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


Winter / Spring 2017


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.  

Street addresses for each program location are listed at the end of the calendar.


Community Programs / Activities


January 24 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.)  Treasures of the Conservatory's Special Collections

Presenter: Jeremy Smith, Special Collections Librarian and Curator of the James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection

Did you know that the Oberlin Conservatory of Music's special collections contain more than 700 instruments, including a triple Welsh harp and more than 100,000 jazz recordings?  Jeremy Smith will give an illustrated program revealing the breadth of the collection, from 16th century European musical theory, to 18th century American music, to modern jazz. Smith also discusses gems of the collection, including Milt Hinton artifacts and photographs documenting a 70-year career in the golden age of jazz. This program is free and open to the public. Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.  

Sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank.


January 27 (Friday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.) Behind-the-Scenes in the Piano Shop!  

Oberlin Heritage Center Members-Only Field Trip. 

Presenter: Robert Murphy, Assistant Director of Piano Technology and Curator of Fortepianos of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Join Robert Murphy for a private tour and discussion of the wide array of pianos owned by the Conservatory and how they keep them in tip-top condition throughout the year. The tour includes visits to some recording and performance spaces.  Register on-line or download the registration form.   


January - April (First Saturday of the Month, 1:00 p.m.) Music in the Home Tour

Listen and learn how music was used for entertainment, fellowship, and teaching in nineteenth-century homes during this 60-minute guided tour of the historic properties at the Oberlin Heritage Center. $6 per adult, free for OHC members, children and college students. Reserve on-line by selecting one of the dates below or call 440-774-1700. Location: Oberlin Heritage Center’s Monroe House.

Saturday, January 7 at 1:00 PM

Saturday, February 4 at 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 PM

Saturday, April 1 at 1:00 PM


February - Black History Month SpecialFREE Freedom's Friends Tablet Tour Rental

All are welcome to try the Freedom's Friends Tablet Tour for free this month in celebration of Black History Month. For a description of the self-guided tour, click here. Borrow a tablet Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. A credit card will be required for tablet loan, but no user charges will be made. 


February 1 – Community Awards Nominations Due

The Heritage Center’s Community Awards program, now in its 16th year, welcomes nominations of individuals, businesses, or organizations whose accomplishments are in keeping with OHC’s mission to “preserve and share Oberlin’s unique history and to make the community a better place to live, learn, work and visit.”  Awards include:

1) Community Historian  
2) Heritage Guardian
3) Teachers of the Year
4) Keep Oberlin Beautiful
5) OHC Volunteer of the Year
6) Business Leader Service Award
7) Youth Community Service Award.  

Download the brochure / nomination form or contact for more details.


February 3 (Friday, 4:00-5:30 p.m.) Dig Deeper into the Mudd

Oberlin Heritage Center Members-Only Field Trip. 

Presenters: Ken Grossi, Oberlin College Archivist and Ed Vermue, Oberlin College Special Collections / Preservation Librarian

Oberlin College was founded in 1833 and ever since that time, college documents and artifacts have been collected and preserved, and today are carefully housed on the fourth floor of the college’s Mudd Library. Connect with history as Ken Grossi shares highlights of the Oberlin College Archives, while Ed Vermue discusses what is contained in "the vault" and lets guests try their hand in the letterpress studio.  Register on-line or download the registration form


February 11 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m. Doors Open at 6:30 p.m.) Oh! Freedom

Presenters: Wesley Williams, who delivered a Frederick Douglass in Oberlin in 2015 and H. LeArthur (H.L.) Wright II with musical accompaniment 

Wesley Williams presents Oh! Freedom: Commemorating the Negro Spiritual and the Underground Railroad with musical accompaniment by H. LeArthur (H.L.) Wright II. Carefully selected prose narratives from historical scholars, poems from specific time periods, and spirituals that align with the text will give the audience the opportunity to commemorate the fusion of narrative and song to describe the evil, ugliness, and authentic beauty of this significant time in our nation's history.  This program is free and open to the public. Location: The First Church in Oberlin, U.C.C. Meeting House.  

Contributing Sponsor:  Oberlin African-American Genealogy & History Group (OAAGHG).  


