The Rush County Historical Society and the Rush County Community Foundation 15th April 2016 As a part of the new series reviewing the Rush County Community Foundation’s “designated endowment” funds, we’ll be taking a weekly look at the Rush County nonprofit organizations that have funds that support their mission and work held at RCCF. This week’s installment focuses on the Rush County Historical Society. Rush County’s rich history remains present in our community today. Covered bridges grace our county roads, frequently attracting new tourists to an old, familiar sighting for locals. Historical references are evident in the newest of community structures (Riverside Park Amphitheater). Cherished mementos of Rush County’s yesteryears are present on the façade of our downtown buildings, throughout the courthouse, in our fair, steam engine show, and community festivals, and in various other forms and sights throughout the county. The Rush County Historical Society, a group of dedicated volunteers committed to preserving our community’s history, take pride in keeping Rush County’s history alive today. The Rush County Historical Society is a vital organization that serves our community. Begun in 1922, the group originally organized to collect artifacts and to work together to preserve historic relics. In 1940 the Society expanded when the Gowdy home (now the museum) was donated. A number of cherished pieces of community history have been collected throughout the past 90+ years, offering generations of Rush County residents and visitors a glimpse into how we’ve become the county we are today. Without the Rush County Historical Society’s ongoing work, aspects of our community’s history would be forever lost and forgotten. Since the Rush County Historical Society Gowdy House Museum opened, it has served as a treasured attraction to allow visitors to see and understand our community’s history. In order to keep the history relevant, the displays changing, and the museum running, continuous research, updates, and improvements are critical to the museum’s needs. Like any other nonprofit agency, funding is a critical component to the Rush County Historical Society’s continued efforts, and the Rush County Community Foundation is proud to be recognized as a valuable partner. The Rush County Historical Society has several permanent, designated endowment funds at the Rush County Community Foundation that benefit the organization annually. The Rush County Historical Society opened two funds from existing organization assets, the Rush County Historical Society Fund and the Rush County Historical Society Pass-Through Fund, as a means to grow funds in an accessible account and also to ensure annual revenue will be received for the organization forever. In addition to these two funds, the Rush County Historical Society benefits from annual disbursements from the Nelson Farms Endowment Fund, Pitman Worthington Family Fund, and the Cornelius B. and Nancy Waggener Oster Fund. The funds disbursed support the Rush County Historical Society’s ability to preserve our community’s heritage and enrich our community. The Rush County Community Foundation is proud to have assisted the Rush County Historical Society with more than $100,000 in addition to the designated endowment fund disbursements over the past 20 years. Community Grants have provided the Historical Society with opportunities for books and materials and enabled the renovation and restoration of the Gowdy House Museum. If you are interested in assisting with the preservation of the history of Rush County, we encourage you to become a member or consider a tax exempt donation to one of the funds that support the Rush County Historical Society each year. These funds impact our yesterday and tomorrow through a permanent investment that is distributed each year, forever. For more information, visit our website www.rushcountyfoundation.org, our office at 117 N Main St., Rushville, or call (765) 938-1177.