Arcadia's Railroad -- April 2018 Since this story was originally written back in the early 2000s, we've learned more and found photos to share. This is the first installment.
Other Sites -- March 2018 Things change quickly on the internet. Each time we double check the links on the Other Sites page, we discover changes to the web sites we recommend for additional information. Sometimes a site disappears entirely. Sometimes the primary page we should be using changes. And sometimes we run across new sites to recommend.
Learning in an Old-Time Country School -- December 2017 In the fall 2017 edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard summarizes what we learned in the Cracker Barrel held in August and fills in a few more details based on his personal experience.
Readability Improvements -- October 2017 We fixed several pages that did not resize properly. The left column was overly narrow. Example improved page: The Arcadia Furniture Company Sawmill
Connecting Local History -- July 2017 In the spring 2017 edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard describes "how things, people, and events often just interconnect and keep coming together to form a more complete picture."
Trout Memories -- June 2017 Milton F. Whitmore tells a story about trout fishing with his father.
The Arcadia Furniture Company Site Circa 2000 -- June 2017 "The Site Today" page was from 2000. Hardly today. Embarassing. A new Site Circa 2000 page is available. Access to the new page is available through the site map menu as well as standard Next and Previous links for the Furniture Factory topic.
New Dynamic Site Map -- April 2017 We were hacked! In spite of up-to-date virus and malware tools in use on our development site, the server where this web site is stored was hacked, and we lost the support used for our site map, the page the helps you scan through every topic in this site and go directly to any of them. However, we purchased a new tool to develop and maintain our site map that provides new features we hope you will find useful. Give it a try.
Arcadia's Railroad: The Railroad's Story -- March 2017 In the Arcadia Area Historical Society's fall 2016 newsletter, we learned about the very earliest version of the railroad in Arcadia. A 1903 plat map showed a spur running north and east from the Arcadia Land & Lumber Company sawmill to the company's planing mill. The company's earliest lumbering railroad ran east from the planing mill and used an engine that was a modified box car. The railroad story was modified to add this new information.
Museum Hours and Events -- March 2017 The Museum Hours and Events page was updated to provide access to Facebook pages and web sites with on-going activities at the museum and information and events for Arcadia Township, Arcadia News, and the Pleasant Valley Community Center.
Arcadia Firsts -- November 2016 In the fall 2016 edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard describes the first wedding in the area, the first funeral, the first railroad, and the first snowmobile.
Pioneer Roads of Arcadia -- August 2016 In the spring 2016 edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard describes the roads near Arcadia before M22 was built in its present location.
Baseball in Arcadia -- August 2016 We corrected some formatting issues that made some of these pages unusable on small devices and silly looking elsewhere.
Railroad Photos -- March 2016 We applied what we learned with railroad maps to improve the way this series of photos are displayed. This new approach is more work than using a widget, but we have much more control over each page's content, they are maintainable like any other page, and the image titles and captions are now available to search. This is our new standard for displaying a series of images.
Railroad Maps -- March 2016 We reorganized and edited this section to add new maps, enlarge some (depending on your browser), clarify the navigation, and move the captions off the images. For example, see the 1914 valuation map of the northeast shore of Lake Arcadia. We plan to do the same kind of things for the railroad photos.
Other Sites -- March 2016 Some of the related sites have disappeared, so their links were removed. Other sites were reorganized, so the links were updated to provide access to the new pages, and their summaries were revised as needed. And we added a few more sites about Michigan's history.
Page Layout Improvements -- March 2016 As new browsers become available, the HTML used to specify page layout is sometimes interpreted differently. As a result, several of this site's articles had very narrow columns of text and images that were way out of place. That included articles about the Lutheran Church, Gladys Brown, Mary Alice Grossnickle, and the settlements of Burnham, Malcolm, Pierport, and Watervale. This was corrected for every environment and browser we tested. If you find pages that are difficult to read, please let us know. We need to know the environment and browser you are using such as Windows 10 Edge version 25 or iOS 9.2 Safari.
