Come one, come all to the unveiling of the latest in the Best Dearborn Stories Series. There will be a book III signing on Sunday December 8th at Sacred Heart Parish Hall from 2 to 5 p.m. Books will be on hand for purchase and you will have a chance to meet many of the authors and have them sign your book. If you can’t make it, books are available on the Museum’s website at http://thedhm.com/museum-store-2/ or at the Museum office at 915 Brady Street. Hope to see you at the book signing.
I can safely say that we are all breathing a sigh of relief around the museum this week. It’s the first week of October, fall is under way and the first ever Party at the Museum is over. (Enjoy Pictures of the event at the bottom of the post)
I would like to thank everyone who came out to the Party at the Museum. Thank you for your support but most importantly thank you for sticking with us throughout the event. There were a few hiccups along the way, and it was a learning experience for all of us. Yet, the support shown last Friday night was overwhelming. We were expecting anywhere from 600 to 800 people and over 1,200 people attended! For those of you who don’t know, The Party at the Museum was the Dearborn Historical Museum’s first ever beer tasting party. It was an event put together by volunteers, ran by volunteers and all to help raise funds and bring attention to the Museum.
The Party at the Museum took months of planning which was all done by a small committee of volunteers. I can personally tell you that it was scary and at times overwhelming trying to plan an event of that magnitude when you know that it directly affects an underfunded local museum. I lost sleep over worrying about the party and potentially hurting the museum that I love. The diverse background of our committee provided us a strong foundation for running The Party at the Museum, yet there are always unforeseen situations that arise. That is the hard part of doing any event for the first time, it was a learning experience and thankfully we now know more for next year’s event.
One of the things that really made a difference was having a dedicated group of volunteers to help. Our volunteers worked extra shifts to deal with the sheer amount of people who had attending. The Son’s of the Union Veterans kindly donated their time to act as our event security along with staffing the Gardner House and McFadden Ross house with period clothing docents. Fundraising groups like the Relay for Life’s Team Dearborn came out to pour beer throughout the evening. M.T.T. Distributors made sure we had delicious microbrewed beer to last all evening. Artist Amy Stegner brought her 99 bottles painting collection to display. Additionally City of Dearborn employee Craig Champagne allowed us to exhibit his Stroh’s memorabilia collection in the McFadden Ross house. It was the help and support from these people along with those 1200+ visitors that helped to make our event a success. Our goal was to inform people about the museum, and I believe we did that in spades.
Another amazing aspect of our event was the sponsorship that we received from local organizations. Companies like A.C.E Diamond
Jewelry, The Henry Ford Heritage Association, Les Stanford Chevrolet, Henry Ford Village and the Dearborn Federal Savings Bank all helped to make our party a huge success.
Political candidates were also offered the option to donate in order to hang a sign or banner of the Dearborn Historical Society’s fencing for the event. Canidates like: Mike Sareini, Brian C. O’Donnell, Susan Dabaja, Kristyn Taylor, Thomas Tafelski, Patrick Melton and Mayor Jack O’Reilly all kindly donated to the event.
On Wednesday, October 9th at 6:15pm we plan to have a wrap-up/review meeting at the McFadden Ross House on Brady Street. If you would like to attend to help make next year’s event even better we invite you too. It would be wonderful to have people sign up this year to work on next year’s committee. If you can’t attend the meeting please email us your constructive comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, thank you so much for your support. While I might just be a volunteer who helped to put together a party, I was moved by the support of our community. I wish I had the words to thank you all properly. Next year we hope to bring you another great event, with more mircobrewed beer, more food, more history and shorter lines.
Mary Louise Nuznov, M.A.
Party at the Museum Chairperson
We have a very exciting event happening on October 25th from 8 pm until midnight. In conjunction with the Motor City Ghost Hunters, there will be an Adult Ghost Hunt at the Museum. Tickets are available at the Museum office or by calling 313-565-3000. Check out more details at http://motorcityghosthunters.com/adultghosthunts/dearbornmuseumgh.html
Listen to Mary Nuznov, Beer Tasting Chairperson, talk about what a night it will be at The Party at the Museum September 27. http://cdtv.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=950f2705299964a9be172a58625f9968
Here at the Dearborn Historical Museum we work very hard to keep our wonderful museum going. We have dozens of volunteers who give their time to be docents, archivist, and to do the hands-on tasks like helping organize our artifacts and storage spaces. Yet everyone knows that after working hard, you need to have some fun. Which is why we are so excited about our upcoming event Party at the Museum!
Now this event is something that we have never done at the DHM before, but we really think it’s going to be great.
From 5pm to 11pm on Friday September 27th we will have a history, beer and Barbecue party. That’s right, rich history, great brews and tasty food all at your favorite local museum.
Tickets are 9 dollars a person at the door, but you can buy your ticket early and it will only be 8! That ticket gets you in the doors, a 12oz collectible glass mug, and a one free drink of your choice. We are going to have a selection of beers, a couple of wines and root beer (for those who don’t drink) on tap.
One of the awesome things about this event is that we are serving regional craft beers including some brews from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company and Dragonmead Mircobrewery. Every additional beer will be 4 dollars and 2 dollars for 6oz of wine.
Detroit BBQ is coming out and will cooking up some delicious mouth-watering food. 80s Inc. will be playing live music. The McFadden Ross house will be displaying beer inspired art my local artist Amy Stenger and an a collection of Stroh’s memorabilia. There really isn’t a better way to get your weekend started.
If you are looking for a place to stop by and get your tickets early here is a list of wonderful businesses that have our tickets;Family Dentistry, Gentlemen First, Steven Bernard Jewelers, Double Olive, Oakwood Muirhead Building, City Council Office, City Clerk’s Office and of course the Dearborn Historical Museum! Additionally Gentlemen First are offering a 3 dollar discount on a haircut if you purchase your ticket from them.
