It has been said that “History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.” The Tippecanoe Historical Society, founded in 1979, has been adding life to years of our cherished community through originals each and every day.
It all began in 1979, when the Community Minded Women organization came together and firmly decided that it was their charge to help preserve, display, and interpret historical materials and articles for the Tipp community. By doing so, their hope was this would boost interest in our beloved community and create a desire to leave a legacy of curiosity of our hometown.
In 1985, with help from a variety of sources which included individuals, organizations, fund-raising and a major contribution from The Tipp City Foundation, the Tippecanoe Historical Society purchased a building on the corner of N. Third and Walnut. With assistance from Betty Eickoff and Sue Cook co-signing for a loan to purchase the building, this was the beginning of an effort to bring to the community Tipp City’s history. It wasn’t until April, 1991, that the doors to bygone eras of Tippecanoe were brought to life through articles, photos, and artifacts of our small midwestern community.
With 121 members strong, the Tippecanoe Historical Society is always looking for new members. Since its beginning, the Tippecanoe Historical Society has held informational meetings and community gatherings, where guest speakers tell tales of times past. Heather Bailey of the Tipp Foundation states, “in 2013, the Tippecanoe Historical Society Fund was created. This agency endowment acts as a highly flexible savings account for them accepting stock as easily as it accepts checks.” Bailey continues, “another benefit to the Tippecanoe Historical Society is that the Tipp Foundation works hard to maintain a community awareness aspect with their endeavors.” Additionally, the Tippecanoe Historical Society has sponsored field trips, assisted in local celebrations, conducted tours of Tipp City’s historic district, and worked with age groups young and old to explore their quest and curiosity. For more than nine years, the Society has conducted oral history recordings of various topics by a number of panel members. They began with cassette tapes, later went to VHS tapes, and have now progressed to DVDs. Other than the cassettes they are still being broadcast by KIT-TV and all are available at the museum. Another favorite for the community, which the Tippecanoe Historical Society has hosted for the past nine years through the help of many volunteers, is the “If Tombstones Could Talk” cemetery walk. Unfortunately, it could not be held this year due to the COVID virus, but hopefully will resume in the spring.
To better understand the history of Tipp City, Susan Furlong has written two plays: “Tippecanoe – Our Story” and “Tippecanoe – Our Lives“. These performances highlighted the heritage in the building of a great community and were performed for the public in the high school’s Theater of Performing Arts. Susan has also written two history books depicting Tipp City. Aptly named, “Tippecanoe to Tipp City—The First 100 Years” and “Legendary Locals of Tippecanoe to Tipp City”, these books bring a vivid look into the life of our home town.
“The most gratifying part of the Tippecanoe Historical Society’s mission is the reaction when someone comes looking for information about their home, a relative or an event and we are able to provide much desired information”, mentioned Susie Spitler, president of the Tippecanoe Historical Society. Spitler highlights a recent example. “A fellow came in asking about an event many years ago. There was a family legend and this gentleman was looking for verification. We were able to find a copy of a newspaper article in the Grace Kinney files, but unfortunately, it proved the family legend was not correct.” Spitler continued, “we get a number of people who have purchased an older home and are seeking information about its history. Or the reward of watching the students we speak to as they listen to historical presentations and then answering the questions posed by their teachers. It is always rewarding when we pull out a file of pictures and bring history to life for them.”
Spitler added, “recently we had the daughter of a 1952 graduate contact us. Her mother is in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s. She talks all the time about Tipp, but lives too far away to make the trip back. We were able to put together a packet of pictures, including her dad on a baseball team, the house where she grew up, and the grocery store where she once worked. She said her mother laughed and smiled and shed tears as she, over and over, sorted through the pictures, reliving those precious memories of years gone by. These are just a few examples of why we exist and why we work so hard to preserve our history.”
The Tippecanoe Historical Society is working to preserve and chronicle a rich history that belongs to each of us. As you stroll through the downtown, take note of your surroundings as they have shaped the past and are building the future. You are part of Tipp City’s legacy and live it each time you partake of events offered by our beloved community and its vivid history…after all, they’re making more of it these days. Be a part of bringing the stories of yesterday to the community by joining the Tippecanoe Historical Society.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Tipp City Foundation is a member fund of The Troy Foundation. You can make a difference with your dollars in our community by:
- Donating online here.
- Making your check payable to the Tipp City Foundation and mail to P.O. Box 626, Tipp City, OH 45371.
- Setting up a fund or legacy plan by contacting Heather Bailey at (937) 528-2482.
We’d love to stay in touch. Stay connected with the Tipp City Foundation by:
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
All marketing activities of the Foundation is 100% underwritten by generous sponsors. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how your business or organization can become our partner in philanthropy.
- Silver Sponsor – Thrivent Financial (Matt Buehrer)
- Bronze Sponsors – Advanced Machinery Companies; Dunaway Family Foundation; Dungan & LeFevre; Ever-Green Turf & Landscape; Gibson Law Offices; Monroe Federal Savings and Loan; New Carlisle Federal Savings Bank; Pickrel, Schaeffer and Ebeling; Unity National Bank
- Friend Sponsors – Captor Corp.; Edward Jones (Neil Nehring); Frings & Bayliff Funeral Home; Minster Bank; RSM US; Turnstone Financial; US Bank
- Media Sponsor – Tippecanoe Gazette
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