New Photos -- February, March 2016 We found a much clearer version of the photo showing the High School's dedication, so we replaced the old image, and we added a link to a large version of the image. In the Walking Tour, we updated the description of the Johnson's Band Rehearsal Hall to include an official photo of the band and to show them at the High School's dedication.
Leo Hale's Watervale -- November 2015 In the fall edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard tells the story of early Watervale, Leo Hale's lumbering settlement.
Joseph Tondu and His Family -- September 2015 In the spring edition of the Society newsletter, guest author Steve Harold summarized the early Tondu family starting with Joseph Tondu.
New Photos -- March 2015 Throughout last fall and winter we collected new photos, and we have been updating miscelleneous places throughout this site to include them. For example, in the fall edition of Society News, the article about the Henry Clay Matteson family included a new photo of Matteson Manor that we added to the tour down Lake Street at the end of article about the neighborhood at East End of Lake Street.
The Henry Clay Matteson Family: Record Keepers, Collectors, Builders -- November 2014
In the fall edition of the Society newsletter, Ed Howard described what he learned from the descendents of Henry Clay Matteson, who left detailed diaries of his life in the area and whose sons William and Charles built Matteson Manor and the Matteson Store respectively. William built several buildings in the Arcadia area and owned the land that would eventually become Insporation Point. This is a copy of that story.
This Being the 20th Anniversary of the Museum Move... -- June, October 2014
In the spring edition of the Society newsletter, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the move of the Gilbert house and its transformation into the Arcadia Area Historical Museum. This is a copy Ed Howard's story about the move.
Settlements: Watervale -- April, May 2014
In 1890, Leo F. Hale bought land south of Lower Herring Lake where he built a sawmill, a pier into Lake Michigan called Hale's Pier, and a narrow gauge railway used to haul timber to the sawmill. By 1892, the settlement had a store, a hotel, and twenty houses, and it was it was incorporated as Watervale. Hale went bankrupt in the mid 1890s. In 1917, Oscar Kraft bought the ghost town and rebuilt Watervale as a resort.
Timeline Update: Early Town -- April 2014
Arcadia of 1895 was too wild for the Stockman family, so they closed their mercantile business and moved to Benzonia. "A saloon and two blind pigs, together with a German beer garden decided us to move..."
Brand New Web Site -- March 2014
Back in 1999 when ArcadiaMI.com site was released, we used a web development tool that is no longer supported. Furthermore, the suggested replacement tool did not import the old site, and the new development environment focused on the wrong things for our purposes. So we selected a new industrial-strength web development environment. This web site is the result. For more information about new features, see This Web Site: The New ArcadiaMI.com.
Updated Museum Tour -- February 2014
The online tour of the Arcadia Area Historical Museum has been updated to include the latest set of exhibits including those new for 2013. But remember, this online tour just scratches the surface of what you can see in the real "brick and mortar" museum. When you have the opportunity, go to the physical museum.
Online Resources for Shipwreck Information -- January 2014
While working on the brand new web site (Coming soon!), we ran across some links that no longer worked. These links were corrected to access the new locations of these pages.
A New Deal: Introduction to the 1933 Furniture Catalog -- November 2013
Newsletter Story: A Yoke of Oxen -- October 2013
Charles Starke ran the Arcadia Furniture Company, and during the Great Depression he wrote this introduction to his company's product catalog. It gives us a glimpse into his thoughts at the time about his business and what he wanted to tell the public.
This is a reprint from the October 2013 issue of the Society News. This story provides some examples of how oxen were significant in the early history of the Arcadia area.
Harriet Quimby Historic Marker -- October 2013
On October 17, 2013, Harriet Quimby was enshrined in the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. A photo of the plaque was added.
Arcadia's Early Neighbors -- June 2013
This exhibit has been several months in the making. It's a new section of this site covering local settlements near early Arcadia. This first installment covers Pierport, Burnham, and Malcolm.
Newsletter Stories: The Widows of Second Street -- June 2013
This is a reprint from the June 2013 issue of the Society News. This story is a lonesome remembrance of Society Trustee Raymond Knudsen about growing up on Second Street in Arcadia.
Revised: The Wood School -- May 2013
While working on our family geneology, I ran across some photos a cousin shared with me years ago. Among them were photos of Wood School's classes of 1931-32 and 1933-34 with the names of the teachers and students.
