Oberlin Heritage Center Blog

Smile for the Camera

Stofan Studio on East College Street in Oberlin (Photograph by Michael Wm. Kelly)

Stofan Studio on East College Street in Oberlin, circa 1970.
(Photograph by Michael Wm. Kelly) 

Andrew Stofan operated a photo studio in downtown Oberlin from the 1934 to 1974.  He took pictures of every Oberlin High School senior class during that time period except in 1936 and he documented countless weddings, graduations, and more.  Andy Stofan learned the trade from Oberlin photographer T.J. Rice who had begun taking pictures here in 1894 and whose studio was located upstairs in the building that formerly stood on today’s College bookstore site.   Andy Stofan took photos of every Oberlin College first year class standing on the steps of First Church and also took ID photos of each one for their “wolf” book – print version of today’s online Facebook or My Space.

The Stofan studio was located first in the storefront where Dave’s Army Navy is now at 29 S. Main Street, and later in the old house that formerly stood at 49 E. College Street (the site of today’s Sustainable Community Associates’ building that is under construction.)  He and his family lived in town and he was active in many community groups and served on City Council for 4 terms in the 1950s, including 4 years as Chairman.  An extensive article on Andrew Stofan was published in the Oberlin News Tribune on April 1, 1976 and a copy of it is on file in the Oberlin Heritage Center’s Resource Center.

Please share information or memories of Stofan and other photographers who have worked in our community over the years, and tell us about photo collections that have survived to tell our community’s history!

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