Otterbein Opens Heritage Center

Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices hosted the grand-opening of the Heritage Center, a noteworthy display of historical artifacts from Otterbein and its Shaker heritage. The Heritage Center is located in Marble Hall, the oldest standing building on the Otterbein Lebanon campus – an historical landmark in its own right.

Approximately 150 people attended the grand-opening, including Otterbein’s President and CEO Jill Hreben, who has been a strong supporter of the project since the outset. In addition to the historic imagery of Marble Hall, the Heritage Center includes three dedicated galleries – the Otterbein Heritage Gallery, displaying a wide array of documents and artifacts about Otterbein over the last 102 years; and the Warner and Peckham Galleries, featuring a wide array of Shaker artifacts.

The Heritage Center, over the last several years, has been under constant renovation – with work designed to create a more user-friendly archive collection, and an impressive display of original Shaker objects.  Archivists Ruth McDiffet and Jan Brandy, along with historian Marge Henn, worked tirelessly to turn Marble Hall and the associated galleries into a historical exhibit and tribute to the Shaker legacy.

As an official United Methodist historical site, Otterbein felt something was needed to show the appreciation and significance of their rich past. “Otterbein has a story that needs to be told, its history needs to be told. You need to know where you have been to appreciate where you are today and realize that the visions people had in the past have come to fruition,” said Marge Henn.

Otterbein hopes that with the new opening of the Heritage Center they will be able to preserve and protect their past for future generations and share their history with the public. The galleries will be open on Thursdays from 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm, with other days of the week by appointment. Appointments for visits and tours may be scheduled with Ruth McDiffet at (513) 932-5640.