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Leadership Team


Tompkins Historical Society is fortunate to have a strong leadership team who is committed to our community's growth and historical preservation. Each member has community ties to the area and has a passion for celebrating our town’s history.  

Three of our current members also serve as board members for Tompkins Township. Those members are: John Tuttle, Township Supervisor, Mike Haydo and Nancy Seydell, Township Trustees.

Standing, L to R
John Tuttle, Kenny Hunter, Rhonda Hunter, Deb Sheffer, Mike Haydo and Dawn Benn

Seated, L to R

Cathy Haydo, Barbara Stanton, Pat Tuttle and Jeannette McDonald. 

Executive Board Meetings take place every Third Monday of the month at the Town Hall at 6pm.

Chrissy Norris 

Robin Ellis
Vice President


Mike McDonald

"I have lived in Tompkins Township for 41 Years. My wife, Jeannette, is part of one of the oldest families going back many generations. I have many friends here and feel that Tompkins is a great place to live and raise a family. I have been a member of the society for 20+ years I am very proud of the people here. They are very caring and committed to providing a safe place to raise a family.  Our Freedom Festival is a great event and I love the way so many people get involved in it in a variety of roles."

John Tuttle

"I have lived in Tompkins Center for 21+ years and have enjoyed my time getting to know everyone.  Ten years ago I was elected Supervisor of our Township. I have been a member of the Historical Society for 20+ years, serving as a Trustee for over four years.  It's a great group of people working on large and small projects that benefit the entire community."

Debbie Sheffer
Corresponding Secretary

"I have lived here for eight years. I have been an active member for the historical society for six years and been the Corresponding Secretary for four years. Tompkins is an amazing place to live, the people in the community are friendly and they help one another when needed. I love helping out the historical society at events, I especially enjoy writing the thank you notes and advertising. Thank you Tompkins for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful community!"


Mike Haydo

"I have been a part of the Tompkins Historical Society for the past ten years and lived in Tompkins for 20 years. I enjoy the opportunity to work with my neighbors and community. I also enjoy working on property projects that continue to enhance our property and museum. I also serve on our township board as a Trustee and have found great enjoyment doing both of these simultaneously."

Barb Stanton


Carolyne Payne

Francis Artz

"I have lived in Tompkins since 1976, but have lived near Tompkins all my life. I have been a member of the historical society for many years. I demonstrate blacksmithing and also sponsor the kids pedal pull at our events. I help with repairs and maintenance around the museum and town hall. I feel fortunate to be involved in such a vibrant community."


Larry Barson

"Although Larry Barson only lived in Tompkins for a couple of years, both branches of his family tree—the Gordons and the Barsons—are deeply rooted there. Several farms in the area were homesteaded by his relatives, and some are still in the family. Many of his memories are in Tompkins: taking pets for veterinary care with his uncle, Doc Gordon; running a John Deere GP tractor that he and his dad restored in the Tompkins Sesquicentennial Parade; and learning about steam engines from “Uncle” Ken and “Cousin” Dale Lewis. Keeping the township’s farming history alive is important to Larry. That’s why he values the opportunity to demonstrate that heritage through live displays—a working sawmill, steam engines and tractors, and overall cooperative community—every September at the Freedom Festival. For him, and for others involved, it’s not just about putting on a show; it’s about deepening those roots for the next generation."



Cathy Haydo

"I have been involved with Tompkins Township for a large majority of my life, 33 years. I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Tompkins Historical Society for the past ten years. I truly love this organization and what it stands for. I value meeting new people, am passionate about organizing events, and helping preserve our community. I believe Tompkins has been truly blessed with many kind and unselfish hard working people who embrace our community whole-heartedly. We are very fortunate to have members from various communities be a part of the historical society!"


Mark Traser
"I have lived in the Tompkins area for 55 years. It's a great place to have grown  up and raise a family. Neighbors helping one another in their time of need. I've been involved with the Tompkins Historical Society for close to 10 years and enjoy it very much. The Freedom Festival I look forward to every year and enjoy driving my Power King Economy Tractor around others can see it. I enjoy helping out in the community and during the Freedom Festival ."


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