Programs tentatively scheduled for
the summer of 2023
In late May, Tad Boehmer from the Michigan State Archives will come to town for a presentation on EK Warren and the Samaritans. Three Oaks' biggest industrialist took an abiding interest in the Samaritans-- a Christian sect in the Mideast-- devoting time, energy, and part of his considerable fortune to helping them preserve their heritage. He even brought one Samaritan to Three Oaks to live in the early 1900s (Salim Shakir is one of the Pioneer Portraits we're displaying at Heritage Hall for Art Attack).
In mid-June, TROTOM Board Member Nick Bogert will do a deep dive into the life of EK Warren, in a program he's preparing for the Historical Society of Michigan. Nick produced a brief documentary on Warren for the museum several years ago, but has uncovered hundreds more images of the "Father of Featherbone" and his family, and fleshed out fascinating stories of their lives.
In late June, we'll welcome Western Michigan Professor Emeritus John Geisler to talk about the West Michigan Pike, the ambitious road-building project that opened the floodgates to city dwellers who wanted to enjoy the fresh air and beaches of our area in the early 1900s.
In early July, we'll mark the 110th anniversary of Drier's Meat Market. Carolyn Drier and Garry Lange have wonderful stories to tell about their years at the market, and about founder Ed Drier, Senior and his ever-inventive and entertaining son, Ed, Junior (the man who turned the market into a pretty special museum in its own right). Carolyn and Garry did this presentation for us online a couple of months ago, drawing the largest audience we've ever had for a Zoom presentation. If you missed it, don't miss the live version! Even if you attended the Zoom version, many of these stories are worth another listen.
In late July, we hope to have dual presentations on Birchwood and Hazelhurst, two large Harbert resort communities with very interesting and quite different histories. Birchwood counted the poet Carl Sandburg among its residents, while Hazelhurst was an outgrowth of the Chicago-based Prairie Club.
In August, the museum will once again host the US-12 Garage Sale in Carver Park, part of the US-12 sale that stretches from New Buffalo to Detroit. Great bargains, good food, and fun browsing for all, with some of the proceeds going to support TROTOM.
In September, we hope to mark the 50th running of the Apple Cider Century with a documentary about the cycling event that transformed Three Oaks, and the Volstorf family behind the event.
In the months when the museum is not open (November through April, we offer online programs on the first Thursday of each month. A selection of past "First Thursday" programs can be viewed below.
"A Stroll Down Historic Elm Street"
The story behind the storefronts on Three Oaks' main shopping street, from the 1850's to the present. Triumphs, tragedies, disasters, and big personalities all played a role in shaping Elm Street. TROTOM Board Member Nick Bogert collected the stories and the images over two years. Watch the program by clicking HERE.
"The House of David and World War II "
The Israelite House of David, a religious commune based in Benton Harbor, faced many challenges during World War II. As pacifists, sect members did not want to fight, but the House of David took great pains to avoid being seen as unpatriotic. As a large agricultural enterprise, the House of David turned to a new source of labor during the war---- German POW's.
To learn about it from House of David historian and archivist Brian Carroll, click HERE.
Five artifacts from TROTOM's collections, described by five presenters, accompanied by graphic illustration in Power Point-style. Learn about dentistry in Three Oaks through the years, about farm-field fossil discoveries, about a long-forgotten sex-and-money scandal that rocked 1920's Three Oaks, about a Civil War cartridge case and the Avery resident it belonged to, and about the wildfires of 1871, which ravaged the area and led to the formation of Three Oaks's first fire department. To watch, click HERE.
"Harbor Country Hoodlums"
Author Chriss Lyon ("A Killing in Capone's Playground") talks about some of the tough guys and crooks who have spent significant downtime in SW Michigan. Oh, and she throws in a few good guys, too. To see it, click HERE.
"Michigan's Logging Era"
Michigan was a logger's paradise for most of the 19th Century and the lumber industry did massive environmental damage to the state. Historian Hillary Pine shows us how the state recovered from near-ecological disaster, in a Zoom program presented November 19, 2020. To see it, click HERE.
"Fred Warren's Amazing Calculating Engine"
It may be the first calculating machine produced in the US, and it
was put together in Three Oaks way back in 1875. Join TROTOM Board Member Nick Bogert and Notre Dame Computer Science Prof. Jay Brockman for a look at an extraordinary machine and an amazing drama that surrounded its invention. You can view this program by clicking HERE.
"Three Oaks Flag Day Parade-- Through the Years"
Sadly, the Three Oaks Flag Day Parade-- a local favorite since 1953--was canceled in 2020, due to public health concerns. The Region of Three Oaks Museum created this look back at a beloved tradition, the parade that, organizers assure us, is still the largest Flag Day parade in the country. You can see our Flag Day retrospective by clicking HERE.
"Three Oaks Department Stores"
In 1910, the Charles K. Warren & Company store opened with giant wagonloads of shoppers coming to Three Oaks. The village's big company store soon passed to the Hunerjager family, who ran the store and staged village fashion shows for decades. See the program by clicking HERE.
"The Booms and Busts of Frontier New Buffalo"
New Buffalo careened from good times to bad with astonishing speed in the days after its founding by Captain Wessel Whitaker. Watch the 40-minute Power Point talk put together by TROTOM Board Member Nick Bogert by clicking HERE.