Special Events

These classes have been completed. Fall 2018 content will be updated when registration opens.

If You Build It, They Will Come | Wednesday, March 21; 7:30am–6:30pm

The Heritage Center | The Westcott House | Teaberries | Hartman Rock Garden
Wednesday, March 21
Cost (includes bus, lunch, tour fees): $50 Member; $62 Non-Member

Built in 1890 and known by architectural aficionados for its stunning Richardsonian Romanesque design, The Heritage Center is an impressive sight, extending an entire city block. On the National Register of Historic Sites and the previous home of Springfield’s City Hall and Marketplace, The Heritage Center houses an extraordinary museum that faithfully recounts the history of America’s Heartland and the historic National Road, America’s first interstate highway. Far more than a museum, this incredible gem provides an excellent slice of Midwest history.

Leave the inkwells behind as you enter Teaberries, built in 1868 as a two-room schoolhouse. The last class to graduate was 1937-38, but the original hardwood floors remain underfoot at this cozy restaurant offering generous portions of country-style charm.

Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably the most important architect of the modern era, completed The Westcott House in Springfield, Ohio, in 1908. Designed for Burton Westcott in Wright’s innovative Prairie Style, The Westcott House extended Wright’s concept of relating the building to its site by means of a terrace, a lily pond, gardens, and other landscape elements. (Don’t miss Bob Benson’s class, “Frank Lloyd Wright: Man, Myth, Master,” on Thursdays, 10:45 a.m.-noon, in Leonard Theatre, Peabody Hall. See page 17.)

Burton Westcott, born into an entrepreneurially-spirited family in Richmond, Indiana, became one of Springfield’s most prominent citizens. Together with his father and brother, the trio began the Westcott Carriage Company in 1896, later reorganized in Richmond as the Westcott Motor Car Company which was subsequently moved to Springfield in 1915. The history of the car in both Richmond and Springfield is, of course, full of lore. The original two-seater now rests in the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond. You’ll see one of the later models on display in The Heritage Center.

Call it quaint or quirky, but what began as a modest concrete fish pond in Ben Hartman’s backyard is now revered as a folk art masterpiece and one of our nation’s great roadside attractions. Laid off in the midst of the Great Depression in 1932, at the age of 48, Ben wasn’t content with his newly-sedentary lifestyle. For the remaining 12 years of his life, Ben’s “little” rock garden grew to over fifty structures, numerous varieties of plants, and countless handmade figurines.

This tour involves periods of standing and walking at a leisurely pace. The only access to the second floor of The Westcott House is via one flight of stairs.

Lunch (choose one)

  • Midwest Delight Chicken Salad Croissant
  • Grilled Italian Panini
  • Ruben Panino
  • Chicken Spinach Salad Wrap
  • Seasonal Strawberry Salad


  • 7:30 Assemble at NW corner Millett Hall parking lot for first pick-up
  • 7:45 Depart Oxford
  • 8:15 Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pick-up
  • 8:30 Depart VOALC
  • 9:30 The Heritage Center
  • 11:45 Lunch at Teaberries
  • 1:15 The Westcott House
  • 3:45 Hartman Rock Garden
  • 5:30 Return to West Chester
  • 6:30 Return to Oxford

Mental Health First Aid for Older Adults | Wednesday, March 28; 8:00am–5:00pm

Auditorium, Knolls of Oxford Commons
Wednesday, March 28; 8:00am–5:00pm
Cost: Free for both Members and Non-Members

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based, eight-hour training experience that teaches participants how to recognize and assist someone who is developing a mental health problem and/or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps participants learn how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and addictions. Participants will be introduced to risk factors and warning signs of mental illness and given an overview of common support responses. This education will promote an understanding of the impact the participant’s response can have in a mental health crisis.
NOTE: Free lunch provided


Jennifer Cox is the Director of Training for the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS).

Jonathan Parks is the Chief Financial Officer for Montgomery County ADAMHS.