We are still looking for sponsors for this event. It’s a big event and we are hoping for some community support so if you or someone you know wants to help sponsor our event please contact the museum at (313) 565-3000.
We look forward to everyone coming out after work on Friday September 27th and having a beer with us!
Here at the museum, there’s always something to keep us busy. If we aren’t taking people through one of our historic buildings or helping researchers look up records in our archives we’re always finding something that needs doing!
One of the projects that has been ongoing here at the museum is digitizing our collections. For the most part, this is done as we re-inventory; we record an item and its location, take a picture of it, and then enter both into our museum management computer program. (See our more detailed post about our inventorying effort here).
But, not all of the museum’s collections are 3D artifacts and so aren’t included in our efforts to re-inventory. The Dearborn Historical Museum boasts an extensive archives in the McFadden-Ross House. Currently, our archives serves the Dearborn community by facilitating research and providing a historic look at Dearborn and its people. One of our goals for digitizing our collections, including the archives, is making it easier for people to access them. The viability of a small museum is tied to how well it makes itself available to the public. Updating our digital records is just the first step. The next step is getting it available for viewing for members over the internet. It would be so fantastic to be able to share so much of our collection with people so easily and to be able to share our history with a much wider audience.
Updating the museum is not just confined to digitizing our collections. It also means making sure we are providing programs and exhibits that are interesting and informative to everyone; from children to adults, Dearborn residents to out-of-towners.
To address this incentive, the museum has been working on many new and exciting events. In this year alone, the museum has added many events and even brought back popular ones. The most exciting of these events is the Dearborn Historical Museum’s First Annual Beer Tasting! The Beer Tasting will feature Michigan brewery Kuhnhenn with select beers and wines and Detroit BBQ for all kinds of delicious food. Visitors will be able to try all kinds of great beer, wine, root beer (for the kids or those who don’t drink) and food and listen to a live band. We’re hoping this event is a popular one and will be around for years to come!
Through these efforts, the museum is increasing its visibility and its accessibility. It’s so exciting to be here during this time. Our history is meeting our present technology to propel us into the future!
This last week, people have been commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the battle at Gettysburg. The Civil War impacted every state in one way or another, and Michigan is no different. Dearborn has a unique place in this history as home to a United States Arsenal. To help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we have put together a history of the Detroit Arsenal in Dearbornville and its service during the Civil War.
Not much remains of the United States Arsenal that was built in Dearbornville in the 1830s. When completed, the arsenal consisted of eleven buildings: the armory, sutler’s shop (where personal items could be purchased), guard house, the barracks, surgeon’s quarters, carpenter’s shop, smith’s shop, saddler’s shop, gun-carriage shed, the arsenal office, and the commandant’s quarters. The powder magazine, with its two foot thick brick walls, wasn’t completed until 1839 and was located safely outside of the arsenal walls.
The Detroit Arsenal at Dearbornville was smaller than similar arsenals such as those at Springfield, Waterviet, and St. Louis. This is because, unlike bigger operations, the Detroit Arsenal at Dearbornville never manufactured weapons. Instead, the Arsenal staff repaired weapons and other military material.
The Arsenal wasn’t an army base; very few soldiers ever trained here. The Arsenal served as an armory where various companies would stop to procure arms before marching off to battle. The Arsenal became an important stop for Michigan troops on their way to fight in the American Civil War.
Due to the need for more soldiers at the front, many arsenals operated with skeleton crews and had only enough men to perform the most essential tasks. The Arsenal at Dearbornville is no exception. In 1864, there were only eight soldiers stationed full-time at the arsenal. If required, these eight men would be charged with handing out weapons and gear for hundreds of soldiers.
Depriving the Arsenal of guards created other problems. Due to the draft, support of the government was down and an attack on a poorly manned arsenal was a very real possibility. To fix this problem, General Order 69 was expanded. This allowed “invalids” or persons who were in part disabled either through natural causes or war to serve in non-front line duties.
On August 20, 1864, Cpt. George C. Davenport and Company F of the 2nd Regiment, Veteran Corps joined the small number still stationed at the Arsenal in Dearbornville. This increased the number of soldiers by a factor of almost 100.
Just a day after the Union victory at Gettysburg, a large celebration was held. Nearly 5,000 people gathered at the Arsenal parade grounds for a day of festivities. The Declaration of Independence was read by Cpt. Levan C. Rhines of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters and Col. Charles V. DeLand, also of the Sharpshooters, made a short speech. Records show that the day of the celebration was so hot, thirty barrels of ice water was consumed within fifteen minutes.
At the end of the Civil War, the Arsenal was charged with re-collecting United States Property from soldiers returning home. The Arsenal collected arms from the First, Second, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, Twenty-third, Twenty-Fourth, Twenty-Fifth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-seventh Regiments, the First Michigan Sharpshooters, and the Fourth Calvary.
In 1966, a marker was placed on the Commandant’s Quarters to commemorate those who served and trained at the Arsenal during the Civil War. The marker reads:
“Michigan Soldiers Trained at the U.S. Arsenal During Civil War
During the period of the American Civil War
the U.S. Arsenal in Dearborn (Then Dearbornville)
served as training facilities for Michigan soldiers.
This marker is a testimony and a memorial to
those men and their units who gave a measure
of their devotion. They include:
First Michigan Sharpshooters Regiment.
Approximately one third to one half
of the unit’s ten companies were
casualties, including men from the all
Indian Company K, four men received the
Congressional Medal of Honor.
Battery M of the First Light Artillery.”