First time visitor soaks in some local history
Story and photos by Alicia Jaimes
I have lived in Newaygo County for 23 years and never once have I stopped to think about our history, so when I was given the opportunity to visit the Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center, I jumped at it.
I’m not gonna lie--I’m not big on history, and according to my grades in high school, history is not big on me. Heck, I didn’t even know we had a museum in Newaygo. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
When I walked through the doors, I was taken aback by how much there was to take in. There were kids laughing and enjoying part of the hands-on exhibits offered and as I was greeted by the friendly volunteers that were behind the front desk, the history of Newaygo County seemed to pour off the walls.
After speaking with the new executive director, Steven Radtke, I was offered a tour of the exhibit where I was able to take photos and learn about our county.
The experience was amazing and informative. The director spoke of each exhibit with a confidence and passion that let you know that he loves what he does and he cares about the community’s experience.
I not only loved the pieces that members of the community have donated, but I also admired how they were set up. As someone who isn’t big on reading the description boxes, I felt the setup and colors of the exhibits made you want to read about what’s going on. The variety piqued my interest as well as I was transported from picking logs out of the Muskegon River to a visit at a local barbershop.
From exhibits, to local historians telling the tales of Newaygo County I found the museum to be a fascinating place to wander about. What truly drew my attention was the way community members are now given the opportunity to research their ancestry in the museum's new research lab. I definitely plan on trying this out on my next visit.
If you find yourself looking for something to do-Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center is highly recommended. Open Tuesday through Saturday between 11am and 4pm, family and friends will love the history while kids will love the hands-on exhibits. For more information on the museum and their special events, visit newaygocountyhistory.org or call 231.652.5003.
The Museum is located at 12 Quarterline St.in downtown Newaygo across from Brooks Park.
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