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Annual Member Meeting time subject to change

November 14, 2023

5:30 - 7:00 pm


Mark your calendars for the Annual Member Meeting of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum! All members are invited to attend this brief general meeting followed by our annual award ceremony and open house…light refreshments will be served and the Museum exhibits will be open to tour. TCHM curatorial staff will be on hand to share how this year's projects, programs, and events have supported our mission of Creating Connections to Local History.


A Tri-Cities Historical Museum member is any resident of Ferrysburg, Village of Spring Lake, Spring Lake Township, City of Grand Haven or Grand Haven Township*, or any individual or organization that has made a contribution to the Museum in the calendar year.


2022 Meeting Highlights:


Recognition of Board Service

Gay Cole (2017-2022)

Cathy Feyt (2017-2022)

Ed Grafton (2017-2022)


Election and Installment of New Board

Three open positions on the TCHM Board of Directors were voted on by the attending members. The proposed slate included Jackie Thoroughman, Robert Mann, and Joan Moser-Kuiper. Robert Pape was nominated from the floor. After balloted voting, Jackie Thoroughman, Robert Mann, and Joan Moser-Kuiper were declared the three new members of the Board, and began their three-year terms in January 2023. 


Annual Awards

Historian of the Year 2021










click the image above for a video of the award presentation

For: City of Ferrysburg Hezekiah Smith Historical Marker Project

This endeavor was a collaboration among Rebecca Hopp, Jeanette Weiden, and Kate Crosby. Rebecca Hopp, as Mayor, had begun the historical marker project independently, while Crosby was researching the history of the Black community in the Tri-Cities more broadly, including people like Frederick and Isabella Graves, Alfred Bennet, and Hezekiah Smith, among others. Mayor Hopp contacted the Museum about working with museum staff to continue researching Hezekiah Smith's life. Together, Hopp, Crosby and Geneology Specialist Jeanette Weiden worked to learn as much as possible about him. Crosby helped research Hezekiah's life for the historical marker, but also wanted the project to have a presence in the Museum as well, so she developed the Finding Hezekiah exhibit to showcase what was known about him and his life, while also highlighting the gaps in our historical record. Afterward, Hopp and Crosby were invited by the Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University to present at their History Roundtable, which "explored how the present informs how we talk about the past, and how we can bring history out beyond the walls of our institutions."

Kate Crosby is the Exhibits Curator and Facilities Manager at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. She received a BA in 2011 from the University of Michigan and a certificate in Museum Management and MA in Public History from the University of South Carolina in 2015. She was previously the Curator of Exhibits at the McKissick Museum for the University of South Carolina. Her interests include the history of biology and women's history. 


Rebecca Hopp was first elected to Ferrysburg City Council as a write-in candidate in 2009. She was then elected Mayor in 2017, and again in 2019. As Mayor, she has initiated the first ever strategic plan for the city, approved live streaming of council meetings, created the annual Arbor Day Celebration, and received Tree City USA recognition for the city. Mayor Hopp’s connection with the community is represented in her creation of the 4th of July poster contest for area children, "Cops and Cones" and the city’s first ever community playground build. Most recently, Mayor Hopp has researched, completed the application process and was awarded the Michigan Historic Marker in honor of Ferrysburg’s first African American land owner, Hezekiah Smith, the first historical marker for the City of Ferrysburg.


Historian of the Year 2022











click the image above for a video of the award presentation


For: Tales of the Tri-Cities on 105.3 WAWL

Together, Swartout and Kaelin created this series seven years ago to share the sometimes well-known - and occasionally surprising - pieces of our community past. 

Denny Swartout


Eric Kaelin started his broadcasting career in college at Southern Illinois University at the college radio station. After he graduated, his first radio job was at WDWS in Champaign IL, the flagship station for University of Illinois sports. In 1993, after marrying Amanda in 1992, they moved roles to Columbus, OH when he accepted a job as Executive Producer at WBNS, the Fan, the flagship station for Ohio State’s sports. While he was there, he had many roles, including co-hosting Kirk Herbstreit’s first radio show, along with a noon show with Chris Spielman. During their time in Columbus, Eric and Amanda had their sons, Will and Luke. In 2004, Austin Texas came calling and Eric took a job at ESPN 1530. He hosted several sports shows, including pre and post game shows for University of Texas football. He also worked closely with Texas Motor Speedway for Nascar coverage. While in Austin, he started getting more involved in the sales side of radio and then in 2006 moved to Memphis to head up an ESPN station on Beale Street. Then in 2007, he and Amanda decided it would be great to be a little closer to family in IL and made the move to Grand Haven to manage WGHN. During his time there, he grew the sports coverage and community involvement and had the opportunity to meet so many greats in the tri-cities area. When the chance to start a non profit low power FM community radio station came along in 2013, he started building his life long dream to own his own radio station. In July of 2014, after several months of ups and downs, 103.5 WAWL was born! Eric continues to support the community with unique programming, focusing on local news, sports, history and music. He is grateful for the many partnerships in the community helping to make it all happen every day! 


Dr. David H. Seibold Lifetime Achievement Award













click the image above for a video of the award presentation

Dr. Wally Ewing served on the Tri-Cities Historical Museum board from 1993-1995, prior to being hired as Curator of Education. Since leaving that role, he has continued to volunteer, present at Dusty Dozen lectures, and support the exhibits and events of the Museum. He has previously been recognized by the Museum as Historian of the Year (1999 and 2005), as well as the Olson Lifetime Achievement Award in History by Grand Valley State University in 2017. Dr. Ewing has published numerous literary pieces, including The American Red Cross in Ottawa County, Encyclopedia of the History of Northwest Ottawa County  (4 volumes), Grand Haven Area 1860-1960 In Photographs, Grand Haven Area 1905-1975 In Vintage Postcards, Maritime Grand Haven: Coast Guard City USA, and Then & Now, Grand Haven.                              


*such a member may decline membership

Kate Crosby and Rebecca Hopp receive the Historian of the Year 2021 Award
Denny Swartout and Eric Kaelin receive the 2022 Historian of the Year Award
Siebold-Annual Meeting Award Presentations (1).jpg
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