Speaker Series

The 2023/ 2024 Speaker Series is Scheduled! 


Monthly Speaker Series 2023 - 2024 

Third Tuesday (usually) of the month   **   Free & open to the public!

RecPlex West Theater (Rec West)
965 Miamisburg Centerville  Rd.

 Reception 6:30 p.m.        Program 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy refreshments and historical education. 

Donations welcome and appreciated.

**NOTE -- Please enter on the south side of the building using the east doors that are closest to the theater. Park between the Subaru dealership and the building for the shortest walk.

 September 19, 2023 
Tim Riordan
Cincinnati’s Chattanooga Choo Choo Railroad
The Cincinnati Southern Railway is the largest municipally owned railway in the U.S. After the Civil War, the City of Cincinnati built a railroad to Chattanooga to open Southern markets to Cincinnati manufacturers and merchants. Speaker Tim Riordan, a former Cincinnati Deputy City Manager who served 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Southern Railway, will provide a history of that railroad that was financed, built, and is still owned by the City of Cincinnati after 150 years. This is the railway that inspired the famous song: ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo’.

October 17, 2023
Andy Hite 
A Canal for the West: The Miami & Erie Canal
The canals of Ohio were created to provide access to more lucrative markets for Ohio farmers and industries. While raw materials flowed out, boats returned with consumer products from all over the world at prices many Ohioans could now afford. The face of retail in Ohio changed forever once the canals came here. The completion of the canals also brought the first big growth spurt to Ohio, especially if a town was fortunate to have the canal pass through.
Andy Hite, the former Site Manager of Johnston Farm & Indian Agency for the Ohio History Connection, serves as a Trustee and Vice President of the Canal Society of Ohio. He has been a member of the American Canal Society, and served on its Canal Boat Committee.

Watch this presentation on YouTube

November 14, 2023

Bill Albers

Christmas Truce on the Western Front - WWI 
World War I, the so-called Great War was only 5 months old and there were already many casualties on both sides. The first Christmas at the front lines of the 4-year war became a Christmas celebration of a size that had never taken place before and most likely will never happen again. Many believe it was a miracle that thousands of soldiers put down their weapons and stopped killing to celebrate Christmas. The lecture will cover the history of World War I and the events that led up to the Christmas Truce.
Bill Albers is a Dutch-American who was born in Amsterdam in 1940 and survived the 5-year long German occupation during World War II.  He served in the Royal Dutch Air Force as a jet aircraft mechanic and earned a degree in mechanical engineering before coming to the US in 1965 to continue studying engineering.  Bill became a US citizen in 1977 and has held a variety of positions with different US companies.  He now is busily retired and spends time volunteering at museums while still holding a private, commercial, and ground school instructor pilot license. 
Watch this presentation on YouTube
January 16, 2024
Paul Cooper

Frontier Between the Miamis: Pioneers in Ohio 1783-1800

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War, Americans soon crossed over the mountains from the East Coast looking for new land and new economic opportunities in Ohio country. Conflicts often resulted with the native people who inhabited the land. Floating down the Ohio River was the main pathway west. As more settlers arrived they left the villages on the Ohio and moved up the Miami Valley to create new towns. 
Paul Cooper, a retired Air Force Brigadier General and pilot with 35 years of service has always been fascinated with Frontier History as his grandmother told stories of covered wagons heading west past the home where she grew up.

February 20, 2024
Ed Ross

Ida Weller - A Woman Ahead of Her Time
Farmer, educator, activist, and artist, Ida Weller was one of the most influential women in 20th century Centerville. This presentation will explore her life and legacy. A photographic tour of her estate will also be shared.

Ed Ross is a retired businessman having worked with several local manufacturers. In addition to being the Board President of Centerville Washington History, he is also the Chairman of the Centerville Board of Architectural Review. He and his wife live on the Ida Weller farm and homestead.


March 19, 2024

Ed Roach - National Park Service

Post-1908 Trip into the Wright Brothers’ "Clunky" Business Affairs


April 16, 2024

Rosemary Thunder Schwoebel

A Vietnam Memoir - Adventures of an American Red Cross ‘Donut Dolly’ 1968-1969


May 21, 2024

Billy Ring, Miamisburg Fire Dept. Capt. (Ret.)

July 1986 - Miamisburg Railroad Chemical Tank Car Fire



 2023/24 schedule (pdf)

February 21, 2023
Tanya Maus: 19th Century Quakers in Southwest Ohio (click for YouTube video of presentation)

Select sessions from 2022 are available on YouTube:

FDR’s Confidential Crusader by Mike WilliamsWatch the presentation on YouTube

Hidden History of Dayton by Tony Kroeger Watch the presentation on YouTube

The War in Ukraine and the Future of Geopolitics by General John R. Allen - Watch the presentation on YouTube


 Enjoy videos of our 2020/2021 speakers on YouTube