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C.W. Mount Community Center and Banquet Facility Holds Rich History

Writer / Julie Yates
Photography Provided

Ever since it opened in 2001, C.W. Mount Community Center and Banquet Facility has served as a gathering place for the people of Tipton. The initial concept and funds that established the self-sustaining nonprofit were provided more than half a century ago, through a bequest from Cleon Wade (C.W.) Mount. At the time, Mount was a pillar of the community and hoped his gift would help the town flourish. Today that wish is especially timely, as Tipton is increasingly becoming known as a boutique shopping destination where new businesses are opening.

Mount lived an extremely colorful life. Born in 1880, he died in 1954 at the age of 74 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery. When he was 16 he ran away to fight in the Spanish-American War. Later he got a degree from Butler University and followed in the footsteps of his father Walter Mount by becoming a lawyer. Both father and son were circuit court judges. The younger Mount held the position for two consecutive terms until 1953. In addition, he organized the first company of the Indiana National Guard, secured the National Guard Armory in Tipton and was instrumental in starting an American Legion post.

Mount was also a businessman. Besides owning hundreds of acres of farmland, he was president of both the Tipton Telephone Company and the Farmers Loan and Trust. In his will he set up a trust to provide funds to be used for a community center upon the death of his wife Neva. In the 1950s there was concern about juvenile delinquency, and he wished to provide a place for teens, as well as public and social meetings for adults.

After Neva Mount died in 1997, plans began for the Community Center. The building is anchored by a gymnasium and large, flexible banquet facilities. There is also a catering kitchen and space for rental.

“I believe the building has always been used to full capacity since it began,” says Carly Baker, the new facility manager. “There was a Lifetime Fitness where the Anytime Fitness is, and the senior center where the teen center is. We have pickleball multiple times a week in the gymnasium and we have several different basketball leagues that we rent it out to. We also have a volleyball league who uses the gym. People who just want to rent it for an hour can come to shoot some hoops. There is also a walking track above that requires a membership.”

The banquet hall spans 5,280 square feet that can easily be separated into three separate areas with partitions. Within it is a beautiful hardwood dance floor, a sound system, and enough 60” round tables to accommodate 250 people. When the room is divided it becomes the C.W. Mount Room for 120 people, the Sagamore Room with theater seating for 120 people, and the Cardinal Room, which is next to the kitchen and holds 72 people.

“I think the kitchen gets overlooked,” Baker says. “There are so many different things that could potentially happen within the kitchen – a meal-prepping company who is just starting out, luncheons for churches, and people who bake in bulk, among other things.”

The staff hopes the facility will become even more of a community center. Through the years it has hosted many events such as baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, luncheons, business meetings, dance lessons, basketball practices and game nights. Baker, who recently took over as facility manager, is excited for the future.

“The center has many different moving points to it and is really for anyone,” Baker says. “We have Anytime Fitness, the Boys & Girls Club, the gymnasium, an industrial-sized kitchen, and of course the banquet hall. I think it opens up so many new opportunities within the community and even bordering counties. The plan is to get more events and opportunities for the entire community to come in and enjoy what we have to offer within the center, whether it’s using the gymnasium or hosting an event.”

The C.W. Mount Community Center and Banquet Facility is located at 341 West Jefferson Street in Tipton. Call 765-675-9966 or email cwmount@tds.net for availability and pricing. Visit cwmount.com for more information.

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