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
Why Berrien Springs with Tom Kimmel
Learn why Berrien Springs was settled and what made this town so important!
Local historian and long-time resident Tom Kimmel will share the reasons Berrien Springs was settled so late and what made the town so important.
2018 Thursdays at Courthouse Square: From College to University with Meredith Jones Gray
The fourth and final program of the 2018 Thursdays at Courthouse Square will touch on the history of our local University.
Meredith Jones Gray, author of the campus history book, "As We Set Forth", will share recent research about the campus transition from Emmanuel Missionary College to Andrews University in 1959, as well as some of her wealth of personal experiences at Andrews. Sponsored by the Berrien Springs/Eau Claire Rotary Club.
Oxen with Rob Collins
Join us to learn about how a team of oxen work!
Rob Collins, is an ox driving instructor from Tillers International. View real live oxen and learn what breeds were used and what may be the best. Rob will have at least one team of oxen for all to view and answer questions, both about oxen and Tillers. Free to all
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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