So many radios, some dating back to the dawn of the Broadcast Age! Almost certainly, one or two will stir memories of childhood or teenage years spent glued to a transistor to hear the Top 40!
In the 1930s and 1940s, radio talent shows were all the rage in
Michiana, with a chance to appear on a big-city station and nationwide network at stake. The WLS Barn Dance was the hottest thing around well before the Opry was either Grand or Ole!
RESORTS OF YESTERYEAR
Revisit the glory days of Union Pier's Eastern European resorts-- Lithuanian holiday celebrations, Czech cultural clubs, and hotels with kosher kitchens. There's an unpleasant side to this story, too, with anti-semitism and racism rearing their ugly heads.
In the Roaring 20s, no place in Michiana roared louder than the Golfmore resort of Grand Beach, Michigan's second-biggest hotel. The glamorous Golfmore had it all-- beach, golf, riding, and even a ski jump that drew competitors from across the globe!
PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES
Did man's first-ever powered flight really take place in the Michigan dunes? Learn about the controversy over Augustus Herring's 1898 cruise along a Michiana beach, and how "a series of unfortunate events" may have prevented him from winning "First in Flight" honors.
Once upon a time, trains stopped at pretty much every community in our area, bringing visitors from far-off Chicago and moving the area's agricultural bounty to market. Our "Tale of Two Rails" focuses on the Michigan Central and the Pere Marquette lines, and how they shaped this part of the world.
Could Three Oaks really have had 13 gas stations and 4 or 5 car dealerships? Back in the dawn of the auto age, even car-making took place in small towns across America and our area. By the 1920's, average citizens like Three Oaks barber John Close could show off new wheels (that's Close and friends in his new car, at left).
THE FORGOTTEN FATHER OF FEATHERBONE
EK Warren's invention of Featherbone briefly made Three Oaks a capital of fashion, and made Warren a rich and revered citizen of this area (Warren Dunes? Warren Woods? -- they're EK's work).
But Warren had a partner in the enterprise who is much less well-known. Our updated Three Oaks display tells the all-but-forgotten story
of George Holden.
150 years ago, fire ravaged Michiana and much of the Midwest (you may have heard of a fire in Chicago that year). Learn how the roaring wildfires of 1871 led to the creation of local fire-fighting companies, and also see photos of more recent fires that devastated New Buffalo and Galien.
THE DENTISTS OF 103 N. ELM
We've set up a 1935-era dentist's office in the museum (Denta-phobes might not want to look closely at some of the more primitive dental tools of years past). And we drill down deep into the history (130 years!) of dentists who have practiced at 103 S. Elm.
CROSSROADS-- MARTINS & MINNICHS
As part of our series on how local roads got their names, we profile the Martins, who have been holding family reunions in Michiana since the 1860's...
And the Minnichs, Chikaming residents whose son chronicled their farm life. The landfill at the farm site is still yielding artifacts!
MARX MUSIC COMPANY
See the Uke-lin, the Hawaiian Tiple, and many others, and hear how they sounded.
The Marx-o-Chime Colony produced odd musical instruments in a factory in New
Troy for decades, instruments sold by
traveling salesmen who promised
customers "anyone can play" Marx instruments.
THREE OAKS-- THEN & NOW
A series of fascinating photo montages created by museum board member Randy Miller, juxtaposing the modern village with the Three Oaks of horse and buggy days.