Recent News

Pioneer Life adds to Historical Understanding

By Kevin Geary, Curator of Education, Tri-Cities Historical Museum

The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 had a significant impact on the settlement of Michigan.  The canal reduced the time it took to cross the Appalachian Mountains which further encouraged those wanting to move west.  In the decade between 1830 and 1840, Michigan’s population grew from approximately 30,000 people to approximately 212,000. With this rapid increase in settlement, the Michigan Territory applied for statehood in 1833.  Due to a few political issues, including the disputed Michigan/Ohio border, statehood was not granted until January 26, 1837.

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By Alice Seaver, Collections Services

The history of Ferrysburg is interesting and it has its own unique place in the story of the Tri-Cities. As a staff member of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, I am often involved in researching answers to questions submitted to the museum.  As a lifelong resident of the area and a native of Ferrysburg, I was asked to research the history of Ferrysburg for a lecture that the museum is holding about the city. Putting the lecture information together brought back lots of memories of my growing up in the little village.

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Make Room For History

By Steven Radtke, Director and Meredith Slover, Collections Manager; Tri Cities Historical Museum

The museum is an invaluable asset to our community, and something of which all of our residents should be proud. From our humble beginnings in the 1950s as a volunteer organization with the purpose of saving our history as it was being lost, to today with our top rate professional staff and facilities, we have been providing a vital resource to our community for over fifty years.

Our mission has three main tenets. One, we educate the public about the rich and varied history of our area. Two, we create exhibits and events that help to showcase that history through artifacts and archives, and three, we collect and preserve physical manifestations of our past. From family Bibles found in garage sales to leather children’s shoes discovered in walls during home  renovations, these items that represent our history have been thoughtfully saved and gifted to the museum. Due to this thoughtfulness and the generosity of the Tri-Cities community, the museum’s collection now consists of over 60,000 items– each artifact telling its own story about the people who lived here no matter how commonplace or grand. The responsibility of caring for the collection and preserving the condition of each artifact to the best of our ability is not just important, but integral to our existence and purpose as your local history museum.

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The Importance of Old Buildings

By Steven Radtke, Chairman of the Grand Haven Main Street Preservation and Place Committee

Historical preservation is important to a society in so many ways. A currently popular reason is from an environmental standpoint. An old building is “green” because it already exists, and no resources are expended to create it. Demolition of an old building, which is often done without any effort to reuse or recycle its parts just results in fodder for the landfill, and any stored energy in the building is lost forever, to say nothing of the new resources that are then expended to create a replacement.  Adaptive reuse of historical resources ensure that the structures and the materials contained therein continue to serve a purpose.

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MUSEUM: Volunteers benefit the community and themselves

Volunteering also creates positive feelings within the individual. Furthermore, it is an excellent tool for those in and out of the workforce.

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    Help us continue to preserve and present the history and culture of the Tri-Cities. Learn about giving options and volunteer opportunities – and get ready to be appreciated.

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    Our Education Department offers a wide range of learning opportunities for individuals, schools and community groups. Find a tour or program that suits your interests.


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