The museum building is now closed for the 2022 season.

Check our "Events" page for winter programming, both live and via Zoom.

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Museum launches vital 

fundraising drive

Many of the museum's most loyal supporters got together over wine and cheese on November 4 to hear about TROTOM's plan to expand storage capacity with a 1440 square foot addition to its current building.

The expansion will be built on property the museum already owns, and would ease a critical storage problem due, in part, by an increase in artifact donations from a community interested in preserving its history. We recently accessioned the 6000th item into our collection, but we are running out of places to put artifacts that are flooding in. This could hurt our ability to put together high quality exhibits and programs about the areas's fascinating local history.

The project cost has been estimated at $90,000. The museum board has committed $20,000 from its reserves toward the project, and several thousand dollars has already been contributed. We have also applied for several grants from various charitable foundations, and will be holding fundraising events online and in person over the next several months.

Won't you be a part of keeping the museum a vital part of the area's cultural scene?

Please consider donating by sending a check made out to The Region of Three Oaks Museum at
 

PO Box 121

Three Oaks MI

49128

We are a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. 

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NEEDED-- $90,000

Raised-- $31,700

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In Memoriam

Janet Hayes 1949-2022

The museum is sad to report the passing of Janet Hayes who, until just a few months ago, served on the TROTOM board with energy and distinction. Janet's gifts as a writer were put to heavy use in putting together museum press releases and newsletters, and her kindness and good humor will live on in our hearts.

Details on Janet's life can be found HERE Rest in peace, Janet. We will miss you.

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Every house or building has a story to tell, and Bob Myers, Director of History Programming at the Historical Society of Michigan, has lots of ideas on how to unlock those stories. Myers told attendees at Three Oaks Heritage Hall how to use real-estate records, atlases, Census data, fire insurance maps, and lots of other records and resources to uncover the stories of old buildings.

Myers even walked his audience two real-world examples of historical research; his own efforts to learn the histories of homes he's owned over the years in St. Joseph and Grand Ledge. 

 

The program, co-hosted by TROTOM and the Historical Society of Michigan, was made available free of charge, thanks to a grant from the Upton Foundation.

"If These Walls Could Talk"

offers home history tips

Museum's US-12 Sale

draws big crowds

August 12, 13, and 14 were busy in the Three Oaks, as the museum's US-12 Mega-Sale had its best year ever.

About 40 vendors took part in Carver Park and the ground of Three Oaks Elementary School. Thanks to some generous donors, the museum itself had plenty of goods to sell, and provided sandwiches, grilled meats, chips, sodas, and cookies to shoppers hungry for more than a bargain.

Thanks to all who donated, volunteered, and shopped. Proceeds will go to support TROTOM exhibits, programs, and operations.

The Region of Three Oaks Museum welcomes returning “Oakers”, offers Elm Street Tour on Flag Day Weekend

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The familiar color scheme of purple and gold welcomed alumni of Three Oaks High School to their hometown museum on Flag Day weekend. Uniforms of TOHS athletes, cheerleaders, and band members and other memorabilia greeted visitors to the museum on Saturday, June 11th, and returning alums paged through Three Oaks High yearbooks and swapped stories of life at TOHS, which merged with New Troy schools to form the River Valley School District, in 1966.

The Oaker memorabilia had been on display at the museum during 2020 and 2021, in the expectation that the TOHS all-class reunion would be held during those years. Covid, though, delayed the get-together until 2022, so the museum mounted a pop-up exhibit for Flag Day weekend 2022. The artifacts were later taken to the reunion event itself, held at the Pebblewood Country Club in Bridgman.

 

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In addition, the museum offered a 90-minute walking tour of Three Oaks' historic Elm Street on Saturday, June 11. TROTOM board member Nick Bogert had loaded images of Elm Street history collected over two years onto his computer, and was able to use the old photos to tell "the stories behind the storefronts".

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On Flag Day itself, TROTOM was in the parade with a 1964 Ford F-150 bearing a special passenger-- "Abe Lincoln" in a rocking chair. As our sign said-- "History Rocks".

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Museum helps RV 7th graders

go out to an inn (two inns, actually)

About forty 7th graders from River Valley Junior High  toured the Lakeside Inn and Gordon Beach in, in late May, a tour programmed by TROTOM. 

The kids enjoyed the rocking chairs on the Lakeside Inn's huge front porch, but also heard about ghost stories that center on Room 30, tales of haunting that center on the inn's flamboyant owner in the 1920s and 30s, Arthur Aylesworth. Aylesworth was also known as an anti-Semite who resisted renting hotel rooms to Jewish customers, and also sold "restricted lots" around the hotel-- no Jewish buyers need apply. 

That led Dr. Louis Gordon to buy up land in Union Pier, offering it for sale to Jewish buyers. The clubhouse for the Gordon Beach development eventually became the Gordon Beach Inn.

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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. Rates start as low as $15 for a half-day. Full rate schedule can be seen here. 

There's also a small office space available in the Heritage Hall for $250 a month.


Contact trotommuseum@gmail.com for details.
 

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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!

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Three Oaks' First Plane
Landing?