HOUGHTON LAKE AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
VILLAGE MUSEUM WITH
HISTORICAL SCHOOL ROOM
An original hand hewn log school house built in 1876 to serve the children of Edna, now named Prudenville. The first school of Houghton Lake has a fully restored classroom. The museum displays local logging artifacts, pictures and articles. The Building was originally located about 1/2 mile south the junction of M-55 and M-18 in what is now Prudenvile. The 1890 census recorded 18 students in this school. In 1972 when Kronner Pharmacy wished to expand their operation the offered it to the public and thus the Historical Society was formed. Displayed in the front section of the Schoolhouse is the equipment used by Michigan physician and surveyor, Douglass Houghton after whom Houghton Lake was named.The Second Floor is a living area that would have been typically found in a hotel or a home at the turn of the 20th Century. The classroom on the main floor has been re-created as it was when it was a working schoolhouse. During Village Days you can experience being in a classroom with the School Marm or School Master.
JOHNSON’S GENERAL STORE
The General Store is a combined display building and actual Store. The store sells goodies reminiscent of yesteryear. As in most Towns in early America the general store is also the site of the local post office. The Edna postal stamp is used during Village Days. Edna was the original name of Prudenville, Michigan
THE CHAPELThis charming Historical Chapel was built the old fashioned way, by a community effort and can accommodate 35 people. It is available for modern day weddings and other services. Chapels like this one were often the Center of life in the Village and was not only a place of worship but was the social center of the community The Chapel Bell and pews all donated items. During Village Days there is a Sunday morning service in the chapel with traditional Gospel Music.
The cook shack is an operating kitchen which has been renovated to resemble a logging camp cooking shanty. Meals are prepared and served there during Village Days and at other special times during the year. Near the Cook Shack is a covered picnic table area where you can enjoy the Cook Shack food or a lunch that you bring.
EDNA TIMES PRINT SHOP
The print shop features printing equipment that dates to the 1850’s. During that time printers used to handset type and printing presses were powered by a treadle. The “stone” hand set furniture and the Peer-less press in the Edna Times Shop was donated by the Houghton Lake Resorter. The treadle press is owned by Robert Sweet of Higgins Lake and is on loan to the Museum. The print shop is in operation during Village Days and you can create your own personalized historic document
THE BARBERSHOP, PHARMACY
AND DOCTOR’S OFFICE
The Barbershop, Pharmacy and Doctor’s Office is one of the more complicated buildings in the Village. When these towns were founded, buildings were often pressed into service for more that one function. Efner Parker was the first barber in the Houghton Lake Area. In the early 1900’s Doctor Arthur Sturge opened his office. The office also served as a hospital of sorts since patients who needed constant care would often spend several days at the Doctor’s Office. The Pharmacy sold not only patent medicines but also a wide variety of herbal and other folk medicines.
THE BLACKSMITH SHOP
The Blacksmith shop is a building that the Historical Society renovated from one of the Fisherman’s Paradise buildings which were donated to the Society by the Department of Natural Resources. Inside the shop the tools of the blacksmith as well as some of the items that the “smithy” would have produced are on display
MICHAELSON TOWN HALL
This building features a recreation of the town of Michalelson. Michaelson was a lumber town located just west of Houghton Lake on the Muskegon River. This town was founded by Nels Michaelson in 1909. Former Michelson resident and Lake Township resident, Lewis Spink, constructed a model of the Michelson village which is displayed in the Town Hall.
THE DRESS SHOP
The Dress Shop is designed to resemble a shop that would have been in service about 1870. Dresses on display in the main room are mostly wedding gowns that range from the mutton leg sleeve-snug waisted dresses of the late 19th century to something a flapper would have worn in the 1920’s. There is also a loom which may have been used to make fabric or rugs depending on the how it was strung. Also in the shop is a treadle sewing machine, this machine is operated by a foot peddle and was a convenient way to sew when there was no electricity.
NO PHOTO AVAILABLE
BAESE’S CARRIAGE SHOP
Baese’s Carriage Shop simulates a building that would have been found in a town of the 1870’s. On display in the carriage shop is a covered carriage that was a mail Delivery cart (donated by the Bockelman family) a sleigh, and a two seated buggy, donated by Russ McLaughlin and restored by Joe Boesl and Bill Baese. This building would have been the domain of the wheelwright. The Wheelwright was skilled in working with wood. Early roads were rough on the wheels of the carriages and wagons, the blacksmith would have been the person to fix the metal part of the wheel and the wheelwright would have fixed the wooden part of the wheel
The Homestead was originally set to resemble a homestead that would have been built around 1900-1925. The Questers Society did the original work on the building. Since that the time the Historical Society has attempted to restore the building to something more like a homestead of the 1860’s which is about the time Houghton Lake was first settled. The kitchen is the center of the home and the front room of the house was called the Parlor and used for Sunday Company. The Parlor held the best furniture that a family might own. The room in the back held the children's beds and was the play room for the family
THE STURGE BUILDING
The latest acquisition of the Historical Society, the Sturge Building is currently under restoration. We believe that it was originally built around the 1870’s near what is now Old-27 in the Loxley area. The building has been used for many different things over time. In the 1930’s the building was moved the Headquarters Road and eventually became the home of Orloff Sturge, the Justice of the Peace in the area from 1933 until 1969. The property was a residence for many years after Mr. Sturge’s death until it was donated to the Historical Society and moved to its current location at the Historical Village. We have been working to restore the building for a long time and in 2011 we were able to open this wonderful treasure for public tours