Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

The Rupp Canal Store Safe

The historical society received a large safe from Thad and Barbara Jones that was originally in the Rupp Canal Store on the Miami and Erie Canal which was located just east of the Wakeman Hall. The Canal Store was known as Rupp’s Store since he was the last owner of the store. There were previous owners of the store as it opened in 1854 under the ownership of Orin Gillett and Wm. Dyer. Later in 1868 it was owned by Haskins and Christman, then the Haskins Brothers. Finally, in 1883 Jacob W. and David Rupp bought the store with David later selling out to open his own store in Haskins. The Canal Store closed in 1904 when Jacob built his new store at 20 N. 3rd Street. The safe was used in the old Canal Store and then moved to his store on 3rd Street.   When Herman decided to sell the 3rd Street Rupp Canal Store Thad asked Mr. Rupp what he was going to do with the safe. He asked him if he would like to buy it. Thad asked how much do you want for it? He answered “forty dollars.”  Thad went back on February 7, 1970 with the forty dollars in cash and the sale was done. Herman Rupp’s diary (now at the Wakeman Archives) shows the receipt of the sale to Thad. Mr. Rupp at that time told him that years ago robbers had attempted to open the safe by drilling a hole in the door, but they were unsuccessful. To fill the hole, Mr. Rupp (or his father) put a rat-tail file in the hole and broke it off. At that time, the safe could have been in the store at it original location on the canal. The safe is a 19th century floor safe measuring 37” high x 28” wide and 27” deep. It is on rolling wheels and has six compartments and decorated surface on the inside of the door.  It is still in working condition.

In time the safe will be on display, but at present to see other items from the Rupp Canal Store visit the Wakeman Hall and check out the replica Canal Store front with many items from the Rupp Canal Store on display.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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