Welcome to the online home of the Stephens Memorial Observatory. The observatory is a part of the Physics Department of Hiram College* in Hiram, Ohio. The observatory’s current mission is historic preservation, astronomy education, and public outreach.
The primary instrument of the observatory was the Cooley Telescope. It was a nine-inch Warner and Swasey refractor graced with John Brashear Co. optics. Dedicated at Hiram College in 1901, it was a fine and unique example of turn of the (20th) century astronomical telescope technology being complete as manufactured. The instrument contained and employed its original optical and drive components made by leading manufacturers of the time. Despite its age the Cooley’s optics were excellent and provided impressive views of solar system and deep-sky wonders. Continued use of this instrument in astronomy is its highest and best purpose.
Visit our Historical Gallery. Photos dating back a more than a century include views of the original Hiram observatory and the man who donated our telescope to the school.
Observatory director/curator James Guilford was responsible for operation of the observatory for student, private, and public viewing sessions. Since spring, 2006, he worked to preserve and enhance the observatory and visitor experiences there.
Contact via email: Stephens Observatory
Postal address is:
116 Gerstacker Hall
PO Box 67
Hiram, OH 44234-0067
Physics Department Phone:
(330) 569-5264 (not answered at night).
* NOTE: This site is privately owned and, while it presents authoritative observatory information,it is not a publication of Hiram College.