Potawatomi Customs and Traditional Medicines
Sep
18
7:00 PM19:00

Potawatomi Customs and Traditional Medicines

  • North Berrien Historical Museum (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Potawatomi inhabited the southwestern portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula long before European settlers began arriving in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians remains in the area today, preserving cultural traditions and autonomy as a federally recognized Native American nation.

Andy Jackson, Pokagon Tribal Council member, will discuss some of the traditional roles of Potawatomi men and women as well as cover a variety of the natural medicines that they used both historically and today.

No RSVP is required for this free program. For questions, please contact peter@northberrienhistory.org.

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SW Michigan Crate, Basket & Veneer Machinery Collection
Sep
25
1:00 PM13:00

SW Michigan Crate, Basket & Veneer Machinery Collection

  • North Berrien Historical Museum (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Since 1925, the Monte family has been dedicated to manufacturing and supplying the finest produce containers available. Sam Monte, owner of Monte Package Company, will be stopping by the North Berrien Historical Museum on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 25 to speak  on this subject. 

During his presentation, Sam will be discussing several local businesses that made Southwest Michigan into what it is known as today: a fruit belt. While touring through the machinery collection, visitors are encouraged to ask questions and reminisce on the days of the veneer baskets.

No RSVP is required for this free program.  For questions, please contact Peter@northberrienhistory.org.

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Members Only - The Most Dangerous Man in America in 1929: Fred "Killer" Burke
Oct
16
7:00 PM19:00

Members Only - The Most Dangerous Man in America in 1929: Fred "Killer" Burke

Fred Burke was a notorious armed robber and contract killer during the Prohibition era and a prime suspect in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. He was also known to spend a great deal of his time in Berrien County.

Chriss Lyon, local author and historian, will detail Burke’s background, how he became involved with Al Capone, and his role in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. She will also discuss his ties to Berrien County along with other gangster names of the era connected to the area.

This program is reserved for Society members. For membership details, please contact the Museum. This event will immediately follow our Annual Members-Only Dinner which starts at 6:00 p.m. More details to come. 

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Reindeer Ranch
Nov
20
7:00 PM19:00

Reindeer Ranch

Since 2016, the Holiday Open House at the North Berrien Historical Museum has featured live reindeer onsite as one of our main attractions. In anticipation of their yuletide return this year, Carol Borton, owner of Reindeer Ranch in Kalamazoo, will visit the Museum to speak about her experiences in raising and conditioning reindeer at the ranch she has run with her husband since 1999. In addition to educational information on the reindeer, this presentation will also detail the related places the Bortons have visited around the country and the other organizations they have worked with over the past 20 years. 

No RSVP is required for this free program. For questions, please call the Museum or contact peter@northberrienhistory.org.

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North Berrien Photography Contest
Aug
24
4:00 PM16:00

North Berrien Photography Contest

The North Berrien Photography Contest seeks images that capture the unique character and culture of North Berrien County, Michigan.  This can include, but is not limited to, architecture, landscapes, nature, public buildings and events, historic locations, etc. For the purposes of this Contest, “North Berrien” is defined as the cities of Coloma and Watervliet plus the townships of Hagar, Bainbridge, Coloma, and Watervliet including all bodies of water. Photographs must be taken after August 2017.

All entries must be submitted to the North Berrien Historical Museum by Friday, August 24 at 4:00pm.

Winners and Honorable Mentions in each age category will appear in an exhibit at the North Berrien Historical Museum during September.  Winning photographs will be added to the permanent collection of the North Berrien Historical Society.  Winning photographers will be awarded a local gift certificate courtesy of the Coloma-Watervliet Area Chamber of Commerce, $25 cash courtesy of the Twin City Camera Club, and a free 1 year membership to the North Berrien Historical Museum.

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Watervliet vs. Coloma
Aug
21
7:00 PM19:00

Watervliet vs. Coloma

Football. Coloma Comets vs. Watervliet Panthers. The annual clash. Small town pride on the line. Neighbor vs. neighbor. Seasons were deemed a success or failure based on this one game, regardless of records.

For over 100 years, Watervliet and Coloma have waged this gridiron war, ranking their annual battle as one of the oldest high school football rivalries in the State of Michigan. If you are a former player or coach for the Comets or Maroons/Panthers, or a lifelong devotee of either, please join us in reliving some memories on Tuesday, August 21 at 7 p.m. at the North Berrien Historical Museum.

