01 May 2015

Tri-River (MI) Historical Museum Network Offers Free Admission

Michigan has a lot of historical museums in its state, but none are better than those of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.  The best news is that the first weekend in May, every year, they are open and free.  "Spring Into The Past" featuring "America's Pasttimes" will be held Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

26 museums, historical villages and historical societies located along the Flat, Grand and Thornapple Rivers in Southwest Michigan host this annual open house when the museums are all open on the same days and hours for free.  Many small town museums and societies, located in Barry, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties, are part of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network. They are: 

  1. Alton Historic Church Museum – in old church, north of Lowell 
  2. Ada’s Averill Historical Museum – house and barn 
  3. Belding Museum & “The Bel” – in Belrockton Silk Mill Dormitory 
  4. Boston/Saranac Historical Society – a depot museum in Saranac 
  5. Bowne Township – museum, carriage house, school – near Alto 
  6. Cascade Historical Museum – in old township hall 
  7. Cedar Springs Museum – in Morley Park, local artifacts and research 
  8. Charlton Park Historical Village – a 300 acre complex with museum, reconstructed village and recreation area near Hastings 
  9. Clarksville/Campbell Historical Society – has no museum as yet 
  10. Bolthouse Agriculture Building, Farmall Acres Farm Museum - Clarksville 
  11. Fallasburg Historical Village – near covered bridge, north of Lowell 
  12. Fighting Falcon Military Museum – Restored CG 4-A glider, and military exhibits honoring local veterans from Greenville 
  13. Flat River Historical Museum – with Danish charm - in Greenville
  14. Freeport Historical Society – located in the old Masonic Temple 
  15. Grattan Township Historical Society – in a restored 1853 structure west of Belding 
  16. Ionia’s Blanchard House and Museum – in a stately Victorian Mansion  
  17. Lake Odessa Historical Society Depot Museum – displays, archives 
  18. Lowell Area Historical Museum – in old home with Victorian flair 
  19. Lyons/Muir Historical Museum in Lyons – newly redone in old store 
  20. Oakfield Pioneer Heritage Museum in Podunk – west of Greenville 
  21. Old Fence Rider Historical Center in Edmore – barbed wire and more! 
  22. Pine Forest Historical Museum – variety in an 1881 Edmore church 
  23. Plainfield Charter Township—Hyser Rivers Museum – northside Grand Rapids 
  24. Portland Area Historical Society — no museum but memorabilia is housed at the Portland Area Library 
  25. Rockford Area Museum — exhibits early life in Rockford 
  26. Welch Historical Museum – in former hardware store in Sunfield 
Visitors will find old churches, historical homes and barns, one room schoolhouses, railroad depots, restored rural villages, and more during their travels.  All of these unique museums are maintained and preserved by local historical societies.

A full .pdf booklet with information on each site and a map can be found here.  This would be a great activity for the whole family.  Gas up your car, grab grandma and grandpa or the grandchildren, and discover the rich history that Pure Michigan offers.

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