March 1, 8, 15 (Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Hands-on History & Cultures of the World Home School Series

Educator: Amanda Manahan, Museum Education and Tour Coordinator

Children ages 8-13 will enjoy exploring different world cultures and time periods through hands-on activities and discussions of art, architecture, food, geography, religion and more.  March 1: West Africa / March 8: Iran / March 15: Spain.  Fee: $45 for all three programs ($40 for children or grandchildren of OHC members). Save $5 per child if registered by February 1. Register online or download a registration form.   Location: Oberlin Depot.


March 4 – National History Day / Hubbard Prize

The Oberlin Heritage Center awards the Hubbard Prize to Lorain County students participating at the regional competition of National History Day, held at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. Thank you to OHC members Ned and Gail Hubbard for sponsoring this award since 2014, and honoring young historians who create an exemplary website, paper, or documentary entry.


March 14 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) Oberlin Reacts to World War II

Presenter: Steve Johnson, OHC Trustee, retired Oberlin High School band instructor, and Army veteran 

Steve Johnson will present a two-part series about World War II and its local impact. This first program will focus on Oberlin's reactions to the war and its precursor events as told through newspaper accounts, oral histories, and social programs created during the war years. (A follow-up program takes place on May 9 and focuses on the stories of local men and women who served.) These programs are free and open to the public. Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.  

Sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank.


March 21-23 (Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Spring Break Camp: Around the World in 3 Days!

Educator: Amanda Manahan, Museum Education and Tour Coordinator

Join us for a lively hop around the globe as we explore a variety of different cultures through games, hands-on activities, photographs, and cooking.  A few of the lands and traditions we will sample include Arctic Peoples, Australia, West Africa, and India. Fee is $70 ($60 for children or grandchildren of OHC members).  Receive a $3 per camp discount if registered by March 1. Register online or download a registration form. Location: Oberlin Depot.


March 25 (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.) "One Step More": Oberlin Women's History Walk

Celebrate Women's History Month by enjoying a guided walking tour of Oberlin landmarks and monuments with historic connections to women's continual efforts to gain rights and respect. $6 per adult; free to OHC members, any college student, and children under 18.  Advance reservations required; you will receive information about the tour’s starting location when you register.  Reserve your place online or call (440)774-1700.


April 1 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m.) Historically Inaccurate

A Special Tour that Leaves False Impressions Behind…   Are you a myth buster? Can you call someone’s bluff? Come test your skills on this new 75-minute tour in celebration of April Fool’s Day. The tour of the Heritage Center’s three historic buildings will include some Oberlin myths along the way, and we’ll explore what is fact or fiction.  Fee:  $6/adults; free for OHC members, children and college students.  Reservations are required and can be completed on-line or by calling 440-774-1700.


April 5 (Wednesday, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.) OHC Annual Meeting and Community Awards

Key Note Speaker: Joseph Sober, President of Mercy Allen Hospital

Join us for an evening of history and fellowship. Joseph Sober will be offering comments on the history and future of Oberlin's community hospital.  Dr. W. Jeanne McKibben, OHC honorary trustee, also will display materials and videos from her chronicling of the medical history of Oberlin.

The 16th Annual OHC Community Awards will be presented, followed by a brief business meeting and remarks.  All are welcome. Invitations with further details will be mailed to OHC members in mid-February or you can check for updates on the Annual Meeting web page or add your name to the mailing list by sending an e-mail to  Doors open at 5:00 p.m. with optional social hour; dinner begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the program.  Location: The Hotel at Oberlin.


May 9 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) Oberlin Serves in World War II

Presenter: Steve Johnson, OHC Trustee, retired Oberlin High School band instructor, and Army veteran 

This second program about World War II (following Part 1 on March 14), presented by Steve Johnson, will center on the experiences of local men and women who served in World War II, as told through newspapers, personal accounts, and images.  This program is free and open to the public.  Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.  

Sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank.


May 13 (Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Noon) OHC Grounds Clean Up Day

Join a merry band of volunteers for an hour or two and help spruce up the grounds of the Heritage Center for summer visitors. Projects include trimming, weeding, and yard clean-up. Tools and supplies are provided but volunteers also are welcome to bring their own. Location: Oberlin Heritage Center Grounds


May 19-21 (Friday– Sunday, various times) Oberlin College Commencement / Reunion Weekend

OHC offers an array of activities for students, residents, and visitors throughout this special weekend, including the 30-minute Oberlin Origins/Sneak Peek tour, the Music in the Home tour, and a selection of themed history walks. Stop by the Monroe House and browse in the Museum Store for Oberlin-related books, mementos, and visitor information. Tour fees range from $3-$6 for adults; free to OHC members, any college students, and children under 18.

