Do It Yourself Tours
Download our award-winning biking tour of historic Oberlin. The tour is designed for bikers, but can also be followed on foot or by car. It takes you to historic sites such as First Church, the John Mercer Langston House, the Soldier's Monument, Westwood Cemetery, and the Oberlin Heritage Center. In 2003, the tour received a History Outreach Excellence Award from the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums.
A wonderful introduction to the history of Oberlin's downtown can be found in a downloadable version of "A Walking Tour of Oberlin's Downtown Historic District," published by the City of Oberlin Historic Preservation Commission. This self-guided tour will lead you through Oberlin's downtown business district, designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register.
Visit our Westwood Cemetery page to download brochure and booklet guides to Oberlin's historic cemetery.
One of Oberlin's most famous alumni is Charles Martin Hall, who graduated with the class of 1885. Hall was determined to find a cheap and efficient way to produce aluminum--which at the time was a semi-precious metal that cost as much per pound as gold because a cheap manner of refining it had not been invented. Within a year of his graduation, helped by his sister Julia (also an OC alumna), Hall perfected his electrolytic process, which reduced the cost of aluminum production by 90%. Hall then founded ALCOA, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Created for "Jewett Day" in 2013, this two-page brochure includes photographs, information and a map to seven local landmarks related to Frank Fanning Jewett and Sarah Frances Gulick Jewett. Mr. Jewett taught chemistry at Oberlin College and Mrs. Jewett was an author of multiple health and hygiene books during the Progressive Era.
Oberlin was a major station on the Underground Railroad and it is only fitting that it is a stop on the bicycle route created by the Adventure Cycling Association. The route goes all the way from Mobile Bay, Alabama to Ontario, Canada. When bicyclists reach Oberlin they now have the option of going east or west around Lake Erie on their trip north. This website contains an overview of the route and information about how to purchase detailed maps and location guides.
Westwood Cemetery Memorial Day Tour: This tour includes an introduction to Oberlin’s historic cemetery, local reactions to the nation’s involvement in various wars and conflicts dating back to the Civil War, and stories of Oberlinians who served in the military and war relief efforts.
History of the Schools of Oberlin: Learn about the history of public education in Oberlin, visit locations of where former schools were located, hear oral history recollections from students of the twentieth century, and explore how the school system and buildings evolved into the Oberlin City Schools of today.
To access these history tours–as well as other nearby tours–from a mobile device, please download the free izi.TRAVEL app through the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or the Microsoft Store. To access from a home computer, visit https://izi.travel/en. If viewing on the izi app, go to the All Guides tab and search for “Oberlin" or give permission to the app to locate your device and select from the list of nearby available tours. If viewing from a home computer using the https://izi.travel/en link, click the "EXPLORE" button and type “Oberlin” to see a list of available tours.