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We're open for 2023!

Stop by and see what's new


Docent Sharon :Phillips threw open the museum doors at noon on Friday, May 5, and our 2023 season was underway!

The Region of Three Oaks Museum is open to the public 12-5 PM, Friday-Sunday, through the end of October.

Admission is free, though the suggested donation is $3. We are an all-volunteer operation in the midst of a major fundraising effort to add storage space on to the museum (see below), so do be generous.

Exhibits that will debut this year include:


  • Beauty salons and barber shops of yesteryear, highlighting the haircutting Covert family-- Chuck Covert and his sisters Kathy, Cecil, Blanche, Babe, and Helen-- all owned salons and barber shops in Michiana.

  • The great immigration wave from Germany and Holland that transformed our region, bringing some well-known extended families-- think Driers, Hellengas, Klutes. They faced great hardship, moving to Michigan, but very quickly became a potent economic and political force in their new home.

  • Girl and Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls. If you remember outings to Soni Springs, Lake Madron, or Dr. Valentiejus' place in New Buffalo, you may have been a scout. If not, you'll enjoy learning about those iconic scouting sites.

  • Our focus on local road names highlights the Gowdys of Union Pier, who prospered by first logging, then farming, and then developing Union Pier, once known as "Gowdytown". Gowdy Parkway and several other streets in Union Pier bear names from the Gowdy family tree.

Museum agriculture display named

after Sen. Ron Jelinek

State Senator Ron Jelinek was a driving force behind the effort to bring a history museum back to the region of Three Oaks (The Chamberlain-Warren Museum closed in 1952, after 36 years in existence).

Ron and his wife Dianne have been faithful supporters of the museum ever since, and many of the artifacts in our farming exhibit were donated by Ron. No surprise-- before he was elected to office, Ron had taught agriculture and science at River Valley High School.


On Thursday, May 4-- at our Volunteers and Members preview-- the museum unveiled a plaque naming the agricultural display after Ron Jelinek. Thanks for all the support over the decades, Senator!

Museum gets a big boost in effort

to expand our storage space

Three Oaks native son Art Klute sold shelving systems for many years, and Art has apparently landed a big addition to TROTOM's storage expansion plans through his old business ties.

Mike Cavasin of Professional Systems Installation tells Art he's got a super shelving unit available to donate to the museum, to go into the 36' x 40' storage expansion planned for this


summer. The movable shelves run on a track. They're 11 feet wide and over six feet tall. The four movable units are 36-inches deep, while the two on the end are 18-inches deep.

Big thanks to Art for arranging this, and to Mike for his donation!


Meanwhile, fundraising for the new addition on the south side of the museum building continues to go well. We've raised more than $80,000 of the $104,000 project cost, with several major donors and granting organizations still to be heard from. Until May 20th, you can donate through our Facebook fundraiser by clicking HERE.


We also welcome donation checks made out to TROTOM and sent to the museum at PO Box 121, Three Oaks MI 49128. Help put us over the top!


Becoming a museum member--the basics

Want to help us preserve the history of our area, continue offering exhibits and programs, and tell stories of Michiana through social media? Becoming a member is easy. Just send a check-- $15 for an individual membership, $25 for a family membership-- to PO Box 121 in Three Oaks MI 49128. Be sure to add a note giving us your address, phone number, and especially email, so we can keep you informed of what's going on at the museum. We have lots planned for this summer-- click HERE to look at the 2023 lineup.


Three Oaks' First Plane

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