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 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.


Summer History Walks

Tour Descriptions


Community Programs / Activities

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

Oral history volunteer and researcher Geni Vanek will share stories of Oberlin in the 1960s and 1970s, including some of the events and projects that drew community members together … or 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. Feel free to wear your grooviest outfit!
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, which continues the tradition of festive, colorful sidewalk painting that began in 16th century Italy. All skill levels are welcome to work alongside master professional 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.


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. 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. The trip includes motor coach 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. Fee: $60 OHC Members ($65 non-members); take $5 off for youth ages 10-18. Reservations required; register online or call for a registration form.


July 18 (Tuesday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.) Vintage & Vintner: An OHC Summer Soiree

Join us for an enjoyable evening at Vermilion Valley Vineyards. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with welcoming music by jazz guitarist Rich Holsworth. This social gathering will include a 15-minute mini-program at 6:00 p.m. that examines Oberlin's historic, contentious relationship with alcohol. Each guest will receive tickets for two wine tastings and a glass of wine. Punch, lemonade, and finger foods also will be available, along with a fun array of items to be raffled ($1/ticket or if you prefer to remain “dry” at the event, you may increase your chances of winning by using your wine tickets for the raffle). Cost: $30/person (21 and up). Revenue from this event supports the Pat Murphy Endowment for Heritage Preservation. Make your reservation early as the event sold out last year! Register at or call (440) 774-1700.
Location: Vermilion Valley Vineyards

Co-sponsored by Herrick Jewelry


July 25 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry: The Oberlin Connection

Program Cancelled: Ron Gorman was slated to present the Heritage Center's next community program on John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry and the Oberlin connections to this event. Sadly, Ron's sudden passing in late June causes us to cancel this program originally planned for Tuesday, July 25 at Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium with an encore presentation on Sunday, August 13 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin's House of Zion Fellowship Hall

John Copeland and Lewis Leary of Oberlin were two of 21 men who ventured to Harpers Ferry, Virginia in October 1859 to join John Brown in his fight against slavery. In this illustrated presentation, OHC board member Ron Gorman explores Brown's Oberlin connections and shares details of Copeland and Leary's local recruitment, their roles in the famous raid, and their deaths. Gorman also discusses local and national reactions to the events at Harpers Ferry.
Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.

Sponsored by 1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast


July and August - Summer Camps for Kids

Three Select Weeks, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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 may be available to those who qualify for schools' free or reduced lunch programs. Register online or call (440) 774-1700 for information. Location: Oberlin Depot, with some walking field trips nearby.


July 17 – 21 Oberlin Ahoy! Pirates and Life on the High Seas

Set sail in search of fun and adventure! Campers will learn about the history of pirates, including the famous Blackbeard and Anne Bonny. We’ll explore how people navigated the seas, what a sailor's life was like, how to create maps, and much more!
Taught by Amanda Manahan


July 31 – August 4 Architecture Camp

Children love learning the basics of architecture in this hands-on camp. Together, we’ll tour Oberlin architecture, explore building materials, try construction challenges, sketch designs, construct mini buildings, and envision structures of the future. Scouts attending this camp also will complete some requirements for Architecture badges.
Taught by Amanda Manahan


August 7 – 11 History of Theater

Experience the dramatic history of theater and learn what happens behind the scenes, too! This camp focuses on how theater evolved over time and the influence of plays and musicals on culture. As part of the camp, participants will create their own mini-theatrical production to perform at the end of the week. Taught by Maria Surovy


Watch for announcements of other youth programs being planned for the fall; check back on the Heritage Center’s website or e-mail  to be added to our youth programming mailing list. 


August 5 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) 25th Annual Family Fun Fair

Oberlin's long-time summer tradition of Family Fun Fair features free activities all over town designed 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.
Location: Downtown Oberlin and on the grounds of the Oberlin Heritage Center.
For more information about Family Fun Fair, visit or call (440) 774-6262.

10:00 a.m. I Spy Oberlin Tour
Fun and engaging for all ages, the tour is especially designed for younger children (ages 5-11) accompanied by an adult. This guided walking tour through historic Oberlin keeps you on your toes as you seek out historic markers, decorative details, and Oberlin oddities. The hunt begins at the Monroe House and takes place outside in fair weather. Free for all ages; reservations are encouraged.
Location: Tour begins at the Monroe House.


