Beer Tasting, Museum

Party at the Museum

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!


Museum, School, Teacher

Not a teacher, an awakener

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” – Robert Frost

June means a lot of things for the residents of Dearborn. The farmers markets open up again. Father’s day is here and gone. Often there is yard work to be done and graduation parties to attend. Yet the most important part of June is that it is that start of summer vacation.

So while students were getting ready to leave their classes, we at the Museum are packing up our school program. For the last four months the museum has been running our Pioneer School Program.

DMH has welcomed roughly 1,4oo second graders to our McFadden Ross house for a morning out experience-based learning and hands on projects. Dearborn Public School students got a chance to learn a little bit about life in the 1830’s. We really wanted students to acknowledge the differences and similarities between life in Dearborn then and now.

Half of the program was spent in the Pioneer room at the McFadden Ross house. Students learned about the different jobs and chores ever family member would have to do to living in 1830s Dearborn. They got a change to practice their map reading skills, as they traced the route that the Nowlin family took when moving to Dearborn. Students also got a chance to experience what a school day would be for a second grader in the 1830s. From reciting from the McGuffy 2nd grade reader, to sharing uncomfortable two person desks, to practicing arithmetic and spelling on their slate boards, everyone got a chance to see the technological differences and content similarities between schools now and then.

The second half of the program students got a chance to rotate through different learning stations.

Students got to walk through the Gardener home and learn about how the Gardener Family lived. Many students were shocked to learn about rope beds and outhouses. Then they got a chance to churn (and taste) their own hand-made butter! Finally students learned about the three sisters (corn, beans and squash) and got to plant and take home their own vegetable.

I know that I can say that I was continually impressed with our young guests. Their observations were enlightening and their excitement was contagious. We are already looking forward to next year’s program

Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers and helpful teachers really made our program a success.

However, just because our field trip season is over doesn’t mean we are done around the museum! June 29th is our Teddy Bear picnic! Our Sports Memorabilia exhibit is still up if you haven’t come by to see it already. Our archivists are still hard at work. We are also going to be having some exciting events coming this fall (top secret at the moment).

As always thanks for reading! Don’t forget to like us on facebook and follow us on Twitter!

collection, What is it?

What is it?!

In addition to our monthly behind the scenes blogs, the museum is also introducing “What is it?” posts.
These posts will explore items from the museum’s collections; artifacts that are unusual or are things that people just don’t use any more.

Can you figure out what these mysterious items were used for? Here’s the first one, GOOD LUCK!

Rapid Washer

This item has a wooden handle that is about 35″ long with a metal cone attached at its base. On the wooden handle, there is a hand rest about a foot from the top that sticks out perpendicular and is about 4 1/2″ long. The metal cone is stamped with a maker’s mark, is 7 1/2″ long and has a diameter of 8 1/2″. The inside of the metal cone is separated by other metal pieces that have holes drilled into them.
All together, the item is a little over three feet tall and is fairly light.


Hint: the metal is rusted.


Our collection

The Dearborn Historical Museum is home to thousands of artifacts from the early pioneer days to the present day. Everything from large farming equipment to delicate textiles; if it came from Dearborn or belonged to someone from Dearborn, it’s our job to take care of it. The biggest difficulty with housing a collection this robust is knowing where everything is!

Right now, the museum is in the process of a massive re-inventory. Volunteers and staff work together to make sure we have not only a hard-copy, but also a digital-copy of every artifact in our collection. It’s a big task, but it’s important that it gets done. Re-inventorying tell us exactly where everything is, what condition it’s in, and how many of a specific item we have. Knowing this information helps us plan new exhibits so we can share our collection with you!


First, a member of our staff or a volunteer (pictured here is Tom Saroglia, one of our regular volunteers) takes an un-inventoried artifact and looks for any identifying numbers, called accession numbers. An accession number shows the year an artifact was donated and which part it was of a specific donation. If an accession number can’t be found, we give the artifact an “NA” number or un-accession number. This allows us to keep track of which artifacts we need to look at again or research. This is also the time when staff can determine if we have too many of a certain artifact– more than three of a clothes iron is two too many that we can’t use!

Next, we photograph the artifacts. This allows us to look up items and see them without having to touch them, saving the items from damaging oils in our hands. Having a digital photograph also helps us when the artifacts are entered into our computer network. When we search for items from a certain era or type, we can see all of them. This is a great help when trying to put together exhibits, doing research, or locating the artifact in the storage areas.


Once the artifact’s number has been sorted out and its been photographed, it’s given a tag with its number written on it so it can be quickly identified and shelved. Then, it’s on to the next artifact! Given the museum’s extensive collection, we don’t expect to finish the re-inventorying for some time, but having everything organized makes other museum work much easier.

Nice, neat and organized!
Nice, neat and organized!

Welcome to the Dearborn Historical Musem’s blog!

Our goal with this blog is to let people see the everyday work and preperation that goes on here at the museum. Every month we’ll put together at least one post about what we’ve been doing. Whether it’s putting together an opening for an exhibit, a restoration project, accessioning new artifacts, or just the day-to-day, you’ll get to see it.

So, take your time, look around, and let us know what you think!