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Au Sable River Valley Museums

Masthead - Museums

As you travel through the Au Sable River Valley visit one of the many museums that pay homage to log cabins and logging, sports, Indian and maritime heritage, aviation, and people who laid trails for the future of the Great Lakes State. They are great places to educate your children and grand-children on Michigan’s rich history.  The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is a visitor center for the  Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, featuring exciting exhibits for  all ages. Exploring the Shipwreck Century, is located in the center's  main hall and includes a full-size replica wooden Great Lakes schooner  and shipwreck where visitors can walk the decks, feel a Great Lakes  storm, and touch the massive timbers of the boat resting on the lake  bottom ... without getting wet!   The Bottle-Cap Museum in Grayling includes a restored 1950’s diner.  Stop by and enjoy and ice creams soda or banana split like your grand-parents use to have when they were dating.

Museums

Arenac County Historical Society Museum [Historical Museums], 304 East Michigan Avenue, P.O. Box 272, Au Gres, MI 48703, Phone: (989) 876-6399, Artifacts dating back to the 1800's, home setting, such as a parlor and children's rooms are featured, items pertaining to Indian, lumbering in Arenac county, farming, and schools.

Au Sable - Oscoda Historical Society & Museum [Historical Museums], 114 East River Road, PO Box 679, Oscoda, MI 48750, Phone: (989) 739-2782. See local indian artifacts & treaties, early commercial fishing, shipping & local shipwrecks, the booming logging industry, the itinerary origin in Oscoda of the Paul Bunyan legend, area railroads, the 1911 fire that destroyed the 2 towns, the history of Wurtsmith Air Force Base and so much more! Summer open Memorial Day thru Labor Day Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10-5; Sun 11-4 and Holidays. Call for days and times for fall, spring and winter.

AuSable River Center [Museums], 211 N Main St., P.O. Box 363, Roscommon, MI 48653, Phone: (989) 275-4392

Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan [Museums, Historical Sitees, Planetariums], 491 Johnson Street, Alpena, MI 49707, Phone: (989) 356-2202 Come visit Northeast Michigan's center for art, history and science with our displays of arts and crafts, native Americans, geology, industry, and a recreated 1890's street of shops. Our 19th century historic buildings including the Green School, Spratt Church, Maltz exchange Bank, and McKay Log Cabin. Planetarium shows are offered on Sundays.

Bottle-Cap Museum and Dawson & Stevens Classic 50's Diner, 231 Michigan Ave, Grayling, MI 49738, Phone: (989) 348-2111.  The Bottle-Cap Museum is the largest private collection of Coca-Cola related items in Northern Michigan. Over 7,000 pieces of memorabilia make up the museum, housed in an authentic classic 50's diner, Dawson and Stevens Classic 50's Diner located in downtown Grayling. Open Monday through Thursday from 7am to 7pm, Friday & Saturday 7am to 8pm, Sunday 7am to 6pm, with a full breakfast menu and soups, deli sandwiches and world reknowned hamburgers, fries and shakes along will a working 1950's soda fountain.

Brush Creek Mill [Farms & Mills, Historical Museums], 121 S. Hillman Street, Hillman, MI 49746, Phone: (989) 742-2527

Call of the Wild & Bavarian Falls Park [Wildlife Museum], 850 South Wisconsin Avenue, Gaylord, MI 49735, Phone: (989) 732-4336.  .  The wildlife museum features a wide variety of animals, habitats, and activities including over 60 wildlife displays, the Wildlife Theater, and the Hands-on Learning Center. Our gift shop carries many different collectibles and a variety of gifts with that "Up North" feel. Located right next to Call of the Wild, Bavarian Falls Park offers a fun time for kids of all ages. Challenge your putting skills on our beautiful adventure golf course, race around our 1/4 mile track on one of the go-carts, or bump yourself silly on our Krazy Kars.

