What says "summer" more than hot cars and cool ice cream?
That combination has set the theme for today's Sundae Cruise Day at Tiffin AMVETS, 1909 S. SR 100. A historical element also comes into play as the only remaining 1917 Tiffin Economy Motor Car and the Seneca County Museum's high-wheel bicycle join the display from noon-3 p.m. during this benefit for the museum.
Owners of classic cars and motorcycles can register from 11 a.m.-noon at a cost of $10. Sandwiches are to be available for purchase, and participants can build their own ice cream sundaes for $2 each. A 50/50 drawing is planned, and friends of the museum and local businesses have donated more than 60 items for a raffle and auction. The merchandise includes T-shirts and hats, gift certificates, meals, pizzas, auto related items, car washes, tanning packages, memberships, personal items and more.
Museum director Tonia Hoffert and her husband, Bill, owners of the Economy car, and members of the Seneca County Historical Society are to be on hand to meet with the public and sell raffle tickets for artifacts from the former Seneca County courthouse.
The raffle items include an ornate metal heat duct cover, a section of cherry paneling and a carved door cornice. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.
Museum plans for Heritage Festival
Even before AMVETS offered to host the Sundae Cruise, Hoffert said she had been gathering materials related to dairies, ice cream stands and sweet shops for an exhibit at the Seneca County Museum during the Tifin-Seneca Heritage Festival. She is looking for signs, old ads, photos, menus, wrappers, Ballreich's bags, paper containers, soda bottles, ceramic and glass root beer mugs, cups, matchbook covers, trays and other memorabilia.
"We're trying to find all the old photos and any old ads. We went to all the different dairy stands and asked for things," Hoffert said.
She and volunteers have located artifacts from businesses such as Baker's Hy Grade, Lowney's, DeBarbrie's, Jolly's, Pittocks, Isaly's, Tiffin Sugar Bowl, Kaler's Candy Kitchen, Tate's Tiffin Hy Grade, Robinson's, Mar-Ge-Ne, Meadowgold and Tiffin Dairy Co. They have scoured old yearbooks and newspapers for ads and photographs.
Brian Courtney, Mark Steinmetz and other local collectors have loaned some of their items to the museum for the display. A vintage photo at Jolly's includes a 1955 baseball schedule, old automobiles and an outhouse in the background. A menu for Kime's Tray Service at Monroe and Sycamore streets lists "electrocuted" hot dogs. An advertisement for Tiffin Sugar Bowl, once located across from the courthouse, mentions homemade candies and ice cream, including "ice cream suckers coated with bitter chocolate."
Hoffert is bringing a collection of metal signs to the Sunday Cruise. A circular Hubach's sign had been turned into a mailbox stand, but the logo is still visible with "The Cream of Tiffin." The company name is engraved on the base. Hoffert said her favorite is a blackboard sign from the 1940s or '50s with a message in chalk still visible: "Fort Ball Sunday Dec. 2, Tiffin Athletic Club vs. Bascom." The museum exhibit is to include two commercial soft drink jugs made by American Standard and jars of old fashioned penny candy.
"We've got bubble gum cigars, Pixie Sticks, Beechman and Cloves gum, Stinson's Confectionery Candy, Dots, and anything we could think of that were from the candy stores. We've got jars we'll be putting them in," Hoffert said. "I love to have everybody standing there and saying 'Oh, I remember that.' That's what's fun about it."
Anyone with additional memorabilia that could be added to the display are asked to call the museum at (419) 447-5955. Regular hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 1-4 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month. Appointments can be scheduled to visit other times and days.
During the Heritage Festival Sept. 15-16, visitors are encouraged to stop at the Seneca County Museum, 28 Clay St., which is to be open 1-5 p.m. both days. The museum is less than a block from Frost Parkway, where festival vendors are to be set up.
In conjunction with the museum's dairy and sweets display, Little Hugo's is planning to serve ice cream in fall flavors on the museum lawn. During the festival, the museum also is to host a quilt show, "Wedding Gowns through the Ages" is to remain in the parlor, and prints of the courthouse and commemorative medallions are to be sold. Sept. 16, antique cars are to be parked along Clay Street in front of the museum.
Later in the fall, the museum plans to invite the public to view all the artifacts from the time capsule of the courthouse. The website is www.senecacountymuseum.com.