The 9 Best Historical Societies in Michigan

Historical societies bring the past to life, each with their own unique flair. In a state steeped in history like Michigan, there is plenty to learn and celebrate. If you’re wondering where the best historical societies in the state are, there’s good news ahead! Here are some great places to start if you want to learn a little more about the history of the Great Lake State. 

1. Historical Society of Michigan, Lansing, MI

If you're going to look into Michigan history, you might as well start with a historical society devoted to the history of Michigan as a whole. The Historical Society of Michigan represents the oldest cultural organization in the state, and offers a complete slate of special events and publications for users to check out the biggest events in the state and get some insight on what more specific items to look into. It's a great general starting point, so treat it as such.

2. Pittsfield Township Historical Society, Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor is home to the Pittsfield Township Historical Society, which is something of an unusual development as it is. Pittsfield Township is just south of Ann Arbor, and was once a very big deal in the state. Known as the “Crossroads of Michigan” as it sat astride a pair of major Indian trails that eventually became the major roadways of US-23 and I-94, Pittsfield Township may have been a big deal, but today, it's Ann Arbor that's the much bigger deal.

3. Huron County Historical Society, Bad Axe, MI

A trip to Bad Axe will give you a look at the Huron County Historical Society, devoted to an entire county's history. It's not the only such county-wide historical society around, but the Huron County Historical Society encompasses several museums, as well as maintains a set of noteworthy books of interest, and even a lighthouse as part of its overall purview in the Harbor Beach Lighthouse. That's a lot to handle, so check these guys out for a big slug of history all at once.

4. Beaver Island Historical Society, Beaver Island, MI

Islands are fairly numerous in Michigan, and Beaver Island is one of these. There's also a lot of history involved with Beaver Island worth noting, including that Beaver Island was home to the United States' first and only kingdom. Those who want to find out more will need to check into Beaver Island's history, and the Beaver Island Historical Society will be a big help here.

5. Mary's City of David, Benton Harbor, MI

Billed as the third oldest Christian community in the United States, Mary's City of David not far from Benton Harbor represents not only a major attraction, but also its own historical society. There's quite a bit of history here, especially given how old the community is, and it offers both museums and tours for those interested to check out for themselves. Did you know this little town played in the first night baseball game back in 1930? That's just a sliver of what's waiting for you to find.

6. Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, Bay City, MI

Right around Bay City, there's a historical society that's based around a decommissioned naval vessel. More specifically, it's the USS Edson, open most of the year except for a handful of days and the deepest part of winter. Offering both self-guided and guided tours, as well as a set of special events, those who ever wanted to learn about the Edson or about naval ships will have a good part of the job taken care of with the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum.

7. Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society of Calumet, Calumet, MI

Up in Calumet, a surprising part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park sits complete with its own historical society: The Norwegian Lutheran Church. Built in 1898, the church is said to be a replica of the church located in the builder's home town of Kristiansund. Containing its original 1898 Packard Reed Organ, the church is a living, breathing chunk of history in its own right, and the historical society seeks to not only preserve the church, but the events it's contained since.

8. Copper Country Firefighters History Museum, Calumet, MI

Another of Calumet's entries, the Copper Country Firefighters History Museum, with its own historical society, contains a vital storehouse of information about the history of firefighting in the region, and those who engaged in the activity as well. Though the copper mines in the area shut down back in 1968, the firefighters remained, and thus the museum was born. Built around the original fire station constructed from local sandstone, the museum and the historical society that maintains it offers a look at the original structures down to a replica of the brass pole originally used to move rapidly from one floor of the building to the next.

9. Historical Preservation Society of Dundee, Dundee, MI

The Historical Preservation Society of Dundee, located in the town of the same name, focuses mainly on the Old Mill Museum in the same place. Restored during the 1980s, and wholly by volunteer efforts, the Old Mill now shows off the area's history, including not only the area's original inhabitants—the Macon Indians—but also the hydro-electric generator installed by no less than Henry Ford.

Michigan Search
View more Michigan Historical Sites.
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
47884 D Street, Belleville, MI
Mission The mission of the Yankee Air Museum is to educate and engage people about American aviation, aerospace technology, and Historic Willow Ru... Read More
155 South Main Street, Plymouth, MI
Mission Statement: The Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum, formally the Plymouth Historical Society, is a privately funded membership organ... Read More
5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
The Detroit Historical Museum is the only museum dedicated to chronicling our region’s history. Permanent exhibits include the Streets of Old... Read More
6134 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI
The Children's Museum provides children, families and adults with fun and imaginative learning experiences that encourage understanding of themselv... Read More
315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI
Overview: The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience... Read More
2610 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte, MI
Mission Statement:The Wyandotte Museum is dedicated to inspiring and fostering public awareness, interest, understanding and appreciation of the un... Read More
1528 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI
About Us : The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM) was established by 23 founding members in 1993 to docum... Read More
1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI
About Us: The Museum of Natural History is a dynamic, evolving organization committed to promoting the understanding and appreciation of the natur... Read More
434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI
Vision:The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology creates knowledge, explores the past, and educates for the future.Mission:The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology ... Read More
41 Fisher Court, Clawson, MI
About the MuseumThe City of Clawson purchased the three story home in 1972 along with other property on Roth Avenue to provide additional parking a... Read More
3443 Inverness Street, Dexter, MI
Located in the Village of Dexter, Michigan, the Dexter Area Historical Museum serves as western Washtenaw County's link with history. The museum is... Read More
7225 Stone Street, Hamburg, MI
Opened in 2004, the goal of the Hamburg Historical Museum is to preserve and present the history of Hamburg, Michigan. The Museum is located in on... Read More
887 East Huron Boulevard, Marysville, MI
The Marysville Historical Museum is located in the old City Hall. Originally built for the Carpenter & Cuttle families in 1912, this building h... Read More
1115 Sixth Street, Port Huron, MI
Our Mission : The Port Huron Museum celebrates the history and culture of the Blue Water Area and fosters an appreciation of other peoples and pla... Read More
1005 Van Hoosen Road, Rochester, MI
Mission Statement:Because appreciation of the present is enhanced by understanding the past, the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm interpre... Read More
100 East Cross Street, Ypsilanti, MI
Apex Motors which produced the "ACE" car from 1920-1922 was located on South River Street and Preston Tucker whose family owned the Ypsilanti Machi... Read More
405 South Main St., Marine City, MI
The Museums artifact and archival collections bring Marine Citys history & heritage to life in three distinctive galleries.  Maritime gall... Read More
220 East Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI
Mission Statement: The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, math and technology. Vision Statement: ... Read More
312 South Division Street, Ann Arbor, MI
About Us:The Kempf House Museum, built in 1853, was home to the Kempfs, a busy German-American Family who lived and worked in the 1890′s.Trai... Read More
220 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI
The Ypsilanti Historical Museum is a museum of local history which is presented as an 1860 home. The Museum and Fletcher-White Archives are organiz... Read More
Show More
Select a Michigan town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Crawford County