Civilian Conservation Corps Museum [Historical Museums] , 11747 N. Higgins Lake Drive, Roscommon, MI 48653, Phone: (989) 348-6178. The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum is located in North Higgins Lake State Park near Roscommon, 15 miles south of Grayling, along Roscommon Road. Exit from I-75 or U.S. 127 Housed in a replica of Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) barracks, this museum preserves the history of young men who served in the CCC in Michigan during the Great Depression (1933-1942). In an effort to “put Americans back to work,” the CCC enrolled over 100,000 young Michigan men to perform a variety of conservation and reforestation projects. Open Memorial Day - Labor Day.

Crawford County Historical Museum [Historical Museums, Historical Sites], 97 E Michigan Ave., Grayling, MI 48653, Phone: (989) 348-4461. Located in a restored railroad depot, rooms are dedicated to a one-room schoolhouse, grocery store, turn-of-the-century bedroom and old-fashioned entertainment. Enjoy seeing an early railroad caboose, trapper's cabin and two antique fire engines. A popular display is devoted to one of the greatest archers of all time, Fred Bear. Open 10-4, Wednesday through Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Donation only.

Gaylord Discovery Center [Interactive Museum For Children], 931 S Otsego Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735, Phone: (989) 748-4050

Hartwick Pines State Park, Visitors Center & Logging Museum [Campgrounds & RV Parks, Historical Museums] 4216 Ranger Road, Grayling, MI 48738, Phone: (989) 348-6178. Hartwick Pines Logging Museum exhibits allow visitors to return to the state’s nineteenth-century logging era, when thousands of men cut millions of board feet of lumber. Michigan led the nation in sawed lumber production. The visitor center, logging camp, log buildings, exhibits and period rooms tell the stories of the loggers, river men and entrepreneurs who powered Michigan’s white pine industry. Open May through October.

Houghton Lake Historical Village and Playhouse [Historical Sites, Historical Museums, Tours], 1701 W. Houghton Lake Drive, Houghton Lake, MI 48629, Phone: (989) 366-9124

Huron Lights Museum & Gift Shop [Museums, Tours], 7406 US 23 N, Alpena, MI 4970, Phone: (989) 595-3600

Iosco County Historical Museum [Historical Museums], 405 West Bay Street, East Tawas, MI 48730, Phone: (989) 362-8911, We are an area historical museum. If you have ancestors who grew up here we have a library of historical facts and naming early pioneering families. Must have been in area twenty years at least. Funeral records of former funeral home.History of the Detroit and Mackinac Railroad started in East Tawas by J.D.Hawkes who built the house our museum is located in.Also tells of lumbering boom days for entire county. Also artifacts from both.

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Lewiston Area Historical Society, 4384 Michelson Ave., PO Box 461, Lewiston, MI 49756, Phone: (989)786-2451. The museum is in an 1892 original Lewiston home. It was occupied by David Kneeland, Manager of the Michelson & Hanson Lumber Company, and his family from 1892 - 1910. When the mill closed he sold the dwelling to George & Martha Sachs for $425. The Sachs family's occupancy spanned 85 years. Our collections and displays reflect the evolvement from an Indian village, pioneering, logging, milling, plating the village of Lewiston in 1891, building Twin Lakes Branch Rail Line of Michigan Central between Grayling & Lewiston, and farming to tourism. Due to our efforts, the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Lunden was designated as a state historic site in 1994 Water for the CCC replica of the Great Lakes is currently provided by a Patron of our Historical Society. The site is located 6 miles east of Lewiston on County Road 612. Also on the museum ground is a Veteran's Memorial dedicated in 2001. A new storage barn was built in 2004 to house a collection that was generously donated to our museum. A must see for all!

Lovells Township Historical Society [Historical Societies, Museums], 8405 Twin Bridge Rd, Lovells, Grayling, MI 49738, Phone: (989) 889-0087

Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center [Museums, Historical Sites], Junction of River and Monument Roads, Huron-Manistee National Forests, Oscoda, MI 48750, Phone: (989) 362-8961

Ogemaw County Historical Museum [Historical Museum], 123 S. 5th Street, West Branch, MI 48661, Phone: (989) 345-4059. Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Ogemaw County and its families. Exhibits include Parliament Wedding Apparel, Buttons and Bows, Sleepy Time Retreat, Trophy Room and a Military Room. Genealogical and Historical Research for the area available. Admission is free. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Open May thru the end of September.