  • Advance reservations are required for the history walks and Music in the Home tours.
  • Drop-in visitors are welcome for the Oberlin Origins "Sneak Peek" tours.
  • Self-guided, at-your-own-pace Tablet Tours available every day, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Rent an iPad at the Oberlin Heritage Center’s Monroe House for $5/hour. Call (440-774-1700) to reserve a tablet.

Please click on an offering below for more information and reservations.

Friday, May 19

1:00 PM – 5:30 PM     Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 5:00 PM)

Saturday, May 20

10:00 AM - 5:30 PM    Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 5:00 PM)
10:30 AM                     "One Step More": Oberlin Women's History Walk
3:00 PM                       Freedom's Friends: Underground Railroad & Abolition History Walk

Sunday, May 21

10:00 AM – 5:30 PM   Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 5:00 PM)
10:30 AM                    "One Step More": Oberlin Women's History Walk
1:00 PM                      Music in the Home Guided Tour
3:00 PM                      Freedom's Friends: Underground Railroad & Abolition History Walk
4:00 PM                      Scholars & Settlers History Walk


May 29 (Monday, 1:00 p.m.) Memorial Day / Westwood Cemetery History Walk

A special, free tour will be led through scenic Westwood Cemetery. This guided tour includes an introduction to the history of the cemetery with stories of Oberlinians who served in the military. Advance registration is encouraged and can be completed on-line or by calling 440-774-1700. 
Location:  Meet near the entrance to Westwood Cemetery.


June 9 (Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) Presidential Field Trip Series:  James A. Garfield National Historic Site

Join us for a field trip to the home and presidential library of the 20th President of the United States in Mentor, Ohio. Garfield is most well-known as a Major General during the Civil War, Ohio Congressman and skilled orator, surprise nominee for the presidential election of 1880, and one of four presidents assassinated while in office. The visit will include bus transportation, an on-bus discussion of Garfield's visits to Oberlin, an introductory film, guided tour, time to explore the shop and grounds, and lunch. See also July 14 for a trip to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.  Reserve your space on-line or download the registration form for the James A. Garfield trip today.

Register for both presidential field trips and save $20! Sign up on-line or download the registration form for both the James A. Garfield and Rutherford B. Hayes trips.


June 10 (Saturday, all day) Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a community-wide tradition commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. The Oberlin Heritage Center will participate along with many other area organizations hosting booths along Tappan Square. For more information, visit


June 13 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) The Times They Are A Changin'

Presenter: Geni Vanek, OHC Honorary Trustee, oral history volunteer, author and researcher

Geni Vanek will share stories of Oberlin in the 1960s and 1970s and some of the events and projects that drew community members together, and drove them apart. Stories will be pulled from the collection of more than 200 interviews of the Oberlin Oral History Project archived by the Oberlin Heritage Center. The event is free and open to the public.  All are welcome to wear their grooviest outfits!  Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.


June 24 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Chalk Walk

Observe or take part in Oberlin’s 12th annual Chalk Walk celebration continuing the tradition of festive, colorful sidewalk painting that began in 16th-century Italy. All skill levels are welcome to work alongside professional artists in creating works of sidewalk art.  High quality chalk provided free. Stop by the Heritage Center’s table on South Main Street for a fun break!  For more, visit  Location: Downtown Oberlin.


July 14 (Friday, 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.) Presidential Field Trip Series: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Join us for the second visit in our field trip series to presidential sites in Ohio (the first takes place on June 9 – see above). Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president, most well-known as a Civil War general, three-term governor of Ohio, and "winner" of one of the most contested presidential elections in U.S. history, which led to significant changes in reconstruction policies. This field trip will include bus transportation, on-bus discussion of Hayes' visits to Oberlin, a guided tour of the Hayes home, time to explore the museum exhibits and grounds, and lunch.  Reserve your space on-line or download the registration form for the Rutherford B. Hayes trip today.

Register for both presidential field trips and save $20! Sign up on-line or download the registration form for both the James A. Garfield and Rutherford B. Hayes trips.


