioned games on the lawn of the 1836 Little Red Schoolhouse, or step back in time and explore the first floor of the 1866 Monroe House on a self-guided tour. We also have two special offerings this Saturday:

11:00 a.m. I Spy Oberlin Tour   Fun and engaging for all ages, this guided one-hour walking tour through historic Oberlin is designed for younger children (ages 5-11) accompanied by an adult. You’ll be kept on your toes as you seek out historic markers, decorative details, and Oberlin oddities. Free; reservations encouraged and can be made on-line. Starting location: Monroe House.

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Jewett House   Members of the Jewett family will be visiting the Heritage Center's Jewett House and all are welcome to attend a mini program about Frank and Fannie Jewett, who lived in the house from 1884 to 1923, and their connections to national events and social movements in the Civil War era. Afterward, visitors may view newly installed history panels about Frank's extended family and tour the house at their own pace.

Location: Family Fun Fair takes place throughout downtown Oberlin and the Heritage Center’s activities are held at the Little Red Schoolhouse, Monroe House, and Jewett House. For more information about Family Fun Fair, visit or call (440) 774-6262.


August 14 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) From Private Sphere to Public Sphere:  A History of Early 20th Century Oberlin Women

Did you know that Delphine Hanna, one of the first physical education instructors in the nation, taught at Oberlin College? Or that women's sports mentioned in the 1924 Oberlin High School yearbook included tennis, hiking, biking, swimming and basketball? Join Ohio History Service Corps member Sara Fisher as she explores how women’s physical athletic activities coincided with women’s larger social movements of the era.  Fisher discusses how the formation of community groups such as the Oberlin Village Improvement Society, and the work of prominent Oberlin women like Frances Gulick Jewett paved the way for social and health-related initiatives. Location: Kendal at Oberlin’s Heiser Auditorium.

OHC will salute Kendal’s 25th Anniversary in a special brief prelude to this program!


September 7 (Friday, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.) Root Beer Float Friday

The Heritage Center welcomes Oberlin College students to campus and helps to kick-off another academic year by serving up free root beer floats on the front lawn of the Victorian Jewett House. What’s root beer got to do with Oberlin history? Discover the answer…and a whole lot more about Oberlin’s nationally significant history at the Heritage Center. Free; open to all Oberlin College students. Location: Jewett House.

Co Sponsor:   


September 8 & 22 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. by appointment) Scanning Saturdays

Do you want a high quality digital copy of your grandmother's high school graduation photo? Or maybe of a snapshot of your uncle when he was in the service? Or a slide from that vacation? From families, to parties, to pets, to homes, we want to help you preserve and share your special photographic memories. The Heritage Center has a high quality scanner that can scan items as large as 8½ by 11 inches and up to 4,800 dpi (dots per inch). There is also a larger scanner available for items up to 11 x 17 inches that can scan at 600 dpi. Participants can sign-up for a 30-minute slot either of these two Saturdays and bring up to 10 items to scan at $1 each ($.50 for OHC members). Participants are asked to bring a flash drive to take the copies home.

OHC will not keep copies of photographs or scans unless participants choose to let the museum keep a digital copy of any Oberlin-related materials for the archives and educational programs. While the scanner is moving, Collections Manager Maren McKee will be happy to share ideas for storing and labeling your photo collection. There are only 28 spots, so reserve your place now by e-mailing Maren at Location: Monroe House.


September 15 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) Cabinets, Closets, & Cupboards

Visit two historic buildings for free on this special day as the Oberlin Heritage Center hosts an "Ohio Open Doors" event. The first floor of the 1866 Monroe House will be open for self-guided tours and the 1884 Jewett House will be open for guided tours of behind-the-scenes areas offered on-the-half-hour. Peek into the closets and see the newly upgraded collections storage room! Location: Oberlin Heritage Center.

The Ohio Open Doors initiative runs statewide September 7-16. Watch for more information about other host sites this fall.


September 22 (Saturday, 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.) Smithsonian Museum Day

Enjoy a FREE Upstairs/Downstairs tour at the Oberlin Heritage Center at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 14th Annual Museum Day. Present the Museum Day Admission Card available at Advance registration is encouraged. Location: Tours begin at the Monroe House of the Oberlin Heritage Center.


September 29 (Saturday, 9:00-12:30) Upstairs / Downstairs Tour Training

Learn how to present an engaging 75-minute tour through the Heritage Center’s three historic buildings while sharing stories of the community and college in its first century, from the 1833 founding through the turn of the 20th century. Register by September 21.  Volunteers are asked to commit to leading at least four tours or history walks per year. Training is free and begins at the Monroe House; arrange to take a free tour in advance to see what it’s all about. To register for training or reserve a free advance tour, call (440) 774-1700 or e-mail


October 12-14 (Friday at 4:00 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 p.m.) Every Good Story has a Plot

Enjoy a fascinating look at local history this Halloween season through a special tour of Westwood Cemetery. This program introduces new stories, along with some familiar ones, about early Oberlin citizens as told by costumed interpreters of the past. This year guests will meet Oberlin business owners of days-gone-by. Tickets for this family-friendly (and non-frightening) one-hour guided stroll are $10 for adults and $5 for children ($8 adults/$4 children for OHC members). The event is recommended for ages 7 and up. Reservations are needed in advance. Location: Westwood Cemetery.

