History

ohm000372snydeThe History of Our Building

Chartered in 1848, the Oxford Female Institute's original building dates to 1850, with significant additions in 1856, 1884, and 1888. The ballroom was added by Miami University in 1929 with monies raised by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in honor of First Lady Caroline Scott  Harrison.

Caroline Scott Harrison

Caroline Scott graduated from the Oxford Female Institute where her father, the Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, was the first President. She met Benjamin Harrison while he was a college student in Cincinnati. He transferred to Miami in the 1850's and they married in 1853, one year after their graduations. Benjamin Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1888. Caroline Scott Harrison served as the first national DAR President while living in Washington, D.C.

Oxford College for Women

The Oxford Female Institute and the Oxford Female College merged in 1867 and were re-chartered as the Oxford College for Women in 1906. After closing in 1928, its main building was acquired by Miami University and remodeled as a women's dormitory.  During this renovation, the building’s exterior was altered to its current Georgian style. For many years, the local chapter of the DAR met in the ballroom, and that tradition has been recently revived.

Current Use

The restoration of this building under the oversight of the Oxford Community Arts Center, preserves an historical landmark, and provides the Oxford are with a place to build community through the arts with:

  • exhibit spaces
  • a theater
  • a ballroom
  • meeting and classroom facilities
  • rental studios for area artists
  • gardens and grounds
  • an outdoor performance pavilion