Businesses, groups, service clubs and individuals invited to participate
The Lenawee County Historical Society announces the 34th annual Festival of Trees. Businesses, groups, service clubs, families and individuals in Lenawee County are invited to participate in the event at the Lenawee County Historical Museum, 110 E. Church St. in Adrian by adding a decorated Christmas tree to the first or second floor of the museum.
A special evening setup event with live entertainment and refreshments will be held the last week in November. More details will be announced soon.
Participants are welcome to set-up and decorate Christmas trees between Friday, November 16 and Friday, November 30 during the museum’s regular business hours - Tuesday-Saturday and 10 AM - 2PM. Additional times can be arranged for set-up by contacting the museum at 517.265.6071.
There is no charge to display a tree.
The trees will remain on display until early January.
Presentation about his time with the U.S. Secret Service
Join us for the museum's November Program on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00PM.
Radford Jones, a retired Secret Service agent, gives a brief overview of the history of the U.S. Secret Service, then discusses his personal experiences and observations, including his time on the White House Detail protecting President John F. Kennedy.
He retired from the U.S. Secret Service in 1983 as the Special Agent in Charge of the Michigan Division. During his 21 year career he was in charge of the Seattle, Washington and Alaska operations, served as a supervisor in a number of field offices and headquarters divisions. He was assigned to Presidential, Vice Presidential and foreign dignitary details. He was responsible for security coordination during the 1976 Presidential inauguration and advance teams for three political conventions. Read more about Jones
The program is free and open to the public.
Author, Mitch Lutzke, to give presentation at the museum on Thursday, September 20
Mitch Lutzke will be giving a presentation at the Lenawee Historical Museum about his recent book, The Page Fence Giants, on Thursday, September 20 at 7:00 PM. The museum is located at 110 E. Church St., Adrian. There is no cost to attend and the public is welcome!
The Page Fence Giants, an all-star black baseball club sponsored by a woven-wire fence company in Adrian, Michigan, graced the diamond in the 1890s. Formed through a partnership between black and white boosters, the team’s respectable four-year run was an early integration success—before integration was phased out decades ahead of Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut, and the growing Jim Crow sentiment blocked the Page Fence Giant’s best talent from the major leagues.
Lutzke's book tells the story of a long-ignored team at the close of the 19th century, whose Hall of Famer second baseman Sol White was but one of their best players.
Copies of Lutzke's book are available for sale at the museum.
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.