The Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center is Now Open!
Visit us at our Temporary Location
153 River Valley Drive
in the Leppinks Shopping Plaza
Tuesday through Saturday
Make your Mark!
The excitement continues to build at the corner of Quarterline and M37 in downtown Newaygo, as the Newaygo County Museum and Cultural Heritage Center takes shape more and more each week. And while the construction is on track for completion in March or April 2022, the Museum is looking to local residents to play a crucial role in funding the last 20% of the $1.65M project.
“Logging is the modern foundation of the history of Newaygo County,” stated Museum Board Chairman Mark Miller. “Log marks played a crucial role in logging operations, and these marks were registered by the timber company with Newaygo County to prove ownership of the logs floating down the river and on to the mills for processing.”
These marks were made by stamping the company's brand on the end of the harvested logs with a cast iron log-marking hammer, many of which are found in the artifact collection at the Museum.
“Similar to the log marks of old, public and company contributions to the Museum campaign will be marked on a log round which will be placed permanently in the new museum for present and future generations.” stated Steven Radtke, Executive Director of the Museum. “These new, rustic log rounds come in various sizes to correspond with your family or business’ donation amount and can be customized with a laser inscription of your choice.”
The “Make your Mark!” Campaign offers four levels of sponsorship: $100, $250, $500, or $1000 per log round, each increasing in size. “It can be a lot of fun. We have families that have chosen to buy a separate log round for each of their children as well as for the parents, and business owners have purchased a large round for their business with a logo inscription, and a separate contribution for their family.” stated Radtke. “Each donor will get a digital image of the log mark as it will be engraved, and they can then verify spelling and the completeness of design. Please help your Museum raise the final $300,000.00 we need to open our doors next year without debt!”
Renovation and expansion Underway!
The highest vehicle count in all of Newaygo County is at the corner of M37 and Quarterline in downtown Newaygo. So, chances are you have already seen the excitement, construction fences, demolition, and renovation now underway at the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center. Steven Radtke, Executive Director, stated: “We are proud to announce the public phase of our “Your History, Our Legacy” Capital Campaign. The goal for the campaign is to raise $1.7M for a full renovation and expansion of our current facility.”
Board Chairman Mark Miller further explained “The really amazing news is that our generous community and community partners have already raised over $1.3M as of today. We are in the latest and final phase of fundraising with the general public, and hoping to open in a year without a debt burden.” “Collect, Preserve, and Share Newaygo County’s History and Culture” is the Mission of the Museum. “Those three ideas form the basis of what we do. The time has come to do it better.” stated Radtke. “The Your History, Our Legacy campaign will allow us to do what we do, but so much better than ever. An expanded and enhanced building will give us much larger and more open exhibit galleries, spacious and comfortable meeting spaces for school groups and public programming, space to properly house and work with the museum’s collections, a workshop for exhibit building and building maintenance, more space for staff offices, and urgently needed upgrades to the building’s infrastructure and technology systems.”
Since reopening in 2011, the Museum has quickly become an active and vibrant community resource, one that provides a sense of place and continuity that ties residents to our past and informs the present and future. This is achieved through high quality, engaging exhibits and programs. These programs reach an average of 15,000 people of all ages every year. The vast majority of County second, third, and fourth, grade students visit the museum to learn about a wide range of local history topics that are closely aligned with the school curriculum.
A committee of 22 local community members began fundraising efforts in September of 2018.
Within eighteen months, and with three initial gifts from the City of Newaygo, the Fremont Area
Community Foundation, and the DR Adama Family Gift Fund, additional support from multiple
Newaygo County businesses, families, and individuals in the community, the project is now
close to three quarters of its fundraising goal. “Leppinks Food Centers in Newaygo has been amazingly supportive .” stated Chairman Miller.
“ They have affordably provided over 8000 square feet of prime retail space in Leppinks Plaza in Newaygo to temporarily house the Museum while we are under construction downtown. “Leppinks wants to be a true community partner in this great project.” stated John Leppink, President of Leppinks Food Centers.
The Museum wants to build awareness for the next phase of the campaign, the “Make your Mark” public funding initiative. The temporary location will open to visitor Tuesday- Sunday 10-4 beginning Memorial Day weekend. For more information, please like the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center Facebook page and visit our website at newaygocountyhistory.org
To contribute directly to the Museum and help meet the fundraising goal, please go to
Newaygo County Touring
We are excited to announce the completion of a new major exhibit!
The Museum's newest exhibt, Newaygo County Touring, explores the important role that tourism plays in Newaygo county's economy and sense of place.
Since the end of the logging era, Newaygo has capitalized on its location in the beautiful wilderness of Michigan's interior to draw visitors from around the country to experience the abundant natural resources, the excellent range of activities, and the hospitality of the people that make Newaygo so special.
Come and see the history of one of Newaygo County's biggest industries, from hunting and fishing, winter sports and camping and resorts, to leisure activities, water sports, and hiking and trials.
Engaging informational panels, local photos both contemporary and vintage, vintage promotional pieces and ads, and artifacts from the collection and from various community members help tell the story.
This exhibit is one we are especially proud of, as it represents a great collaboration between the staff and our enthusiastic volunteers, who designed, built, and laid out the majority of the display with guidance from the staff.
Our Gift Shop has been renovated, expanded and stocked with NEW & EXCITING Gifts
Forest Animals – the stuffed kind !
One-of-a-Kind History books for Children and Tweens too!
Vintage Note Cards
Lumberjacks !! (come see him)
School Cap Ornaments – College and Local
Shop Local. Support your Museum. Support the Volunteers who work tirelessly to enhance your visit to YOUR Museum
All proceeds remain with the Gift Shop to allow for further expansion that will for County Crafters to display and sell their wares in 2021.