Bargain hunters and browsers-- TROTOM's

US-12 garage sale is August 12-14!

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

The Region of Three Oaks Museum will once again host its huge “Highway US-12 Sale” in the heart of Three Oaks on August 12-14th, with proceeds going to support the TROTOM’s programs and activities.

Some 25-30 vendors will have booths set up in Carver Park and on the grounds of Three Oaks Elementary School, and the museum will also offer items for sale in the park pavilion, as well. It’s all part of the US-12 Heritage Trail Garage Sale, which stretches all across Michigan along US-12.

The museum’s site offers bargain-hunting and browsing in a pleasant, shaded green space, and there will be food for sale, as well— sloppy joes, pulled pork, sausages, hot dogs and walking tacos, as well as drinks and chips. Again, proceeds from food sales will benefit the museum, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the area, located at 5 Featherbone Avenue in Three Oaks.

The sale runs from 8 AM to 6 PM on Friday, August 12th through Sunday the 14th. Anyone with items they’d like to donate for the museum to sell is encouraged to bring them to Carver Park on Thursday evening, August 11th, between 5-9 PM. Anyone wanting to reserve a vendor’s space should email Julie Sittig at

Come look for good deals and do a great deal to support The Region of Three Oaks Museum!


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.



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".


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".


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.


TROTOM-- plenty new for '22!

The Region of Three Oaks Museum's 2022 season is in full swing! Read the newspaper coverage on the "What's Happening/Media Mentions" page on this website. You can visit TROTOM Friday through Sunday, 12 noon to 5 PM through the end of October. Admission is free, though donations are encouraged.

We're offering several new exhibits this year, including a trio of displays on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles:

  • Planes— Did the first-ever plane flight occur in our area? How did a New Troy man wind up in "Ripley's Believe or Not" for surviving a bizarre mishap, landing on the tail of his plane? Pictures of the earliest plane landings in Three Oaks.

  • Trains—The "Tale of Two Rails", the Michigan Central and Pere Marquette railroads shaped the region of Three Oaks in lasting ways, and trains were pivotal in two different Presidential visits to Three Oaks, 97 years apart.

  • Automobiles— The transition to the Auto Age meant do-it-yourselfers building rudimentary autos, gas stations and car dealers in lots of small towns, and scores of competing automakers selling their wares, even in towns as small as Sawyer, Galien, and Three Oaks.

  • Radios— In the 1920s, radio was all the rage. You could attend "radio concerts" at the Featherbone office building or Lee's Theater. We're displaying an assortment of old radios that may bring back some memories.

  • Resorts—Learn about the Golfmore, Michigan's second-largest hotel in the 1920's (it even had its own ski jump!), the Eastern European ethnic resorts of Union Pier, and the ghost stories of the Lakeside Inn.

  • Three Oaks Centennial— The community came together to locate and purchase a costume used to promote the village's 100th birthday back in 1967. We're displaying David Savage's Indian outfit with other memorabilia of the week-long centennial celebration.

"Heart of Cook" Fund

helps TROTOM grow

heart of cook logo.jpg

The Heart of Cook Fund has awarded TROTOM a $500 grant to improve landscaping around the museum building and help repair our sprinkler system. One  of the three oak trees planted outside the museum will be replaced (you can't have just two living oaks outside a Three Oaks museum! The museum plans to match the grant with at least $500 of its own funds to beautify our campus.


The Heart of Cook is a grant-making organization set up by employees of the Cook Nuclear power plant near Bridgman. The check will be awarded at a ceremony at the plant in late May. We send heartfelt thanks to Heart of Cook!

 Three Oaks Heritage Hall: 

a great, low-cost event space


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. 

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-- $10

Family Membership-- $20

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