MBA Program | Farmer School of Business - Miami University

COVID-19 Update, Summer, 2022

McGuffey House and Museum is open for tours during our regular hours, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Face coverings are not required when visiting the museum. Staff will wear masks if requested.

Call 513-529-8381 or email gordonsc@miamioh.edu for any assistance. We look forward to your visit.

Museum News

McGuffey Schools at Miami

From 1910 to 1982, the McGuffey Laboratory School was an integral part of Miami University's School of Education. It served as an open-admission school overseen by Miami University and as a training site for teacher education students. In 1957, the high school grades merged with the new Talawanda school district, while grades K-8 continued instruction, and moved into the new Lab School Building at the corner of Campus and Spring Streets in 1967.

This clipping from the McGuffey Mirror, printed on October 12, 1955, featured a team photo of the last McGuffey High School football team. The team mascot was a Green Devil, and games were played on Bunger Field where the new Health Science Building is currently under construction. Some of the individuals depicted in the photo include John Cocanougher, Miami Class of 1964 (#60), Coe Potter, Miami Class of 1962 and son of Myron "Tuffy" Potter (#51) and Allan Millett, son of President John D. and Catherine Millett and currently Stephen Ambrose Professor of History at the University of New Orleans (#20). This issue is part of a collection of McGuffey Mirrors donated to McGuffey House and Museum by Molly Shera Lampert, McGuffey Class of 1956 and Miami Class of 1960.

Newspaper clipping depicting the McGuffey football team

Former Ohio First Lady Visits Miami University

On a picture-perfect June afternoon, former Ohio first Lady Hope Taft came to Miami to participate in a group discussion about Walking Ancient Ohio. The idea of walking ancient Ohio became a reality in 2021 when Taft, Buck Niehoff, and a small group of friends walked 160 miles of Ohio’s back roads linking eight Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. Highlighted during the walk, these eight sites are being prepared for nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage list. For more information, go to www.ScenicOH.org and click on 2021 Newsletter.

Following group discussion, Mrs. Taft toured the Miami University Art Museum and the McGuffey House and Museum. All of us were impressed with Mrs. Taft’s knowledge and passion for Ohio history, archaeology, and environmental issues. She continues to volunteer her expertise helping maintain the garden at the Governor’s Residence in Bexley. Her husband, former Ohio Governor Bob Taft, currently teaches at the University of Dayton.

Hope Taft and MU Art Museum DirectorHope Taft with Steve Gordon at McGuffey Museum

Fresh Air B &B for Miami Deer

Word is out – the Oxford campus is open for free browsing and napping. Comfortable accommodations and no reservations necessary. Continental breakfast buffet includes hosta, viburnum, and day lilies. Fresh grass is on the house, uh, residence hall.

3 deer resting on grass

Docent News

John Clover's 1924 Ford Model T has been a fixture in Oxford for over 60 years. She was brought to Oxford ca. 1959 by Ken McDiffett, who acquired the car in 1952. While at Miami, McDiffett was Administrative Assistant to President Millett. McDiffett later became Associate Dean of Men and Professor of Education Leadership. In 2007, Dr. Clover assumed title to the car and named her Marybelle in honor of his mother's middle name.

George Beverley poses by Model TDiana Royer, John Clover, and George Beverley with a Model T car

Read more and meet the McGuffey House and Museum docents

Congratulations to the Class of 2022

McGuffey Museum congratulates our graduating student assistants. Alexandria Gregory, B. A. English Literature and History, with a minor in Museums and Society, Miami 2021, will receive her M. A. in History, Class of 2022. Katie Staffiera will receive her B. A. in Middle Childhood Education and Spanish double major, Class of 2022. Both Alex and Katie have worked as student assistants at the museum since 2019. We will miss their passion, hard work and congeniality.

Alex GregoryKatie Staffiera

Alex Gregory with the Sundial and MacCracken Hall in the background | Katie Staffiera on the side porch of the McGuffey House.

Picnic at the Doty Farm

Scenes from McGuffey picnic

On May 11, over 80 docents, members and friends of Oxford Museum Association and McGuffey House and Museum gathered in fellowship at the Doty Farm for a Picnic on the Lawn. Professor Emeritus Allan Winkler led guests in folk songs while others enjoyed rekindling acquaintances following two years of Covid restrictions. McGuffey student workers Alex Gregory, Miami MA '22 and Katie Staffiera, Miami BA '22 were recognized along with Maribelle, John Clover's 1924 Ford Model T.


Student workers and model T car

Homes of Old Oxford

Book cover of Homes of Old OxfordIf you have an interest in old houses, and Oxford in particular, there is good news. Smith Library of Regional History has released Homes of Old Oxford: An Album of Photographs by Frank Snyder and Others. This handsome pictorial essay profiles 75 houses built from ca. 1820 to 1930. Conceived by Irene Lindsay, the project was completed by Valerie Edwards Elliott, who, for over thirty years, was manager of the Smith Library of Regional History. The book can be purchased for $10 from the Smith Library of Regional History, S. Locust Street, Oxford, Ohio. As hours of operation vary, placing a call to 513-523-3035 prior to purchase is advised.

McGuffey House and Museum Salutes Bob Wicks and Welcomes John “Jack” Green.

After serving as director of the Miami University Art Museum for 20 years and Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Miami for 38 years, Bob Wicks has well earned his retirement. During Bob’s remarkable tenure as director, Miami’s Art Museum significantly expanded the depth of its collections, broadened its outreach and made a commitment to cultural collaboration and social justice.Perhaps most notable among Bob’s many achievements was establishing an endowment of the director’s position through the generosity of Jeffrey Horrell ’75 and Rodney Rose.

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On August 1, Dr. John (Jack) D. M. Green assumed the position as the Jeffrey Horrell ’75 and Rodney Rose Director and Chief Curator. Jack comes to Miami from Amman, Jordan, where he worked at the American Center of Research. Previously, Jack worked at the British Museum in London, the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago, and the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY. His research interests include archaeology, art history, photography, and cultural heritage of the Ancient Middle East and Mediterranean.

McGuffey House Gets a Facelift

Installing the columns New columns in place

As the McGuffey House approaches its 200th birthday (2033), it should come as no surprise that a house of, ahem, “advanced age,” warrants special care, especially those exterior portions of the house that employ frame construction. Miami’s Carpenter Shop staff designed and installed new composite fiberglass columns to mirror nearly exactly the profile of the original columns.

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The column repair teamThe front porch of the McGuffey House features wood Tuscan columns likely added during the mid-1920s when the Roudebush family purchased the property. Over the years the front porch columns, made of curved vertical staves, or boards, began to deteriorate, especially at the base. Contributing to the decay of the wooden columns was water wicking upward into the columns where they were in contact with the poured concrete porch floor. Because concrete sweats and holds moisture, it was less than an ideal material to be in direct contact with wood.The new columns are made of a sturdy composite fiberglass material. Miami’s Carpenter Shop staff removed the old columns and installed new composite fiberglass columns. The new columns, designed by staff in the Carpenter Shop, mirror nearly exactly the profile of the original columns. Ideally, it would have been preferable to install new wood columns, but a decision was made to introduce synthetic materials that in the long run will have a longer life expectancy while maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the house.


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.