Jan21

Exploring Lenawee County’s Past

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Lenawee County offers a glimpse into the past with local museums offering unique exhibits and collections highlighting the area’s history. See a map of the museum’s locations, and more historical places to visit.

Brick Walker Tavern:

The three story Brick Walker Tavern, listed on the Historical Register, has been renovated beyond your imagination! On the first floor, you will encounter a full, modern kitchen, a dining area, a cozy sitting room in the original 1853’s  “tavern” and a large gathering area in the original “post office” room. The second floor offers five spacious suites for our guests.  The third floor Grand Ballroom has been restored to its original 1853’s beauty! 

Hudson Museum:

In 1987, many men and women worked for weeks and months remodeling the old Thompson Savings Bank and setting up displays. Don Murdock and M&S Mfg. Company donated the building for the benefit of the community. The main room has a large collection of Civil War items and military uniforms from different branches of the service. There are several display cases highlighting church history, beautiful dishes, a nurse-doll collection and one with old time kitchen items. There is a case of musical instruments, a piano, melodeon, organ, record player and 170 year old Seth Thomas clock. A local author’s case features Will Carleton & Ella Flatt Keller. The bicycle hanging from the ceiling was made in the 1890s by the Bean-Chamberlain Mfg. Co. in Hudson. The two bank vaults are overflowing with information on Hudson’s history including hundreds of pictures, birth, death and marriage records. On the second floor, the former dental office of Dr. Sam Taylor has been modified to exhibit a period kitchen, dining room and sewing room. Hudson’s 1968-1975 football win streak is examined with pictures, game programs and homecoming photos.

The museum is located at 219 W. Main Street, and is open Monday and Wednesday from 1-4pm, and Saturday from 12-3pm.

Lenawee County Historical Museum:

The Lenawee County Historical Society began in 1868 in Tecumseh when General Joseph Brown organized the Lenawee County Pioneer Society. It was later known as the River Raisin Historical Society. In 1923 the Society was reorganized as the Lenawee County Historical Society. The Lenawee Public Museum and the Society merged in 1968 to form the Lenawee County Historical Society, Inc.

The Archives of the Lenawee Historical Museum, free and open to the public, includes the following: Adrian City Directories 1859-1998, Adrian City Tax Records 1865-1906, Lenawee County Tax Records 1840-1915, school yearbooks, cemetery records, marriage/birth/death records, tens of thousands of obituaries, scrapbooks, business ledgers, atlases and plat books, Sanborn insurance maps, histories of Lenawee County, and the  histories of cities and towns (Adrian, Tecumseh, Blissfield, Addison).

The Archives houses thousands of documents relating to business, government, religion, education, railroads, the military, the Grange, the Underground Railroad, prominent citizens, and many other subjects of local interest. The Photo Archives contains photographs and postcards of places, people, and events in Lenawee County.

Since 1824, Tecumseh has been developing a rich history in southeast Michigan. As the first settlement in Lenawee County, Tecumseh has no shortage of stories to tell and information to share. We are proud to showcase how our community has evolved over the years. Exhibits are always changing and highlight important people and historical events that helped to mold Tecumseh into the town we love today. Stop by the Tecumseh Historical Museum and discover all that the past has to offer!

W.G. Thompson House Museum:

The 1890 Queen Anne home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is an excellent example of the style. From the ornate metal roof to the ashler cut stone foundation, the home is breathtaking.

The interior of the home is filled to the brim with the collections of three generations of Thompsons. Visitors have the unique opportunity to see the changes that have occurred in the home from the years of living, and as personal styles of individuals have changed over the years. In the house, you will see William G. Thompson’s extensive collections. Perhaps the most notable collection is the extensive collection of Oriental art. If you are a connoisseur of Japanese woodblocks, Chinese Jade and hard stone carvings, or cloisonné vases, the Thompson Museum is a must see. Like fine art? Wander through the rooms and see the collection of English and continental art. Antique porcelain and glass catch your fancy? The Thompson Museum is the place to satisfy you.

If that is not enough, come and see the furnishings and details of the Victorian style of home decorating. There truly is something for everyone at the William G. Thompson Museum!

 

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