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Historic Locations in Montague and Whitehall, Michigan


Historic Locations & Museums in Montague & Whitehall »





Museums

Montague City Museum features many unique artifacts from the area's past, including a dress worn by Montague's Nancy Ann Fleming, who was crowned Miss America in 1961. The museum is open June through August on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Montague City Museum is located at 8717 Meade Street.

The Caboose Museum is an actual railroad caboose that was converted into a museum. It features artifacts from the railroad history of Montague and Whitehall. The museum is located behind the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce on Hanson Street. From spring through fall, the Caboose Museum is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it's open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.

The White River Light Station was built in 1875 by Captain William Robinson and served the White Lake area until 1960, when it was deactivated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The beautiful brick lighthouse is now a museum and features exhibits about the area's history related to the shipping and logging industries. To visit the light station, you will want to take White Lake Drive from Whitehall to South Shore and take that to Murray Road to the lighthouse. There is a great view of the lighthouse from the northern shore of the channel to White Lake from Lake Michigan, near Medberry Park.

White River Lighthouse

Michigan Historical Markers

Around Whitehall there are a few historical markers that remember people and places from the city's past. The green markers are in locations that are considered significant by the Michigan Historical Commission.
  • Near Whitehall's City Hall, there is a marker that remembers Ruth Thompson, Michigan's first woman in Congress. Thompson was elected to the House of Representatives by voters in 1950 and served three terms.

  • At Covell Park, there is a marker dedicated to "Lumbering on White Lake." In 1836, Charles Mears built White Lake's first sawmill, and by 1883, there were 24 sawmills in the area. The lumber boom in the area ended in 1907 when the Staples and Covell Mill closed.

  • South of downtown, Lebanon Evangelical Lutheran Church has an historical marker that describes how Swedish residents formed the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Lebanon Church of Whitehall in 1872. They built the Gothic-inspired church at the corner of Mears Avenue and Market Street in 1877. It was made of area lumber that was milled at the Staples and Covell Mill.

Historic Buildings & Locations

The Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall opened in 1916 and has presented a variety of entertainment and live performances during its history. The theater was built by Frank R. Adams of Chicago and local businessman James Nufer, with its design mimicking that of Chicago's LaSalle Theater.

White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce began leasing the old Whitehall-Montague Train Depot location in 1982. During the 1870s, the Chicago and West Michigan Railroad built a railroad line between Muskegon and Pentwater to service the lumber mills in the area. In the early 1900s, the Pere Marquette Railroad took over the the system. Many years later, the route became a rail trail that stretches from Whitehall/Montague to Hart.

Ferry Memorial Reformed Church's Heritage Hall in Montague is a beautiful, historic structure that was built in 1874. It's steeple overlooks White Lake and can be seen from Whitehall's Goodrich Park. The building was named for Major Noah H. Ferry, who died on July 3, 1863 during the Civil War battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was originally home to the Ferry Presbyterian Church until it was dissolved in 1942. It became Ferry Memorial Reformed Church on October 28, 1942. A new sanctuary was built next door and was dedicated in 1981.

Ferry Memorial Reformed Church

Maps

See the maps page for maps showing the locations of historical markers, historic sites, and much more.








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