Revised: The Gabel School -- April 2013
At an antique paper show, we found a postcard described as an Arcadia school class from 1926. With the help of Mary Ellen Murray Miller, one of the students in the Gabel School photo, we learned that the photo is more likely from 1933-1934, and she identified each student in the photo.
Revised: The Malcolm School -- February 2013
While researching local settlements around Arcadia, we discovered new information about the Malcolm School. If you have any additional details for this or the other schools summarized here, please contact us.
2012 Museum Tour -- January, February 2013
The tour of the museum was updated to cover all museum exhibits available at the end of 2012. However, this online tour just scratches the surface of what you can see in the real "brick and mortar" museum, so when you have the opportunity, go to the museum, and perhaps use this online version to prepare for that visit.
Newsletter Stories -- October 2012
These are reprints of stories appearing in Society News, the newsletter of the Arcadia Area Historical Society. Examples: "Sometimes History Finds Us," "Remembering the Stores of Arcadia," and "Picking Up the Pieces of the Earliest Arcadians."
Iverson Photos -- August 2012
Joan Ledford shared photos and information with us about some of her ancestors, the Iversons. We updated Gladys Brown's oral history to include a photo of sisters Phyllis and Elaine Iverson. We updated Arcadia's Railroad exhibit to include another view of Sorenson Station. And we updated Mary Alice Grossnickle's oral history to include a photo of her and cousin Phyllis Iverson.
Arcadia Days -- July 2012
2012's Arcadia Daze is a three-day event in Arcadia, Michigan featuring a variety of events, music, food, arts & crafts, dancing, a parade, and more. Early in the last century our ancestors gathered for Arcadia Days, but as a 1918 program illustrates, the events were very different. Arcadia Days included lectures on agriculture (for example, "Diseases of Fruit and their Remedies"), penmanship, citizenship, and prizes for compositions, penmanship, agricultural products, and baked goods.
1860s Map of the Area -- July 2012
In 1854, a sailing ship dropped Sam Gilbert off on the shoreline near Lower Herring Lake, where he would go to work at the Averill sawmill. He explored the area and wrote about what he found. We recently discovered a map he drew from memory probably in the 1860s.
Harriet Quimby -- January, April, June 2012
2012 is the centennial of Harriet Quimby's flight across the English Channel, and we are expanding our exhibits to include more information about her and her family in the Arcadia area.
Michigan's Prehistory -- April 2012
We added a YouTube video summarizing Michigan's very early history and its impact on the lakes and landscape we see today. Highlighted is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Gabel School -- January 2012
We finally found a photo for Arcadia School District No 1, the Gabel School. This one shows the scholars who attended the school in 1914 and their teacher, Miss Peterson.
New Photo of the John D. DeWar -- November 2011
Bob McCall of Frankfort loaned us a few postcards of Arcadia from his collection. Among them was an interesting new view of the steamer John D. DeWar approaching a dock in Lake Arcadia. The scene is busy with logs stacked everywhere, a barge hauling logs, logs in the water waiting their turn in the Starke sawmill, and men working.
Related Web Sites -- July 2011
This is a list of other web sites providing historical information about the Arcadia area. Several sites such as the one featuring the Wreck of the Marinette are no longer available, but recently added is a link to the Library of Congress with millions of documents.
Arcadia Area Lumbering -- April, May 2011
This is a brand new exhibit summarizing a winter's research on lumbering, lumbering in northwest Michigan, how it was practiced in the Arcadia area, and key sawmills in the area including three large sawmills in Arcadia.
2010 Museum Tour -- December, 2010
We updated the online tour of the Arcadia Area Historical Museum and Carriage House. Starting with up-to-date sketches of the floor plan for the museum and carriage house, we identified the current key exhibits available during the summer of 2010, photographed them, and tied them together here for the online tour.
A Farewell: A Poem by Cecil Argue -- October, 2010
Cecil J. Argue Jr. shared this poem and story about the life of Cecil J. Argue Sr. This is a new story in Voices from the Past, a series of articles in which people from the Arcadia area provide a personal perspective of family, events, and life in general from an earlier time.
