Oberlin's Namesake: John Frederick Oberlin (1740-1826)

Photographs and postcards, 1870s to 1926

Early photographs of the Ban de la Roche came to the Archives through the connections between the college and the parish. One of our earliest images, of the church at Waldersbach, is a cabinet card, a format popular in the the last quarter of the 19th century. 

Rev. Augustus Field Beard visited the region in 1886 and 1902 to gather material for his book, The Story of John Frederick Oberlin (Pilgrim Press, 1909). Oberlin College President Henry Churchill King wrote the introduction to Beard's book. An image possibly from Beard's 1886 visit is this photograph of the house Oberlin built for his family at Waldersbach, and occupied by successive pastors for many years. It may be that the gentleman visible in the window was the current pastor. Beard's daughter Mary accompanied her father on the trip to the region in 1902, from which we have postcard correspondence and a photograph. We have a number of photographs dating from those periods, that may have been taken by Rev. Beard or his daughter.

On June 6, 1926 Waldersbach held a centennial observance of Oberlin's death, at which Prof. Kemper Fullerton from Oberlin College gave an address. Photographs and postcards document this event.


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