Enriching Charlevoix culture through preservation, education and engaging experiences celebrating our history.
- Accessibility: We provide programs and events for a broad and diverse audience. Our historical archives and structures are made available to the public.
- Authenticity: We are a primary source of information on the history of Charlevoix.
- Resourcefulness: We acquire, protect and maintain objects, images and archives of historical value.
- Relevance: We are innovative in our approach to creating both educational and entertaining experiences about Charlevoix’s heritage.
- Trustworthiness: We are responsible stewards of our historical and financial assets.
The Charlevoix Historical Society was first organized in November of 1879. It was active from 1893 to 1903, then active again in 1911. The Society reorganized into a determinedly active organization on May 11, 1972, with 17 charter members. It has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the Federal Government since 1986.
The Society provides several programs during the year for the membership and the community pertaining to local history and other activities of a historical nature.
Donations, membership dues, and user fees provide funding to carry out the work of the Society.
A newsletter is published and mailed bi-monthly, or as needed, to keep the membership informed of programs and other activities of the Society. An eNewsletter is sent semi-monthly, or as needed, to notify subscribers of our events and programs.
Proceeds from special fundraisers also provide monies for the operations of the Society, including the Museum at Harsha House and Train Depot as well as personnel costs for staff.
Our capital campaign, Embrace.Preserve.Cherish. started in 2017 and raised almost $500,000 through October of 2021. Thank you to our donors in 2017 and 2018! The funding allowed us to complete the following projects:
Exterior repairs including a new roof, wood shakes, gable fascias, sheathing and masonry were completed at the Museum at Harsha House in 2017. All wood trim was repainted in summer 2018 in vibrant colors reminiscent of the 1890s era in which the house was built. The new color scheme highlights the beautiful architectural details of this Victorian house.
Exterior renovations and paint restoration were also completed at the Charlevoix Train Depot during 2018. The cost for this project was over $100,000. Renovations include new cedar shakes, carpentry and masonry repairs, and window glazing. Architectural details and original paint colors from 1892 were restored with this work. A historic paint analysis was performed to identify the historic colors: dark green shakes, light green clapboard siding and light yellow trim and corbels. Painting was completed in October of 2018.
Major interior renovations are underway at the Museum at Harsha House during 2020-2021. The front foyer and staircase were restored to improve access to the second floor. This also enhanced the aesthetic beauty of the front parlors. Administrative office and curator workspace is being created in the rooms on the second floor which had been converted to apartments back in the 1940s. Plaster is being repaired, lighting and electrical upgrades are being made, flooring is being refurbished or replaced, and ductless air conditioning and heat is being installed.
To make a donation, select the Donate button from the home page or visit Charlevoix County Community Foundation at http://www.c3f.org and click the ‘Giving’ tab and choose the Charlevoix Historical Society Preservation Fund.
2019-2020 Board of Directors & Curators
- President: Denise Fate
- Vice-President: Tom Darnton
- Secretary: Susan Van Wieren
- Treasurer: Jamie McLane
- Finance Chair: Craig Mann
- Term ending 2022: Lindsey Dotson and John Duerr
- Term ending 2023: Ole Lyngklip III and Bob Molter
- Term ending 2024: Edward O’Neill and Amanda Wilkin
- Manager of Operations: Trevor Dotson
- Museum Curator: David L. Miles
A complete listing of our Patrons and Ralph Hamilton Circle members is contained in the Annual Report, which can be accessed by the tab on the Home Page. We thank you all very much for your support and membership!
Who is Ralph Hamilton? He was born in 1904 in Charlevoix and died in 1999. He was called “Mr. Charlevoix” and was known as one of Charlevoix’s foremost historians. Read all about his life in the Charlevoix Courier articles contained in this link: Ralph Hamilton Courier Articles
Please support the businesses that support us:
Charlevoix Commercial Center