Heritage Tours

Special Events

Special Exhibits and Popular Attractions

Berrien County Historical Association Presents: World War I

Berrien County Historical Association Presents: World War I

Now on Display in the Sheriff's Residence

The History Center at Courthouse Square is proud to announce the long-awaited installation of the World War I exhibition now on display on the main level of the Sheriff’s Residence. The exhibition experience includes items from the History Center’s collections, a booklet developed by the History Center staff, and six panels on loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History about US involvement in WWI. The exhibition will be on display through the end of July 2019, and is free to the public.

1839 Courthouse Restored

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

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

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.

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Free Public Programs

The 2019 Summer Program Series

Coming soon!

Settlement of Southwest Michigan with Tom Kimmel

Settlement of Southwest Michigan with Tom Kimmel

Tom Kimmel returns to the History Center for a presentation about the settlement and development of Southwest Michigan.

A regular contributor to the Journal Era, Tom Kimmel will return to the History Center for a presentation about the settlement and development of Southwest Michigan. Not only is he an avid writer, Kimmel is also a local expert about farming and steam engines. This is free to all.

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Sister Mary Purnell with Ron Taylor

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Sister Mary Purnell with Ron Taylor

The first in the popular Thursdays at Courthouse Square series begins Thursday, June 20.

The first program of the popular Thursdays at Courthouse Square series will be by Ron Taylor on Sister Mary Purnell. Mary's City of David sparks a lot of interest among local residents and visitors alike. Come learn more about the person behind the movement. Free Admission.

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Isle Royal Adventure with Loreen Niewenhuis

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Isle Royal Adventure with Loreen Niewenhuis

Thursdays at Courthouse Square: Isle Royal Adventure with Loreen Niewenhuis

Loreen Niewenhuis returns once again to the History Center for the Thursdays at Courthouse Square series. This time, Niewenhuis will present on her work on Isle Royal in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Niewenhuis is known for her environmental adventures including her trek around Lake Michigan. Free Admission

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Educational Programs and Services

Schedule a Program or Service Today!

Educational Programs

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 info@berrienhistory.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.

View PDF Brochure for More Details

Gift Shop

New Gift Shop

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

Historic Walking Tour of St. Joseph

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History Center Hours

  • Winter Hours (October - April)
    Tues-Sat 10 am-5 pm

    Summer Hours (May - September)
    Tues-Sat 10 am-6 pm
    Sundays 12 pm-4 pm

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