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Women’s Clubs in the 20th Century, July 16, 2020 video

Suzanne Flandreau of Niles speaks on “The Role of Women’s Clubs in the 20th Century,” on Thursday, July 16th at the Edwardsburg Area Museum.

July 16 Presentation Closed

Because of seating restrictions related to the coronavirus, the presentation by Suzanne Flandreau at the museum on Thursday evening, July 16, 2020, will not be open to the public. However, the presentation will be videotaped, edited, and posted to the museum’s YouTube channel, the website, and here on the Facebook page. Flandreau will speak on “Women’s Clubs in the 20th Century,” which dovetails with the museum’s current display, “Women Vote and Serve Community.” Both commemorate the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States. Flandreau is a retired archivist who serves on the boards of the Friends of the Niles District Library and the Niles History Center. Her research was done in connection with three presentations she has made in Niles within the last year. Source material was acquired from the Niles District Library and the Niles History Center.

Yard Sale Space Available

The museum is accepting rental space applications for the US 12 Garage sale, which is the second weekend in August. Booth spaces are $15 for one day, $20 for two days, and $25 for all three days, and are 10′ by 10′ in size. Applications are available at the museum during open hours, which are Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Chris Kloswick at 269-699-7385 for more information,


Letter readers for a war exhibit, an archivist who speaks on women’s suffrage, an oral history from an Edwardsburg native, and a lecturer on fishing in local waters will complement the museum’s 2020 season. The season opening is delayed until May 28 this year because of the coronavirus.

Chris Graham, a local broadcaster of Edwardsburg sporting events, and Michael Kanaby, an Edwardsburg resident who is a career prosecutor in Kalamazoo, will be featured for the first event when they read letters from veterans of several wars at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 11, at the museum.

Graham, a management executive in Elkhart and online adjunct instructor for Ivy Tech Community College, is a broadcaster for Joe Insider and the soon-to-be Edwardsburg Sports Network. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Cornerstone University and a master’s from Andrews University, where he specialized in interdisciplinary studies of communication with an emphasis in secondary education.

Kanaby has been a member of the Kalamazoo County Office of Prosecuting Attorney since January 2001 and has received several awards for his prosecutorial work. He is currently assigned to the circuit court trial division of the Kalamazoo office. He worked for four years as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cass County and served seven years in the United States Air Force as an assistant staff judge advocate. In the military, he performed duties as a Chief of Military Justice, a Chief of Adverse Actions, and later, as an Area defense Counsel. Kanaby was stationed at Air Force bases in California, Germany, and Delaware. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and the Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Suzanne Flandreau, a retired archivist who served on the board of the Friends of the Niles District Library and Niles History Center, will speak at the museum at 7 p.m., Thurs., July 16. Her topic will complement the museum’s display on women’s suffrage and service. Her presentation, “Time Well Spent in Study and Pleasant Recreation: Women’s Clubs in the 20th Century.” It will cover areas of interest to women, among them education, suffrage, civic engagement and social service and work, and how clubs organized to promote the interests of their members in those areas.

Flandreau has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College, a master’s in library science from the University of Michigan, and a master’s in history from the University of Mississippi. She spent more than 30 years in archives and special collections, including 22 years as the head librarian and archivist at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College, in Chicago. She moved to Niles in 2012 after retirement. She volunteers at the Ferry Street Resource Center and catalogs books and archival collections as the Niles History Center.

Elizabeth Westfall Thompson, a 1956 Edwardsburg graduate and an inductee into the Edwardsburg Hall of Fame, will give an oral history at the museum at 7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 20.

Thompson and her husband, Larry, who died in 2018, jointly received the Hall of Fame Lifetime Award from the Edwardsburg Public Schools in 2016.

Thompson earned a degree in home economics and taught for 35 years. She was a teacher at Sand Creek High School and the Allegan County Area Vocational Technical Center. She also was a dietitian, ran a catering business, and worked as a food service director. Thompson, who lives in Saugatuck, earned several state awards for her work in the Future Homemakers of America and the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America.

Speaking for the “Hooked on Fishing” exhibit, which runs Aug. 24 through Nov. 1, will be Darrin Schaap, owner of Clear H2o Tackle in Edwardsburg. Schaap, a columnist for the Edwardsburg Voice, will focus on changing technology in the world of fishing, as well as how to use different lures for different fish. He graduated from Edwardsburg High School in 1995 and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. He formerly managed Brett’s Place on the Bay in Benton Harbor for five years.

His presentation will be at 7 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 3.


The Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum will mount four displays for its 2020 season, beginning with a tribute to veterans to commemorate Memorial Day

“Letters from the Front,” on display from May 28 to June 13, will recognize the services and sacrifices of the Edwardsburg area’s military personnel from the Civil War, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and conflicts in the Middle East. The opening date of the museum was moved from May 13 to May 28 because of the coronavirus. Several letters from area veterans, both living and deceased, will be displayed and read during a special presentation.

 Included are letters from Cyrus Bacon Jr., an Edwardsburg doctor who was a surgeon for the Union Army during the Civil War. One of his letters describes in detail a visit to the troops by President Abraham Lincoln on horseback. Another, from the late Loyal Lane of Edwardsburg, describes his excitement over his pending marriage at the end of World War II. Exhibits will simulate letter writing in battlefield camps and include cots, uniforms and blankets loaned by residents.

The second exhibit, from June 17 to Aug. 18, is “Women Vote and Serve Community.” It will celebrate the 19th Amendment of 1920 which gave women the right to vote, and highlight the contributions of local women through their clubs and organizations. Items will be featured from The Edwardsburg Monday Evening Club, the oldest continuously operating women’s club in Michigan; and past organizations such as the Lioness, Business and Professional Women’s Club, and the Edwardsburg Service Club.

“Hooked on Fishing” will be the third display. It will open Aug. 24, and run through Oct. 29. The exhibit will include many items from the museum’s permanent collection as well as lures, rods, augers, and old fishing equipment from area residents.

“Christmas Around the World” will be the final display, from Nov. 5 to Dec. 12. Included will be items collected from other countries by community residents with a focus on global Christmas traditions.

The Museum will close Dec. 12 for the winter months.

EHS Senior Pens Essay About Her Museum Experience

A volunteer with the Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum since January, 2019, Marie Gruver is a member of the Edwardsburg High School Class of 2020. The essay below is being submitted by Marie as part of her college applications. It originally was penned to qualify for the high schools chapter of the National Honor Society and the museum thanks her and her family for generously allowing it to be published on our website.

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

250-650 (words)

I have always loved history. However, I never could have imagined how much this love could affect myself, my community, or even my heritage. Over the past year I have volunteered at my local historical society in my hometown of Edwardsburg, Michigan. In the short time that I’ve volunteered, I have learned so much about the history of my town as well as myself.

To qualify for my school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, I needed to find a community service opportunity. At first, I wanted to help at the animal shelter like many of my friends. However, my mom suggested I try our local museum since I loved history. After volunteering my required hours, I knew I couldn’t just stop there. Ever since then, I still come in to help out almost every other week. Using my love for history and the opportunity to give back to the community was definitely a “win-win” for me.

While donating my time at the museum, I was able to find a place in my community. The museum is currently run by longtime residents of Edwardsburg who didn’t feel comfortable using modern technology. I was able to help them transfer all of their paper obituaries onto an electronic database and catalog their entire library and collection.

Whenever I went to the museum it was a time for me to learn more about my hometown of Edwardsburg. I’m first-generation Edwardsburg resident on either of my parents’ sides. Many of the people I know in Edwardsburg have had family who’s lived in the area for generations; or at least one of their parents attended the high school. Unlike them, I never felt as attached to Edwardsburg. As the ladies at the museum shared stories and family heirlooms, they and the people in their stories became my family. While I learned about my town’s heritage, it became my own. The people in the stories I heard, extended me a branch into their shared heritage. Their stories soon became mine and it became something I have cherished ever since.

Just because the people in Edwardsburg aren’t exactly related to me, it doesn’t mean we don’t share the same heritage. I have come to the realization that it isn’t necessary have blood relatives in a place to be able to call it your home. My family wasn’t originally from here, but we have been adopted into Edwardsburg by the most simplest of terms: friendship. And I’ve since realized that someone doesn’t need to be your blood-relative to be your family. Family is what you make it, and for me, the people of Edwardsburg are my family.

#1: 50-150

The one activity that I could keep doing for the rest of my life is music. Both of my parents are music teachers which has allowed me to be surrounded by it my entire life. When I had the opportunity to join my school’s band program, it was an obvious decision for me to do so. Since the beginning, I have made some of the best memories and friends in my life. In college I want to continue my passion for music and to join whatever marching band program it may offer. I believe that when you find “that thing” you love, it’s important to never let it go. And for me, “that thing” is music.

#2: 100-300

A community that I belong to is my high school’s marching band. Joining the band was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. As the section leader of the drumline I have had a great opportunity to set an example for the underclassmen in the band below me. I have also been privileged to assist in teaching the first-year band members and to encourage them to find their talents and passions. As the band grows and participates in competitions, watching the unity of our community brings me great pride. Personally I no longer believe that we are just a community, in fact, we’re a family.

#3: 100-550

The University of Michigan is my first choice in furthering my education. Many of the unique qualities that attract me to the University’s LSA college is its prestigious and rigorous Classical History program; it is one of the best. I also desire to attend a university that will challenge me. Michigan’s coursework is rigorous and thorough, which is just what I need to get the most out of my education as a Classics major. As a high achieving student, I am looking for a university that will challenge me. I know I will be pushed to achieve at the University of Michigan.

There are many aspects of Michigan’s facilities that drew me to the university. Its massive papyri collection, multiple libraries and Kelsey Museum are extremely intriguing and exciting for me as a prospective student. I look forward to being part of a program that will allow me to study abroad as well as being able to take advantage of the many internship programs that it might offer. Having met with a Michigan graduate and hearing his raving reviews of how supportive and knowledgeable the professors are, only makes me more excited to attend the university in the fall.

Surplus Yearbooks for Sale

The Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum has many Edwardsburg High School yearbooks, new and used, for sale. These are surplus books and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 each. These books can be purchased during museum hours, from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The museum will close December 14 for the season and will re-open in May but purchases may be made by appointment after December 14 by calling the museum at 269-663-3005.

The list and number of books available by decades is as follows:

1947 (1); 1948 (2); 1949 (3);

1950 (1); 1951 (3); 1952 (6); 1953 (2); 1954 (5); 1955 (3); 1956 (4); 1957 (2); 1958 (3); 1959 (3);

1960 (3); 1961 (1);

1970 (3); 1979 (1);

1980 (11); 1981 (1); 1982 (27); 1987 (4);

1990 (12); 1991 (3); 1992 (2); 1995 (1); 1996 (10); 1997 (19); 1998 (14); 1999 (6);

2000 (1); 2003 (1); 2005 (2); 2006-2007 (1).

Museum is All Dolled Up!!

EDWARDSBURG—Antique dolls, Cabbage Patch dolls, a Raggedy Ann doll,  dolls with porcelain faces, and miniatures with glass faces. All of these—at least 30—are on display as Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum presents its last display of the 2019 season, “All Dolled Up for Christmas.”

The display opened Wed., Nov. 6, and runs through Dec. 14 when the museum closes until spring.

It was mounted by Museum Director Sally Dalrymple and museum members Judy Montgomery and Laura Jamrog.

The dolls are being loaned by many residents of the Edwardsburg area and six are dressed in outfits sewn by Montgomery. Two of the six are in nightgowns with three others in dresses and the final one in a green coat and hat with white fur.

