Special Events

Due to COVID-19, these spring 2020 classes and events were canceled. Please review them as a sample of our curriculum, and check back with us this fall for our updated courses and events.

Tuesday Special Events

The Grandeur of Granville*

The Granville Historical Society Museum, Robbins Hunter Museum, Granville Inn, Bryn Du Mansion or Buxton Inn

Tuesday, May 12

Cost (includes transportation, tours (except Buxton Inn), lunch): $70 Member | $87 Non-Member**

In the fall of 1805, more than 200 people left Granville, Massachusetts, and Granby, Connecticut, for central Ohio, an arduous and dangerous journey through the Alleghenies. Known as the most quintessential New England town outside of New England, Granville oozes charm. Those who have traipsed its streets, slept in its famous inns, and dined and danced at its fine homes have left their larger- than-life legacies—if not a few ghosts.

Granville almost became an industrial powerhouse in the region, but in the 1830s both the National Road and the Ohio & Erie Canal passed it by. This potentially devastating blow paved the way for a different kind of growth, and the village became an educational center with the founding of schools from which Denison University grew. As we’ll learn by visiting the Granville Historical Society Museum, the village and surrounding area later played an important role in the abolition movement and contributed as much to the North’s victory in the Civil War as any community of its size. From there, we’ll explore some of the grand homes and inns, and “meet” a few of the more famous and infamous village residents.

In 1979, when Robbins Hunter Jr. died, he left his splendid Greek Revival home and its contents as a museum. As an antique collector and dealer, Hunter’s home was literally packed to the ceiling with items he had spent a lifetime collecting. Opened as a museum in 1981, the building has undergone extensive restoration and rehabilitation, revealing the beauty of this important Grecian landmark.

Within the museum is a tribute to a feisty woman who lived in an era before history was ready for her causes. Victoria Claflin Woodhull wasn’t one to be easily forgotten by those who met her during her life, and the same is true for those of us who meet her now. She is an unsung national hero who was at the forefront of the early women’s rights movement. A charismatic social reformer, she fearlessly challenged the status quo by running for president almost 50 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. On Election Day, November 5, 1872, Victoria Woodhull couldn’t even vote for herself, not only because she was a woman and too young, but because she was sitting in jail! The only monument in the United States to Woodhull stands as part of the clock and bell tower on the west exterior wall of the Robbins Hunter Museum.

Continuing his influence in shaping the Granville landscape, in 1992 John Sutphin Jones entered into a development pact with the Village of Granville to build the Granville Inn. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it now occupies the site of the former Granville Female College. The original carriage house and patio will be a unique setting for our buffet lunch followed by a talk and tour of the famous inn.

John Sutphin Jones made his fortune in coal. His home, Bryn Du Mansion, built in 1865, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Bryn Du (which means Black Hills in Welsh) served as host to many great historical figures including Calvin Coolidge, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding, to name a few. Georgian-Federal in design, a grand portico overlooks its 32-acre great lawn. Today, you can imagine the grandeur of yesteryear while taking in a polo match on the great lawn, held Sunday afternoons in the summertime. This tour is presented as one of three afternoon options. Please see NOTE below.

Constructed in 1812, the historic Buxton Inn, also on the National Register of Historic Places, is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated inn. Over the last 200 years, some of its visitors have been more notable than others, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Yo-Yo Ma, and even Presidents Abraham Lincoln and William Henry Harrison. Even with its centuries of history, famous clientele, and notoriety as a stop on the Underground Railroad, Buxton Inn is most notorious for its haunted status. This optional history/ghost tour requires an additional fee of $15/person and is limited to 13 people. This tour is not handicap accessible and includes a few flights of stairs.

NOTE: Event requires walking a distance of 3-4 blocks between museums and standing for periods of time within the museums. Robbins Hunter Museum has a staircase to the second floor. Minimal stairs elsewhere, except Buxton Inn as noted above. Everyone will tour the Historical Society Museum, Robbins Hunter Museum, and Granville Inn. Breaking from tradition, we offer you the opportunity to create the experience of your choice by selecting ONE of the following three AFTERNOON tour options: 1) Bryn Du Mansion; 2) Buxton Inn (additional fee collected at event; see above); 3) on-your-own walking tour (printed guide provided) and/or retail therapy (shopping!) in the village. Photography permissible in all event locations.


7:15 – Assemble at SE corner of Ditmer parking lot for first pickup
7:30 – Depart Oxford
8:00 – Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pickup
8:15 – Depart VOALC
10:30 – Granville Historical Society Museum
11:30 – Robbins Hunter Museum
12:30 – Lunch & tour @ Granville Inn
2:15 – Afternoon Choice (see NOTE above)
5:30 – Return to VOALC
6:30 – Return to Oxford

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.

Thursday Special Events

Looming Large in Georgetown*

Ward Hall Mansion, Galvin’s on Main, Toyota Kentucky

Thursday, May 7
Cost (includes transportation, tours, lunch): $65 Member | $80 Non-Member**

Looming over the Kentucky bluegrass is the grandest Greek Revival mansion in the state. Ward Hall was completed circa 1857 at a cost of $50,000—in gold—and represents one of the most intact mansions of its kind in the country. Complete with Corinthian columns with cast iron capitals/bases set against Flemish bond brickwork, the 12,000+ square-foot stunner rises from a brushed and hammered coquina limestone foundation. Built as a summer home for Junius Richard Ward and his wife, Matilda Viley Ward, the mansion isn’t just another pretty house. In fact, we’ll tour it in its current furnished but unrestored state.

