Tipp City, Ohio, (population 9,265) was founded by John Clark in 1840, the year William Henry Harrison was campaigning for the presidency using the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.” Clark was a great admirer of Harrison, so he adopted the name Tippecanoe for the city, which was later changed to Tipp City in 1938.
Proximity to the Miami & Erie Canal, the remains of which one can still see today, led to the rise of Tippecanoe City during the mid-1800s. This was followed by the construction of the B&O railroad line, which spawned new industries and continued economic development. Tipp City’s economic growth continued due to its location near the intersection of interstates 70 and 75.
Since becoming a Certified Local Government (CLG) in April 2005, a number of historic preservation goals have been met, including the development of a historic preservation plan and architectural design guidelines. Recently, the city was awarded a CLG grant to develop a multiple property documentation form for historic industrial buildings and to prepare two National Register of Historic Places nominations.
Tipp City also actively pursues revitalization of its downtown. In fact, 88 structures are included in the Old Tippecanoe Main Street Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Within the district is the Old Municipal Building (circa 1874). In early years, the building served as a town hall, calaboose (jail), post office, library, and social hall. Tipp City still owns the property, now used by Tipp-Monroe Community Services (TMCS). A local nonprofit organization, TMCS provides more than 300 educational, recreational, and cultural programs and classes and offers meeting space, free of charge, for various civic groups and organizations. As one of Tipp City’s prominent historical resources, the building continues to be the subject of annual modeling projects for local schools. Elementary school age children also receive regular tours of the building on behalf of the Tippecanoe Historical Society.
The society also maintains the Tippecanoe Historical Museum, which collects, displays, preserves, and interprets historical materials, sponsors field trips, provides speakers, and conducts tours of the historic district. During 2002-2003, in recognition of Ohio’s Bicentennial Celebration, the society gathered oral histories of Tipp City. Some of these stories were written into a play entitled Tippecanoe – Our Story, which was presented at the high school’s Theater of Performing Arts. Following its success, a sequel Tippecanoe – Our Lives was written and preformed in 2007. The taping of oral histories continues to be an ongoing project.
Designated a Preserve America Community in December 2008.