MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — In the heart of downtown Muskegon sits multiple historic buildings and museums that visitors can explore during the warmer months.
In addition to the Lakeshore Museum Center’s main building, the Muskegon Museum of History and Science, the center has several historic buildings and homes that have been turned into museums.
“We’re really trying to capture what life was like for Muskegon County residents since … Muskegon has been on the map,” Erin Schmitz, historic sites director, said.
The Hackley and Hume houses are two Queen Ann Victorian homes with matching carriage houses. Visitors can explore the history of the two lumber barons from the late 1800s and learn about their philanthropy efforts.
“The Hackley and Hume site is set up as a guided tour experience,” Schmitz explained. “…The tour takes about an hour.”
Visitors can explore the parlors and dining rooms, which are set as if they are ready for dinner.
“And different bedrooms and bathrooms and just kind of seeing the different technology through both of those homes,” Schmitz explained.
She added that the immersive space allows visitors to “almost walk back into the 1800s.”
During the tour, visitors will also hear obituaries for the people who lived or died in the houses as well as learn about the traditions of the period.
Just down the road are two more buildings, the Scolnik House of the Depression Era and the Fire Barn Museum. The self-guided tours at both locations give visitors the opportunity to explore at their own pace.
At the Scolnik House, visitors can touch the artifacts, Schmitz explained.
“You can pull out all the things in the drawers and kind of look and see the different clothes or different kitchen items that were used throughout that house,” she said.
The fire barn explores the technological changes throughout firefighting history.
At the Muskegon Heritage Museum of Business and History, visitors can explore the economic, industrial and social history of the Muskegon area.
According to the museum’s website, the collection includes informational exhibits, artifacts and photos related to the area’s industries, products and businesses. There’s also a working steam engine.
Schmitz said all the historic buildings and homes are open Thursday through Monday from May 1 through October. For specific times and prices, click here.
“We do a seven-day history pass, so if you are in this area, you can buy one of those passes. With seven days, you can hit all of those museums,” Schmitz said.
For more information, visit the museum center’s website.