Recent News

If you find yourself craving more information and stories about World War I following a visit to "Courage Without Fear," Curator of Education Kevin Geary has compiled a list of books and films to enrich your experience!

Books about World War I

The Great Influenza by John M. Barry

Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

A History of the Great War by Eric Dorn Brose

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To the North Pole!

By Chad Buitenhuis

Adventure and discovery have continuously captured the attention of humankind throughout history. Curiosity and fame drove humans across oceans, through the vast wilderness, and even to the moon. Walter Wellman, a newsman with the Chicago Herald, viewed the North Pole as an opportunity to make his own news in the world. Wellman had made a previous attempt to reach the Pole in 1892, but, hoping he could find the missing Salomon August Andrée, he made preparations for another expedition. Andrée was a Swedish engineer whose plan to fly over the pole by way of a hydrogen balloon ended in disaster in 1897. Wellman knew that the discovery of Andrée and his team would be a highly celebrated event. This had been a driving factor for Wellman’s second polar expedition in 1898.

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Tri-Cities Historical Museum and Red House Concert Series are pleased to announce the 2017/2018 Music at the Museum concert line up. 

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The Railroad Helped Make Grand Haven What it is Today

By Chad Buitenhuis, Curator Services

It is no coincidence that the introduction of the railroad in Michigan came at the beginning of our state’s Lumber Era in the mid-1800s. As the Upper Peninsula experienced a major rise in iron and copper mining during the Civil War, the railroad became a necessary device in opening the state’s trade network. By the turn of the century nearly the entire state was accessible by railroad and, according to local historian Dr. David Seibold in his book In the Path of Destiny, the industry had grown to employ 90,000 people, making it Michigan’s second-largest employer.

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The Tri-Cities Museum Needs Your Help!


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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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    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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