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Exhibits

Exhibits at the HMNC are one of the most important things we do. Historic photos and documents, three dimensional objects, and meticulous research all combine to make history come alive for the viewers. Interactive elements appeal to people of all ages, and an innovative method of display creates intimacy while maintaining the scale of the room. The exhibits can be folded away for hosting large events too! See the “Host your Event” section for more information.

FEATURED EXHIBITS

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An exclusive exhibit on fashion throughout the decades

This limited time fashion exhibit displays a variety of different textiles from various eras. You can find everything from Victorian style gowns and 1920s flapper dresses to hand made crazy quilts and vintage sewing machines. Also featured in this display is various wedding dresses & accessories showcasing several wedding traditions over the years.
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Household

Over the years how we handle household chores has changed dramatically with advancements in technology. Everything from keeping food cold, how laundry was cleaned, and how food was cooked transformed over the years. In this display you can see appliances from different eras including a traditional ice box for refrigeration to one of the first electric washing machines used in homes.

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Main Exhibit Topics

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Early Medicine

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Since the early 1900s, Newaygo County has been sought after by thousands of tourists. With 233 natural lakes and ponds and 484 miles of river and streams

covering over 10,000 acres, it is truly a land of lakes and streams. Tourism is now one of the leading industries in the area and many of the fun activities available are depicted in our display.

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Gerber

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Our newest exhibit takes a look at one of our country’s largest employers and examines the way that this international Icon has changed and shaped the trajectory of our County's history. Topics include Fremont Canning, unforms, advertising, orchard production, Transportation, and Quality control.

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Native American

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Before logging or farming the Newaygo County area was home to Native American tribes. Our display includes Native American artifacts such as arrowheads, tools, baskets, and jewelry. We also share the history of Native Americans captured with stunning visuals of their unique culture. 

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Logging

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In 1840, this area held most of the white pine trees in the state of Michigan which made this region the center of the logging world for about 50 years. For Newaygo County nearly 200 towns in 24 townships were developed because of logging and the remaining towns and townships make up the county as we know it today. Displayed here you will find many logging tools from a pike pole, various saws, and log marks.

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Farming

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Today’s farming is much different than the early farming in the area. Mostly due to the logging of the area farming became one of the largest industries in the area.  Today, Michigan is a leader in the national production of many crops including apples, cherries, and onions. Our exhibit showcases both antique and modern tools used in the farming and agriculture of the area.

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Military

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Over the years, Newaygo County has been home to many Veterans and their families. Currently, our display highlights five military branches including the Navy, Marines, Army, Air force, and U.S. Coast Guard. Women in the Military are also highlighted with this year’s focus being on Nurses.  Not only do we provide an information on the branches themselves, but also include uniforms, stories, and photos of a Newaygo County resident who has proudly served in one of these branches.

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Tourism

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Since the early 1900s, Newaygo County has been sought after by thousands of tourists. With 233 natural lakes and ponds and 484 miles of river and streams

covering over 10,000 acres, it is truly a land of lakes and streams. Tourism is now one of the leading industries in the area and many of the fun activities available are depicted in our display.

Mini Exhibits
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Fur Trade

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Like many local areas the Fur Trade industry was a defining feature of the county’s history. Here you will find a brief history on how fur trade became such a large industry along with various photos, artifacts, and pelts. We also have our prominent Legends Ranch display that shows Michigan Mammals including a bear, wolf, turkeys, and many other animals native to the area.

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White Cloud occupies a unique role at the heart of Newaygo County's culture. As the County seat, it is home to the county courthouse and the county government. Although the town is small, its importance to the area cannot be understated. Our exhibit looks at 150 years of its history.

White Cloud

Coming
Soon

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Schools

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This photo collage encompasses many different schools and activities throughout Newaygo County including sports, photos of one room schools, and class photos. Also included is the large bell from a Newaygo County School and an antique desk & chair.

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HMNC Gas Stations

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The building that now houses the Heritage Museum of Newaygo County has a long history dating back to the 1918 as a Sinclair Gas Station. Along with this a Standard Service was once house in the building next door. Our display showcases not only Standard Service artifacts, but also a vintage gas pump and the history or our very own building.

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Education

Unlocking Possibilities for a Brighter Future.
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Field Trip Programs:

Pioneer Children - 2nd Grade

On this journey into the past, students will make and taste their own butter, experience daily chores, touch a variety of early tools and household items, learn their uses.

They will sample games which entertained pioneer children, make a button buzzer of their own and go on a guided tour of the museum.

Native Americans and the Fur Trade – 3rd Grade

Learn Native American culture and how the Native Americans lived and thrived on the land.

Discover the economic and cultural factors which drove the French to travel thousands of miles to our shores. Students will handle actual fur pelts, learn what items they were traded for, and why.

Lumbering in Newaygo County – 4th Grade

Imagine a Michigan covered in White Pine trees and many other Hardwood trees. Then imagine much of Michigan barren of forests with eroding riverbanks and wind-blown sand.

 

Students learn about the days of extensive logging; what, when, why, how it happened and who did it, as well as the significance of this period in our history.

We will also compare logging in the late 1800s with logging today.

Classroom Presentations

The following topics are available in a 1 hour presentation that comes to you (provided you have a projector). Survey of American Presidents, History of Michigan, Lumbering in Newaygo County, and Michigan’s Fur Trade – from Marco Polo to French Voyagers in the woods, 1300-1700.

Call or message for more information:

Scott Looman, Education Manager

(231) 652-5003

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Archaeology
Day Camp

Authentic archaeology dig in collaboration with Local landowners and National Forest Service Archaeologists.

  • One week long. Third week of June, Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 3:00 

  • Ages 10 to 14. Participants must have a direct connection to Newaygo County.

  • Space is limited

  • Cost: $50 (Scholarships available based on need) 

 

Call or message for more information:

Scott Looman, Education Manager

(231) 652-5003

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