Enjoy a 30-minute presentation on the rivalry along with highlights from over the years. Spend time viewing a table of related items before and after. Featured speakers will be Greg Krell and Kristy Noack. Greg was on the committee celebrating 100 years of local football in 2009 sponsored by the North Berrien Historical Museum where he is also a Board member. Kristy is the sports writer and photographer for the Tri-City Record and will be presenting a slideshow.

The presentation will be followed by a game of trivia. Test your knowledge of all things relating to over 100 years of football between the two towns. Prizes will be awarded including tickets for the Coloma/Watervliet game and a concession stand gift card compliments of the Coloma Athletic Department.

We encourage you to bring any relevant memorabilia you may have for a “show and tell” portion at the end. 

No RSVP is required for this free program. For questions call (269) 468-3330 or email Peter@northberrienhistory.org. 

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The Watervliet Paper Mill Program
Jul
17
7:00 PM19:00

The Watervliet Paper Mill Program

The Watervliet Paper Mill was a fixture of community life in North Berrien for nearly a century. Following the upcoming reunion at the former site of the Mill on Saturday, July 14, the North Berrien Historical Society will host an evening program on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00 PM at the Museum. 

Rather than focusing on Mill operations and the papermaking process, this program will examine employee life and how things changed leading up to the closing of the Mill in 1994. There will be a presentation by a group of past Mill employees including Milt Stibal, George Lawton, Robin Mileski and Larry Holland. They will be informing the audience about their experiences working for the Mill and answering questions.

After the program, the new Watervliet Paper Mill exhibit will be revealed for the first time!

No RSVP is required for this free event. For questions, please contact peter@northberrienhistory.org

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Watervliet Paper Mill Reunion Walking Tour
Jul
14
10:00 AM10:00

Watervliet Paper Mill Reunion Walking Tour

  • 611-699 M-140 Watervliet, MI, 49098 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join us on Saturday, July 14th for walking tours of the site where the Watervliet Paper Mill once stood. Walk through several areas of the site and learn the paper making process. Visit our tent to see articles, artifacts and stories of the Mill. Search for your relative’s name on the employee lists and even pick up a reprint of the 2002 “Remembering the Watervliet Paper Mill” newspaper (limited supply). This event is sure to be a day of remembering who worked there and what they did! All ages are welcome. Admission is FREE!

Handicap parking will be available on site. Additional parking at Hayes Park, 700 N Main St, Watervliet, MI 49098

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Questions? Contact the Museum at (269) 468-3330 or info@northberrienhistory.org

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The John V. Moran Shipwreck
Jun
19
7:00 PM19:00

The John V. Moran Shipwreck

Around midnight on Thursday February 9, 1899, on an ice-caked Lake Michigan, the 214-foot John V. Moran bucked the ice flows on its run from Milwaukee to Muskegon to deliver a cargo of barreled flour and package goods. The John V. Moran never finished this voyage. It is now considered one of the deepest and most intact steamships in the Great Lakes, located 375 feet deep off Muskegon’s shoreline. 

Valerie Van Heest, an award winning author, member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, and a 25+ year veteran shipwreck explorer, will be presenting on the John V. Moran. With recently filmed footage, Valerie will tell the story of the wreck and how it was found. 

No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions? Contact the Museum at (269)468-3330 or info@northberrienhistory.org.

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The German POW Experience in Michigan
May
15
7:00 PM19:00

The German POW Experience in Michigan

Between 1942 and 1945, nearly 400,000 German Prisoners of War were placed in camps throughout the United States. There were 32 camps here in Michigan, including ones in Coloma, Benton Harbor, and Hartford. Dr. Howard Poole will shed light on the experiences of these captured men including how they were transported from Europe and back after the war, stories of individual POWs while in the U.S., as well as stories of POWs who returned to the U.S. after the war. 

Dr. Poole grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana with a farming background. He attended Purdue University first majoring in agriculture (BS and MS degrees in Animal Science) and then shifting to Educational Research and Science Education for a doctorate degree in 1972. He joined Western Michigan University's faculty in 1972 where he worked until he retired in 2004.

No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions? Contact the museum at (269) 468-3330 or info@northberrienhistory.org.

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Bainbridge Cemetery Tour: St. Paul's Cemetery
May
12
2:00 PM14:00

Bainbridge Cemetery Tour: St. Paul's Cemetery

  • 1650 N. Bainbridge Center Rd Watervliet MI (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join us as we highlight fascinating personal stories of past residents on an historical tour through St. Paul's Cemetery. Discover some of the oldest gravestones, dating back to the 1840s, and see historic people’s photos along with unique tales of their lives. The tour will go on in rain or shine, so please dress appropriately for the weather. Parking is available at each cemetery. FREE!

