Michigan's Small Town Treasures: the Tri-Cities Historical Museum

by Julie Royce /
Julie Royce's picture
Jan 15, 2009 / 0 comments

Tri-Cities Historical Museum, in Grand Haven

    With exhibits in two buildings, this museum is the place to follow the history of Northwest Ottawa County and it is a surprisingly interesting journey. Start with the American Indians of the region and then the French voyageurs intent upon making a life for themselves in the fur-trade. Later the Original People and the wandering voyageurs were replaced by the pioneers who settled the land and the lumbermen who made a living cutting Michigan’s famous white pine. Each brought an era showcased in the museum through a variety of exhibits including period rooms, artifacts and written works.


Tri-cities museum


    The museum opened in 1959 and in 1972 it moved to the former Grand Trunk Railroad Depot which had been built in 1870 at 1 North Harbor Drive in Grand Haven. This two story building is on the waterfront and boasts a Maritime Gallery with wonderful ship models.

    The museum’s popularity and growing exhibits caused it to outgrow its space and in July 2004 a second site opened at the Akeley Building located at 200 Washington in downtown Grand Haven. Both sites, as well as their contents, have historical significance so you will want to explore the buildings as much as the exhibits. The Akeley site offers a section of local historical works of interest to genealogists and historical researchers.

    Changing exhibits are brought to the museum on a temporary basis and the museum is open year around; winter hours Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm. Closed on Monday.

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Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a bi-weekly column (monthly in winter) for wanderingeducators.com, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.


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