Marquette, MI – February 28, 2017 – The Marquette West Rotary wrapped up the month of February with a look at one of Marquette’s most historical locations. Existing for 100 years, the Marquette Regional History Center has become a popular landmark in the community.
During today’s luncheon, the club was joined by Jo Wittler, Museum Curator, and Besty Rutz, Museum Educator. The two spoke about the history of this nonprofit historical society starting back in 1918. Local residents wished to preserve Marquette County’s rich cultural heritage and created the original museum on Front Street in 1937. Mr. John Longyear donated books to help start the museum. Betsy explained that for the next ten years the collection was available by appointment only. After much renovation, the museum opened to the public as a library and for parties in 1949.
In 2011 the organization moved to a new facility on Spring Street in Marquette. Formerly a bus garage, the building is now a well-known state of the art museum with phenomenal rotating exhibits throughout the year. Today the Marquette Regional History Center has hands-on activities for all ages. School groups from the area often visit the museum to learn about “Yooper” history including the fur trade, pioneer life, and indigenous peoples. Rutz even recently started a youth history club.
The museum is always growing and changing to reflect more and more of the Upper Peninsula’s history. Donations are accepted and placed on display as new exhibits in the building. Until May 12th, you can celebrate 100 years of existence with the Marquette Regional History Center during their Special Exhibit: Centennials. The exhibition features not only the museum’s hundred year history, but also local farms, family camps, banks, and other organizations created 100 years ago. Mark Canale and the Rotary are both featured in the event!
Coming up this summer, an exhibit will show 100 artifacts with some special pieces on display from storage. Rotarian Bruce Closser with Queen City Cams will have a collection featured in the show, continuing the 100-year theme.
If you haven’t been to the Marquette Regional History Center, your trip to the Upper Peninsula isn’t complete! Bring the kids to the museum and learn about this region’s past. If you’re cleaning out the family home and find some unique items, Curator Jo Wittler encourages you to bring them into the museum.
Admission to the museum:
- $7 for adults
- $6 for seniors
- $3 for students (with ID)
- $2.00 for children 12 years of age and under
Lifetime memberships to the Marquette Regional History Center are still available and help pay operation expenses.
Tonight the Helen Paul award and the Peter White Award will be given away to those that have made big contributions to our community. To learn more about who won the awards, follow the Marquette West Rotary Facebook for constant updates!