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Museum exterior

Welcome to the Ferndale Historical Society, Operators of the Ferndale Historical Museum located in Ferndale, Michigan.

When the state of Michigan became interested in historic buildings in 1973, the City of Ferndale established a Historical Study Commission. Maurice F. Cole, James Avery, June Kotlarek, Vincent Lupo and Thomas O’Donoghue were appointed as Charter members in 1974. Mr. Lupo resigned a few weeks later and Mr. O’Donoghue resigned due to health concerns.

The first Ferndale Historical Society was founded on February 21, 1977, but it became inactive by August 1980. The Historical Study Commission was still active.

The Canadian Legion donated their building to the City of Ferndale "to be used for the good of the community" in 1979. On February 23, 1981, a city council resolution passed would allow the donated building to be used as the Ferndale Historical Museum and Town Center provided that renovations estimated around $20,000 were completed without cost to the city.

Mildred Garbutt and others at this time started to collect items for the museum.

In September 1981, after visiting the Canadian Legion building to discuss work needed, it was brought up at a Historical Study Commission meeting which was usually held at City Hall by Jim Avery that the Ferndale Historical Society should be reactivated and the idea was unanamously approved by a vote.

During 1982, renovations on the building continued, membership ideas, collecting items and other revenue ideas were in the works. By May, a committee was established to create By-Laws. Many local businesses, organizations and people donated money and materials while volunteers worked on the building.

The Ferndale Historical Society was officially incorporated February 23, 1983. An Open House and Building dedication was scheduled on May 30th after the Memorial Day Parade and Program. When the Historical Society became responsible for the operation of the museum, the Historical Study Commission work was considered complete and dissolved in 1984.

In 2007, as the museum’s inventory grows, the current space has reached its capacity and we are in desperate need of a new home to house and display the hundreds of items it has collected over the years. We are currently looking for a larger building and have established a building fund.

In 2008 the Ferndale Historical Society celebrated its 25th Anniversary of incorporation.

message from our director

Mission Statement

Membership Drive

Museum Donation


Historical Society Logo


1st slate of Officers '83
Mildred Garbutt
Vice President
Ruth (Rodgers) Elmers
Helen Jameson
Corresponding Secretary
Susan Madonia
Recording Secretary
Rosina Saunders
Board of Directors
Al Squires
Bess Tewsbury
Enid DeTar Poehlman
Jess Soltess
James Avery
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

No Audio or Video recording devices or Cameras are allowed to be
used in the museum without permission.

To make a special visit appointment, call
(248) 545-7606
1651 Livernois
Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Map with directions to the Historical Museum Photo


2017-2018 Officers
Garry Taylor
Vice President
Roger Schmidt
Jeff Taylor
Research Specialist, Historian
Jean Spang
Recording Secretary
Jan Froggatt
Membership Chair, Historian
Karin Vigliarolo
Museum Director, Historian
Garry Taylor
Corresponding Secretary, Newsletter Editor
Jean Spang
Board of Directors
David Lungu
Lisa Harteau
Gay Tarvis
Dan Harteau
Greg Pawlica


Historical Society Logo Ferndale Historical Society - Site Credits




Message From Our Director Home - Ferndale Historical Society Link to Mission Statment