The streets of Miami, Clay, Adams, Sandusky, Jackson, Wall, Grace and Hudson once were known as Tiffin’s “Little Italy.” Tiffin University dedicated a memorial in August for the families that once lived there and where the University now stands. The Italian-American Neighborhood Memorial gazebo stands at the corner of Miami and Jackson streets.
TU and a committee of local Italian-American citizens worked with area vendors on the project. The committee members included Larry Adelsperger, Joe Granata, John Millar, Tim Paradiso Mike Grandillo, Ron Schumacher, and Mark Pardi.
Clouse Construction was chosen as the lead contractor for the project while several other local companies assisted in the construction, including Anese Masonry, Bilger’s Lawn & Landscape, and Gene’s Wiring.
Vice President for Development and Public Affairs, Ron Schumacher, welcomed all in attendance and explained the significance of the memorial to the institution.
TU President Paul Marion said he appreciates the support TU has received over the years from Italian-American families and the descendants of those families. “The gazebo will be an everlasting memorial to the community members and to those families,” he said. “The memorial will be a great aesthetic addition to the campus.”
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz talked about his childhood memories of the neighborhood and discussed the financial and cultural impact of Tiffin University to the City of Tiffin.
Committee members Joe Granata and Tony Paradiso shared their personal stories about being a part of the Italian-American neighborhood. Paradiso recounted how his grandmother’s bread brought both family members and neighbors together on a daily basis.
The ceremony concluded with a ribbon-cutting and refreshments.