Historical Sites

DeWitt Cabin

DeWitt Homestead

The DeWitt cabin was built in 1805 by Zachariah DeWitt. At the time, Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth had seven children, and traveled here from Kentucky to claim the cheap and newly available land.

Zachariah became an important member of the pioneer farming community. He built several houses in Oxford, including the initial portion of what would become the building still housing Beta Theta Pi fraternity at the corner of High street and Campus Avenue in Oxford. He was village treasurer when he accepted a captaincy in the War of 1812, took command of a company of Butler County riflemen, and marched them to Detroit to assist General Duncan McArthur. He became a pillar in the Baptist church, was co-owner of the Mansion House Hotel, and in 1822 became a founder and secretary of the Masonic Lodge. A Whig, he supported William Henry Harrison for President; a memorable reception at the Mansion House was part of Oxford’s celebration of Harrison’s election.

The log house of Zachariah Price DeWitt is now the oldest remaining structure in Oxford Township. It also is the last of a string of pioneer homesteads established along the Four-Mile Creek before Oxford Township, the town of Oxford, or Miami University even existed. It stands on the east bank of the creek about three hundred yards north of Route 73. Located on Miami University land, the structure is leased to the Oxford Museum Association, which in 1973 took on its restoration to preserve this rare example of early 19th-century log construction.

The DeWitt Log House is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day through Labor Day featuring interns in living history who provide first-person interpretation of the site. It is also open during the annual Hike-A-Thon.

A Bird Blind and Butterfly Garden are located near the DeWitt cabin, as well as access to many trails

Women's Recreation Association Cabin

The Women's Recreation Association was essential to the formation of women's athletics at Miami University. Established in 1908 by Zay Engle Hoopes as the Girls' Athletic Association, it only consisted of a women's basketball team. The GAA later gave way to the Women's Athletic Association in 1921 and then to the Women's Recreation Association in 1956, under the leadership of Margaret Phillips. It was the means through which women had access to athletic participation, both in intramural and intercollegiate competition. Membership in the organization was determined not only on sports participation but also on service provided to the institution.

During its 66 year history, the organization owned and maintained four tennis courts, purchased a playing field which the university helped to maintain, built the WRA Cabin, sponsored play days with other schools, built a field house on the south side of campus, purchased a station wagon for use when traveling to away events, scheduled social events for women on campus, presented letter awards to participants who earned a designated number of points, and beginning in 1950 offered a full tuition scholarship each semester to an upperclass woman on the basis of scholarship, financial need, personality, and service to the campus.