In its unique position, Ward Hall sets the stage for the panoramic story of the greater Robert and Jemima (Suggett) Johnson family, a tale of Kentucky’s founding, subsequent development, and the American experience in Kentucky and the Mississippi Delta. Modern Americans often associate America’s racial past with the term segregation; but on an antebellum plantation like Ward Hall, the races were decidedly—if forcefully—integrated. The history of its residents reveals many of the ways both races lived together in the daily routines of a large plantation. NOTE: This tour will cover the architectural significance of the structure. For a deeper dive into the lives of its owners and all who crossed its threshold, please review the “History” section of the Ward Hall website.

Lunch will find us at one of Georgetown’s hometown watering holes, Galvin’s on Main, a family- owned favorite since 2008.

Three men are credited with creating the Toyota Production System. In 1902, Sakichi Toyoda invented a loom that would stop automatically if any of the threads snapped. His invention automated the loom-works industry, reducing defects and raising yields. Kiichiro Toyoda, Sakichi’s son, studied Henry Ford’s conveyor system in operation, obtaining a firm grasp of it and an even stronger determination to bring it to the Japanese market. His solution was to provide each process in the assembly sequence with only the types and quantities of items needed to produce the next item required in the sequence. He is credited for coining “just- in-time” production. But it was Taiichi Ohno, the trio’s machining manager, who found his inspiration in the most unlikely place—the American supermarket. He marveled at the display and supply of merchandise and admired the way customers chose exactly the items and quantity they needed. This format—a pull system—contrasted with the conventional push system. As it was when Toyota Group set up its automobile manufacturing operation in the 1930s, these principles of design remain crucial to the Toyota Production System today.

Toyota Kentucky is Toyota’s first wholly-owned American vehicle plant and its largest in the world. It was here that the first American-made Camry was introduced in 1988. Thirty-two years and 8,000 employees later, over 11 million vehicles have rolled off their assembly line, including Camry Hybrid, Avalon, and Avalon Hybrid. Since ILR last toured in 2012, the plant has added production of the first American-assembled Lexus— the ES 350—adding 50,000 vehicles to its current annual capacity of 550,000.

NOTE: Ward Hall is not handicap accessible. There are eight stairs to the entrance and another dozen between each floor. Those not wishing to go beyond the first floor are welcome to walk the garden where there are benches. There are no restrooms at Ward Hall. We’ll visit a rest area before the exit, and our bus’s restroom will be available while on site. The Toyota tour will be via an electric tram with headsets. We will also visit the Toyota Visitor Center. A valid i.d. (driver’s license or passport) is required. No purses, bags, cameras, cell phones, or carry-ons permitted in the plant. Lockers are available or valuables can be locked in the bus. Photography permitted everywhere except the Toyota plant floor. .

Lunch (choose one):

  • Cheeseburger w/ fries
  • Philly Cheesesteak w/ chips
  • Eggplant Parmesan w/ chips
  • Chicken Salad
  • Chef Salad


7:15 – Assemble at SE corner of Ditmer parking lot for first pickup
7:30 – Depart Oxford
8:00 – Assemble at VOALC in West Chester for second pickup
8:15 – Depart VOALC
10:15 – Ward Hall
12:00 – Lunch @ Galvins on Main
1:30 – Toyota Tour
5:30 – Return to VOALC
6:30 – Return to Oxford

*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

Friday Special Events

ILR Annual Meeting & Ice Cream Social

Friday, May 8; 2:00pm–3:30pm
Location: Knolls of Oxford, Auditorium
Cost $7 Member | $8.50 Non-Member**

We’ll lick our end-of-year business and serve up the latest ILR scoop via this abbreviated board meeting. You’ll also have the opportunity to vote for your new Board of Directors. There’s nothing like a little Graeter’s ice cream on a warm springtime afternoon. Create your own sundae from some award-winning flavors with all the traditional toppings

Live Longer: Yes! Live Better?

Friday, March 27; 11:00 am–12:15 pm
Location: Oxford Lane Library, Havighurst Room
Cost: Free for both Members and Non-Members

There is no doubt that we are now living longer. The question is… can we live better, fuller lives than seniors have experienced in the past? The answer is a resounding yes, if we follow the common-sense principles outlined in the Seven Dimensions of Senior Wellness. This presentation is based on experience, not theories.

Instructor: Roy Franchi, founder of Redirection, which concentrates on retirement and aging issues, was born in London, England. After a spell in the Royal Navy, he joined the U.K. Division of Procter & Gamble, eventually becoming Director of Sales and Distribution. After leaving P&G, he formed a diverse range of companies.

Regenerative Medicine for Our Aging and Injured Bodies

Friday, April 10, 2:00–3:30 pm
Location: VOALC, Auditorium
Cost: Free for both Members and Non-Members

Arthritis, tendinitis, and other painful conditions can significantly impact our daily functioning and the ability to do things that we most enjoy. Learn how stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma, and other forms of regenerative medicine may offer appropriate, non-surgical treatment solutions. Jeremy Girmann is a board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician who specializes in the treatment of muscle, tendon, nerve, and joint disorders.