our story

The Fowler House Mansion is one of the finest existing examples of Gothic architecture in the midwest. It was completed in 1852 by Moses and Eliza Fowler then renovated and expanded in 1917 by their grandson Cecil and his wife Louise. Read more about this amazing family here.

 By 1941 Cecil and Louise were empty nesters and having grown older, no longer wished to live in such a large home. After almost 90 years in the Fowler family the house was sold to the Tippecanoe County Historical Association. The house became the home for the Associations offices, collections and served as the County Museum. The Association closed the museum in 2005, although it was still partially used for offices, storage and rented out for weddings and other events.

By 2014, the Association had determined that operating a special events venue was well outside of its mission and staff capabilities and that TCHA needed a more modern facility in order to provide for the proper curation environment and preservation standards required to care for and exhibit its collections. Thus the difficult decision was made to place the property for sale.

In the Spring of 2015 Matt Jonkman founded The 1852 Foundation to purchase, restore, preserve and operate this landmark and allow it to once again be enjoyed by our community. The Fowler now provides tours, classes, and other educational events as well as serving lunch and dinner and private events. The mansion is also available to rent for a wide variety of special events including weddings, luncheons, reunions, meetings, fundraisers, classes, and holiday parties. Other public events will be hosted by the Foundation including tours, wine tastings, brunches, lectures, fundraisers, parties, and theater events. In addition to restorative work, over the last seven years we have completed renovations which include fire protection, handicap accessible restrooms and a full service commercial kitchen.

The 1852 Foundation is now only the fourth owner in 170 years. Everything we do is intended to help support and build an endowment and future for this lovely bit of history. Please consider having your event at the Fowler, all proceeds go toward preserving and improving the Mansion! The 1852 Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit and is dedicated to preserving this amazing place for current and future generations.


Thank you for your support!