The Marilla Historical Society is pleased to present an outstanding event in honor of our annual Founder's Day month. The event entitled "A Century Past" will feature two presentations by author and historian Dana Johnson who has written widely on historic schools, abandoned sites, rural communities and ghost towns of West Central Michigan. Mr. Johnson will refelct on the history of Marilla Township and on the "Lost and Forgotten" villages of Manistee County.
In addition, we will host many old time child-friendly activities, music from hammered dulcimer artist Katelyn Baas and, as always, incomparably scrumptious taste treats.
Open hours for touring all four historic buildings included.
Free will donations to support the ongoing efforts of the MHS to keep local history alive are welcome.
June 3, 2023
In 1980, the Marilla Museum and Pioneer Place began in the lower level of the Marilla School that was built in 1920. The school was no longer used beginning in 1948. The upper level is now used as the Township’s government and community center. Beginning in the early 1990s, a great deal of expansion began. Over a period of 12 years, the museum grew to include a beautifully restored two story 1870s log home, a large 1900 barn, and a full-size replica hunter-trapper logger’s cabin. Each home is fully furnished and reflects early rural pioneer living. The Pioneer Barn contains many farm machines and implements, displays representing Marilla’s rich logging history, and other items relating to the communities early formative years.
(At left, our mortise and tenon barn with tourism trail quilt)
The Marilla Historical Society was formed in 1980 in order to preserve and celebrate Marilla Township’s pioneering traditions rooted in logging and agriculture. We are a volunteer-run organization and we rely on donations to operate. Won't you join us in preserving your local history?
The organization maintains the Marilla Museum & Pioneer Place.
(At right, Nel's Trapper's Cabin)
Marilla Historical Society Governing Board
Bob Thomas, MHS President
Douglas Glick, Vice President & Clerk, 757-813-0311
(text for initial contact)
Alissa Aparicio, Treasurer, 231.383.1630
P. O. Box 234, Kaleva, Mi. 49645
Terry Howes, Trustee
Lynda O'Shea, Trustee
Jan Thomas, Director & Trustee 231.362.3430
If you have questions about donating an artifact to the Society or about a scheduled event contact either Bob or Jan Thomas.
Mary Esther Brooks, Founder
Betty Buda-Joy, Founder
Grace Fisk, Founder
Rita Russell, Founder
Terry & Phyllis Cholette
Enjoy tea, cheese, fresh fruit, and a lovely old-fashioned dessert served on delicate antique china around the kitchen table at the 1870 Pioneer House. You will hear authentic pioneer stories, even a song or two, and tour the many museum spaces. This works wonderfully for a group of 4 to 6, but we can accommodate up to 10 guests. This is a very special experience for all ages. We can tailor a “tea” especially for those between 9 and 13. Men and women enjoy the experience equally. The cost is a suggested donation of $10/person; all proceeds benefit the operation of the museum. Teas are available all year long by special arrangement.
To plan your visit, contact Jan Thomas at (231) 362-3430.
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Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and preserve local history for future generations.