St. Paul's Cemetery, 
1650 N. Bainbridge Center Road
Highlights: visit the graves of one of the first Bainbridge settlers, immigrants who journeyed from Germany, a man with a connection to the Whitcomb Hotel, and more! 

Questions? Contact the Museum at (269) 468-3330 or info@northberrienhistory.org

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The History of Blossomtime
Apr
17
7:00 PM19:00

The History of Blossomtime

As early as 1891 local area business interests took a proactive role in attracting visitors to SW Michigan with their promotion in the Chicago market. With the Graham and Morton Steamship Company offering special rates, hundreds of visitors made the lake crossing by boat to enjoy the orchard tours. Influenced by a growing agricultural industry, in 1906 Rev. W. J. Cady of the First Congregational Church in Benton Harbor was the first to urge his parishioners to drive through the orchards and view the fruit blossoms. Cady termed them “symbols of life renewed” and his sermon is credited with the birth of the Blossomtime Festival.

The Blossomtime Festival, is the oldest and largest multi-community Festival in the state of Michigan. Anna Abdelnour, President of Blossomtime Festival Inc. will share how this springtime tradition got its start! Questions about the program? Call us at (269) 468-3330 or email us at kristen@northberrienhistory.org

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Civil War Days! Spring Time Traveler
Apr
7
1:00 PM13:00

Civil War Days! Spring Time Traveler

Pop into the Museum during Spring Break to get a glimpse into life during the Civil War. Meet a Union soldier, a Union housewife, play games that children played in the 1800s, make ink out of berries, and more in this activity filled afternoon! 

Designed for ages 6+ and their families. No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions? Call the Museum at (269) 468-3330 or email us at kristen@northberrienhistory.org

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Silver Beach Amusement Park
Mar
20
7:00 PM19:00

Silver Beach Amusement Park

In 1891, local businessmen, Louis D. Wallace and Logan Drake, established the Silver Beach Amusement and Realty Company with the intention of providing more activities for tourists to do when visiting the St. Joseph area. By constructing cottages, souvenir shops, a dance pavilion, and more, the men quickly developed their Lake Michigan frontage into one of the most remarkable amusement parks of its time. Operating until 1971, Silver Beach Amusement Park was a popular destination for both residents and tourists alike!

Patty Nordberg of The Silver Beach Carousel will present on the history of this local landmark. No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions? Contact the museum at (269) 468-3330 or at kristen@northberrienhistory.org

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History Trivia Night!
Feb
20
7:00 PM19:00

History Trivia Night!

How well do you know U.S, state, and local history?

Grab your friends and join us at the North Berrien Historical Museum for History Trivia Night, and show off your historical knowledge! Enjoy refreshments while competing against each other for bragging rights! Prizes will be awarded to the winning team.

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Aviation Firsts in Southwest Michigan
Jan
16
7:00 PM19:00

Aviation Firsts in Southwest Michigan

Wilbur and Orville Wright's famous flight in 1903 has been recorded in history books as the first airplane flight. But was it truly the first flight? Dr. Stuart Boekeloo, local dentist and historian, will present the compelling story of aviator Augustus Herring who claimed to have flown years before the Wright brothers at Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan. He will also present stories of other aviators, such as the first to cross Lake Michigan from St. Joseph, the inception of the air mail system, and more!

No RSVP is required for this free program. For questions, contact the museum at (269) 468-3330 or at kristen@northberrienhistory.org.

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Winter Time Travelers: Snow Birds!
Dec
30
1:00 PM13:00

Winter Time Travelers: Snow Birds!

Flock on over to the North Berrien Historical Museum during mid-winter break for a fun afternoon about birds! Learn all about the birds that live in Michigan and what they do for the winter from a Sarett Naturalist, meet Cookie the barred owl, and make a pinecone bird feeder to put out for the birds in your backyard!

No RSVP is required for this free program. Designed for children ages 6-12 and their families. Questions? Contact us at (269) 468-3330 or kristen@northberrienhistory.org.


 

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Holiday Open House 2017
Dec
1
to Dec 3

Holiday Open House 2017

Mark your calendars! Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the North Berrien Historical Museum's annual Holiday Open House from December 1st - 3rd! Local businesses and organizations will bring their creativity and holiday cheer to decorate Christmas Trees all throughout the Museum. Come tour the impressive display of trees, vote for your favorites and, new this year, complete a scavenger hunt along the way! 
 

