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TROTOM's 2023 season to begin May 5th

There will be plenty of new things to see and do at The Region of Three Oaks Museum in 2023, and our doors open to the public on Friday, May 5th at 12 noon. We'll be open 12-5 PM Friday-Sunday through the end of October.

Exhibits that will debut in May 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.

Major museum fundraising drive

well over halfway to goal

Squeezed by a lack of storage space for artifacts, the museum launched a capital campaign last fall, aiming to raise more than $90,000 to add another 1440 square feet to our building to store new items.


Oatsvall Construction of Galien has been selected to build the new addition, and plans to break ground in May. Construction is expected to be completed by mid-summer.

The museum has committed $20,000 from its reserves to the project. TROTOM has been awarded $10,000 grants from both the Pokagon Fund and the Berrien Community Foundation, and generous members and friends of the museum have donated more than $35,000 thus far.

Our fundraising is far from over. We still need money to complete the building, and to pay for the shelving and other equipment needed to properly store artifacts.

 Please send contributions to:            TROTOM                        Special thanks to the grantors:

                                                     PO Box 121

                                                     Three Oaks MI


Expansion project cost    $92,750

Raised so far  $ 78,000

Help us close the gap!


Artifacts from the Region of Three Oaks stored 
in MSU's stadium are set to return to the area

Three Oaks Heritage Hall available

as event space to museum members

Spartan Stadium is best known for thrilling Big Ten football. But Michigan State's stadium has also housed large historic artifacts for decades, including many from the Three Oaks area. Some of those items will be coming home soon.

How'd they get there in the first place? When the Chamberlain-Warren Museum folded in the 1950s, its 80,000 item collection was given to Michigan State's museum, which stored larger items under the football stands.

Now, however, stadium officials want the space back, so TROTOM is being offered

some of the artifacts from the Chamberlain-Warren collection--- like the ornately-

carved funeral wagon shown at right. A very handsome carriage from the pre-

automotive age, a handsome sleigh, spinning wheels, a bean-sorting machine and

several other fascinating items are back at TROTOM or will be soon (it's complicated

to move a horse-drawn hearse!).

Bringing back such large and interesting items make the project to expand museum

storage capacity that much more critical, but we are thrilled to have these fascinating pieces return to the region of 

Three Oaks!


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The Heritage Hall is Three Oaks' oldest building, built in 1866, used as a Town Hall for about 150 years. The museum has restored some of the building's historic look, and mounted historic displays in the Hall's main room.

The Heritage Hall is available as a low-cost event space- to museum members-- for parties, baby showers, group meetings, and the like. Rates start as low as $15 for a half-day. Full rate schedule can be seen here. 

Contact for details.


Become a museum member-- the basics

To become a TROTOM member, simply send a check to TROTOM, PO Box 121, Three Oaks, MI 49128.

Basic membership-- $15

Family Membership-- $25

Be sure to include a note with your name, address, and email address so we can keep you in the loop on exhibits and programs!


Three Oaks' First Plane

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