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Does History Have Your Number?


Current Exhibit at the Museum on Main Street   Does History Have Your Number? A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, label and identify. They tell us how things work, where to go, when and how to get there – if you know where to look and how to read and use them. This fun and family friendly exhibit includes some of the numbers of local history, the history of some numbers and numbers-related activities for kids and adults. There are games and puzzles in the middle room for you to play with, learn from, figure out and challenge your numbers skills. You can take your numbers brain teaser test home, as well the answers...if you need them!

Ask a Historian  Do you have a question about local history? Are you curious about a house or monument in your neighborhood? Want to know more about an event that took place when you were a kid? Wondering about the name of your street? Click here to ask our historians!

Sunday June 12 - Badge 112 - Book Talk & Signing with Author Peter Stipe   Hear stories from the heart of author Peter Stipe’s life and Ann Arbor law enforcement career experiences and insights on Sunday June 12, 2022 at 2pm at the Ann Arbor District Library Pittsfield branch. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase after the talk. This program is presented by the Washtenaw County Historical Society in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library. 2359 Oak Valley Dr. - Google Maps Ann Arbor,  (734) 327-4200

May is National Preservation Month

Also known as Historic Preservation Month, the month celebrates the nation’s heritage through historic places. Not only are the places worth preserving, but the stories behind them are, too. Whether the story is found in archives or attics, peeling back the layers of time helps us understand the past. The Washtenaw County Historic Preservation Program is dedicated to supporting local historic districts, spurring heritage tourism, and attracting investment in our historic resources. It is Michigan's only county-wide Certified Local Government - providing access to additional economic development resources.

Other Local Preservation Organizations

Ann Arbor Historic District Commission

Saline Historic District Commission

Ypsilanti Historic District Commission

Pittsfield Township Historic District Commission

Ann Arbor Modern

Watch the End of the Wall Street Journey

MoMS on the Move - The Museum on Main Street is located in a historic house, built in sections from 1835-39, that used to stand at 1015 Wall Street in Ann Arbor. In June of1990, it was moved past the remaining original homes and buildings of Lowertown, over the Broadway Bridge up Beakes Street to its current home at 500 N. Main Street. Click here for the long version with the comments of the videographer part of the fun and a view of the garage on Wall Street at the very end.

March is Women's History Month

This year's theme set by the National Women's History Alliance is "Providing Healing, Promoting Hope." as a tribute "to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history."

Across the Country  The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history..Girlhood (It's complicated) explores the concept of girlhood in the United States, and also how girls changed history in five areas: politics, education, work, health, and fashion. Locally - Celebrate Women's History Month with the Ann Arbor District Library. Learn about the women who created the Ypsilanti District Library, The Alumni Education Gateway shares insights from the University of Michigan community on research pertaining to women’s history, health, and pressing social issues.

Celebrating a Century of Service
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The Museum on Main Street thanks the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor for allowing us to share their 100th Anniversary Celebration with the community!
Click on the logo for a comprehensive history of the Club, the work the do and  and their 100 year celebration.
Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor.jpg
Customers at a Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor.jpg

This nonprofit organization of volunteers is dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. They have been doing that for decades for residents of Washtenaw County with the support of proceeds from the purchase of treasures, toys, household necessities, tools, clothing and one of a kind items from The Thrift Store and Sales. Check out the Thrift Sale experience, re-created in the front room that will bring back some wonderful memories of the downtown rummage and thrift sales. And give you an idea of what you can find right now at the Kiwanis Center and Thrift Store on Staebler Road in Ann Arbor. Visitors will learn about the work Kiwanians do and how they do it - from an oversized scrapbook in the Exploration room to photos, art, objects, stories and artifacts throughout the exhibit.

The Museum on Main Street is at 500 N. Main at the corners of Brakes, E. Kingsley and Main Street. Hours are Saturdays and Sundays, Weekday appointments can be accommodated by emailing wchs-1000@ameritech.net or calling 734-662-9092. Museum on Main Street Covid-19 Safety Measures Because the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, members and visitors is the highest priority – masks are required indoors when visiting the Museum on Main Street. Free masks are available at the door along with hand sanitizer. The exhibit closes on February 20, 2022.

Breakfast was delicious at the Museum on Main Street

Will it Still Snap, Crackle or Pop?

Virtual Tour of the Exhibit on Main Street


This exhibition is a partnership between the International Museum of Dinnerware Design, the Washtenaw County Historical Society's Museum on Main Street, and the Ann Arbor District Library.


The International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s Fourth Biennial Invitational and Juried exhibition, Breakfast, is all about celebrating the first meal of the day. In addition to work by contemporary artists, historic works from the IMoDD permanent collection will be seamlessly woven throughout the exhibition. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition is open virtually on our website.

Guests can plan to view the exhibition in person when it is safe to do so following common sense and state guidelines and procedures.  Special tours are welcome by contacting the Museum on Main Street or emailing the exhibition curator at director@dinnerwaremuseum.org. An in-person closing reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 21st.


Juried prizes were sponsored by “Jiffy Mixes” of Chelsea Milling Company. To see a listing of invited and juried artists click here

Breakfast Exhibit
Breakfast Exhibit
Breakfast Exhibit


500 N. Main Street

February brings a unique opportunity to the Museum on Main Street. We are re-imagining the best way to use the second floor of the museum.


To make space for the Pauline V. Walters High Density Storage System in 2020, some items had to be moved from the basement to the first floor. The new unit is beautiful and artifacts from the collection are being processed

and re-housed.

Many of the items moved are used for exhibits but not part of the collection. Our goal in the next few weeks is to re-organize the second floor offices, work space and conference room.

High-Density Storage at MoMS
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the office of the Washtenaw County Historical Society and The Museum on Main Street are temporarily closed to the public for the safety of visitors, members, staff and volunteers. 
But the work of the Society continues. Our mission is to educate and inspire our community to engage in the preservation and presentation of area history.

The Washtenaw County Historical Society believes that history has a powerful impact when it connects the people, events, places, stories and ideas of the past with people, events, places, stories and ideas of today.

"Women on the Warpath" B-24 Liberator - 1943   In January of 1940, the Roosevelt administration asked Ford Motor Company to manufacture components for the B-24 Liberator bomber. Charles Sorensen, Vice-President of Production for Ford traveled to San Diego to observe Consolidated Aircraft's operations. On that visit he conceived the Willow Run bomber plant that eventually manufactured 8,800 of the B-24 Liberator bombers.


On November 5th, 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the University of Michigan. Photographs were taken of his historic and only visit to the U-M visit but were never printed or published and his visit was soon forgotten.


In 2012, the photos negatives of his long ago visit that resided in the U-M's Bentley Historical Library were digitally scanned and converted to positive images then brought to the attention of the public via the Michigan Daily. Read more...

On February 12, 1968, 1,300 Black sanitation workers in Memphis began a strike to demand better working conditions and higher pay.


Their stand marked an early fight for financial justice for workers of color as part of the civil rights movement. The strike also drew Martin Luther King, