The West Michigan area abounds in history and historical sites. Museums and exhibits are easily found and offer a wide range of memorabilia that give you a glimpse into the history of the cities and towns along the lakeshore.
Throughout our Mason, Manistee, Oceana and the surrounding counties, you'll find numerous opportunities to learn about these towns fascinating past.
Places like Historic White Pine Village and the soon-to-open, Port of Ludington Maritime Museum allow visitors to view items of historic value and offer ways to discover the history of lumbering, maritime, and more!
Or travel between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, aboard the SS Badger Carferry, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark!
Historic A.H. Lyman Store
425 River Steet, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-5531
Historic Manistee Fire Hall (1888)
281 First St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-1549
Historic White Pine Village
1687 S. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-4808
"Bringing History to Life!" A step back in time in a picturesque setting for the entire family. Tour historic buildings. Visit the old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Interact with characters in period costume as they provide a 1st-person interpretation of pioneer life in the late 1800's/early 1900's. Special events throughout summer and fall.
Manistee County Historical Museum
425 River St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-5531
The museum is a wonderful resource for researching ancestry, property, and Manistee history. Records include original copies of newspapers, reference books, aerial photos, maps, and more. You will also discover Great Lakes maritime history books, boat photos, and records of commercial vessels. Contact the museum for permission to access the archives.
Mason County Cultural Trail
Mason County, MI
There are many treasures and hidden gems throughout Mason County that aren't as well known. The Mason County Cultural Trail is comprised of four trails that showcase and expose these hidden gems: The Agriculture Trail, The Barn Quilt Trail, The Sculpture Trail, and The Lumber Heritage Trail. Take a day and explore these great attractions!
Oceana County Historical Society
114 Dryden, Hart, MI 49420, (231) 873-2600
Our Savior's Historical Museum
304 Walnut St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-9486
Pentwater Historical Society Museum
85 S. Rutledge, Pentwater, MI 49449
Port of Ludington Maritime Museum
217 S. Lakeshore Dr., (next to the Coast Guard Station), Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-4808
Celebrate and remember Ludington's rich maritime history at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, where visitors will be entertained and enlightened with interactive exhibits and virtual experiences. Located within a former US Coast Guard Station, the museum is a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places and opened in 2017.
101 Maple St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-9948
Built in 1903 by local lawyer and philanthropist Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell, the historical Ramsdell Theater is home to the Manistee Civic Players' productions and hosts plays, ballet performances, art exhibits, proms, weddings, and other special events.
S. S. City of Milwaukee Historic Landmark
99 Arthur St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-3587
S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry
P.O. Box 708, Ludington, MI 49431, (800) 841-4243
Big Ship, More Fun! The SS Badger is the largest operating passenger steamship in the United States. At 410' she provides a fun, reliable cruise experience across Lake Michigan. Enjoy free entertainment, movies, food, shopping, and more. Cars, RVs, and motorcycles travel with you. Group, car and motorcycle club discounts available.
Shagway Arts Barn
5949 Shagway Rd., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 970-0222
Experience and explore the arts, nature, and history at Shagway Arts Barn! There are many activities at the Arts Barn from May-October, including live music, dog-friendly nature trails, and once a month, art & craft shows. The Arts Barn is also available for special events and weddings.
Water Works Museum
540 First St., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-5531
Preserved as Manistee County's first historical museum, this building now houses logging, railroad and marina exhibits and memorabilia of Manistee in the Nineteenth Century. Open to the public only in July and August, Wednesday through Saturday, 12pm-4pm. However, the Manistee County Historical Museum at 425 River Street is open all year.