First New Permanent Exhibit at Lenawee Historical Museum in more than ten years
A new exhibit about Lenawee County’s role in the anti-slavery movement and Underground Railroad will be open to the public beginning on Tuesday, July 3 at the Lenawee Historical Museum, 110 E. Church St., Adrian.
“The anti-slavery movement and Underground Railroad in Lenawee County had a major impact on the national stage of history,” said Ray Lennard, board member of the Lenawee County Historical Society. “We decided to add a permanent exhibit to recognize this important part of our community’s history.”
The Anti-Slavery/Underground Railroad Exhibit is the first new permanent exhibit at the museum in more than ten years. Lenawee County Historical Society board members have been working on research for the last four years, with input from community members, while raising funding to cover the cost. Spaces to Experiences of Grand Rapids, Michigan designed and installed the exhibit space.
The exhibit showcases the roles local educational institutions had in the anti-slavery movement including the Raisin Institute, Woodstock Manual Labor Institute and Adrian College and the key community members involved including: Laura Haviland, Prior Foster, Elizabeth Comstock and Asa Mahan.
There is no cost to visit the museum, which is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Photographic reproduction of portrait from Michigan Capitol, gift from Dr. Grew
Valerie Marvin, Historian and Curator, Michigan State Capitol, presented a framed reproduction of the Gov. Croswell portrait from the Capitol on Tuesday, June 5, to the Lenawee Historical Museum.
The Capitol’s new Croswell portrait was unveiled on November 13, 2017, by the Governor’s great-granddaughter and only living heir, Dr. Priscilla Croswell Grew. Dr. Grew is a longtime supporter of many Croswell related entities, including the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter of the DAR and the Croswell Opera House in Adrian. Members of the DAR and the Lenawee County Historical Society also attended the unveiling.
Not long after, Dr. Grew commissioned Risner to create and frame two photographic reproductions of the portrait to be gifted to the Lenawee County Historical Museum and the Barnum DAR chapter. Both institutions received their new Croswell portraits on June 5.
The framed photographic print is a reproduction of an original oil painting of Governor Charles Croswell created by Capitol Artist in Residence Joshua Adam Risner. Prior to the creation of this work of art, the Capitol Portrait Collection did not include a portrait of Gov. Croswell, who numbered among the Capitol’s missing governors—that is, governors not represented by a portrait in the building. The new piece honoring Governor Croswell is only the second work commissioned by the Michigan State Capitol Commission in an attempt to eventually procure portraits of all the state’s former governors.
Croswell was chosen for this honor for two reasons. First, he holds a special place in state history as the first governor to serve in Michigan’s present Capitol, which opened to great acclaim on January 1, 1879. Secondly, there is a rich archive of Croswell images held by a number of institutions in Michigan—including the Lenawee County Historical Society and the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. These images were used to inform and inspire the oil portrait.
The Croswell painting is one of four historically inspired oil portraits created by Risner since he joined the Capitol’s staff in 2016. He’s also painted period appropriate portraits of Governor Kinsley Bingham, Representative William Webb Ferguson, and Representative Cora Reynolds Anderson. (Of these four works, three are located in the Capitol: Bingham, Ferguson, and Croswell. Anderson’s portrait hangs in the House Office Building.) Biographical information about Risner and additional information about his art can be found at http://www.joshuaadamart.com/.
The fundraiser supports upgrades at the Lenawee Historical Museum.
Join us for a casual evening at the museum for dinner with live entertainment, and see the new Lenawee County Underground Railroad Exhibit before it's open to the public!
Tickets are $35 per person (if purchased by June 16) and $40 per person beginning June 17. Tickets are available until June 23 and may be purchased online: click here or you may pay via check to the Lenawee County Historical Society and sent to attn: Catrina Ossmann, PO Box 1547, Adrian, MI 49221.
Join us for the museum's April Program, about Michigan's first state prison in Jackson, on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 PM.
Judy Gail Krasnow will share the incredible stories of life at Jacktown, replete with sadistic wardens, crafty escapes, Prohibition's Purple Gang, a chaplain who ran a brothel and influential reformers.
Competing with the likes of Detroit and Ann Arbor, Jackson won the battle to build Michigan's first state prison in 1838.
Krasnow is the founder and director of Jackson Historic Prison Tours, leading groups through the history and tales of Jackson's State Prison.
There is no cost to attend, and everyone is welcome!
Join us on Saturday, March 24 at 2pm
Laurie Perkins will be giving a presentation at the Lenawee County Historical Museum about the first commercial cheese factory in Michigan.
Perkins is an education historian at the Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing, and also a Ph.D candidate in American Studies at Michigan State University. Her power point presentation, Cheese Fever is about the first commercial cheese factory in Michigan, located in Fairfield Township, Lenawee County.
Built in 1866 by Rufus Baker, the Michigan Soft Cheese industry grew by 1900 to cover most of the counties of southern Michigan. This presentation examines the growth of the industry as well as the social, cultural, economic and political opportunities the industry provided to the dairy farmers of this state.
There is no cost to attend and the community is invited.
Journey from Marion County, Alabama
Adrian Arbor #3
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Adrian Garden Club
Adrian Morning Rotary
American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 97, Adrian
Care Pregnancy Center
Catherine Cobb Safe House
Chapter DK, PEO
Clever Ideas Marketing
GFWC Lenawee Woman's Club
Lenawee Christian School
Lenawee District Library
Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter, DAR
Maple City Men's Garden Glub
Zonta of Lenawee
At the Lenawee County Historical Museum we our thankful -- to all of our donors who provide us with the fiscal means to continue to preserve Lenawee’s rich history. Thanks to your continued support we have:
- Made significant strides in restoration work to the exterior of the 1909 former Carnegie library including painting windows, preventative maintenance to the handicapped entrance and work on the masonry.
- Installed UV light filtering window coverings on the second floor.
- Acquired additional storage and shelving in the archives.
- Developed new exhibits in the Ted Durst Special Exhibits Room like “History of Technology” and “History of Agriculture in Lenawee.”
As the year ends, and the calendar turns from 2017 to 2018, the Lenawee County Historical Society board of directors seeks to ensure that the building and collections will be viable for years to come. This means a new roof for the facility (last done in 1993) at an estimated cost of $80,000 and work to update the public restrooms.
Updates are needed within the Museum as well. In the first of many planned upgrades to permanent exhibits, the board is working with a design firm to create a first floor exhibit honoring the work of anti-slavery leaders in the Lenawee County community. The newly envisioned exhibit would showcase the work (and artifacts) of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler, Laura Haviland, Asa Mahan and Fitch Reed as well as others who worked tirelessly and often at great peril to end slavery in America. Such an exhibit would be an asset to the Museum and would complement the statue of Laura Haviland and our new “bench by the road” which was installed this October.
To make our visions for the Museum a reality, we NEED you. You share with us the stories, donate the artifacts, and provide us the financial means to continue our operations. The Lenawee County Historical Museum receives no governmental support. Your donation of $25, $100 or even $500 helps us to teach our history to thousands of visitors every year and develop new exhibits like the upcoming anti-slavery exhibit.
We hope to see you soon at the Lenawee County Historical Museum!