Special Exhibits and Popular Attractions

Wisdom Seekers

Wisdom Seekers

COMING IN 2016 - ENDING OCT. 2017 The story of Andrews University: From Battle Creek…to Box Cars…to Berrien Springs

Andrews University has been an integral part of our community for more than one hundred years. Generations of local residents and students, as well as students from around the world, all share in its vast history. This exhibit traces the founding of the university from its early days as Battle Creek College in the 1870’s, to the big move to Berrien Springs in 1901, to the impact that Andrews University has on the community today.

The Courthouse Museum:   Featured Left, The Fur Trade

The Courthouse Museum: Featured Left, The Fur Trade

Trade in pelts such as beaver, muskrat, mink and otter was Michigan's first industry. Despite popular belief, almost all the trapping was done by Indians, not Europeans. English and French Traders exchanged goods for pelts, but did little trapping themselves. Furs, especially beaver were extremely valuable in Europe for clothing and hats. A trader could easily make his fortune with a few canoe loads of furs. Come see all our museum exhibits.

Tools of the Blacksmith

Tools of the Blacksmith

Recreated on the site is a working forge to illustrate the importance of blacksmiths in small communities.

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Free Public Programs

The 2017 Summer Program Series

The 2017 Winter Program Series is themed around the Wisdom Seekers exhibit, now on display at Courthouse Square. The Wisdom Seekers tells the story of Andrews University, located in Berrien Springs. Join us to hear vibrant speakers tell different aspects of the university’s history. You will learn how the university ended up in Berrien Springs, what student life was like then and what it is like now, and the role it plays in our community.

"The Battle of Benton Harbor: The Jack Dempsey Fight of 1920", Stephen Smith

"The Battle of Benton Harbor: The Jack Dempsey Fight of 1920", Stephen Smith

When one considers Southwest Michigan’s relationship with the sport of boxing, it is natural to think of Muhammad Ali, who long resided in Berrien Springs. But decades before The Greatest was even born, the eyes of the boxing world were focused on Berrien County and the only heavyweights championship ever staged there. Stephen Smith is an attorney at Foster Swift Collins and Smith and currently sits on the board of the Berrien County Historical Association.

"Adeline and Julia: Growing up in Michigan and on the Kansas Frontier", Robert C. Myers

"Adeline and Julia: Growing up in Michigan and on the Kansas Frontier", Robert C. Myers

Robert C. Myers Assistant Director for Education Programs and Events for the Historical Society of Michigan and former Curator of the History Center returns to Berrien Springs to tell the story of local sisters Adeline and Julia Graham. Both kept lively diaries of their adventures—Adeline as a teenaged tomboy and Julia as a young woman homesteading in Kansas. Their diaries show Victorian women leaving their prescribed “women’s sphere” of life to engage in politics, business and homesteading.

"A 1,000 Mile Walk on the Beach", Loreen Niewenhuis

"A 1,000 Mile Walk on the Beach",  Loreen Niewenhuis

Loreen Niewenhuis author, adventurer, and speaker returns again, this time to recount the journey that began it all. In 2009, Niewenhuis completed a 1,000 trek around Lake Michigan—the world’s fifth-largest lake leading to her book, “A 1,000 Walk on the Beach”, followed by two more epic adventures along the shorelines of all five Great Lakes and the islands of the Great Lakes. Go to her website, www.laketrek.com to learn more about Loreen, see videos, or to follow her blog. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

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Educational Programs and Services

Schedule a Program or Service Today!

Educational Programs

Outreach programs are available for either day or evening presentations, depending on staff availability. To schedule a program for your organization, call the Berrien County Historical Association at (269) 471-1202, or email us at info@berrienhistory.org.

Program fees: Outreach programs are $60 each. Multiple programs on the same day and location are $60 for the first program and $30 for each additional program. Mileage is charged for programs presented at locations outside of Berrien County.

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Gift Shop

New Gift Shop

Welcome to the History Center's New Gift Shop

The Museum Store carries a varied selection of local and regional history books, children’s books, American Girl books, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, home décor, and much more!

See more... Books for Sale ...here.

Historic Walking Tour of St. Joseph

Historic Walking Tour of St. Joseph

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New Hours for 2017

  • March 6 - April 30  Mon -Sat [10 a.m. - 5 p.m.]
    May 1 - September 30  Tues - Sat [10 a.m. - 6 p.m.] - Sun [12 - 4 p.m.]
    October 1 - December 23  Tues - Sat [10 a.m. - 5 p.m.]

    Closed major holidays


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