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A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks
Nov
21
7:00 PM19:00

A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks

When he was drafted for duty in the United States Army during World War I, Godfrey Anderson had no idea he was about to become part of a military adventure that would find him doing battle with Bolshevik revolutionaries in the frozen reaches of northern Russia. Arriving in England after a brief “boot camp” training period at Michigan’, Anderson became one of a 5,000-man American contingent assigned to join British troops in an expedition to prevent Allied war materials in Archangel, Russia from falling into the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Gordon Olson served as Grand Rapids' City Historian from 1978 until he retired in 2002. He has authored numerous books and articles about Grand Rapids' history, produced live and videotaped programs, and collected historical manuscripts, photographs and related material for the Grand Rapids Public Library’s regional history archives. 

There will be light refreshments to follow. No RSVP is required for this free program. Questions? Contact us at (269) 468-3330 or kristen@northberrienhistory.org

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Watervliet Cemetery Tour
Oct
26
6:00 PM18:00

Watervliet Cemetery Tour

Learn fascinating personal stories of past residents and how they shaped Watervliet history on a stroll through the cemetery grounds. We’ll visit the resting places of the town’s last living Civil War soldier, a Michigan Secretary of State, a Big Ten head football coach, and more! We will meet at the Watervliet Cemetery, located on Red Arrow Highway across from Watervliet High School!

No RSVP is needed for this free program. Questions? Contact us at (269) 468-3330 or kristen@northberrienhistory.org

 

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Annual Dinner and Meeting 2017
Oct
17
6:00 PM18:00

Annual Dinner and Meeting 2017

North Berrien Historical Museum members are invited to join us as we celebrate the end of another successful year and look ahead on the year to come! There will be a delicious dinner, catered by the Country Kitchen, starting at 6:00 pm with the meeting to follow. At 7:00 pm there will be a special presentation by Dr. Michael Nassaney of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project. Dr. Nassaney will update us on the latest discoveries at the site of the 17th century French Fort, following the completion of the 2017 Field School.

$14 per person. Please call (269) 468-3330 to RSVP by October 6th 

Not a member? There is still time to sign up before the event! Stop into the museum or call us at (269) 468-3330 for more information on memberships. 

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MEMBERS ONLY Kalamazoo Valley Museum Tour
Sep
21
9:00 AM09:00

MEMBERS ONLY Kalamazoo Valley Museum Tour

Calling all NBHM Members – Special Event! The North Berrien Historical Museum would like to extend a special invite to members only; a trip east (Kalamazoo) to tour the Kalamazoo Valley Museum!!

We have arranged a private guided tour of their newest exhibit “Hateful Things”.  This travelling exhibit is from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. This exhibit contains 39 items from the late 19th century to the present day. The exhibit is meant to examine the history of racism as well as examine present day stereotyping, and to help promote racial healing.

We have also arranged a light show in the planetarium to the famous Pink Floyd’s  - “Dark side of the Moon”, a behind the scenes tour of the museum’s impressive collections room, and time to move about the museum at your own leisure.

Details:

Date:  Thursday, September 21st

Time: 9:00 am to Noon – Departing from North Berrien Historical Museum at 8:00 a.m.

Cost: $7.00 with carpool ride or $3.00 without carpool ride.

Please RSVP by Friday, September 15th (269)468-3330

We hope to see you!!!!

Not a member? Call the museum or stop in to become a member today!

 

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Wanted: Homes For Children, Dowagiac's Orphan Train Story
Sep
19
7:00 PM19:00

Wanted: Homes For Children, Dowagiac's Orphan Train Story

In the mid-1800s, thousands of homeless children roamed the streets of New York City. To help deal with the orphaned children, Charles Loring Brace founded the Children’s Aid Society in 1853 to provide the basic needs for some of the children. In 1854, he sent a group of 46 children west, via steamboat and train, to find new homes with farm families. The train had one destination—Dowagiac. After they arrived in Dowagiac, the children were examined by local residents, who then selected the orphans to take home. After several days, 37 of the children had been taken in by local families and the first trip was deemed a success.

Because of the success of the 1854 trip to Dowagiac, the Orphan Train placed out over 200,000 children to almost every state in the nation until 1929. Many of the children had positive experiences in their new homes and led successful lives, while others struggled and moved away from the ‘adopting’ families. The Orphan Train impacted child welfare and adoption laws while also affecting thousands of families across the country.

Steve Arseneau, Director of the Dowagiac Area History Museum, will provide a telling of that first trip to Dowagiac and more in “Dowagiac’s Orphan Train Story.” The City of Dowagiac and the Dowagiac Area History Museum have been working on a year-long project highlighting the Orphan Train in the city in 2017. The project, partially funded by the Michigan Humanities Council, will result in a mural depicting the Orphan Train in downtown Dowagiac.

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