August 9 (Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.) International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Learn about the ongoing struggle for native rights and a local citizen-led effort to change the Columbus Day holiday to a commemoration of Indigenous Peoples Day in Oberlin. Topics will include local indigenous history, facts about Columbus, and how celebrating Columbus Day impacts indigenous peoples. Committee members include Cinthia Byron-Dixon, Joella Byron-Dixon, Mary Hammond, and Jean Foggo Simon. The Oberlin Heritage Center is a supporting partner of this free, public program.
Location: Oberlin Public Library.

See listing for Saturday, August 19 for an exciting follow-up program to this event.


August 13 (Sunday, 2:00 p.m.) John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry: The Oberlin Connection [Encore Presentation]

Program Cancelled: Ron Gorman was slated to present the Heritage Center's next community program on John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry and the Oberlin connections to this event. Sadly, Ron's sudden passing in late June causes us to cancel this program originally planned for Tuesday, July 25 at Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium with an encore presentation on Sunday, August 13 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin's House of Zion Fellowship Hall

In case you missed the first offering by Oberlin Heritage Center Board member, docent, researcher and blogger Ron Gorman, come to this encore presentation in another community location! See the program description from July 25. Location: Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin’s House of Zion Fellowship Center.

Sponsored by 1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast


August 19 (Saturday, 2:00 p.m.) Connecting with Oberlin’s Indigenous Heritage

This follow-up to the presentation on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (August 9) features further introduction to Native American roots in our community and is accompanied by cultural demonstrations. Family-friendly, free and open to all. Watch for more information on the Heritage Center’s website and in summer editions of the monthly E-Gazette.
Location: The program begins at the Oberlin Public Library, and we’ll walk over to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park for outdoor demonstrations of drumming and dancing.


September (All Month!) Guest Exhibit at the Heritage Center with the Museum of Hispanic and Latino Cultures

The Oberlin Heritage Center is pleased to work with the Museum of Hispanic and Latino Cultures of Lorain to offer a special exhibit in OHC's 1866 Monroe House. Artifacts and art from Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and more will be on display in the intimate setting of a historic house. This collaboration of museums will celebrate different cultures, honor shared and distinct histories, and draw community members together. To learn more about the Museum of Hispanic and Latino Cultures, e-mail President and Curator Guillermo Arriaga at

There are several ways to explore the exhibit (proceeds support the missions of both museums):


September 23 (Saturday, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.) Fiesta en la Biblioteca and Smithsonian Museum Day

Join us for a lively gathering with music and food at the Oberlin Public Library! All are welcome. As part of Smithsonian Museum Day's effort to imitate the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian museums, the guided bilingual and self-guided exhibit tours in the Monroe House will be free this Saturday.

Special Note for Educators – If you are interested in bringing your students to this exhibit, please contact the Oberlin Heritage Center’s Museum Education and Tour Coordinator Amanda Manahan ( to schedule your visit.


September 8 (Friday, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.) Root Beer Float Friday

The Heritage Center welcomes Oberlin College students to campus and helps 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-sponsored by the Oberlin IGA and the Ohio Educational Credit Union


October 12 (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.) Movie Night at the Apollo!

There's no denying that cinema, from Citizen Kane to Star Wars, has shaped American history and culture. Join OHC members and friends at Oberlin's own century-old Apollo Theatre to enjoy a lively (if not always accurate) romp through time with our own showing of the science-fiction, adventure, comedy film Back to the Future. Tickets are $10/adult, $7/college students, and $5/ for those 18 and under. Swirling around the evening will be fun, movie-themed activities including basket raffles, photo ops, and more. Watch for more details, including how to reserve your tickets, on the Heritage Center website and in future editions of the monthly E-Gazette.


October 19 (Thursday, 6:00 p.m.)The Medical History of Oberlin 

Dr. James Dascomb arrived in Oberlin in 1834 and for two years treated Oberlin residents and students with such remedies as essence of cinnamon, calomel, cough drops, and quinine.
Fast forward to 2017, when Mercy Allen Hospital is one of a few remaining rural, critical access hospitals. Dr. W. Jeanne McKibben has spent decades documenting the medical history of Oberlin through notes, photographs, and rare video interviews. In this illustrated presentation, she will share portions of her film-video journey through the years, while discussing the growth of Oberlin's medical field, its near collapse in 2000, and its re-emergence as a community healthcare hub with a vision for the future. The program is an informative prelude to Dr. McKibben’s medical-and-film history exhibit, Lenses, Scopes and Other Views, taking place at the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA) in November.
Program location: Oberlin Public Library.


