Richard-B-Wetherill Search the Archive

Richard B. Wetherill Archives

Dr. Richard B. Wetherill was a local physician, world traveler and amateur historian. He was one of the founders of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association and served as the first president of the Board of Governors. Upon his death in 1940, TCHA received Dr. Wetherill’s entire estate. This donation serves as the foundation of the TCHA’s collections.

Before visiting the archives, please read our Reference and Research Policy.

Free TCHA Members

The Richard B. Wetherill Archives are available by appointment only. For more information about the archives collections, photograph reproduction or to schedule an appointment, contact the TCHA Curator of Collection at 765-476-8411 ext. 5 or submit a research request form and mail to:

Tippecanoe County Historical Association
1001 South Street
Lafayette, IN 47901

The Archive Collection

The TCHA archive collection contains over 250 business, organizational, and personal collections of materials.  There are also several topical collections such as the educational collection that contains materials from schools, past and present, within the county.
Collection Guides are available for processed archival collections. Additions and edits are made on a regular basis, so please check back or contact the Curator for the most recent versions.

The Photograph Archive

The TCHA photo archive contains thousands of photographs and negatives of buildings and scenes documenting Tippecanoe County’s history.  They are arranged topically and are available for researchers to look through.  The photo archive also contains a portrait collection of persons in the county. Many images are available for reproduction, subject to a license and fees agreement.

The George Winter Collection

An extensive collection of the works of George Winter was donated to the Tippecanoe County Historical Association in 1986 by Mrs. Cable G. Ball, the widow of Winter’s great grandson.  This gift to the Lafayette community includes manuscripts, letters, drawings, and paintings of this important 19th century artist.

In collaboration with the Purdue University Libraries, a digital collection of George Winter’s works and writings is available online here.




Fort Ouiatenon Blockhouse Opening Celebration @ Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Fort Ouiatenon Blockhouse Opening Celebration @ Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park

Celebrate the opening of the Blockhouse Museum at Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park with games and activities for the whole family. Step back in time to the 1700’s- era fur trading post. Encounter characters from this historic fort and learn about the current research being done to help preserve this important site.

The Blockhouse Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

Woodland Native American Life @ TCHA History Center (Former Masonic Lodge)
Jun 10 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Woodland Native American Life @ TCHA History Center (Former Masonic Lodge)

“Their Bearing is Noble and Proud.” presentation by James F. O’Neil. It will be a look at what clothing Native Americans of the 18th Century actually wore.  The talk will be based on period quotes, slides of period paintings, engravings, and sketches, and slides of items that are in museums from around the world.  We will see that the image presented to the world is far from what the Native Americans looked like in this time period.  We will also look at the effect of the fur trade upon the appearance of Native Americans.

James F. O’Neil has a Bachelors in history and masters in education from the University of Dayton. He compiled and edited “Their Bearing is Noble and Proud Vol. I & II”, A collection of narratives regarding the appearance of Native Americans from 1740-1815.

Firearms at the Fort @ Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park, River Shelter
Jul 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Firearms at the Fort @ Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park, River Shelter

The program, entitled Firearms at the Fort will be a discussion and live – fire demonstration of historic firearms of the 18th century frontier.  The program will be led by Rick Conwell, manager of the Tippecanoe Battlefield Interpretive Center and History Store, with the support and cooperation of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association.

Visitors will have the chance to:

  • Examine and handle, (with supervision), several original and reproduction arms.
  • View firearms related artifacts from TCHA’s collections which were excavated at the site of Fort Ouiatenon during the 1970’s.
  • Learn how a flintlock works, both from the inside and out, and, btw, why do they call it a “lock”, anyway?
  • Learn the differences and similarities between a musket, a rifle, and a “trade gun”, and the military, social, and economic rolls each played in daily life at the fort.
  • Examine the equipment and accessories peculiar to each type of arm, along with how each is safely loaded, fired, and maintained.
  • Discuss the technological progress that led to the development of modern firearms as we know them today.
  • Find out what a ”Kentucky” rifle is, how it got the name, why the barrel is so long, and how far it will shoot.
  • Learn what we mean by “guage” and “caliber”.
  • Find out how to tell if it’s loaded, and how to safely extract a load.

The program will be held at the west picnic shelter near the boat ramp. The Ouiatenon  blockhouse will also be open, set up to resemble an early French trading post and staffed with historical interpreters in period clothing. So bring a picnic lunch, if you like, and make it an afternoon of historical fun and education. 



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