Tiffin Historic Trust celebrates 40 years

historic-trust-invitationThe Tiffin Historic Trust is inviting the community to celebrate with them their 40th anniversary with an open house at the Grammes-Brown House Oct. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

From the Tiffin Historic Trust:

A Brief History of the Tiffin Historic Trust in Celebration of its 40th Anniversary

In the fall of 1976, during the nation’s celebration of its Bicentennial, a group of citizens met at the Tiffin-Seneca County Public Library.  Harold Hossler presided at the meeting during which Kenneth E. Davison, chairperson of the local Bicentennial Commission, made the motion to create a new organization, the Tiffin Historic Trust.  In mid-October 1976, William D. Fletcher, Mary Lewis, and Barbara J. Howe signed the Articles of Incorporation.

The stated purpose of the organization was to “promote historic preservation in Tiffin by meetings, publications, tours or whatever other means may be chosen by the corporation.”  The articles stated it would be a non-profit organization, with the goal of raising funds through grants, donations, etc., in order to promote and develop a total plan for the preservation and restoration of Tiffin, and to work with all interested groups or individuals to put this plan into effect.

172-jefferson-st-grammes-brown-house-jpgSince its founding in 1976, the Trust has done the following:

  • Compiled an inventory of Tiffin’s public and private buildings; the entries were submitted to the State and National Register of Historic Places.
  • Funded and had the city install signs designating the Historic Districts within Tiffin.
  • Worked with college interns who prepared studies of Tiffin Architecture.
  • Influenced a streetscape project that led to the Court Street design with a booklet published with grant support.
  • The Court Street Extravaganza event led to the creation of a Tiffin Heritage Festival with architecture as the theme.
  • Submitted a bridge design to the Ohio Department of Transportation and convinced them to install historically compatible replacement bridges over the Sandusky River in Tiffin.
  • Sponsored architectural workshops, seminars and conferences, including two Building Doctor Clinics.
  • Prepared various publications, including a set of walking tour brochures focusing on Tiffin neighborhoods, sidewalks, streets and alleys.
  • Created a revolving fund to assist owners with their restoration needs.
  • Established the Annual Dinner Meeting in May, during National Preservation Week/Month.
  • Created the Annual Preservation Awards program.                                                   -cont-
  • Applied for Tiffin to be an early “Main Street” community and narrowly missed being selected, until it was achieved in 2016!
  • Wrote a design review program for downtown Tiffin; although not accepted, Tiffin did eventually implement similar legislation.
  • Accepted the bequest of the Grammes-Brown House from the late Rosina Brown, restored it to its Victorian grandeur, and now use it as its headquarters and for events.
  • Purchased a threatened downtown building and later found a retail business buyer for it, thus saving it from destruction.
  • Arranged for the cleaning of the William Harvey Gibson statue in front of the Courthouse.
  • Fought to preserve major architectural buildings within Tiffin, including the East Junior High School/Old Columbian building, and the 1887 Courthouse.
  • Assisted with the preservation of the Spiva-Manley House.
  • Hosted tours of historic homes and the annual Holiday House tour.
  • Created a series of wooden replicas of historic buildings made by the Trust volunteers. The replicas, along with note cards, were an important fundraising project for many years.
  • Held summer garden tours, and Victorian teas as fundraisers.

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