William Holmes McGuffey House and Museum

401 E. Spring St.
Oxford, Ohio 45056

513-529-8380   |  http://miamioh.edu/cca/mcguffey-museum/index.html
Thursday-Saturday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

William Holmes McGuffey House and Museum

In the middle of Miami University’s campus, a brick Federal style house that was once the home of William Holmes McGuffey offers a glimpse into the history of the university and the educational legacy of McGuffey.

A stately red brick house on Miami University’s campus is home to the William Holmes McGuffey House and Museum. The house was completed in 1833 for William and Harriet Spining McGuffey, who lived there while William McGuffey taught at the university until 1836. It was in this home that McGuffey wrote his famous McGuffey Readers, responsible for helping five generations of students learn how to read. McGuffey wrote innovative books that engaged children with age-appropriate topics and rhymes that held their interest. A unique eight-sided desk helped the educator and author juggle lectures and multiple levels of McGuffey Readers. After being used for many years as a study table in Miami’s libraries, McGuffey’s desk is back at home and on display along with hundreds of copies of McGuffey Readers and other objects that tell the story of McGuffey’s educational legacy.

The Federal vernacular style McGuffey House, characterized by classical details and simple elegance, is filled with furnishings and artwork from the times when the McGuffey family and later renters or owners who lived in the house.

Throughout the museum, exhibits illustrate the lives of others who taught at or attended Miami University, Oxford Theological Seminary, Western Female Seminary, Oxford Female Institute, Oxford Female College, and McGuffey Lab School. Visitors can compare the campus of years past with the campus just outside the McGuffey House and Museum.

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Notes for Travelers

Visit Miami University’s Parking Services website for more information about parking on campus; www.miamioh.edu/parking/. Pick up a walking tour brochure is available at the McGuffey House and Museum; it highlights the architectural and cultural treasures of the university and the town. A number of Ohio Historical Markers can be found around campus, including one that marks the home of Lorenzo Langstroth, an inventor who revolutionized beekeeping. Spend some time in the BEEPS Edible Demonstration Garden behind the McGuffey House and Museum with numerous edible plants favored by the Myaamia People for whom the university is named.


Bridget Garnai

Additional Resources

Havighurst, Walter. The Miami Years, 1809-1984. New York: Putnam, 1984.