The Tri-Cities Historical Museum in downtown Grand Haven, Michigan occupies two locations: the restored 1870 Grand Trunk Railroad Depot and the 1871 Akeley Store (formerly Steketee’s). Both locations serve up history hot and spicy to Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg residents. My husband, children and I have been privileged to be part of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, for almost two decades.
My children have participated in the Inter-Generational Story Sharing as homeschoolers. The children interviewed both of my paternal grandparents, as well as our beloved neighbor whose husband owned and operated the Packard Garage up the street from us. All three of those lovely people have been laid to rest for years now, but fortunately, we have the commemorative booklet with their records stories recorded for all time.
My oldest daughter participated in the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s Youth Docent program in middle school and high school. She’s since moved away and has a life of her own, but we cherish the memories she created during those years. She dressed as Amanda Ferry, wife of Rev. William Ferry, founder of Grand Haven, for a Halloween ‘ghost walk’ in our local cemetery. This role would later be reprised by her younger sister in the Tri-Cities Historical Museum tour. Molly, the eldest also did costumed narration for many museum exhibit videos. She created a character based on her great-grandmother who lived during the times depicted. With grandma gone now, it’s a special joy for me to watch the videos. Our whole family eagerly awaits the Feast of the Strawberry Moon, a 1760s French Voyageur, native American and military encampment. We’ve dressed in costume and taught local children how to play vintage toy and game
We’ve enjoyed the annual 1223 Pere Marquette locomotive tour and ice cream social. The children have ridden in on the museum’s vintage Rycenga Delivery truck and fire truck for Coast Guard Parade and the annual Santa Clause Christmas Parade. We have traipsed the streets of Grand Haven on guided tours provided by the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. As homeschoolers, we explored local history with the museum’s free educational loan kits. Kits include artifacts, books, reference, games, activities and lessons. Kits include: Native America, Lumbering, Fur Trade, Pioneering, Victorian, Life in the Tri-Cities, The Way We Were, Who Wears This Hat? History of Photography, Tri-Cities Resorts, Tri-Cities Schools, Maritime, Railroading, Pre-School Kit, Michigan History, Civil War, History of Entertainment in the Home. These kits were designed by the Youth Docents program.
For local history, you can’t beat a visit to the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. Admission is free.