Early Arcadia Area Schools -- September, 2010
Although this is still a work in progress, the overall story is here with more material on the way. Read about the earliest schools in the area, the Arcadia School District, Arcadia High School, the Lutheran school. A map of schools in the area includes links to photos and other details, if available, for many of them.
Map Showing Arcadia Area Schools in the 1940s -- May, 2010
Each pushpin identifies a school and often links to photos and other details for that school. Details for many schools are as yet unavailable. This part of a larger exhibit in progress covering much more about Arcadia's schools.
Revised Walk Along Lake Street -- October, 2009
We added a few more photos to the walk along Lake Street, for example, an aerial photo of the Standard Gas Station and Motel on M22 near Lake Street. In addition, we made some changes to way you navigate through the tours. Hopefully the results are noticeably easier to use.
New Minnehaha Photo -- August, 2009
Bowling Green State University (BGSU) has an online database about Great Lakes vessels that we have used a number of times to find information about commercial shipping and shipwrecks in the area. (See the BGSU web site, and click Vessels to begin searching that database.) However, until now the database included only a description of the Minnehaha, no photo. Through the courtesy of John Jass and Ryan McKenna, we have a new photo recently added to the BGSU site, and the ship archivist gave us permission to use it here. The ship was huge. We can see now how it could have carried the 58,000 bushels of corn it lost when it wrecked off Arcadia's coast in 1893.
Burnham, Michigan -- June, 2009
In the course of developing the museum exhibit, we found more information about Burnham and incorporated that into our online exhibit. In particular, in some recently re-discovered ledgers we found information about ship landings at the Burnham pier: the names of the ships, when they landed, and what they carried.
Timeline Updates -- May, 2009
With the help of Steve Harold and the Manistee County Museum, we gathered details from news clippings and The Manistee City and County Directory for 1883 to fill in blanks in the Arcadia area history timeline.
A Walk Along Old Lake Street -- March, 2009
We found a few more photos, edited captions, and generally improved the content.
Related Web Sites -- February, 2009
We've been collecting URLs for other web sites providing historical information about the area and Michigan. Some like Swayze's shipwreck database are provided with related exhibits, but this page provides all of those links in one place. If you have suggestions for additional sites, please contact us.
A Walk Along Old Lake Street -- December, 2008
This tour was revised extensively to include many more photos than were available when we originally developed this tour. To keep it simple and to avoid long delays waiting for the web, there are now two versions of the tour:
- The long version breaks up the tour into neighborhoods along Lake Street and provides lots of views of each neighborhood.
- The short version eliminates much of the detail provided in the long version, but it shows the entire tour in one page, which might be easier to use to "experience" the walk.
Fixed: Walking Tour of Arcadia -- November 2008
Burnham, Michigan -- Where is that? -- October 2008
North of Arcadia just below what we call Inspiration Point today was the town of Burnham, Arcadia's closest neighbor to the north. Like many other lumbering towns, Burnham didn't last long after the lumber was gone.
AAHS Events for 2008 and 2009 -- October 2008
The museum will open again on June 25, 2008. The summer of 2009 will include at a Home Tour also on June 25. Start and finish the tour at the museum!
ABRR Valuation Maps -- October 2008
In The Story of the Railroad, we added a detailed map of the turnaround or "wye" in Arcadia dated. This page also has a link to a detailed map of the railway along Lake Arcadia's shoreline. We also updated the railroad photo album to include these two new maps.
Donations to the Museum Fund -- September 2008
The purpose of the Arcadia Area Historical Museum Fund is "...to foster and promote historical preservation within the Township, to formulate and implement plans for historical preservation, and to acquire, operate, and maintain suitable facilities for the maintenance and preservation of historical artifacts. See how to get tax credits by contributing to the endowment fund.
Shipwrecks Near Arcadia - United States Life-Saving Service -- May 2008
What would a story about shipwrecks be without talking about the brave men who battled cold Lake Michigan surf to try to save lives? We updated the shipwrecks exhibit to tell their story. Late May: We added "Instructions to Mariners in Case of Shipwreck" from the USLSS Annual Report of 1901.