Otsego County Historical Museum [Historical Museums], 320 W. Main Street, Gaylord, MI 49734, Phone: (989) 732-4568. Open June through Labor Day, this museum chronicles the history of Otsego County from as far back as the 1800's. Changing displays features artifacts, photos and memorabilia from Otsego County history.

Skyline Event Center [Event Center], 3309 N. Abbe Road, Comins, MI 48619, Phone: (989) 848-2246

The Standish Historical Depot, Welcome Center and Farm Market [Historical Sites, Historical Museums, Farm Markets], 107 N Main Street, PO Box 456, Standish, MI 48658, Phone: (989) 718-3021

Steiner Museum [Historical Museum], 1980 Reber Road, Fairview, MI 48621, Phone: (989) 255-9969.

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse & Maritime Museum [Lighthouses, Historical Museum, Historical Sites], Sturgeon Point Road, Harrisville, MI 48740, (989) 724-6297

Tawas Point Lighthouse [Lighthouses, Historical Museums, Historical Sites], Tawas Point State Park, 686 Tawas Beach Road, East Tawas, MI 48730, (989) 362-5041,

Tawas Historical Indian Museum, 1702 South US 23, Tawas City, MI 48763, Phone: (989) 362-5885, Features North American Indian artifacts, florescent rocks, and prehistoric tools.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary's Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center [Historical Sites, Maritime Museums], 500 W. Fletcher St., Alpena, MI 49707, Phone: (989) 356-8805

Wellington Farm Park [Farms & Mills, Historical Sites, Museums], 6940 S. Military Road, Grayling, MI 49738, Phone: (989) 348-5187. An historical, environmental, educational complex set on 60 acres. A working replica of a typical mid-American farmstead during the 1930's. Many farming activities are conducted daily using vintage equipment, tools and practices. The park has a sawmill, blacksmith shop, grist mill, summer kitchen, farm market and pavilion. In addition there is a nature trail to explore. Open weekends Memorial Day to Father's Day and Labor Day to Halloween. Open daily Father's Day to Labor Day, except Tuesdays.

Wurtsmith Air Museum [Aviation Museum], East Van Ettan St., PO Box 664,, Oscoda, Michigan 48750, Phone: (989) 739-7555, Email:  visit@wurtsmithairmuseum.org.  Our division aviation museum is located at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, (formerly Paul B. Wurtsmith Air Base). The museum consists of flyable and static aircraft displays, related artifacts and equipment, memorabilia, and a library for research and public information. Tours of the museum are available to school groups and the general public. Visit the gift shop with a wide variety of memorabilia reflecting the history and nostalgia of aviation. Remember to stop by the next time you visit.

Ye Olde Courthouse Masonic Hall [Historical Museum], 120 Center Street, PO Box 84, Omer, MI 48749. The old Courthouse in Omer is a stately edifice. It beckons our attention to another era in the history of Arenac County. The building is the former Arenac County Courthouse, built in 1890. It was constructed after the original courthouse burned to the ground the year before! A local contractor, Angus McDonnell, submitted the lowest bid on October 21, 1889 for $2,847.00. The new courthouse was completed on August 5, 1890. Mr. McDonnell lost heavily on this project and the courthouse board agreed to extend a sum of $123.75 to him so that he would have at least "broken even". This brought the actual cost of the courthouse to $2970.75. The paint was barely dry when the county seat was moved to Standish! The building sat vacant until in 1892 it was purchased by the Masons. The Masons bought the structure from the county for the sum of $500.00. The building became the Masonic Hall and the Masons occupied it for nearly one hundred years. This stately structure has survived many a heavy blow from man and nature. It survived the "cyclone" of 1895, the disastrous fires of 1901 and 1914, and the great flood of 1916. It survived the ruinous ice storm of 1922 and the ravages of time.

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