Explore historic Oberlin during Oberlin College commencement weekend

Staff Report

Guided tours and history walks will reveal Oberlin’s past to visitors during Oberlin College’s commencement weekend May 19-21.

Whether you have an afternoon or even just 30 minutes to spare, the Oberlin Heritage Center has something to accommodate a wide range of interests and schedules.

Advance reservations are required for most guided tours and may be made at www.oberlinheritagecenter.org or by visiting the OHC office in the Monroe House, 73 1/2 South Professor St. Free parking is available near 20 West Vine St.

The Oberlin Heritage Center’s main site features the Monroe House (1866), the Little Red Schoolhouse (1836), and the Jewett House (1884). They offer visitors a glimpse into Oberlin’s past and the nationally significant impact of both community and college from their beginnings in 1833 through the next 100 years.

Guided mini-tours of the first floor of the Monroe House will be offered every half hour from 1-5:30 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome. Admission is $3 per adult or free to OHC members, college students, and children.

“Music in the Home” is a one-hour guided tour of the historic house museums featuring musical artifacts and sounds of the time. Participants will learn how music was used for entertainment, fellowship, and teaching in 19th and early 20th century homes. The tour will be offered at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Advance reservations are encouraged due to limited space. The fee is $6 per adult or free to OHC members, college students, and children under 18.

Reservations are required for the thematic neighborhood history walks led by OHC docents. The Oberlin Women’s History Walk will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This guided walking tour features powerful stories of 19th and early 20th century Oberlin women who helped shape what it meant to be a woman in a small town and across America.

The Freedom’s Friends History Walk includes stories of abolition and the Underground Railroad in Oberlin as visitors travel through the square and end at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. This history walk will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Scholars & Settlers History Walk focuses on the early history and architecture surrounding Oberlin’s downtown 13-acre campus of Tappan Square. This guided walk will be offered at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each history walk is $6 for adults or free to OHC members, college students, and children accompanied by adults (note that even when walks are free, reservations still must be made in advance). The guided walks are approximately 90 minutes and most likely to be enjoyed by ages nine and up. In case of rain, the neighborhood history walks will be cancelled and refunds provided.

The weekend is also an ideal time to borrow a tablet from the OHC and go on a number of self-guided tours.

The OHC Museum Store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday offering a variety of Oberlin-themed and history-related mementos and gifts.

For more information, visit www.oberlinheritagecenter.org, call 440-774-1700, or email members@oberlinheritage.org.

Staff Report