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Take a front-row seat to a journey through the past…our Storytellers program is the stage where local history comes to life. This series offers new and unexpected adventures…whether singing along on a journey through the history of folk music on the Great Lakes, hearing theatrically recreated first-person accounts of the lives of Lighthouse Keepers, or tasting the past as we share the stories of food of yesteryear. We’ll offer performances, presentations, demonstrations, and explorations that touch on themes both common and curious.

Like the Chautauquas of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Storytellers will educate and entertain: a little bit lyceum, a little bit theater, and a lot of audience participation. Each performance offers an immersive and interactive experience, inviting you to take part in the stories of the Tri-Cities!

A front row seat to the stories of the Tri-Cities

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Play the Past

April 20 | 1:00 pm


The Tri-Cities Historical Museum is pleased to present Donn Werling, along with his wife Diane, as we invite you to come 'Play the Past: A Beginning Exploration of Folk Instruments and Music'. Donn and Diane will give a hands-on introduction to instruments they have used to both enjoy and share folk music in their many performances around the Great Lakes.


From the jaw's harp and gourd rhythm instruments of the fur trade era, the harmonica and banjo of the schooner/passenger ship era, to the guitar and bass cello of Sweetwater folk music of today, the Museum welcomes all ages to get up close and experience our Great Lakes musical heritage. This program is part of a series diving into Sweetwater Folk Music. Come sing along!

Free! No RSVP required.

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Beginning with their first decade of being lighthouse keepers, Donn and Diane have been inspired to compose over a hundred Sweetwater songs that through presentations on every one of the Great Lakes (museums, libraries, State and National Parks) have worked to create a new genre of music, a Sweetwater celebration of our Great Lakes heritage. His most recent include two compositions highlighting the Grand Haven area, “Catwalk” and “The Dunes- Wild and Free”.

Hoisting the Sails of our Heritage through Music

May 4 | 1:00 pm

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum welcomes back Donn and Diane Werling as we invite you to 'Hoist the Sails of our Heritage through Music'.

Donn Werling of Sweetwater Journey will be the chantey man and you will be invited to be the crew for the choruses of 18th to 21st century Great Lakes music.

Free! No RSVP required.

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