Shipwrecks Near Arcadia -- April 2008
Violent storms made Lake Michigan a dangerous place particularly in the spring and fall, and many ships were lost. This new exhibit summarizes more than a dozen shipwrecks in the Arcadia area between about 4 miles south of Frankfort and about 5 miles north of Ludington.
AAHS Events for 2008 -- March 2008
The museum will open again on the weekend of June 20. The summer of 2008 will include at least two Crackerbarrel events (July 13 and September 7), where experienced people will discuss life in Arcadia way back when, and more than 100 quilts will be on display on Saturday, June 28th.
Museum Tour 2007 -- January 2007
We revised the animated images to slow them down a bit and add a label identifying the number or pictures in each set. We also added a few more museum views, for example, what you see when you walk in the back door.
Museum Tour 2007 -- November and December 2007
This is an extensive revision to online tour of the Arcadia Area Historical Museum including the new Carriage House. Starting with up-to-date sketches of the floor plan for the museum and carriage house, we identified key exhibits available during the summer of 2007, photographed them, and tied them together here for the online tour. Also, some of the photos are a series of photos showing what you would see if you were standing where the photographer was and slowly turned your head.
The Postcard Photographer's Walk -- April 2007
Replaced in December 2008 by A Walk Along Old Lake Street
Imagine you're a postcard photographer in the early 1900s. Starting from the corner of M22 and Lake Street, walk west toward Lake Michigan. What photos would you take? We updated this exhibit. Watch for more Lake Street photos coming soon.
More Railroad Photos -- February 2007
We updated the railroad photo album to add still more photos. Among them is a close-up of the station at Henry.
Research Updates: The Channel Closes -- January 2007
We found a photo postcard from 1937 with a picture of Arcadia's channel between Lake Arcadia and Lake Michigan. The channel is filled with sand and shoreline plants. Clearly it had been closed for a while.
Events for 2007 -- December 2006
This page lists the Arcadia Area Historical Society's events for 2007. Happy New Year!
Sawmill Research -- November 2006
We're developing an exhibit on the sawmills in Arcadia. We've been revising the timeline to include some of what we've learned in the process. For example, see 1910 or the related information photos in the sidebar.
Securing the Museum's Future -- September 2006
We revised this page to correct an error and to add a photo of the carriage house.
A Brief History of the Lutheran Church -- July 2006
The Lutheran congregation was formed in Arcadia in 1881 and built a now-historic church that was finished in 1887 and stands today looking much as it was then.
My Life by Gladys Frederick Brown -- July 2006
Long time resident, teacher, volunteer, and friend describes her life in the Arcadia area beginning when she first arrived in Arcadia. She attended school in Arcadia, became a teacher herself beginning in a one-room Indian school, went to Detroit during World War II, came back with husband Bub Brown, taught school in Arcadia and elsewhere for thirty years, and finally retired.
Improved Access to Arcadia History Content -- June 2006
Many more pages in the site include these links at the bottom of the page: Museum Entrance | Timeline | Exhibits | Voices | Site Map | What's New
Arcadia Furniture Company -- June 2006
By looking more closely at the furniture catalogs, we learned that the 1908 catalog was the first one produced solely for Arcadia Furniture. Only the 1907 catalog was a joint catalog for The Arcadia Furniture Company and the Fox & Mason Company. The catalog summary was revised to correct this and to add more details about the catalogs.
In addition to this correction, we've added details here and there based on the research involved for the new museum exhibit. If you haven't looked at it in a while, it's probably worth checking out again.
Arcadia's Railroad -- May 2006
This winter Jack Simmons found this web site and shared railroad photos and facts with us. John W. Martin, author of "Malcolm: A Station on the Arcadia and Betsey River Railway," reviewed our upcoming booklet on the ABRR and shared his memories and research with us too. We've just begun to use that information where it applies in the railroad exhibit and elsewhere. (See Cal Dunke and the steam log loader.)
Arcadia Furniture Company -- April 2006
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Arcadia Furniture Company founded in 1906 in Arcadia, Michigan. We updated the exhibit to add new information and photos and to make the information easier to find.
