Historical museum to reopen for 2021 season

Pictured is a dressmaking exhibit from the 1890-1910 era that is on display at the Lake County Historical Museum and Research Library. (Courtesy photo)

Pictured is a dressmaking exhibit from the 1890-1910 era that is on display at the Lake County Historical Museum and Research Library. (Courtesy photo)

BALDWIN — The Lake County Historical Museum and Research Library will reopen for the 2021 season on Wednesday, June 16.

The museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The Research Library will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays or by appointment.

The museum has many new exhibits waiting to be seen. The c1900 dressmaking and millinery shop with fashions and accessories of the time along with the history of these small businesses in Lake County is sure to be a favorite. Treadle sewing machines, Luther millinery shop display case and ladies’ and children’s dresses and shoes are among the artifacts on display.

Another new exhibit is the Reed’s Carr Mini Museum. The descendants of Ivan and Catherine Reed, who operated this private museum, donated a portion of their artifacts to our museum. An album quilt from this community is of special interest as well as a collection of butter pats. We are fortunate to be able to share this exhibit with the public.

There are several new additions in the Boat House as well. The L-Lakes photographic exhibit tells the story of the land that was purchased in 1919 by Ray Trucks when the Great Northern Portland Cement Company went bankrupt. He developed it into one of the most popular resort areas here in Lake County.

Be sure to check out the vintage photos and plats of the resort area.

Skip Bradford was a skilled pond boat and model boat maker. He shared his gift with many of his family who graciously agreed to loan them to our museum for the public to enjoy this year.

The largest artifact donation received this past year was a 1946 Old Town HW Canoe owned by Jim and Ilene Handley. This wooden canoe was used in Lake County on the Pere Marquette River for years. Family photos of the canoe in use and being transported are a fun reminder of simpler times.

The Society will again produce Folk Fridays concert series this summer. Concerts are at 7 p.m. on Fridays beginning July 30 with Chris Vallillo presenting the music of One-Room Schools.

On Aug. 6, Patchouli and Terra Guitarra will perform heart-stringing lyrics and blazing Spanish guitar music. On Aug. 13, Joel Mabus will share contemporary songs that one might associate with Mark Twain and Will Rogers. On Aug. 20, Robert Jones and Matt Watroba, Common Chords, will sing Music That Matters."

The museum has been busy during the pandemic working on two special projects. The first is a history and self-driving guide of the One-Room Schools of Lake County. This $20, nearly 100-page book, will be available later this month at the museum and later at Chris Vallillo’s concert on July 30.

Contact the museum to reserve a copy. The second project is a full-length documentary on Marlborough the Great Northern Portland Cement Company. The completed documentary and DVDs are expected to be complete by the fall 2021.

This film will include historical photos, documents, personal interviews, character reenactments along with a video tour of the cement plant ruins. Still photos, video and drown footage of the area promises to bring history to life.

For the first couple of weeks the museum will require everyone visiting to wear facial coverings. On July 1, the museum will consider requiring only those who have not been vaccinated to wear them. Signage at the entry doors will alert visitors as to current protocols.

The Lake County Historical Museum and Research Library is located at 915 N. Michigan Avenue in Baldwin.

Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. For more information call 231-898-6500.