Trapping and Trading: The Fur Trade
Tools of the Blacksmith
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.
Tools of the Blacksmith
Recreated on the site is a working forge to illustrate the importance of blacksmiths in small communities.
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.
The 2018 Summer Program Series
Gangsters in Berrien County with Kelsey Curnutt
Learn about the "Gangster Era" in Berrien County.
The Museum Services Coordinator, Kelsey Curnutt will present on the role Berrien County played during the "Gangster Era".
2018 Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Martin Luther King, Jr. Speeches with Troy Patterson Thomas
The first of the 2018 Thursdays at Courthouse Square commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
2018 marks 50 years since the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man who played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. Troy Patterson Thomas is an orator who sounds remarkably like Dr. King. Patterson Thomas will present a series of speeches including the famous "I Have a Dream" in the first Thursdays at Courthouse Square. This program is sponsored by the Berrien Springs/Eau Claire Rotary Club.
Thursdays at Courthouse Square: The Eastland Disaster with Caitlyn Perry Dial
In 1915, the S.S. Eastland rolled into the Chicago River resulting in a tragedy that changed the fate of many families.
The second program in the 2018 Thursdays at Courthouse Square is presented by Caitlyn Perry Dial. On what was slotted to be a fun, family outing for the employees of the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works, July 24, 1915, turned into a day marked with tragedy with the S.S. Eastland rolled into the Chicago River. Sponsored by the Berrien Springs/Eau Claire Rotary Club
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 email@example.com.
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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