Updated Timeline -- March 2006
We revised the timeline based on this winter's research, new exhibits in process, and to improve access to existing exhibits.
Other Local Shipwrecks -- October 2005
We received an email from Jim Evans, the webmaster of a site about a shipwreck near Watervale, the Marinette, and it dawned on us that this is a subject we've neglected so far. For now, we added a link on the Minnehaha page that leads to the site about the Marinette, but research has begun on other shipwrecks in the area.
Arcadia's Railroad -- August 2005
Thanks to Ryan McKenna, we have a photo of the station in Henry from July 6, 1930.
Arcadia's Railroad -- June 2005
In 1881 Henry Starke began building a narrow gauge railroad to help in his lumbering business. By the end of 1896, the standard gauge A&BRR reached Copemish 21 miles from Arcadia, where it connected with the Ann Arbor Railroad, and passenger service was added.
2004 Museum Tour -- October 2004
(Replaced by Museum Tour 2007) The tour of the Arcadia Area Historical Museum has been updated and greatly expanded to show much more than the old tour did. With the real museum closed for the winter, you can still tour many of the museum's exhibits right here.
Site Map -- July 2004
The site map provides another way to find information of interest to you in this web site. The site map lists every page in the web site at least once. To view a page, find it in the list, and click its title.
The site map will always be a work in progress. As new things are added elsewhere, the list of topics will grow. If you have suggestions for ways to organize this information, please contact us.
Excerpts from "My Memoirs" by Ruth Starke Burkhead -- July 2004
These excerpts from Ruth Burkhead's "My Memoirs" summarize Ruth's early years as a girl growing up in Arcadia and going off to college.
Arcadia Baseball Teams and Arcadia Versus the Illinois Giants -- June 2004
Construction has finished for now on the exhibit Baseball in Arcadia. The last two pieces have been added: Arcadia Baseball Teams and Arcadia Versus the Illinois Giants.
Baseball in Arcadia -- May 2004
"On a Sunday afternoon you could find the bleachers full of baseball fans rooting for their home team." That's the subject of this exhibit. Exhibit Areas: The Early Days of Baseball in Arcadia, Baseball and the 4th of July, Arcadia Baseball Teams, and Arcadia Versus the Illinois Giants. (The last two are still under construction.)
Shipping in Early Arcadia -- December 2003
This exhibit summarizes shipping in Arcadia beginning in the late 1800s and ending when the channel officially closed in 1925. In addition to the sections of the exhibit listed below, the exhibit covers the channel's opening, the Pere Marquette Line, and the channel's closing.
The Arcadia Pier, The Steamer Arcadia, and The John D. Dewar -- November 2003
We are developing an exhibit about shipping in Arcadia about a hundred years ago. The first two installments are upgrades to these two exhibits. Coming Soon: Opening the Channel, The Marquette Line, and The Channel Closes.
Corrections: The Arcadia & Betsey River Railway -- September 2003
A reader pointed out errors in this summary of the history of the A&BRR. When the railway reached Henry in 1895, it interchanged with the Chicago & West Michigan Railway, which later merged into the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1900 and then into the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in 1947. When the A&BRR reached Copemish in 1896, it interchanged with the Ann Arbor Railroad, formed in 1895 from the Toledo, Ann Arbor, & North Michigan Railway. The timeline was also corrected.
How to Make Donations -- September 2003
This page summarizes two endowment funds -- the Arcadia Area Historical Museum Fund and the Arcadia Area Historical Museum Carriage House Fund -- and provides access to pages on the web site of the Manistee County Community Foundation, the organization contracted to manage the funds, where you can make online donations.
The Postcard Photographer's Walk ---- May 2003
Replaced in December 2008 by A Walk Along Old Lake Street Imagine walking west along Lake Street in Arcadia, Michigan in the early 1900's. That's what a postcard photographer did, and the postcards in this exhibit show us the photographer's view of Arcadia at the time.
1928 and 1930 Catalogs Added --- - May 2003
These catalogs have been added to the online database. This completes the series; every known catalog from the Arcadia Furniture Co. is in the database.
1913 Catalog Added -- March 2003
This catalog has been added to the online database. You can access it and every other online catalog through the catalog library.
