Numerous lakes scatter the landscape within our museum boundaries. Our display showcases, Eagle Lake, our biggest lake, Pleasant Lake, located in the village, as well as Garver Lake, Cobert Lake, Christiana Lake, Juno Lake, Painter Lake and Spring Lake. Through the years they have provided excellent opportunities for recreation like fishing, swimming and boating and a habitat for fish and wildlife.
The railroad played an integral part in the growth and decline of the population and the economic growth in Edwardsburg. In 1871, the Peninsular Railroad later known as the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railroad was completed running between Port Huron, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. The display showcases the Grand Trunk depot built in 1884 and railroad memorabilia, including that of the Big 4.
Pioneer Ezra Beardsley settled in Edwardsburg because of the fertile prairie lands. Today agricultural operations are a primary land use within our museum boundaries. Farms established strong rural character and helped define our community. In this display are many area farm-related tools and pictures of farms.
During the 1800’s Edwardsburg was a thriving community with 20 stores and shops including general stores, hardware stores, drug stores, a grocery store, sweet shops, millineries, furniture, boot and shoe stores, blacksmith and harness shops, wagon makers, a livery stable, grist mills, and a lumber mill. Many of these businesses are no longer in the community but new ones have been added. This display features items from businesses past and present, cash registers, old telephones, and typewriters plus an original teller’s cage from the Carlisle bank building/hardware store.
Churches were organized shortly after pioneers arrived in the area. The display showcases pictures of the Presbyterian Church and Smith’s Chapel which are designated Michigan Historical Sites; the old Methodist Church, the old Adamsville Evangelical United Brethren Church, the new Hope United Methodist Church, the original Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, the later Our Lady of the Lake Church on US12, Community Baptist Church, Ontwa Baptist Church, Mason Baptist Church, United Pentecostal Church, Edwardsburg SDA Church and Kessington Church.
The museum is a part of the “Proud to be An Eddie” tradition. The school room showcases growing up in Edwardsburg. It also includes the one-room school houses that were in the area, yearbooks, pictures and names of graduates dating back to the first graduating class, diplomas, schoolbooks, desks, band and sports memorabilia and other school related items. Additionally, it includes the Scouts, toys and Miss Edwardsburg memorabilia.
1900’s Kitchen and Living Room
Several vintage pieces are highlighted in the original house section of the museum. They include a Round Oak Stove. Donated by Tom Geiger, it was one of the last made in 1944 by the Round Oak Stove Company in Dowagiac. Also featured are an Edison Phonograph with cylinders from John Milhon; an old pie safe discovered in the basement of the old hotel that houses the museum; a framed portrait of Edwardsburg Pioneer Cyrus Bacon; a pump organ from Lynn and Phyllis Howe, and a Wheeler and Wilson pedal sewing machine donated Wilma Yahn Cook. Newly displayed items also include a collection of old hats and cameras.
The military displays date to the Civil War with uniform buttons, photos, and a canteen belonging to the late Benjamin Thompson and donated by his great-granddaughter, Sandy Click Blanchard. Uniforms include the Marine Dress Blues of Tim Duck, who served from 1987-2007, and those of late U.S. Army Veterans Howard Kehoe (World War I) and Loyal Lane (World War II). Exhibits also feature items from The Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The clock collection, featured on the museum’s balcony, is on loan from Stanley Disher, an Edwardsburg resident since 1963, and area businessman. The 15 clocks are part of a collection of 55 to 60 that Disher has been purchasing for 35 years. Most are from the Northeastern United States with a few from California, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Quilts, quilts and more quilts. One of the most significant comes from the former Edwardsburg Methodist Church. Quilted in 1891 by the Ladies Aid, it includes 667 names of those who contributed to its creation. It was donated to the museum by Sandy Click Blanchard whose great-grandparents owned it. Another is from the Smith Chapel, which is listed on the National Historic Registry; a crazy quilt made by the late Frances Proper, and a quilt top from the late Phyllis Howard.
All Dolled Up for Christmas
November 6 to December 14, 2019
Each year the museum board chooses topics of interest to the community and searches for items within the museum and from outside sources to showcase and educate.
You have historic items you think should be preserved?
To donate historical items, stop by the museum during business hours or leave a message at 269-663-3005 to make an appointment. The Board of Trustees determines if the artifacts and memorabilia meet the mission of the museum.