Andrew L. Tuttle, a lifelong resident of Defiance, Ohio, bequeathed his extensive collection of Native American artifacts, coins, documents, stamps, military memorabilia, and other artifacts, to the city of Defiance with the stipulation a museum would be established in his name. The City accepted the entire collection in 2003 and steps were taken to catalog and stabilize the collection. The Tuttle, as the museum has been nicknamed, officially opened to the public in May 2013.
Although the museum bears Tuttle’s name, the museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the city of Defiance and the surrounding area. The exhibits tell Defiance’s story by highlighting the who, what, when, where and how. Therefore, the exhibit topics change from time to time to allow more of the story to be told.
Come and view first hand why the city of Defiance has become a “Great Place to Live.”
Major Exhibit On Display:
Defiance During Times of War and Conflict
Defiance During Times of War and Conflict is a major exhibition illustrating the impact that the Great Black Swamp, the rivers, and the wars of national prominence had on the growth and development of Northwest Ohio and Defiance.
This exhibition is made up of several different exhibits. The first two exhibits look at the Great Black Swamp and the rivers near Defiance. A third exhibit is the Beaver Wars. These wars were actually a series of conflicts in Northwest Ohio and the Great Lakes region among Native Americans, the Dutch, the French and the British, fought between 1638 and 1700 to establish control of the lucrative beaver pelt trade.
With these exhibits find answers to what the Great Black Swamp was and how it impacted the area. Learn how important the rivers are to the region, and from the Beaver Wars exhibit why beaver pelts were so valuable to the Europeans, what items were being traded, and who was doing the trading. Learn who the voyageurs were. Discover the effect that the Beaver Wars had on area people. Learn how the Native Americans came to depend on the European traders.
The fourth exhibit in the Defiance in Times of War and Conflict is the American Revolution, 1774-1783. This exhibit features text, photos, and reproductions of art work to explain the impact of the American Revolutionary War had on Ohio and especially Northwest Ohio. The major events that took place in Northwest Ohio and the significant personalities from the Native Americans, the British, and the patriots are described.
The final exhibit of the exhibition highlights the Indian Wars, the War of 1812 and the Native American removal. The timeline of events show that the culmination of both the Indian Wars and the War of 1812 resulted in the transfer of control of the northwest Ohio territory to the young nation of the United States and forced the Native Americans from their ancestral home.
This major exhibition is designed to make the museum guests aware that all major conflicts in North America between 1628 and 1843 had some impact in Northwest Ohio and even the area near the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers.
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum has been created to foster an understanding and appreciation of the history of the city of Defiance and its immediate surrounding area by responsibly collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting items from the area’s natural and cultural history for the benefit of present and future generations.
Home Saving and Loan Building
On April 18, 1888, several local businessmen founded The Defiance Home Saving and Loan Association, which grew to serve the financial needs of the community as well as play an important part in the city’s development. By 1917, the Home Saving and Loan occupied an impressive classic Roman style building at 514 West Third Street.
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum is proud to call this historic Defiance landmark its current home.
CURRENT EXHIBITS AT THE TUTTLE
Click on the circles to navigate through the exhibits.
Defiance City Hall of Fame
2019 Defiance City Hall of Fame
The Defiance City Hall of Fame selection committee, comprised of 17 members, is seeking community members to recognize in the spring of 2019. Mail or deliver nominations to the city historian at the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum by Friday, January 10, 2019.. Nomination forms are available at the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum, The Crescent-News business office, Defiance Public Library, and City Hall.
The criteria for a nomination are: the person must have been deceased for more than ten years; must meet two of the following, born in the city of Defiance, lived in the city of Defiance for at least eight years, died a resident of the City of Defiance, or buried in the City of Defiance; and the nominee must be associated with a significant historical, cultural or humanitarian activity in Defiance or must have brought recognition to Defiance. Supporting information for nominations should include biographical information, photo, newspaper articles, and display items if available.
Defiance High School government students under the supervision of Hans Zipfel will give presentations on those chosen for the 2019 Defiance City Hall of Fame. The Defiance City Hall of Fame induction is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2019, at 7:00 P.M. at the Stroede Center for the Arts. The museum will be open following the program. The event is held in conjunction with the Lilac Festival on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Each year plaques honoring current Hall of Fame members are prominently displayed within the museum, and information is available about each one. Currently the Hall of Fame is comprised of Dan Batt, Robert Boehm, PhD., and John Rohrs. The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum, 514 West Third Street, downtown Defiance is open Thursdays from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., the first Sunday of the month 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., and by appointment. The Tuttle is closed on holidays.
1904 – 1982
Local Jurist and Political Leader
Dan Batt was a local jurist, political leader, and involved in bringing Northwest State Community College to this area.
Robert Boehm, Ph.D
1925 – 2007
Scholar and Civic Leader
Robert Boehm was a nationally recognized scholar, citizen leader in the Defiance political arena, and president of the Defiance City Council.
John T. Rohrs
1918 – 2000
Developer and Community Leader
John Rohrs was a community leader and developer, instrumental in developing Defiance’s medical services and facilities, and a major promoter of Defiance City Schools.
Class of 2017
M. Ben Gaeth
August A.W. Martin
Class of 2016
Jane Martin Small
Fern Cunningham Stone
Class of 2015
Elizabeth (Betty) Wurst
Class of 2014
Robert Bruce Cameron, M.D.
T. T. Shaw
Class of 2013
Jonas Colby, M.D.
