Arenac County Historical Society & Museum
The Arenac County Historical Society (ACHS) presents local, social, and family history as exhibits, artifacts, and documents. First quartered in the former Delano School house in Whitney Township from 1970 to 1984, the museum is currently housed in the former circa 1883 Au Gres Methodist Church. We are recognized by Historical Society of Michigan.
The society was incorporated in 1970 as a non-profit educational organization with its mission to establish and operate a museum preserving Arenac County’s history. ACHS shares Arenac County history through newsletters, publications, speaker presentations, and activities for the general public.
Preserving and providing Arenac County history
The Arenac County Historical Society offers society publications as well as those written by professional and amateur historians and genealogists. These books and indexes help researchers and family historians with their valuable research. Our bookstore provides compelling reading for the history curious who wonder how our predecessors turned Arenac County into what it is today. The most recent ACHS publication is Civil War Veterans of Arenac County by members Brenda Matt and Joann Gulau.
Over the years, ACHS has researched and compiled information about county cemeteries. Tombstone photos and cemetery information are uploaded to FindAGrave’s Arenac County cemetery pages. (Dedicated non-Society cemetery historians and enthusiasts also contribute photographs and memorials.) The Arenac County branch of MIGenWeb’s Tombstone Transcription Project is also a continuing project.
Providing images and indexes online is an ongoing project. Glass negatives by the turn-of-the-20th-century local photographer Bruce VanHorn may be viewed online. Each township, city and village has a photo gallery of documents, news clippings, photos and postcards if available. ACHS works to expand the number of photographs and indexes available. We have a “photo detective” gallery for photos donated with little or no identification. We hope web site visitors can identify the who, what, when and where of these unidentified images.
In June of 2005, the Arenac County Historical Society purchased what was the 1889 Omer courthouse (Arenac County’s second one) that later served as the Omer Masonic Lodge # 377. The building, now known as Ye Olde Courthouse, is a Michigan State Historic Site and a National Historic Place.