Tours/History Walks

Upstairs / Downstairs Tour – Small Town, Big Stories (Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) 

Visit three historic Oberlin buildings serving as beautiful backdrops for stories of the community and college in its first century, from the 1833 founding through the turn of the 20th century. Learn about Oberlin's beginnings as a perfectionist colony and the community's early commitment to universal education, and find out more about Oberlin's important roles in abolition and the Underground Railroad. Continue in time through the Victorian period and into the early 1900s’ Progressive Era with tales of college life, scientific discovery, and "new" ways to stay hygienic and healthy.  Fee: $6/adults; free to OHC members, college students and children under 18. Reservations appreciated; walk-in visitors welcome also. Allow 75-90 minutes. Location: Tours begin at Monroe House. Click here to register on-line.

 Oberlin Origins / Sneak Peek Mini-Tour. (Tuesday-Saturday, offered from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.)  

Pressed for time?  Looking for a quick outing when friends or family visit?  Then the “Sneak Peek” is perfect when you want to move fast yet still hit the highlights.  This 30-minute guided tour of the first floor of the 1866 Monroe House includes stories and images of the individuals and events that shaped Oberlin’s first one hundred years.  Drop-in visitors are welcome although advance notice is appreciated.  $3/adult; Free for OHC members, college students, and children. Location:  Tours begin at Monroe House.

Self-Guided Tablet Tours.  

Move at your own pace with our new “Picture the Past” and "Freedom's Friends" tablet tours of historic Oberlin. Borrow an iPad at the Monroe House between 10 a.m. and 3 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. $5/hour or $20/day; 20% discount for OHC members.

Freedom’s Friends (Underground Railroad) History Walk 

Learn about Oberlin’s famous freedom seekers and those known to have helped them make their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Advance reservations required. Fee: $6/adults; Free for OHC members, college students and children (best suited for ages 9 and older). Approximately 75 minutes. Please register in advance even if you are eligible for a free history walk. Location: Tour begins at The First Church of Oberlin, United Church of Christ.

Summer 2017: Freedom's Friends History Walk will be offered every Saturday at 11:00 a.m., JuneJulyAugust. Click on the month to view the on-line event calendar and make your reservation today.

 “One Step More” Oberlin Women’s History Walk 

Inspired by the 1834 pledge made by Oberlin founder John J. Shipherd to “elevate the female character” through education, this 75-minute tour acquaints you with stories of powerful 19th and early 20th century Oberlin women.  Hear how they used Shipherd’s promise to shape what it meant to be a woman in Oberlin and in the United States.  Registration needed; $6/adults; Free for OHC members, college students and children (best suited for ages 9 and older).  Please register in advance even if eligible for a free history walk.  Location:  Tour begins at the Tappan Square flagpoles.

Summer 2017 - To be announced

Scholars & Settlers History Walk

Learn about the earliest residents of Oberlin and hear fascinating stories of the triumphs, debates, and scandals linked to the landmarks around Tappan Square. Compare the buildings of today to the buildings of yesteryear using historic photographs and walk away with a lively appreciation of Oberlin's unique heritage. This hour long guided history walk is offered at special times and by group reservation, April through October, so please check our Event Calendar or call to reserve a group program.  This tour begins at the corner of Main Street (Route 58) and College Street, at the flagpoles in Tappan Square.  Whether you've lived in Oberlin forever or are new to the area, you'll find much to enjoy. 

2017 Schedule: To be announced

Radicals & Reformers History Walk

Walk with us 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.  This walk is offered at special times during the year and to groups by reservation, April through October. Reservations are required for this program, so please check our Event Calendar or call to reserve a group program.  Meet near the entrance of the cemetery to begin this historic journey.

2017 Schedule: To be announced


Street Address Locations for Programs and Tours Listed in this Calendar

  • Oberlin Heritage Center (Monroe House) – 73½ South Professor Street; parking lot entrance located at 20 West Vine St. west of Midas Muffler at S. Main / W. Vine Streets (then walk from  parking area to Monroe House front entrance facing Oberlin's Conservatory parking lot)   {MAP}

  • The First Church of Oberlin, U.C.C. – 106 North Main Street      {MAP}
  • The Hotel at Oberlin - 10 East College Street   {MAP}
  • Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium - 600 Kendal Drive (main entrance)   {MAP}
  • Oberlin Depot - 240 South Main Street    {MAP}
  • Tappan Square (flagpoles) - Southeast corner located at intersections of College St. and S.R. 58 (Main St.)   {MAP}
  • Westwood Cemetery entrance - 455 Morgan Street   {MAP}