Lester L. Schmunk
Class of 2012
Richard R. Seibel
John H. Shock
Dr. Flossie E. Whitney
Alexander H. Wyant
Class of 2011
John Kissner, Sr.
Gen. Delbert Schultz
Eugene H. Smart
Karl H. Weaner
Class of 2010
Father Charles Ruess
Class of 2009
Class of 2008
Oscar W. Jones
Class of 2007
Joyce Parker Jackman
Class of 2006
Class of 2005
Class of 2004
Class of 2003
Wm. C. Holgate
Andrew L. Tuttle and His Legacy
Andrew L. Tuttle is remembered in Defiance as a unique individual who had a passion for collecting fine objects, and who became the primary impetus and benefactor of the current Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum.
Andrew L. Tuttle was born in Defiance, Ohio on August 24, 1918. During his early years he lived at 211 East High Street, in Defiance, overlooking the Maumee River. Perhaps his father or grandfather sparked his interest in Native American tools and culture as they trekked the fields of Northwest Ohio looking for artifacts to collect.
Andrew Tuttle graduated from Defiance High School in 1937 and served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business from Harvard University in Cambridge.
Many facets of Tuttle’s life are a mystery, but he definitely was a world traveler whose excursions allowed him to expand his intriguing collection of coins, stamps, sculptures, Native American artifacts, and much more.
Unfortunately, in 2003 Andrew L. Tuttle died in a car accident while returning home to Defiance from Florida. It was his final wish that his entire collection be a gift to the City of Defiance providing the city would establish a museum in his name. The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum opened proudly to the public in 2011.
TOWN AND GOWN
ANTHONY WAYNE’S KENTUCKIANS
Thursday, April 25, 2019
7:00 P.M. – Stroede Center for the Arts
John Trowbridge, Command Historian for the Kentucky National Guard, will highlight the support given by the Kentucky mounted militia led by General Charles Scott to General Anthony Wayne’s sub-legions in 1794. The Kentucky militia joined Wayne’s forces at Fort GreeneVille, helped construct Fort Defiance, and assisted in the defeat of the Indian Confederation at the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.
All programs sponsored by the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum are open to the public and are free of charge.
Any easy access entrance to the Stroede for the Arts is located on Third Street.
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
514 West Third Street
Defiance, Ohio 43512
Open Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
First Sunday of the Month 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tours by Appointment
Randall Buchman, City Historian
Richard Rozevink, Director
Jan Bechtel, Curator of Exhibits
Herman Dally, Curator of Collections
Judy Dally, Director of Education
NEW EXHIBIT OPENING
Bridging the Maumee River was an important step in the growth of the city of Defiance. The Tuttle Museum will be exhibiting images and information about the history of the Clinton Street bridge in its many forms, as we wait for a new bridge to connect us.225th Anniversary of Fort Defiance Exhibit
OPEN BEGINNING July, 2019
Fort Defiance Artifacts and Images of Fort Defiance
The Coins They Left Behind: 1800 – 1900
Currency of the Civil War
Defiance’s Attic – Updated
Defiance During Times of War and Conflict: 1638-1843
The Dinner Bell Story
Defiance A Century Ago: The Photographs of Henry Roehrs
Tuttle Coins from the American Colonies
The Andrew Tuttle collection
Odd and Curious Money
Money includes more than just paper bills and metal coins. For thousands of years, countries and cultural groups have developed their own unique forms of exchange.
Andrew L. Tuttle collected currency,coins and various forms of money from countries all over the world. Featured in this exhibit are some of the oddest and largest pieces from his collection, such as a piece shaped like the body of an alligator, shoe money, pieces pierced with holes and those shaped like knives or straight razors. The exhibit attempts to answer questions regarding the history of money and how it has been used through the years.
The Defiance’s Attic exhibit features objects from the Tuttle’s permanent collection that are recent gifts or are items that cannot be used alone as part of a major exhibit. Currently featured are old promotional items from downtown Defiance merchants and businesses, a WW II Civil Defense helmet, apothecary jars, and many pieces of Defiance memorabilia saved in Defiance attics over the years.
The Defiance’s Attic exhibit presents highlights of the history of the Defiance City Schools and the Defiance College with a display of a variety of articles that offer a glimpse into the education story.
Jazz Greats Milt Buckner and “Wild Bill” Davison
The lives of Milt Buckner and “Wild Bill” Davison, two noted jazz musicians from Defiance, are highlighted in this exhibit. Their contributions and innovations to the world of jazz music are presented with photographs, posters and their music.
Edwin Phelps Memoirs
Edwin Phelps was an early pioneer in Defiance County. As an entrepreneur and a civic leader holding city and county offices, Phelps was instrumental in the county’s development. He recorded his life’s journey in a memoir.
Some of the Phelps memoirs were published in the Defiance County Express in 1886 and 1987 and reprinted in the Defiance Crescent-News in 1934. Another portion was published in the Northwest Ohio Quarterly in 1945.
Those articles, in PDF format, can be accessed through the Defiance County Genealogical Society at http://www.defiancecountygenealogy.org/.
The Tuttle is now on Facebook! Please like and follow our page Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum for Defiance history and events.
Fifty Years and Still Going
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum honors Defiance city businesses that have been operating for over fifty years in the community. Each business is recognized at a civic program hosted by the Defiance City Mayor at the Stroede Center located at 319 Wayne Avenue.
The Rettig Music Store is one example of this. Founder Emma Rettig’s family Miller organ is exhibited inside the museum, along with a timeline of the business’s
development. The organ is played as part of special programs.