Special Exhibits and Popular Attractions

Berrien County Historical Association Presents: World War I

Berrien County Historical Association Presents: World War I

Now on Display in the Sheriff's Residence

The History Center at Courthouse Square is proud to announce the long-awaited installation of the World War I exhibition now on display on the main level of the Sheriff’s Residence. The exhibition experience includes items from the History Center’s collections, a booklet developed by the History Center staff, and six panels on loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History about US involvement in WWI. The exhibition will be on display through the end of July 2019, and is free to the public.

1839 Courthouse Restored

1839 Courthouse Restored

Completed in 1839, Berrien County's Greek Revival-style courthouse was designed by local architect Gilbert Avery. After the county seat was moved to St. Joseph in 1894, the 1839 courthouse saw use as a community center, dance hall, militia training site, church and school. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the 1839 Courthouse and surrounding buildings in Courthouse Square is one of the oldest surviving government complexes in the Midwest.

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.

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.

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Free Public Programs

The 2019 Summer Program Series

Coming soon!

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Michigan POW Camps of WWII with Greg Sumner

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Michigan POW Camps of WWII with Greg Sumner

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Michigan POW Camps of WWII with Greg Sumner

Greg Sumner returns to the History Center for a repeat of his presentation at the Annual Meeting in April. This program will be held in the Berrien Springs Community Library, located across the street from the History Center at Courthouse Square. Free Admission.

The Most Popular Prisoner in the County Jail with Carrie Sharlow

The Most Popular Prisoner in the County Jail with Carrie Sharlow

The Most Popular Prisoner in the County Jail with Carrie Sharlow

Learn about Walter Nelson, a lawyer of southwest Michigan who was known as "the lawyer in the House of David case." Carry Sharlow will break down the contributions Nelson made to the law community in this presentation based on her article in the Michigan Bar Journal. Free Admission

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Fort St. Joseph Revealed with Michael Nassaney

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Fort St. Joseph Revealed with Michael Nassaney

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Fort St. Joseph Revealed with Michael Nassaney

Michael Nassaney's presentation is based on his newly released book of the same title telling what the last 20 years of archaeology at Fort St. Joseph have revealed about one of the most important French fur trading posts in the western Great Lakes Region. Free Admission.

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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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  • Sunday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    open on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day - closed all other major holidays

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