30 November 2014

Last Day Local: Battle Creek Regional History Museum

The logo for the Battle Creek Regional History Museum features the Stone Tower found in Monument Park, Battle Creek, Michigan

The Battle Creek region has a strong history, but there isn't any place where one can go to see the history of the region.  The Battle Creek Regional History Museum will change that once it is complete.

A regional history museum has been a dream of the community for many years.  The Battle Creek Historical Society met in 1916 and planned to have a museum.  A History Room at the Battle Creek Tower was planned in 1931.  Neither of these places were ever developed.

The Battle Creek Regional History Museum has been in the planning stages for seven years.  It is getting closer to being a reality.  Board members have been in place, a location has been secured, and fund raising efforts are underway.

The museum will be at 307 W. Jackson Street, Battle Creek, Michigan in a building that was once the Battle Creek Equipment Company.  Phase One of the project will be on the lower two floors of the 3 story, 49,000 square foot building.  Extensive renovations to convert a manufacturing plant into a museum will be needed.  The board will be seeking accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.

One of the goals of the museum board is to lead efforts to form a coalition to promote and offer connected museums throughout the region.  Although the physical location will be in Battle Creek, the museum itself will showcase the rich history of the area.

The opening date is yet to be determined but the board members are optimistic that one room will be ready sometime in 2015.  Future development will include research area, multiple display areas, and a gift shop.

Two board members spoke to my local genealogical society and conducted a survey asking for attendees input.  We ranked what we felt should be included in the museum. Areas under consideration include business history, Kellogg Brother's history, farming history, military history, cereal history, manufacturing history, Federal Center history, Sojourner Truth and Underground Railroad history. We were asked for input on what displays we would like to see in the museum. I am looking forward to seeing the museum develop.  I think it will be a great addition to the local area.

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