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(Shown above, destroyed collections materials.)

As you may have heard by now, in the early morning hours of Friday, July 7th a severe line of storms hit the Grand Haven area with winds approaching 100 miles per hour.  The Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s main building, the Akeley Building, and the Depot Museum of Transportation were without power for some time, fortunately no damage was done to either historic structure.  The same could not be said for our off site archival collection storage area, better known as the CARC or Community Archive and Research Center. 


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(Shown above: destroyed oversize collections boxes.)

Around 3:00am museum staff were alerted by our alarm monitoring company that something was awry at the building.  When staff arrived they could see a large white pine tree had ripped through several sections of the area where the archival materials were stored.  The tree and subsequent falling limbs, had punctured the roof in 10 locations, allowing water from the storm to pour in, soaking the archival boxes and their contents.  Thanks to a quick staff response and disaster plan, 70 percent of the boxes were able to be removed with little to no damage.  30 percent of the boxes, however, were soaked with rain water and over three inches of standing water filled the building which remained without power for 3 days.  The museum was able to contract with a professional environmental disaster cleaning and document drying service from Charlotte, North Carolina who arrived on site Saturday and began the arduous process of drying out the building and contents.  Thanks to these actions, the Tri-Cities Historical Museum archives are expected to make a complete recovery.


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(Shown above: destroyed cieling tiles.)

However, steps to dry out the archives and remediate the building for mold and mildew growth that come with water damage will not be inexpensive.  The museum has received word from our insurance adjustor that the building restoration portion will be covered, but the document services will only be covered to an extent.  We are asking for everyone’s support to help us not only cover the cost of the document drying not paid for by insurance, but to help us purchase new archival safe document boxes to store the items, which will cost over $20,000.  If you can help out financially, please click here and help us to continue to collect, preserve and present the history of the tri-cities, thank you! #collectpreserveandpresent


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(Shown above: Preservation efforts to dry collection items.)


Additional information: The Grand Haven Tribune was kind enough to feature a story on the damage to the CARC, including an interview with Director Julie Bunke! Check it out!


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