Museum News

COVID-19 Update

The museum is now open to Miami faculty, staff and visitors by appointment. Call 513-529-8381 or email gordonsc@miamioh.edu to schedule a visit. Tours will follow University protocols.

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Joan Teckman

Joan Teckman, 1929 -2020

Miami University and the Oxford community are saddened to learn the passing of Joan McNelly Teckman (1929-2020). Joan was the daughter of Walter and Freda McNelly, Oxford, Ohio, wife of Dr. Charles Teckman, Miami Class of 1951 and sister of Nancy Koutzen. Joan was employed over her lifetime as a professor of nursing at Miami University 1969-80, Indiana University 1979-81, and the University of Cincinnati 1982-90. An avid collector of McGuffey memorabilia, Joan was for many years a loyal volunteer at McGuffey House and Museum.

Read More: Joan Teckman

Birdwatching

Red tailed hawk Red Tailed Hawk in tree

With students largely absent from Miami's Oxford campus, our native wildlife has been more visible. This Red Tailed Hawk was enjoying an avian meal in the cypress tree on the McGuffey House grounds. Photos by Jeff Sabo, Miami University.

Visit from McGuffey HS Grad

Richard Coombs of Collinsville, McGuffey High School Class of 1944, recently visited the museum.

McGuffey High School was Miami University's laboratory school from 1910-1956. The school newspaper was the McGuffey Mirror. This issue, printed in December 1943, when Richard Coombs was a senior, reported Wilbur "Weeb" Eubank's visit to McGuffey. Beloved by his students and players, Eubank, Miami Class of 1928, would go on to a remarkable coaching career in the NFL. The paper also noted the turning of the tide in World War II.

McGuffey House in 1960

McGuffey House on a snowy day

Photo by Arthur F. Conrad. Courtesy of Calvin Conrad.

Images of the McGuffeys

Daguerreotype of William Holmes McGuffey with photographer's folder

Learn how the McGuffey House and Museum is taking steps to preserve rare daguerreotypes of the McGuffey family. Images of the McGuffeys


The BEEPS Garden welcomes visitors to the Miami campus. Established in memory of Becca Eldemire, the garden features several native plants, including St. John's Wort, Monarda, blackberry and Echinacea purpurea, along with Paw Paw and Persimmon trees. There is a bench for relaxation and reflection.

Monarda

Monarda

BEEPS Garden

Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea


Collection Curiosities

Boot Jack

Boot Jack

Note: A fascinating aspect of everyday household objects is how they frequently incorporated contemporary fashion with function. This column shares one of McGuffey House and Museum’s many collection curiosities.

It is winter 1833. Oxford’s weather is rainy and raw. Professor McGuffey enters through the front door of his new house on Spring Street after a long day teaching and preparing class lectures in Old Main. Careful not to track in mud from the unpaved walks and street, not to mention the ire of Harriet McGuffey, William Holmes McGuffey pauses over a simple yet invaluable household object. It is a bug-like artifact by the fire place known simply as a boot jack. Produced by numerous local foundries during the 19th century, boot jacks were used to easily remove boots hands free. Read more about the boot jack »

From our collections

Unidentified Portraits

Portrait of a womanPortrait of a man

? John Insco Williams (1813-1873)

These portraits depict two unknown individuals, believed to have been residents of Richmond, Indiana, during the early 1830s. The female subject, seated in a Queen Anne chair, is distinguished by her Apollo hairstyle, diamond earrings and black dress. The male subject, presumably her husband but possibly a brother, wears a black wool coat, cravat and tie pin. Both subjects may have been painted by John Insco Williams (1813-1873) an itinerant painter in eastern Indiana from 1832-1835.

Information on the unidentified couple is welcome! Contact Steve Gordon

Bishop Sideboard

Bishop Sideboard

Mahogany, 1790–1815

This sideboard belonged to the first president of Miami University, Robert Hamilton Bishop. Brought to Oxford by the Bishops in 1824, it stood in the entry hall of the Bishop home until the 1930s.

In 1991, Dr. Jonathan S. Bishop donated the sideboard to Miami University and the McGuffey Museum.

Octagonal table

McGuffey's octagonal table, possibly where he wrote the first 4 Readers

It is thought that McGuffey wrote the first four books in the series in this house, very possibly on this table.

1840s pie safe

Pie Safe Cupboard

Poplar with pierced tin panels, 1840–1850

Cupboards of this type were used for food storage. The pierced tin panels allowed air circulation without letting rodents and large insects foul the foodstuffs.