Open the door to history

For more than 30 years, the docents of Cincinnati Museum Center Heritage Programs have enjoyed sharing their passion for history through audio-visual presentations, walking tours and motor coach tours. As an outreach association of Cincinnati Museum Center, the all-volunteer Cincinnati Heritage Programs has unlocked doors to privately owned places generally not open to the public. All topics are thoroughly researched for accuracy. The Ambassadors of Cincinnati History strive to inspire people to learn and appreciation the region’s history.

Our 2019 schedule is under construction — be sure to check back soon. In the meantime, please review some of our past tours.

Past tours
Treasures of the Queen City

Visit the Geier Collections & Research Center, a treasure trove of Cincinnati memorabilia, with Museum Center’s Curator of History and Fine Art. This is a rare opportunity to view the collections and hear why and how Cincinnati Museum Center collects and safeguards the artifacts that tell Cincinnati’s significant story. A mid-morning snack will be served. Lunch is not included.

See Cincinnati Bus Tour

Learn about Cincinnati’s remarkable history from settlement in the late 18th century through its early 19th century boom town era to today. See the renaissance of the Queen City’s core. Hear the history of German immigrants who gave Over-the-Rhine its distinctive charm. Visit the scenic hilltop neighborhoods of Mt. Auburn, Clifton, Walnut Hills and Mt. Adams and hear the stories of many prominent people who lived there.

The Mill Creek

Hear the recent history of the 28-mile “Maketewah” flowing through two counties and the center of our region. The once pristine watershed stream enticed settlers, farmers and industrialists to the area. It has been known as a dump and sewer for mills, slaughterhouses and breweries. Dr. Stan Hedeen will explain how it is being returned to its use as a natural resource. There will be walks on dirt paths over uneven ground.

Churches, Chapels and Graves

Explore the 1859 St. Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine and see the underground crypt containing the remains of some of the city’s earliest Irish Catholics. Visit the towering Romanesque Revival 1873 Franciscan St. George Church, recently restored by Crossroads Church. Discover St. Clare Chapel, completed in 1895 on the campus of Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. Marvel at the Italian Romanesque 1926 St. Monica Church, once the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, adorned with a bas-relief crucifixion scene by sculptor Clement Barnhorn.

Down the Drain

Tour the Metropolitan Sewer District’s Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest water-reclamation facility in Hamilton County. Find out how 450 million gallons of storm water and sewage per day are cleaned and treated for re-entry into the environment. This is a 2-hour walking tour with steps and traversing grated walkways over tanks.

Dayton, The Gem City

At the Carillon Park museum complex, explore historic buildings brimming with artifacts showcasing Dayton’s many innovations that we use in our daily lives as well as the original 1905 Wright Flyer III. Visit Hawthorne Hill, Orville Wright’s stately home where he welcomed famous dignitaries. Ride through Woodland Cemetery, one of the nation’s oldest and most beautiful rural garden cemeteries. See quaint historic neighborhoods along with the Civil War National Soldiers’ Home and National Cemetery. Visit the Wright-Dunbar National Park Visitor Center and restored Wright Cycle Company.

The Fernald Preserve

Walk the site that was once a uranium processing facility and, since 2006, is now the pride of several government and community agencies who collaborated to create a 1,050 acre wetland and prairie area. Since its environmental and ecological restoration, 240 species of birds have been observed on the 1,000 acres. Hear about its diverse history and the $4.4 billion cleanup at the award-winning Visitors Center.

Rookwood Pottery

Tour the Rookwood Pottery Factory in Over-the-Rhine to watch pottery artisans creating new works for today’s market. Visit the Cincinnati Wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum with Anita Ellis, author of many books on Rookwood Pottery and the museum’s former curator of decorative arts. Visit St. Ursula Convent’s archives, where Rookwood Pottery founder Maria Longworth Storer lived and created some of her works of art. Tour the LeBlond Estate, now St. Ursula Villa, to explore other kinds of decorative tiles.

Native American Sites in the Little Miami Valley

Dr. Stan Hedeen will narrate the account of ancient Native Americans in one of our country’s most prehistorically significant regions. Visit the active Hahn Site, Cincinnati Museum Center’s archaeological research location which has been uncovering prehistoric items since 1885. Explore the Newtown American Indian Education Center, displaying flint, stone, bone, pottery and shell items. Hear an explanation of the Mariemont Embankment, a Fort Ancient Culture Effigy Mound running along the Miami Bluff. Discover Pioneer Cemetery with the graves of Columbia’s founders.