The first floor of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum showcases the history of the region in a series of permanent scenes. Moving from the front of the museum to the back, visitors travel through time to explore the histories of the Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomie, fur traders, pioneers, Victorians, and various industries such as lumber, agriculture, and retail sales. These scenes are in the process of being updated with new objects, interpretations, and interactives, so be sure to come back often to see the changes. On the second floor, the museum has installed two permanent exhibits showcasing more recent histories of the Tri-Cities: the US Coast Guard and the Bastian and Blessing Soda Fountain.
First Floor Exhibits
Come see specimens of the naturally-occurring rocks and minerals that have shaped the state of Michigan for thousands of years.
Learn the histories of the Odawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomie from their settlement in the region to the present.
Wigwam and Birch Bank Canoe
Explore the history of the first Europeans to visit the area and learn about the furs that brought them here.
Discover the history of the rich timber available in Michigan, which was an important industry in the late 19th century.
Learn how early European settlers to the region had lives that were very different from our own today. They established the settlements that would later become the cities of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg.
Farming has been vital for people living in the Tri-Cities. Come see the tools and techniques they used to grow food.
Beginning in the 1870s, the Victorian period was a time of booming growth for the Tri-Cities. Learn about how Victorians lived in each of the rooms on display: parlor, bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.
The Tri-Cities have had many wonderful restaurants over the years. Come reminisce about your favorites, like Braak’s, the Pine Street Café, Fricano’s, and more.
This scene recreates the Ekkens store as it appeared in the 1890s; the store was run by the Ekkens family from 1881 to 1953. Learn why Gerrit Ekkens earned the nickname “Cheese King.”
The Ekkens Store
Second Floor Exhibits
This exhibit showcases the history of the Coast Guard from its beginnings in Grand Haven to the present, including uniforms, model ships, a lighthouse lens, and more.
US Coast Guard
This soda fountain is the work of local manufacturer Bastian and Blessing. This company made soda fountains for shops all over the country.