Explore Watercolor Painting in Oxford . . . and Italy? | Saturday, March 31; 10:00am–noon

Helen Weinberger Room, Oxford Lane Library
Saturday, March 31; 10:00am–noon
Cost: Free for both Members and Non-Members

A short demonstration by Scott Johnston (who has taught beginning watercolor courses for over 20 years) will be followed by a hands-on watercolor exercise that will give participants an appreciation for how accessible and unintimidating the medium can be once you understand a few basic principles and the many ways the pigments can be applied to paper. He will also be talking about the Artist Immersion Program (AIP), which offers a range of classes for all levels of artists. This coming year AIP will be going to Italy, France, Japan, Hawaii, and Santa Fe. No supplies are necessary for the planned exercise, but if you already have watercolor brushes, paint, and other supplies, please bring them. For more information on AIP classes go to: www.artistimmersionprogram.com.

Watered Down & Mounded Up | Tuesday, May 8; 7:45am–6:00pm

Old River Station | Montgomery Inn Boathouse | Fort Ancient State Memorial
Tuesday, May 8
Cost (includes bus, lunch, tour fees): $50 Member; $62 Non-Member

Can you imagine drinking water straight out of the Ohio River? Make mine a double! But that’s what Cincinnatians were drinking until 1906 when Cincinnati Water Works completed construction of the city’s first-ever treatment plant. An amazing contribution to the area’s industrial heritage, Old River Station is an engineering marvel even by today’s standards. Its status as the nation’s largest triple-expansion steam engine remains unchallenged after most systems moved to electric later in the 20th century. But it’s pretty, too—a photography enthusiast’s dream—inside and out. Often referred to as one of the world’s best-kept secrets, architect Gustave W. Drach went to great lengths to make the facility feel like a structure fit for a great city. You will tour the engine house, the boiler room, the coal storage area, and the riverside coal intake area. Your tour will take you from near the top of the engines all the way to the pump pit floor, five feet under the Ohio River! Equally as amazing as the engines, you’ll learn of the surprising construction technique used to build the seven story high circular pump house in 1898.

Coming up for air and sustenance, pull up a chair overlooking the mighty Ohio River traffic while feasting on the fare of a Cincinnati icon and staple—Montgomery Inn. Since the Gregory family opened their first of now three area eateries in 1951, their legendary fare has landed them in the national spotlight multiple times. Everybody who’s anybody famous has dined here. Now we’ll add your name to that list.

Paddling over to the Little Miami River and up to Warren County, an isolated peninsula rising 260 feet comes into view. There resides an immense monument to the dedication and technological savvy of the original inhabitants of prehistoric North America. Embankment walls standing 5-23 feet high enclose the vast plateau. Built by dumping baskets loaded with soil upon one another, the Hopewell Indians, known for their engineering expertise, built these and numerous other features surrounding the site: conical and crescent-shaped mounds, limestone pavements and circles, and many subsurface elements. The Fort Ancient State Memorial is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its importance to Ohio prehistory. The site is the largest prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the U.S. and includes three-and-a-half miles of walls in a 100-acre complex. We’ll enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the grounds from the comfort of our bus, then head indoors to the museum which covers 1500 years of Native American heritage in the Ohio Valley.

This tour includes periods of standing and walking at a leisurely pace. There is one level in the Old River Station that is only accessible by stairs. Only rubber-sole, closed heel/toe shoes permitted.


  • 7:45 Assemble at NW corner of Millett Hall parking lot for first pick-up
  • 8:00 Depart Oxford
  • 8:30 Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pick-up
  • 8:45 Depart VOALC
  • 9:30 Old River Station
  • 12:00 Lunch at Montgomery Inn Boathouse
  • 2:00 Fort Ancient
  • 5:00 Return to VOALC
  • 6:00 Return to Oxford

ILR Annual Meeting & Ice Cream Social | Friday, May 11; 2:00–3:30pm

Havighurst Meeting Room, Oxford Lane Library
Friday, May 11; 2:00–3:30pm
Cost: $5 Member; $6 Non-Member

Back by popular demand! We’ll “lick” our end-of-year business via this abbreviated board meeting and allow you to vote for and get the “scoop” on your new Board of Directors. There’s nothing like a little Graeter’s ice cream on a springtime afternoon.

ILR events/classes involving walking/hiking/exercise may be strenuous for some. Please use discretion when registering.

Non-members may participate in special events for an additional fee.