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 2019

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


January 15 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) Music of the American Civil War

Presenter Timothy Krugman will weave together the role of music on the Civil War battlefield, how the mood of the nation and song shifted over time, and perform using guitar, banjo, and voice. Krugman is a musician, Civil War re-enactor, and history aficionado from Elyria and will appear in Union uniform. Location: Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium


February 1 – Community Awards Nominations Due

The Oberlin Heritage Center's Awards program, now in its 18th year, welcomes nominations of individuals, businesses, or organizations whose accomplishments are in keeping with the Heritage Center's mission to "preserve and share Oberlin's unique heritage and to make our community a better place to live, learn, work and visit." For further details call (440) 774-1700, e-mail, or download a nomination form. Award categories include:

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


February 12 (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.) Five for Freedom: Oberlin's Connections to the Raid on Harpers Ferry

Award-winning journalist, author, and historian Eugene L. Meyer will discuss the five African American men who joined John Brown on his raid in 1859, a venture that they hoped would jumpstart a grassroots revolt and sweep across the country to end slavery. Two of those men, John Copeland and Lewis Leary, were from Oberlin and paid the ultimate price for their participation. Meyer will convey how they came to join Brown, the events and aftermath of that fateful day, and how the African American participants were treated differently both at the time and by historians. Meyer's book, "Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army," was published in 2018 and is available for sale at the Oberlin Heritage Center (both in the Museum Store and on-line) prior to the event, as well as that night. A brief Q&A session and book signing will follow the main program. Location: First Church in Oberlin, U.C.C. Meeting House


March 10 (Sunday, 2:00-4:00 p.m.; doors open at 1:30 p.m.) Pop-Up Community Museum  

Believe it or not, a museum is going to just "POP" out of nowhere this afternoon! Join fellow community members in populating and curating this impromptu exhibit – all you need to do is bring an item that fits our theme "Older Than I Am." Your special item can be anything from gardening shears to your grandparents’ wedding photograph; as long as you can carry it in and out again on your own. Arrive at 1:30 p.m. and we'll have secure spaces set up for you to display your item and we'll ask you to fill out a brief descriptive object label. Participants also will have the opportunity to explain their selection as guests meander through the "museum." Register in advance, particularly if you plan to bring an item for display, on-line or by calling or e-mailing Bethany Hobbs at (440) 774-1700 or You don't have to bring an item to attend, but it's more fun that way! There will be time at the end of the event for refreshments and socializing. Start thinking about your exhibit item now and watch for more details this spring. Location: First Church in Oberlin, U.C.C. Fellowship Hall.

Co-hosted with the Oberlin African-American Genealogy & History Group 

March 19 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) The Wind Beneath Their Wings

Most people are familiar with the Wright Brothers and their dogged pursuit of flight, but they may not know about Orville and Wilbur's sister. Katharine Wright was born in Dayton, Ohio and attended Oberlin College from 1893-1898. She was the only Wright sibling to pursue a college education and when she joined her brothers' travels in Europe her language skills and diplomacy helped charm their new acquaintances and opened cultural, political, and financial doors. Join us during Women's History Month as actress Stephanie Kramer shares a first-person portrayal of Katharine Wright and discusses her life, family, and courtship through narrative and song. Location: Kendal at Oberlin's Heiser Auditorium.


 March and April (Two Select Weeks, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Spring Break Camp

Did you know that in colonial America a woman could be accused of witchcraft for having an argument with a neighbor? Or that more soldiers died from disease than from fighting during the American Civil War? Sometimes the past was truly terrible. But it also pushed people to make improvements, for themselves and the world around them. This engaging camp for boys and girls ages 8-13 will explore the foul facts of world history, from gross grub to dirty dwellings to mean manners. Not to be focused on the negative, campers will discover how progress can be made and think of creative solutions to problems of past & present.

The camp will be offered during two separate weeks so area children with different school breaks can attend.

The cost is $110 per child ($100 for children/grandchildren of OHC members). Register by March 1 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. Camp is taught by OHC Museum Education and Tour Coordinator Amanda Manahan. Location: Oberlin Depot 

Register on-line by clicking preferred date above, download a registration form, or by contacting Amanda Manahan at (440) 774-1700 or


March 30 (Saturday, 1:00 p.m.) Free Tour for Women's History Month

Enjoy a guided walking tour of Oberlin landmarks and monuments with historic connections to women's continual efforts to gain rights and respect. This special offering of the One Step More: Oberlin Women's History Walk is FREE today, although advance reservations are required. Sign-up online or call (440) 774-1700. You’ll receive details about the tour's starting location when you register.


