Founded in 1971 as Grass Lake Area Historical Society, this group of forward looking historians chose to rename to Grass Lake Area Historical Connections in 2015. Our new name reflects new projects which have been undertaken.
The Coe House Museum
, 371 W. Michigan Ave, is an Italianate brick house built ca 1871 by Henry Vinkle. It is arranged to highlight life in a small village at the turn of the century. Events held throughout the year welcome visitors to tour the home and learn the stories of area families.
The Coe House sits near that site where two interurban rail lines, the Detroit Urban Railway (DUR) and the Michigan Urban Railway (MUR) crossed when the electric rail lines began moving people by means other than horse and buggy. The rise of the interurbans changed the world of a primarily agrarian society into one moving off the farms to nearby cities. In early 2013, the defunct DUR interurban line at the museum's south border was acquired by the Society. Native son, William Anson Boland, founder of the MUR, was a significan figure in the advancement of the new electric rail lines being introduced in the state. To pay homage to his family's history and the connection of the DUR right of way to the Coe property, a replica waiting station was added to meet Society needs for storage. Additionally, much need parking and landscaping were added.
By 2014, a fortuituous partnering with the Michigan Military Heritage Museum group expanded our mission. This group had formed to develop a museum to tell the stories of Michigan veterans through the development of dynamic and informative exhibits. This partnership has truly lit a strong flame of interest locally and statewide as projects develop to move to the establishment of a new museum project. We have prepared an 18th century British cannon on extended loan from the Detroit Historical Society for exhibit. Locally donated burr oak was used to build an authenically reproduced carriage for this cannon which was rescued from the Detroit River in the 1990s. Also underway is a project to replicate a World War I ambulance, using a 1917 Model T body with a wooden bed, just as those used in that war.
In November, 2016, our Michigan Military Heritage Museum was opened in a newly erected building at 153 N. Union St, Grass Lake. Directly south on Mt. Hope Road from I-94 exit 150, this location is ideally situated for visitors seeking our new facility. By the end of 2016, we'd had over 600 visitors from over 40 cities and 14 states. Each week brings exciting changes to this fantastic new museum.
We're excited to offer volunteer opportunities to a number of students developing digital projects. We're welcoming classes from local schools to learn real history through real stories and artifacts. Senior tour groups are regular visitors. We're especially proud to serve as a center for Michigan's World War 1 centennial commemoration with the nation's most complete representation of authentic uniforms from many nations. These are complimented by our own collection of WWI uniforms and artifacts. See Michigan Military Heritage Museum for additional information.
Response has been huge to provide artifacts and stories of Michigan veterans. We are developing a regionally significant museum of rotating exhibits telling the stories of Michigan veterans. Our Michigan Wall of Honor project enables families to honor their veterans with engraved brass plates commemorating their service. This project raises funds to keep us growing.
We are in the midst of a fund raising campaign to support honor Michigan's WWI veterans by including them on our Wall of Honor. This GoFundMe campaign will place a plate for each $100 donated. Details may be found by clicking on the Wall of Honor tab. We've developed a campaign that we believe is inviting to anyone interested in preserving history and in honoring our State's military veterans. Your donations to the museum and to the Wall of Honor will assure our ability to continue to provide this facility for your education and enjoyment. We are a 501(c)3 tax deferred organization.
Our goal is to develop this website into a tool that you will return to often. Become a GLAHC member for access to the members section. Your log in will lead you to an area which we are developing to assist you in research and answer questions about our many happenings. Come back often to see what's new!