After five decades of collecting military memorablia, John Tombaugh is retiring. Having over $3 millions dollars worth invested, during the past decade Tombaugh, 81, shared his passion with the public by opening a museum outside of Rochester, at 5009 Beaman Lane. Inside are dozens of rooms displaying uniforms, equipment, weapons, flags, books and more, that come from a wide-range of eras, branches and countries.
With no children, siblings, or close family, Tombaugh knew one thing - he didn't want his years of collecting to be in vain when he was no longer here to protect it. Two years ago Tombaugh took the first step of ensuring that would not happen by donating his personal museum to the Fulton County Historical Society.
Before signing the paperwork, however, Tombaugh made the condition that his museum not be moved from its rural property even after he was gone.
Continuing to maintain the property since its donation, with the help of a friend, Gerald Hibner, Tombaugh is finally taking another big step by retiring. Tombaugh said Hibner had been his go-to for helping build and organize his museum over the past few years. Handing the reigns to Hibner, Tombaugh feels doing so has ensured that his collection be around Fulton County for many generations to come.
For anyone interested in checking out the museum out, you can contact Hibner at 574-201-7441 to schedule a private tour.