Why is history so important to Irvington? 

It gives us our identity.

We need your help to maintain Irvington’s history.

$ 0
of $25,000 raised

Thank you for your contribution to the future of the Irvington Historical Society.  This endowment will provide a more stable funding source for us. 

  • Kathleen Angelone
  • Margaret Banning
  • James Barnett
  • Sue & Steve Barnett 
  • Sue Beecher 
  • Vivian Blankenship
  • Carol Cottom and Bruce Bradtmiller
  • DeeDee Davis & Casey Roberts  
  • Stan Denski
  • Peggy & Paul Diebold 
  • Carrie & Jerry Eby
  • Kitty Fenstermaker 
  • Don & Lisa Flick 
  • William Gulde 
  • Anne Hardwick 
  • Robert & Nancy Holmes
  • Helga Horvath
  • Marie Kingsbury
  • Karen Martin
  • Catherine Matthews 
  • Lucy Park Newton 
  • Nancy Ostrander 
  • Charlotte Ottinger 
  • Frank N. and Patricia L. Owings
  • Paula & Steven Schmidt 
  • David & Sheryl Vanderstel
  • Ann Kingsbury Zimmerman


The Irvington Historical Society has collected and preserved the history of the people, homes and institutions of Irvington since 1964.  We have grown from a closet in the Benton House, to a room in the Brown Library, to filling the Bona Thompson Center (the library for Butler College’s Irvington campus). That growing collection was the result of the interest of Irvingtonians (current and past) to retain their history. The Bona Thompson allows the Irvington Historical Society to tell Irvington’s story and show how we are a unique and desirable neighborhood in Indianapolis.

The Bona Thompson is the last remaining building from Butler’s time in Irvington and was in danger of demolition.  Irvington was able to restore the Bona Thompson Center through donations and grants in 2000.  The project included a plan to create long-term financial support through an endowment. 


Twenty years later, the Bona is an active social presence in Irvington and offers new exhibits which tell the story of Irvington’s people, organizations and businesses. We receive questions, artifacts and are visited by Irvingtonians now living across the country.

The shutdown of 2020 again raised the issue of solid long-term financial support for the Irvington Historical Society. Financial support would move us away from merely paying the monthly utilities to creating programs that would support the Irvington community and help us keep our museum admission free.

How do we…

  • …Create a stream of income to pay for the repairs to artifacts such as art works by Irvington artists, stained glass windows once part of the Dissette, or a farm bell from the Ellenberger farm?
  • …Repair our aging HVAC system to conserve our materials and convince larger museums to lend to us?
  • …Support the Irvington arts community?
  • …Support the research endeavors on topics of interest to the eastside?

The Future

In order to create an endowment which will support the Irvington Historical Society and the Bona Thompson Memorial Center into the future, we are working with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). 

The project celebrates Paul & Peggy Diebold’s 2021 Irvington Founder’s Award and reflects their desire to create something which would benefit Irvington in the future. CICF will provide the financial and investment know-how to invest and manage funds for us.  We need $25,000 to open an endowment.  Our goal is to supply CICF with the funds by the end of 2021.

Will you help? Make a contribution today.