In 1889, A.L. Harshberger and and Frank Davis erected this building and started the Tipp Whip Co. to manufacture buggy whips. A buggy whip is used by a buggy driver to whip the horses pulling the buggy.
The factory was originally powered by water that flowed beneath the building along a mill race from the adjoining Miami-Erie Canal.
At one point, salesmen for the Tipp Whip Co. used an automobile to travel around and sell buggy whips, ironic, since automobiles replacing horse-drawn buggies would be the company’s ultimate downfall. The buggy whip has since become a symbol for anything that has been made hopelessly obsolete by a technological improvement.
The factory ceased operations at this location after the 1913 flood. In 1917, the building was sold to the Miami Conservancy District and the equipment was sold to the United States Whip Co. of Westfield, Massachusetts.
In 1935, the Senseman family opened a blacksmith and antique shop in the building. The antique store, named The Buggy Whip Antiques, operated through approximately 2010 by members of the Senseman family.
Before the buggy whip factory was built, the property had been the site of a linseed oil and grist mill that was destroyed by fire in 1883.