April 2 (Tuesday, 6:00–8:30 p.m. ) OHC Annual Meeting and Community Awards

Come for an evening of history, fellowship, and recognition at OHC's Annual Meeting and dinner. The featured speakers will be Gary Kornblith and Carol Lasser, sharing insights from their new book "Elusive Utopia: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Oberlin, Ohio." Kornblith and Lasser are Emeritus Professors of History at Oberlin College, active community historians, and avid researchers of lived histories that challenge celebratory portrayals of Oberlin. Location: The Hotel at Oberlin

The evening includes a brief business meeting and presentation of the 18th Annual Community Awards. Invitations with further details will be mailed to OHC members and on-line registration will open in mid-February. Add your name to the mailing list by sending an email to Purchase "Elusive Utopia" at the Oberlin Heritage Center's Museum Store or on-line


May 4 (Saturday) Big Parade – Centennial of Suffrage

The 19th Amendment, "extending the right of suffrage to women," was first proposed in June 1919 and approved shortly thereafter by the state of Ohio. Come join Oberlin’s quirky community parade and mark this historic occasion at the same time. The Heritage Center will have materials for making signs and some suffrage clothing accessories to share, or you can bring your own. Feel free to come in costume, or just come in solidarity. Watch for more details about the parade later this spring, including where to meet and when. To learn more about OHC’s participation, contact Museum Education and Tour Coordinator Amanda Manahan at or call (440) 774-1700.


May 9 (Thursday, 6:30 p.m.) Discovering Dave

Watch again or watch for the first time. Thanks to a grant from the Oberlin Schools Endowment Fund, University of South Carolina archaeologist George Wingard is traveling north to lead several educational programs at the Oberlin City Schools about archaeology and "Dave the Potter." This evening he will host a public showing of the 49-minute award-winning film Discovering Dave. Dave was an enslaved potter living in 19th century South Carolina who sometimes marked his pots with his signature, original poetry, and insightful comments about his life. Attendees will have a chance to examine one of Dave's rare pots up close and in person. Wingard is the program coordinator at the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program and a history film documentarian. This is an encore presentation of the film shown during Wingard's previous visit to Oberlin in 2016. Location: Oberlin Public Library


May 24-26 (Friday-Sunday) Oberlin College Commencement/Reunion Weekend  

The Oberlin Heritage Center offers a number of options for guided tours and themed history walks this special weekend. Some tours are free, others range in fee from $3-$6 for adults; OHC members, college students and children under 18 enjoy ALL tours free. Drop-in visitors are welcome for the Oberlin Origins “Sneak Peek” tour while all other tours require advance registration.

Please click on an offering below for more information and to make an on-line reservations.

Friday, May 24

10:00 AM - 4:30 PM  –  Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 4:30 PM)

3:00 PM - A Peek Through the Portal

Saturday, May 25

10:00 AM - 4:30 PM  –  Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 4:30 PM)

11:00 AM  –  "One Step More": Oberlin Women's History Walk

3:00 PM  –  Freedom's Friends: Underground Railroad & Abolition History Walk

5:00 PM  –  Oberlin Architecture History Walk

Sunday, May 26

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM     Sneak Peek: Oberlin Origins Tour (every half hour, last tour begins at 4:30 PM)

3:00 PM  –  Freedom's Friends: Underground Railroad & Abolition History Walk

5:00 PM – Scholars & Settlers History Walk

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.


May 27 (Monday) Memorial Day Self-Guided Tour of Westwood Cemetery

Download this free izi.Travel tour created by the Heritage Center, which allows you to explore at your own pace Oberlin’s historic Westwood Cemetery, hear stories of Oberlinians who served in the military and war relief efforts, and learn about local reactions to the nation’s involvement in various wars and conflicts dating back to the Civil War. Visit


Jun - Aug (Tuesday - Saturday; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) Outdoor Games for All  

Stop by with family or friends to enjoy some old-fashioned games in our yard. Choose from classics like ring toss, jump rope, hoop and stick, and more. Games are available for FREE; just sign them out at the Monroe House.


June 22 (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Chalk Walk

Observe or take part in Oberlin’s 14th annual Chalk Walk celebration, which continues the tradition of festive, colorful sidewalk painting that began in16th century Italy. All skill levels are welcome to work alongside master professional artists and local artists to create works of sidewalk art. High quality chalk is provided free. Stop by OHC’s table on South Main Street for a fun break! Learn more at Location: Downtown Oberlin.


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
6/1 7/6 8/3
6/8 7/13 8/10
6/15 7/20 8/17
6/22 7/27 8/24
6/29   8/31


Volunteer Opportunities

Docent Training

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 Volunteers are asked to commit to leading at least four tours or history walks per year.

Upstairs / Downstairs Guided Tour: Small Town, Big Stories

March 9 (Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.)

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 February 23.

Freedom’s Friends History Walk

April 20 (Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 noon)

Learn about Oberlin's role in the history of abolition and the Underground Railroad and how to present it in the format of a 90-minute walking tour through historic neighborhoods surrounding downtown Oberlin. Register by April 6.


OHC Information Tent

Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts to staff the Heritage Center’s welcome/ literature table for the following community events:

  • Oberlin College’s Commencement/Reunion Weekend (Friday - Sunday; May 24 - 26)
  • Chalk Walk (Saturday, June 22)

Contact Amanda Manahan at (440) 774-1700 or to receive more information and sign up!



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!