Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center1870 Quaker Way
Pyle Center 1182
Wilmington, OH 45177-2473
937-481-2456 | https://www.wilmington.edu/the-wilmington-difference/qhc/
Wilmington College Quaker Heritage Center
Located on the campus of Wilmington College in the Boyd Cultural Arts Center, the Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center explores the living traditions of the Religious Society of Friends in Southwest Ohio and throughout the world.
The Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center shares the story of Hare’s ancestors, the Walthall family. Like many Southern Quakers opposed to slavery, the family left Gravely Run, Virginia, in 1828, to settle in southwest Ohio, an area of rich farmland that was free of slavery. The Walthall’s household goods, quilts, family Bible, and excerpts from the recollections of William Walthall help visitors connect with the family’s Quaker traditions and the life they built near Wilmington.
Special exhibits in the Quaker Heritage Center interpret the Society of Friends’ beliefs throughout history and in the present, especially Friends’ continuing work for peace and social justice around the world. Timelines of major events of the Society of Friends are placed in the context of World History in the hallway outside the gallery, as well as a map of historic Quaker Meetings in the area, many of which still exist today.
Learn about Quakers’ unique worship format and religious structures in the T. Canby Jones Meetinghouse, which is adjacent to the Quaker Heritage Center and used by the Wilmington College Campus Friends Meeting on Sundays. This meetinghouse resembles early Quaker meetinghouses in Southwest Ohio and reflects the Friends testimony of simplicity by eliminating the distractions of sacred art or decorations from the space.
In a garden outside the Boyd Cultural Arts Center, a statue of Isaac and Sarah Edwards Harvey commemorates the Quaker couple’s 1862 trip from their home in Clinton County to Washington, D.C., where they were called to travel and speak with President Abraham Lincoln about the emancipation of slaves. A nearby memorial honors the service of 14 local Quaker men who volunteered for medical, reconstruction, and agricultural relief work during and after World War I.
Notes for Travelers
Free parking is available on College Street. A sidewalk from College Street between the Boyd Cultural Arts Center and the Kelly Center will take visitors to the north entrance of the Boyd Cultural Arts Center, where the Quaker Heritage Center is located. Call the Quaker Heritage Center to arrange group tours. Check the center’s website or call for information about programs and lectures related to their exhibits and mission. Visitors may also enjoy the David & June Harcum Art Gallery, which is adjacent to the Quaker Heritage Center in Boyd Cultural Arts Center and open Monday-Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
Additional ResourcesSnarr, D. Neil, and Associates. Claiming Our Past: Quakers in Southwest Ohio and Eastern Tennessee. Sabina, OH: Gaskins Printing, 1992.
Lanese, Laura, Eileen Brady, and the Clinton County Historical Society. Images of America: Wilmington. Charleston, SC, Chicago, IL, Portsmouth, NH, & San Francisco, CA: Arcadia Publishing, 2010.