Trapping and Trading: The Fur Trade
Tools of the Blacksmith
The Courthouse Museum: Featured Left, The Fur Trade
Trade in pelts such as beaver, muskrat, mink and otter was Michigan's first industry. Despite popular belief, almost all the trapping was done by Indians, not Europeans. English and French Traders exchanged goods for pelts, but did little trapping themselves. Furs, especially beaver were extremely valuable in Europe for clothing and hats. A trader could easily make his fortune with a few canoe loads of furs. Come see all our museum exhibits.
Tools of the Blacksmith
Recreated on the site is a working forge to illustrate the importance of blacksmiths in small communities.
1839 Courthouse Restored
Completed in 1839, Berrien County's Greek Revival-style courthouse was designed by local architect Gilbert Avery. After the county seat was moved to St. Joseph in 1894, the 1839 courthouse saw use as a community center, dance hall, militia training site, church and school. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the 1839 Courthouse and surrounding buildings in Courthouse Square is one of the oldest surviving government complexes in the Midwest.
The 2018 Summer Program Series
Kindle Your Christmas Spirit Open House
Christmas Time is Here! Visit the History Center during this Village-wide open house.
Kick off the Christmas Season with the annual village celebration. Join the History Center and the Trinity Lutheran School for carols in the courthouse, log cabin living, the exhibit space in the Sheriff's Residence, and live blacksmith demonstrations in the forge!
Schedule a Program or Service Today!
Outreach programs are available for either day or evening presentations, depending on staff availability. To schedule a program for your organization, call the Berrien County Historical Association at (269) 471-1202, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program fees: Outreach programs are $60 each. Multiple programs on the same day and location are $60 for the first program and $30 for each additional program. Mileage is charged for programs presented at locations outside of Berrien County.
Welcome to the History Center's New Gift Shop
The Museum Store carries a varied selection of local and regional history books, children’s books, American Girl books, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, home décor, and much more!
See more... Books for Sale ...here.
Historic Walking Tour of St. Joseph
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