Many of the dolls are old and at least three are collectibles made in Germany.  Most are displayed in the museum’s middle room, which is often called ‘the old house’ because it is a main part of the original structure. Others are featured in the school room, which also includes exhibits focused on growing up in Edwardsburg.

The museum’s main gallery is highlighted by a 10-foot Christmas tree that was first displayed in 2018. It is decorated with the museum’s collection of red and gold ornaments. . A new four-foot tree also is being shown off in the museum’s main picture window, adorned with ribbons and vintage ornaments.

The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturdays.

Sindelar Presents on Sept. 19

EDWARDSBURG–Tools, tools, and more tools. John Sindelar of Edwardsburg, whose former tool museum on Section Street showcased thousands from his collection, will speak at the Edwardsburg Area Historical Museum this month.

John Sindelar

Sindelar, whose collection features items dating to 150,000 BC, and is comprised of items from 20 to 30 countries, will speak at 7 p.m.,Thurs, Sept. 19. He estimates his collection at 10,000 pieces and was acquired from private collectors, shops and museums over several decades. He has been featured in several national magazines and owns Sindelar Fine Woodworking in Granger, Indiana.

In addition to a video presentation, he will park his Sindelar Traveling Tool Museum in the museum’s side yard for public exploration.

The program is free of charge and is offered in connection with the museum’s current display, A Tool for Every Job, which is exhibited until Nov. 1.

 The museum is located at 26818 Main St. in Edwardsburg.

Display: A Tool for Every Job

EDWARDSBURG–A brace and bit, hog butchering stretchers, a rail leveler, horse, anchor, an ice cutting saw, and pant stretchers are just a sampling of countless items on display through Nov. 1 at the Edwardsburg Area Museum.

The second exhibit of the season is “A Tool for Every Job,” and the museum has gathered many items from its inventory and added several on loan from area residents to create an unusual array of tool memorabilia.

Among the most significant is an ice saw, or ice plow, that has been stored in the basement of the original museum house for many years. A heavy piece, it was long used to cut ice on area lakes, and took two people to move it into place in the main gallery. Persons visiting the museum during this display will be offered a printed list of items that they will be invited to identify. Those who excel at identification will be offered small ‘prizes.’

John Sindelar of Edwardsburg will be the guest speaker in September. His presentation will be at 7 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 19. Sindelar, who grew up in Berrien Springs and opened his first show in Eau Claire, has collected tools from 20 to 30 countries, and estimates his collection at 10,000 pieces. He has been featured in several national magazines and owns Sindelar Fine Woodworking in Granger, Indiana. In addition to a video presentation, he will park his Sindelar Traveling Tool Museum museum’s side yard for public exploration.

 His presentation is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Silverman to Speak Aug. 15

EDWARDSBURG–Ann Sakaguchi Silverman, Edwardsburg High School’s retired home economics teacher, will speak about women’s tools for the Edwardsburg Area Museum’s August program. Her topic coincides with the next display on Tools Around the House.

Her presentation will be at 7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 15, the day the exhibit opens. There is no admission charge.

Silverman had a 36-year teaching career, the last 28 of which were in Edwardsburg. She received her Bachelor of Science from Manchester College, and two master’s degrees, one in general education and the other in family studies, both from Purdue University. She taught home economics and biology at the high school level in Warsaw and Brown County, Indiana, and home economics at John Adams High School in South Bend, and in Edwardsburg.

The tools display will feature a vintage collection of tools from the museum’s inventory and several items on loan from area residents.

Call to Garage Sale Renters

The museum again will rent spaces for the U.S. 12 Garage Sale in August. Prices are $25 for three days, Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 8, 9, and 10; $20 for two days, and $15 for one day. Interested persons can contact Jan Litty, 269-699-5518 with questions. Renters must provide a copy of their homeowner’s, renter’s, or business insurance policy to secure a space. Rental forms are available at the museum.