McGuffey Readers next to the William Holmes McGuffey Museum wordmark

Calendar of Events

Annual McGuffey Field Trip: Veraestau Mansion and Hillforest Museum, Aurora, IN

Tuesday June 6, 2017
9:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

R.S.V.P. by May 20 to Sue Gambrell (513-529-1887)

Join McGuffey Museum volunteers and friends for a summer field trip to southeast Indiana. We'll travel by van to tour two historic sites and enjoy lunch in the beautiful river town of Aurora, Indiana.

Participants are responsible for their own admission fees and lunch.


9:15 a.m. | Meet at Oxford TJ Maxx parking lot

9:30 a.m. | Depart for Aurora

10:30 a.m. | Tour Veraestau Mansion (Admission: $4.00)

12:00 p.m. | Lunch on your own at Third & Main

2:00 p.m. | Tour Hillforest Museum (Admission: $10.00)

3:30 p.m. | Depart for Oxford

4:30 p.m. | Arrive at TJ Maxx parking lot

About Veraestau Mansion

Veraestau Mansion

Set high above the Ohio River in Aurora, Indiana, the landmark home captures a long sweep of Indiana’s architectural history and exemplifies the historic preservation practiced by generations of two families—the Holman/Hamilton clan and the O’Brien/Gibson family.

Holman’s son-in-law Allen Hamilton bought Veraestau and added to it in 1838. His daughter Margaret Vance Hamilton enlarged it again in 1913. After nearly 125 years of ownership, the Holman/Hamilton family sold the estate to industrialist and early preservationist Cornelius O’Brien in 1933 as a country retreat. The O’Briens added their own stamp, expanding the home in 1936 and planting thousands of trees.

His daughter Mary O’Brien Gibson nominated Veraestau to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2004, Indiana Landmarks received the 116-acre property as a gift from the Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Foundation.

About Hillforest

Hillforest Museum

Hillforest, overlooking the Ohio River, was the home of industrialist and financier Thomas Gaff and his family between 1855 and 1891. Shipping and riverboats were significant elements of the Gaff business and are reflected in the architecture of the home. Note the third floor belvedere resembling a pilot house. The style is Italian Renaissance, completely symmetrical and characterized by broad overhangs, ornately carved brackets, arched windows and graceful balconies and porches. Hillforest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.