Staff Blogger: Jeanne Mauriocourt, Director of Educational Programming

From August 22-25, 2016, this exciting Chautauqua Lecture Series theme will provide off-site educational experiences in collaboration with historical and cultural sites in Ohio, including the Liberty Aviation Museum, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums at Spiegel Grove, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and the Mazza Museum.

Off-Site Visit Information:
Each tour will start at the site, begin at the time indicated and last 90-120 minutes. Pre-registration and a small fee to cover the cost of the tour are required. Registration for each off-site visit will close when the maximum capacity is reached or by 4 p.m. the day before the visit, whichever comes first. Please provide your own transportation, but if transportation is needed or you’re willing to provide a ride for others, contact the Education Depart­ment at or (419) 798-4461, ext. 239. Directions are also avail­able at

Registration Directions:
To register and pay for these off-site visits, visit and click on the registration link for the site visit(s) you want to attend. The same online system used to register for Rhein Center classes is being used for registration to these off-site vis­its, so the same account can be used for both. Interested participants with­out a Rhein Center account can easily create one by visiting the website above and clicking on the “Create an Account” link under registration di­rections. To register in person, visit the Rhein Center at the corner of Sixth Street and Walnut Avenue. You may also contact the Education Department at or (419) 798-4461, ext. 239 to register.

10:30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 22: Liberty Aviation Museum
3515 E. State Rd, Port Clinton, Ohio
(419) 732-0234
8 miles from Lakeside
Pre-registration & $10 fee required

Liberty Aviation MusuemThe Liberty Aviation Mu­seum holds a permanent col­lection of aircraft, vehicles and other historical artifacts, as well as a number of aircraft and vehicles on loan, and visit­ing aircrafts for special events. Their mission is “to provide an adequate organization for his­torians, aircraft and vehicle preservationists and collectors interested in encouraging internation­ally the acquisition, restoration, operation, preservation, public edu­cation and display of historic aircraft, vehicles and related items.”

The Liberty Aviation Museum was established on December 7, 1991 with a handful of dedicated volunteers to showcase World War II air­craft. In 1994, the museum coordinated a well-received air show at the Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport in Port Clinton, Ohio. This opportunity led to the formal announcement in 1996 that the museum would be located at the Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport and would include a hangar and mu­seum along with a 1950s-themed diner. The museum, hanger and diner opened publically in July 2012. A second hangar was opened in 2015.

The museum’s collection includes a flyable Ford Tri-Motor “City of Port Clinton,” a B-25J Mitchell Bomber “Georgie’s Gal,” General Mo­tors TBM-3E Avenger, Harvard IV and STEARMAN (Model 75). The museum is also home to a Ford Tri-Motor restoration project. Additional items in the museum collection include a PT 728 Thomcat watercraft (cur­rently under restoration), several military and civilian vehicles and military uniforms.

The museum offers an online archives with the areas of military aviation, civilian aviation, general transportation and local/regional his­tory. Please note: that the Liberty Aviation Museum is a working museum, with flying aircraft. The actual aircraft present on any given day can vary. For more information, visit

10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 23: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums at Spiegel Grove
1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, Ohio
(419) 332-2081
29 miles from Lakeside
Pre-registration & $12 fee required

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & MuseumsThe Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums encompasses the Hayes family home, a 31-room mansion and the museum con­taining a collection of 19,000 objects relating to Rutherford B. Hayes and his family. Hayes served as President of the U.S. from 1877-1881.

Webb C. Hayes, the second son of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, endowed the Rutherford B. Hayes-Lucy Webb Hayes Foundation in 1922. After the 1893 death of his famous father, he started an effort to build a lasting memorial to the 19th president. He agreed to give the Spiegel Grove estate to the State of Ohio and the president’s personal papers and posses­sions to the Ohio Historical Society if a fireproof building was built on the grounds.

The Hayes Memorial opened on May 30, 1916. However, Webb thought it was inadequate to house his father’s collections. He personally funded an addition to the structure in 1922, doubling its size. The Hayes Presiden­tial Center was expanded again in 1968. Two wings, built onto the east and west ends of the structure, added 35,874 square feet of space. The proj­ect supported expansion of the facility’s educational outreach through in­creased exhibit and library space, and construction of an auditorium.

In 2012, a $1.2 million restoration of the Hayes Home was completed, and in May 2016, the museum unveiled newly installed permanent exhib­its. The tour will include visits to both the museum and the Hayes home. For more information, visit

10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
14000 W. State Route 2, Oak Harbor, Ohio
(419) 898-0014
30 miles from Lakeside
Pre-registration & $5 fee required

Ottawa National Wildlife RefugeThe Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, estab­lished in 1961, provides a habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, resident wildlife and endangered and threatened species. The refuge manages about 6,500 acres of wetland, grassland and wooded habitat dedicated to the protection, restoration and management of wetlands.

It provides resting, nesting, feeding and wintering habitats to waterfowl and other migratory animals. In addition, the refuge protects endangered and threatened species and their habitats and provides habitat biodiversity.

It includes 10 miles of hiking trails, which travel through a variety of habitats and was named one of the top 10 bird watching sites in the country. Special desig­nations received by the refuge include Globally Important Bird Area through the American Bird Conservancy, Important Bird Area through Audubon Ohio and Re­gionally Significant Site in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for people to en­joy wildlife and participate in activities to learn about the natural world. It holds trust to a portion of the natural heritage of the Great Lakes ecosys­tem and is an excellent location to view bald eagles and many other species.

The visit will include a tour of the visi­tors’ center and an open-air tram tour of the refuge. For more information, visit

10:30 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25: Mazza Museum
The University of Findlay, 201 College St., Findlay, Ohio
(419) 434-4560
70 miles from Lakeside
Pre-registration & $5 fee required

Mazza MuseumThe Mazza Museum is the most diverse collection of original artwork by children’s book illustra­tors in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and en­rich the lives of all people through the art of picture books.

The collection began in 1982 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Findlay College (now the University of Findlay). Through the generos­ity of donors, it was quickly established. The original activities at the mu­seum developed into educational programs and the involvement of adults and children in the collection. The Mazza Museum is located in the Vir­ginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion, and in 2007, an addition to the build­ing was dedicated to house the ever growing collection. The collection, which began with just four items, now totals more than 10,500 pieces.

The artists included in the Mazza Museum were selected because of the high quality of picture books they have written and/or illustrated. Many of these artists have won honors, including the Caldecott Medal, the Newbery Medal, The Golden Kite Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal. The art­work represents diversity in art styles including realistic, impressionistic, expressionistic, cartoon, surrealistic and folk art. A wide range of media is also represented through these artists, including paints, collage, photogra­phy, paper-cut, plasticine, cross-stitching and numerous graphic techniques.

The museum holds two conferences each year, bringing renowned au­thors and illustrators of children’s books to speak about their works. For more information, visit