logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Museums Site

BellaOnline's Museums Editor

g

The Michigan Historical Center


The Michigan Historical Center is part of a state wide network of history, arts, and library facilities preserving the culture of the state. The museum itself is located in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, which is two blocks from the State Capitol.

The Museum chronicles the history of the state, from Prehistoric times to the present, on four floors of exhibit space (2 floors and 2 mezzanine levels). The galleries progress chronologically, taking the visitor on a voyage into Michigan’s past, with many interesting exhibitions featuring hands-on interactive, rare artifacts, and spectacular re-creations of historic scenes.

We began our tour with a look at the first inhabitants of the region, with an impressive life-sized diorama depicting the Native Americans who first lived there.

There are several interesting Civil War-era artifacts on display, including a “knee stiffener,” a leg iron attached above and below the knee which would severely limit a slave’s mobility if he or she tried to run away. The knee stiffener was given to Quaker Laura Haviland, who was a conductor on Michigan’s Underground Railroad. Haviland and her family opened a school that became one of the first to admit African Americans.

The rest of the second floor galleries focus on important industries in 19th century Michigan, including copper and iron mining, lumbering, and manufacturing.

The Copper Mining gallery features a particularly impressive re-creation of a mine, complete with realistic worker figures and a mule. Videos in the Iron Mining section explain “Jobs in the Mines” and “The Soo Locks.” From the 1880s through the turn of the century, Michigan led the nation in ore production.

The Lumbering Era gallery was an olfactory treat — it smelled like fresh cut wood! An outstanding replica of a Queen Anne style lumber baron’s mansion taught visitors architectural details, such as clapboard siding, brackets, spindles, turned posts, ornamental shingles, and arch latticework.

Our favorite part of the Michigan Historical Museum was the 20th century displays. Most museums focus on the 19th century, and may bring the story through World War II. But very few places talk about The Fifties! The top two floors were devoted to 20th century history, and provided a wealth of interesting and different displays than your typical museum.

Since the automotive industry is a key part of Michigan’s story, the beginning of the display featured a replica of an assembly line at Ford. The scene was juxtaposed with a farming exhibit, which illustrated the two ways of life emerging simultaneously at the dawn of the 20th century.

Not far from the assembly line was a special section called “Labor Struggle.” The exhibit was mounted inside a replica of a union meeting setting. On display was a blood stained shirt worn by Richard Frankenstein when Ford Motor Company’s “Service Men” beat him and other union organizers with wooden clubs during the 1937 strike known as “The Battle of the Overpass.” The shirt was on loan from Wayne State University. It is always impressive when museums tackle the “tough questions” of history, highlighting little known stories that have a great impact on the collective history of our nation.

The 1950s section of the museum was extremely well done. It featured a full scale “S&H Green Stamps" store, with various products you could purchase with your stamps, ranging from aluminum serving pieces and melamine dishes to a Sunbeam mixer, tennis rackets, and Samsonite luggage. The “1957 Detroit Auto Show” gallery fully examined the roll of the automobile in both state and national history.

We spent three hours touring the Michigan Historical Museum. The wide range of artifacts, coupled with the creative exhibition techniques used to display them, was truly impressive. Don’t miss this museum on a trip to Lansing!

This article is excerpted from my ebook "Museum Trips! Lansing, Michigan." For more information, click on the link below. This travelog ebook is fully illustrated with photos of the historic sites of Lansing and includes information on where to eat and where to stay.
Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Twitter Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Facebook Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to MySpace Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Del.icio.us Digg The+Michigan+Historical+Center Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Yahoo My Web Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Google Bookmarks Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Stumbleupon Add The+Michigan+Historical+Center to Reddit




Museum Trips! Lansing, Michigan
Fort Mackinac
Why Visit a Museum?
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map




For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Museums Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Kim Kenney. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kim Kenney. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kim Kenney for details.

g


g features
Building Exhibition Panels

The Benefits of Changing Exhibitions

Using Letters in Exhibitions

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor