History & Tourism

Summer Road Trips: Oberlin’s Summer History Walks

21 Jun , 2017  

The season of sun is upon us, and Mansfield area residents are going on the road. While many are experiencing local attractions, some are taking longer trips to visit sights in Ohio and further afield.

With this in mind, 1812Blockhouse begins a series today we’re calling “Summer Road Trips.” In each, we are highlighting events and locations within an easy day’s reach of Richland County. We are concentrating on opportunities to experience unique stories and places. For instance, while Cedar Point is a favorite for many, it probably won’t make our list.

So here goes.

Our first stop is in the city of Oberlin, just an hour northeast of Mansfield via SR 13 and US 20. Throughout this summer, the Oberlin Heritage Center presents three “Summer History Walks” highlighting three historical aspects of this unique Ohio community. These include:

Freedom’s Friends: 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.

These tours take place each Saturday in June, July and August. Tour starts at 11:00 AM at the First Church of Oberlin.

“One Step More”: Oberlin Women’s History Walk: In 1834, John J. Shipherd pledged Oberlin’s commitment to “the elevation of female character” through education. Little did he know, there was dynamite in that promise, and women carried the matches. This illustrated walking tour explores how Oberlin confronted and defined issues of femininity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hear stories of powerful Oberlin women including Lucy Stone, Marianne Parker Dascomb, Adelia Field Johnston, Mary Church Terrell, and Lucy Stanton Day, and learn how they used John J. Shipherd’s promise to shape what it meant to be a woman in Oberlin and in the United States.

This tour will take place on the first Saturday of June and July. Tour starts at 1:00 PM by the flagpole on Tappan Square near the intersection of Main and College Streets.

Scholars & Settlers History Walk: 75-minute walking tour of the legends and landmarks surrounding Tappan Square. Learn about the earliest residents of Oberlin and hear fascinating stories of the triumphs, debates, and scandals. Compare the buildings of today to the buildings of yesteryear using historic photographs and walk away with a lively appreciation of Oberlin’s unique heritage. Tour starts by the flagpole on Tappan Square near the intersection of Main and College Streets on August 12 and August 26.

Tour ticket prices are $6 for adults, and free to children and youth aged 18 and younger, as well as college students. Advance registration is required at 440.774.1700.

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