Self Guided Tours Now Available

Tuesday - Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) Oberlin Heritage Center Monroe House Self-Guided Oberlin Origins Tours


Self-Guided Oberlin Origins Tours

Are you unable to attend a guided tour? Then drop by during our open hours for a self-guided experience of the popular Oberlin Origins tourVisitors are provided with a tablet that will take them through the first floor of the 1866 Monroe House. Learn about the events and individuals that shaped Oberlin’s first one hundred years, including stories of those who lived in the Monroe House. Topics include Oberlin's beginnings as a Christian Perfectionist community, coeducation, and abolition. 

Tour Times

Tour Fee


Do you prefer guided tours?

The Oberlin Origins guided 30-minute tour of the 1866 Monroe House first floor is available Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Oberlin Origins + the Little Red Schoolhouse tour is offered on Saturdays at at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visit our events calendar for availability and pricing as advanced registration is required for guided tours at this time.


The Monroe House (1866)

This brick Italianate-style house is the starting point for your tour. It was originally the home of Civil War General Giles W. Shurtleff, the leader of the first African-American regiment from Ohio to serve in the Civil War. The house was subsequently the long-time home of James Monroe and his wife, Julia Finney Monroe. Mr. Monroe was an important abolitionist, advocate of voting rights for African Americans, and friend of Frederick Douglass. Monroe taught at Oberlin College, served as the U.S. Consul to Brazil, and was a five-term U.S. congressman. Mrs. Monroe was the daughter of Charles Finney, the great religious leader of Oberlin College.