Friday, October 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m.


October 23 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) Gearing Up, Then Winding Down: A History of Oberlin Industry

Oberlin Heritage Center Museum Education and Tour Coordinator Amanda Manahan offers a free public program on Oberlin’s varied blend of industries dating back to its founding years. From sawmills to silk manufacturing to education, this illustrated presentation explores the ins and outs of early American industries and shares stories of our own community’s production of goods and services over the past 185 years. Location: Kendal at Oberlin’s Heiser Auditorium.


November 2 (Friday, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.) Community Trivia Night Doors Open at 5:30 p.m.


Let’s get together for another family-friendly night of trivia! Round up a team of players – or come on your own – and test your knowledge of pop culture particulars, sports specifics, mythological mysteries, and more. There are always some Oberlin oddities thrown in, but there should be a question for everyone, including kids. See if you can de-throne the reigning champions, the "Lighting Rods" of Oberlin’s Ben Franklin/Mindfair store. The evening includes food, side games, and plenty of fun! Advance registration is required. Watch for further details coming this fall on the Heritage Center’s website and in the monthly E-Gazette. Location: Fellowship Hall of The First Church in Oberlin, U.C.C.



November 9-11 (various times) Oberlin College Parents Weekend Tours

Oberlin College's Parents & Family Weekend is one of the Oberlin Heritage Center's last big tour weekends of the year. If you haven't yet experienced a guided history walk across neighborhoods surrounding downtown Oberlin or a Sneak Peek tour inside the Monroe House, this is your chance! Tours are open to the public as well as to campus visitors. Watch the OHC website or future issues of the monthly E-Gazette for more details about dates, times and fees.


December (all month) Time & Treasures On Tour

Visit the Oberlin Heritage Center this month for two special treats. Come on any regularly offered Upstairs/Downstairs tour or Sneak Peek tour and see the mini display of historic artifacts and photographs that were donated to the Heritage Center in the past two years, including an antique trumpet from the Gayters family and many historic photographs.

Don’t miss the Heritage Center’s special Tour Through Time where you’ll learn more about the clocks and watches in the museum's collection, including an ornate Empire-style clock gifted to Charles Grandison Finney. This one-hour tour is offered every Saturday in December at 11:00 a.m. Fee: $6/adults ($4/OHC members; free for college students and youth). Advance reservations requested and can be completed on-line.


Summer History Walks

As warm weather returns to northeast Ohio, so do the Oberlin Heritage Center’s popular outdoor history walks. All ages can enjoy time outside and learn more about Oberlin’s unique history and architecture through these fun learning opportunities. Remember, OHC members enjoy FREE guided tours and history walks!

Freedom’s Friends History Walk: Underground Railroad & Abolitionist History Walk: Prior to the Civil War, as many as 3,000 African Americans passed through or lived in Oberlin after escaping from slavery. Learn about Oberlin’s famous freedom seekers and those known to have helped them make their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. in June, July and August. Tour starts at the First Church of Oberlin

June July August
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6/9 7/14 8/11
6/16 7/21 8/18
6/23 7/28 8/25


Radicals & Reformers History Walk: Join us for a stroll through historic Westwood Cemetery.  This guided tour promises a pleasing balance of Westwood's scenic landmarks and stories of some of the many spirited men and women of Oberlin who simply refused the status quo.  Find out which resident was remembered as "gentle, soft-spoken, tolerant and yet nobody's fool."  Visit the headstone of the man who escaped from slavery (twice!) and later served on the Oberlin village council. 

First Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in June, July, and August. Tour begins at Westwood Cemetery.

June July August
6/3 7/1 8/5


Ongoing Guided Tours

  • Upstairs / Downstairs Tour – Small Town, Big Stories – Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Heritage Center’s three beautifully preserved historic buildings serve as backdrop for stories of Oberlin’s nationally significant history, from its founding in 1833 through its first century of progress. 75 minutes. $6/adults; free to OHC members, children and college students. Advance reservations encouraged; walk-ins welcome, too.

  • Sneak Peek – Oberlin Origins Mini-Tour – You’ll hit all the highlights of Oberlin’s first 100 years in this 30-minute guided tour of the first floor of the Monroe House. Offered Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Drop-ins welcome, although advance notice appreciated (440-774-1700). $3/adults; free to OHC members, children and college students.


Self-Guided Tablet Tours

Move at your own pace with our tablet tours of historic Oberlin! Borrow an iPad at the Monroe House between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays and explore Oberlin landmarks, stories, and historic images. Stop in, e-mail (, or call ahead (440-774-1700) to rent a tablet. The fee is $5/hour or $20/day; 20% discount for OHC members.

  • Freedom's Friends This tour is a self-guided version of the popular Freedom's Friends History Walk. The tour leads you to local landmarks connected to Oberlin's abolitionist history. Be inspired by the illustrated stories of sacrifice and freedom and learn more from added stories not included in the History Walk.

  • Picture the Past: Downtown Oberlin This tour covers a one-block radius extending from the corner of Main & College Streets. Filled with fun facts, historic photographs, and more!