Museum seeks donations for new roof

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — The Tippecanoe Historical Society is asking for the community’s help in raising funds to replace the roof on the 1929 building that houses its museum.

The nearly 89-year-old building needs a new roof, which is estimated to cost more than $8,000, according to museum director Susie Spitler. The exact amount will be known once work starts on the project and depends on any structural repairs that might be necessary. Work will begin soon, weather permitting, she said.

The Tipp Foundation has approved funds that will cover approximately half of the expense, Spitler said. The historical society is asking for community support to keep the museum well-maintained. Spitler said that donations may be sent to the Tippecanoe Historical Society, P.O. Box 42, Tipp City.

The museum houses displays of Tipp City history, including school memorabilia, oral history recordings, obituaries, and historical property and genealogy records. The historical society is also involved in education programs with the schools and the community.

“The purpose of the society is to collect, restore and maintain the historical items and information entrusted to us,” Spitler said.

Formerly the Tippecanoe Post Office — the first post office to receive mail addressed to Tipp City instead of Tippecanoe — the site has been many things throughout the city’s history.

In the late 1800s, Ed Young owned a blacksmith shop on the southeast corner of Third and Walnut Streets, according to Spitler. Margurerite and Vernon Danes bought the property in 1922 and turned the blacksmith shop into a livery. Later it became a garage, managed by Danes. In 1929, the garage caught fire, burning up several vehicles and damaging neighboring properties. Several injuries were sustained, and they had to ward off looters.

Later that year, a post office was built on that site. Previously it was moved around to wherever the current postmaster wanted it located, Spitler said. Henrietta Bennett was the first postmistress in this building, then known as the Ratcliff Building.

The post office was located in this building until 1939, when it moved to the new post office building on the northeast corner of Fourth and Main. This old post office was then remodeled into two apartments.

The Tippecanoe Historical Society was formed in 1979 by the Community Minded Women. In 1985 they purchased North Third Street property to house a museum. With donated labor and funds from various groups and organizations, the Tippecanoe Historical Museum was opened April 29, 1991.

For further information, contact Spitler at (937) 698-6798. Museum hours are Wednesday 2-4 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, or by appointment.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at