November 8, 2022
The Cass County Historical Society (CCHS) is pleased to announce Heather Fouts as the new Executive Director of the non-profit organization. Fouts replaces Andrea Melton, who spent the last year leading the CCHS. Melton will remain in a part-time capacity as the society’s Public Relations Coordinator.
Fouts brings a wealth of experience with her to Cass County. She has spent sixteen years assisting operations and programs of non-profit community education organizations, most recently the Howard County Historical Society. Prior to her non-profit employment, Fouts worked for fifteen years as a banker. She holds two degrees from Indiana University. In 2005, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. In 2016, she earned a Master of Science in Education and state licensure to teach visual arts. Fouts’ studies included art, history, folklore, anthropology, museum studies and community education. She currently resides in Kokomo but considers herself an “adopted daughter” of Cass County, having a beloved aunt and childhood best friend who lived in Walton and Galveston. Fouts enjoys traveling to experience nature, museums and theme parks. She is a huge fan of all things Disney and Lucasfilm, especially Indiana Jones and Star Wars.
The CCHS is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in Indiana, established in 1907 by a group of Cass County residents who originally formed under the name The Citizens Club. The CCHS operates the Jerolaman-Long Home at 1004 E. Market where much of its collection is on display. The collection includes paintings by noted local artists like George Winter and Wils Berry, personal belongings of General John Tipton, military uniforms and equipment dating back to the early 1800s, Native American artifacts, and more. The CCHS main office and Castaldi Family History Center Library are located at 421 E. Broadway in the former Farmers & Merchants Bank building, which the organization purchased in 2019.
“This organization is on the move,” said Fouts. “Long before I came on board, they envisioned a new downtown museum experience to share the story of Cass County History. Long-held hopes and dreams for the downtown facility are currently being broken down into actionable projects. The Castaldi Family History Center Library is open in its preliminary phase at the downtown location, and it is available to the public for research and genealogy projects. We also continue to host guests at the Jerolaman-Long Home museum and cabin. Please visit our website casscountyhistory.org and social media pages occasionally to stay updated on our hours of operations at both locations as they may vary a bit while we have construction and transitional projects in-progress.”
“I am thrilled to have Heather directing the CCHS,” said previous executive director Andrea Melton. “She was a stand-out candidate for the role and has demonstrable experience that will help guide our historical society during this important time of planning and progress. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her these first couple of weeks and feel we are creating an outstanding team to better serve the community.”
Fouts and Melton are also working closely with recently appointed Cass County Historian Bryan Looker. Looker currently sits on the CCHS board of directors and previously served as curator for the CCHS from 2000-2006. He has been a Social Studies teacher at Logansport High school since 2012. “Bryan and the rest of the CCHS board are invested in our community and in the mission of this organization,” said Melton. “I’m thankful for this exciting combination of new leadership, expanding outreach, and continued development of our downtown facility.”