October 24 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) The Medical History of Oberlin [Encore Presentation]

If you missed Dr. W. Jeanne McKibben’s illustrated program last week, you have a second opportunity – in a new location – to learn more about Oberlin’s long history of dedicated health care providers and services. See the program description above for details.
Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.


October 27 & 28 (Friday & Saturday, 4:00 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. (If you attended last year’s event, join us again this year to get acquainted with different Oberlinians and their stories!) 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). This event is recommended for ages 7 and up. Reservations are needed in advance.
Location: Westwood Cemetery.


November 3-5 (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.


November 10 (Friday, 6:00-8:00 p.m.) Community Trivia Night

Get a team together – or come on your own – for a family-friendly night of trivia! So you think you know your Oberlin history, your sports specifics, or your pop culture particulars? Find out how much you do know (or how much you don’t!) at this fun community event. Watch the Heritage Center’s website and future editions of the monthly E-Gazette for details, including how to purchase tickets.
Location: Fellowship Hall of The First Church in Oberlin, U.C.C.

Co-sponsored by Herrick Jewelry and Northwest Savings Bank


November 13 ( Monday, 7:15 p.m.) The Diaries of Emilie Davis

Emilie Davis was a free black woman who worked as a seamstress in Philadelphia. She had attended the Institute for Colored Youth and kept a diary from 1863 to 1865, the height of the Civil War, recording both everyday moments and significant events that would affect the future of the entire nation. Alexia Hudson-Ward, Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries of Oberlin College, presents this illustrated program about Davis, her diaries, and the impact of her words. Hudson-Ward initiated the digitization collaboration between Penn State University Libraries and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, which holds the diaries. For more information and to see the diary entries, visit
Location: Kendal at Oberlin, Heiser Auditorium.

Sponsored by 1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast


December 2 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) With Wide-Eyed Wonder: Toys & Amusements from the Past

Ever wonder what people from the past did for fun and recreation? Visit the Monroe House for a special tour of our December exhibit on toys and amusements from days gone by. Have you ever looked through a stereopticon? Or played quoits? This tour will highlight some of the more entertaining objects from our collection as well as offer hands-on experiences that all ages can enjoy! Admission is $3 for adults, free for OHC members, children, and college students. Tours are offered on the hour. Reservations are encouraged.
Location: Monroe House.


Tours/History Walks

Remember, OHC members enjoy FREE guided tours and history walks!

Summer Months Guided History Walks (June, July, August)

  • Freedom's Friends History Walk – every Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Hear stories about Oberlin’s most famous freedom seekers and people known to have helped them make their way to freedom. 90-minute neighborhood walking tour. $6/adults; free to OHC members, children and college students. Advance registration required.

  • "One Step More": Oberlin Women's History Walk – first Saturday of the month,
    1:00 p.m. Learn about Oberlin women who made a difference in efforts to gain rights and respect. 90-minute neighborhood walking tour. $6/adults; free to OHC members, children and college students. Advance registration required.

  • Scholars & Settlers (Tappan Square) History Walk – Saturdays, August 12 & 26,
    2:00 p.m. Learn about the earliest residents of Oberlin and hear fascinating stories of the triumphs, debates, and scandals linked to the landmarks around Tappan Square. 60-minute neighborhood walking tour. $6/adults; free to OHC members, children and college students. Advance registration required.


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. (Note that Saturdays in September, this tour will be offered as a special bilingual Spanish and English tour that is combined with a guest exhibit from the Museum of Hispanic and Latino Cultures.)

  • 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!


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}

  • Apollo Theatre – 19 East College Street, Oberlin
  • The First Church of Oberlin, U.C.C. – 106 North Main Street      {MAP}
  • Jewett House – 73 South Professor Street, Oberlin
  • Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium - 600 Kendal Drive (main entrance)   {MAP}
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Park – corner of Pleasant and Vine Streets, Oberlin
  • Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oberlin’s House of Zion Fellowship Center – 81 Locust Street
  • Oberlin Depot - 240 South Main Street    {MAP}
  • Oberlin Public Library – 65 South Main Street
  • 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}