Timeline Updated and Reorganized -- February 2003
The timeline of events in the history of the Arcadia area was broken up into chunks of time representing periods in Arcadia's history. The story starts now with the first settlers to the Arcadia, Michigan area. In addition, the timeline includes new new links to articles and pictures. (We needed a break from working on the catalogs.)
1908, 1909, 1916, and 1929 Catalogs Added -- February 2003
These catalogs have been added to the online database. You can access them and every other online catalog through the catalog library.
Furniture Company Catalog Library -- January 2003
We spent much of the winter scanning furniture catalogs... every page, both sides. Soon you will be able to use the new catalog library to peruse every catalog in the museum's inventory. Only 11 are available, and only 4 of those are online today, but they cover hundreds of furniture styles and variations.
Museum Tour Upgrade -- September 2002 (Replaced by Museum Tour 2007)
The new version of the tour includes the real museum's exhibits as they existed when the doors closed for the winter except by special appointment. (The doors to the virtual museum never close.) We've also added See Also links to related information. The Toys exhibit is not yet ready.
Methodist Church Centennial -- August 2002
The building housing the Arcadia United Methodist Church was built in 1902. This exhibit summarizes the building's history with photos of the church and neighborhood near Fourth Street and Division.
1907 Furniture Catalog ---- July 2002
This was the Arcadia Furniture Company's first furniture catalog. It was published jointly with the Fox & Mason Furniture Company of Corunna, Michigan where the sales office for both companies was located.
The William Quimby Family in Arcadia -- July 2002
William Quimby was one of the earliest settlers in the Arcadia, Michigan area. Like many early settlers, he received 160 acres of land from the US Government to use to build a homestead. This exhibit uses his pension application, the property abstract, a plat map from the period, US census data, tax data, store account entries, the Manistee City Directory, and the recollections of people who remembered the family to piece together what we know about them and life in the area at that time.
Early American Settlers by Kate Matteson 1958 ---- April 2002
"Few are left to tell the many little stories which will some day be gone forever. This paper tells stories typical of the experiences of all early settlers." So starts this oral history written in 1958 and recently re-discovered.
Do you have memories to share? The Arcadia Area Historical Society is collecting oral histories. For more about how you can can help, see Collecting Oral Histories.
Furniture Catalogs for 1912, 1922, and 1933 -- March 2002
We scanned each page and edited the images from three Arcadia Furniture Company catalogs: 1912, 1922, and 1933. For each catalog, a new display includes thumbnails of every page of the catalog. Each thumbnail leads to a larger view of the page. Eventually we'd like to provide every available Arcadia Furniture Company catalog online using this format, so if you have any comments, please contact us.
1929 Catalog Mirrors -- February 2002
The 1929 Arcadia Furniture Company catalog included four pages of mirrors that could be purchased separately. These mirrors are beautiful examples of the products produced at the factory's mirror works.
Walking Tour -- August 2001
The Walking Tour pamphlet available through Arcadia Area Historical Museum was the source for this online version of the tour. The first page of the tour contains a map of Arcadia with numbers identifying key sites and a list of the sites by number. For details about a site, click the number on the map or the site name. A popup window displays the details above the map.
Museum Tour Additions -- July 2001
(Replaced by Museum Tour 2007) The PBS web site has a new section called Chasing the Sun covering aviation history. The Aviation Timeline and Innovators sections lead to details about Harriet Quimby's place in history, and one of the related links leads to the Arcadia Area History Museum Tour's Harriet Quimby room. To make this link more useful, we added a link to the summary of the historic marker dedication and details about Harriet's childhood home near Arcadia.
Museum Tour Additions -- June 2001 (Replaced by Museum Tour 2007)
The museum parlor includes two wedding dresses and a bridesmaid dress from the 1860s.
Timeline -- February 2001
The timeline has been updated to include links to miscellaneous pictures supporting the summaries of events in the history of the Arcadia Area. Look for these links in the right-most column.
