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 2011.
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.”
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.
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.
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
HALL OF FAME CRITERIA
The criteria for a nomination are: the person must have been deceased for more than ten years, thus ensuring the legacy of the nominee; 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; in addition, the nominee must be associated with a significant historical, cultural or humanitarian activity in Defiance or must have brought recognition to Defiance.
2021 Class Defiance City Hall of Fame
Richard W. Stroede
1939 – 2010
Educator, Cultural Arts Visionary, Musician
Richard Stroede, a Renaissance man, used his many talents to promote Defiance’s cultural arts. His vision culminated in the creation of the Defiance Community Cultural Council, the Stroede Center for the Arts, and several concert and program series for adults and youth.
Class of 2020
William A. Diehl
Class of 2019
Class of 2018
John T. Rohrs
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
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.
TOWN AND GOWN
Tuesday, September 21
Buggies and Wagons and Trucks, Oh My!
Presenters: Leon Jones and Ethan Plummer
7:00 P.M. Stroede Center for the Arts
Thursday, October 21
Between Two Worlds: The Life of Alexander McKee
Presenter: David Westrick
7:00 P.M. Stroede Center for the Arts
The Stroede Center for the Arts is located at 319 Wayne Avenue. An venue accessible entrance is on Third Street.
Postponed until 2022 – Hail the Purple and the Gold: Defiance College Sports History
The Town and Gown programs are sponsored by the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum are open to the public and are free of charge.
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 are not available at this time.
Randall Buchman, City Historian
Richard Rozevink, Director
Jan Bechtel, Curator of Exhibits
Herman Dally, Curator of Collections
Judy Dally, Director of Education
Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
Thursday, June 3, 2021
10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Thursdays from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
First Sunday of the month from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Masks will not be required but encouraged for those who are not vaccinated or feel safer wearing one.
“Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks”
“Booze, Ballots, and a Better World: Women’s Activism in Defiance”
“Defiance City Hall of Fame 2020 and 2021”
“Defiance Machine Works”
Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
514 West Third Street, Defiance, Ohio
Dear Tuttle Guests and Friends,
The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum has resumed its Thursday and Sunday hours. The health and welfare of the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum’s staff, board members, volunteers, and guests are of the utmost importance. For the time being, masks are not required, but are recommended for those that are not vaccinated or feel safer wearing a mask. Hand sanitizer is available.
Please keep updated by visiting the Tuttle website and Facebook page. If you need to reach the Tuttle, call 419-782-0746 or email email@example.com.
The Tuttle appreciates your patience during this time of uncertainty for not just our institution but for our nation and globally. You will be apprised as the Tuttle’s future plan unfolds.
Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum’s Staff
Randy Buchman, Richard Rozevink, Jan Bechtel, Herman Dally, Judy Dally
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Sunday, July 4, 2021
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Sunday, January 2, 2022
NEW and UPDATED EXHIBITS
- Booze, Ballots, and a Better World
- Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks
Thomas E. Keller Trucking , affiliate of Keller Logistics Group – Turnbull Exhibit Corporate Sponsor
Defiance’s Attic – SUMMER
Bridging the Maumee: Clinton Street Bridges
Defiance City Hall of Fame 2021
While the Tuttle Museum has been closed, new exhibits have been created and old ones updated.
Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks
The Turnbull factory once occupied an expansive plant on the south bank of the Maumee, where for over 50 years they produced wagons, wheels, and motor trucks. Follow the story of this Defiance manufacturer in a new exhibit. – Thomas E. Keller Trucking, affiliate of Keller Logistics Group – Corporate Sponsor
Defiance’s Attic, a continuing exhibit of items from the Tuttle’s collection, is now featuring some favorite memories of summer in Defiance. Attend Chautauqua or camp at Island Park; swim at the pool and follow up with ice cream at Conomos’ or Elmer’s Root Beer Stand. Share a picnic of Dinner Bell lunch meats and Bunny Bread, washed down with a Coke or Diehl’s Centennial Beer. Check out these and other Defiance summer memorabilia in Defiance’s Attic.
Bridging the Maumee: Clinton Street Bridges
The exhibit on the Clinton Street Bridges has been updated with items discovered during construction by ODOT personnel. See what’s been dug up!
Defiance City Hall of Fame
The Defiance City Hall of Fame exhibit now includes a display of photos and materials honoring the 2020 inductees William A. Diehl and Pearl Dowe, as well as the 2021 inductee Richard W. Stroede.
General Anthony Wayne’s Defiance: Images of Fort Defiance
Exhibited July 2019 to July 2020
As part of this year’s commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the building of Fort Defiance, the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum presents “General Wayne’s Defiance: Images of Fort Defiance.”
Many people have found inspiration in the early history of the Defiance area, imagining how the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers might have looked when General Anthony Wayne’s Fort Defiance took shape. No drawings or paintings exist of the Fort as it was when constructed in August of 1794, and no archaeological evidence can tell us exactly what existed above ground. However, local artists have produced paintings, drawings, and other works that try to bring that time to life.
The earliest image that we have of Fort Defiance is the plan drawn by its architect, Major Henry Burbeck. It is included in the exhibit, along with works by local artists Louis Simonis, Lathop Berry, Fern Cunningham, and others. Paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as commemorative plates, tokens, advertising images, and other printed materials display a variety of visions of old Fort Defiance.
A Morning at Fort Defiance, 1794-1796
Artist, Louis Simonis
The updated exhibit features a miscellaneous collection of items from Defiance businesses of the past and present including pharmacy and beverage bottles, advertising give-a-ways, and decorative pieces. Commemorative plates featuring Fort Defiance and other Defiance sites and institutions are also on display.
Simplex Aircraft Corporation
In 1928 the Simplex Airplane Corporation began manufacturing an airplane it would soon fly and advertise as far away as California. For as little as $3500, a person, even in small Defiance, Ohio, could own a plane of his own – but where was an airport to accommodate this marvel? The Defiance Chamber of Commerce proposed to build that airport and planned to purchase forty acres of land, twenty acres on either side of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, east of Squires Avenue and south of the Children’s Home on Second Street. The Chamber eagerly suggested a community fundraiser – a “flying circus” for Labor Day 1928. A temporary runway was constructed just to encourage other aviators to fly in and show off. Twenty thousand folks crowded the flying circus, so many that the National Guard and local police kept order, and a hospital tent sat close by just in case of accidents. The B & O Railroad sent ten policemen to keep the crowd from overflowing onto the train tracks. The Diehl Brewing Company set up a concession stand selling “Chocolate Baby” for a nickel. There were two bands, a zeppelin, a parachutist whose lines tangled up, thirty airplanes, flying races, but, alas, “wing-walking” was not allowed. The entire story of the Simplex Corporation is the current feature exhibit at the Tuttle Museum.
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.
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/.
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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.