Arcadia's Prehistory -- January 2001
This exhibit summarizes the formation of the area up to the first human inhabitants. It describes the impact of glaciers and the development of plants and animals in the area with pictures provided through the courtesy of NASA, Tom Lowell at the University of Cincinnati, and Erich Schroeder at the Illinois State Museum. The exhibit also includes links to other web sites providing details about glaciers and the Midwest about 16,000 years ago.
Native Americans in Arcadia -- January 2001
This exhibit describes several views of the earliest Arcadia settlers. The first French explorers reported small, widely scattered groups of native peoples in the northern Great Lakes. In the 1850s, Sam Gilbert described a 40-50 acre Indian farm in what became present day Arcadia. In the 1970s, John Williams discovered many artifacts providing detailed evidence of how Point Arcadia was used.
Museum Events -- July 2000
Thanks to the hard work of many volunteers, the grand opening on July 15 was a huge success. Literally hundreds of people attended the ceremony, and most stayed for at least a quick tour of the museum on its first official day. The museum events page was updated to include comments by local state representative Dave Mead, museum hours, and a link to a photo of the ceremonies.
Update to the 1909 Virtual Showroom -- July 2000
This exhibit has been updated to show clearer pictures of the furniture and a brief description of each piece shown. In addition, if you click on any of the pictures, you will see a larger version of the picture. (Why not just show the larger pictures? The page already has so many images that it displays slowly at standard connection speeds. Each detailed image is large enough to make the download and display process even slower... annoyingly slow with slow connections, so it only happens when you ask for it.)
Museum Events -- July 2000
The grand opening is July 15, 2000. This page summarizes the day's events and other upcoming events of interest to museum goers.
Arcadia Days... The Old Way -- June 2000
Last summer while I was hanging out at the museum, someone donated a program from the Arcadia Days celebration held at the Arcadia School auditorium Thursday and Friday April 4-5, 1918. Arcadia Days bears little if any resemblance to the Arcadia Daze of today. Instead Arcadia Days included lectures on agriculture (for example, "Diseases of Fruit and their Remedies"), penmanship, citizenship, and prizes for compositions, penmanship, agricultural products, and baked goods.
Harriet Quimby Michigan Historic Site Marker -- May 2000
After nearly ten years of effort by Bonnie Hughes, historians have accepted the facts that Harriet Quimby was probably born in the Arcadia area and that she certainly spent her childhood in the area. The new page includes a picture of the historic site marker and links to a lot more information about the site, the event, and Harriet Quimby provided by students and faculty of the Onekama Consolidated Schools. Thank you, Barb Eldridge, for sharing this with the rest of us.
New Minnehaha Wreckage Photos -- April 2000
Low lake levels have exposed much more of the wreckage allowing a closer look without getting wet.
Timeline Details -- March 2000 Links were added to details about the Steamer Arcadia and the Arcadia Pier.
Exhibits -- March 2000
This is a new page that provides another way (in addition to the timeline) to find the interesting stuff on this web site. The Exhibits page lists the major things available to see here (and it should continue to do so long after the home page would have been filled). Each major exhibit and the timeline also include links to this new Exhibits page.
The A&BRR Route Today -- February 2000
Using the old map and a new map with the same county sections, we recreated the approximate route of the Arcadia & Betsey River Railway to figure out where the rails would be today, if the railway had survived.
The Furniture Company Site Today -- February 2000
John Manilla suggested this addition after discovering a photo of Arcadia harbor on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources web site. (Thanks, John.) A representative from SailNet.com, identified by the site's webmaster, kindly gave us permission to use the first photo. The second photo shows the location of the water tower.
A&BRR Engine 4 -- January 2000
While searching the web for information about railroads in the Arcadia area, we came across a photo of a standard gauge engine from the Arcadia & Betsey River Railway sitting on a siding in Henry. The people at the Kelsey Publishing Company kindly gave us permission to use the photo and added a link on their A&BRR page to our online museum for details about the A&BRR.
The 1909 Virtual Showroom -- December 2000
This new exhibit shows samples of each kind of furniture that could be ordered from the Arcadia Furniture Company's 1909 catalog, which was the first catalog produced exclusively for the Arcadia Furniture Company. (Earlier catalogs also included furniture from the Fox & Mason Furniture Company of Corunna, Michigan.)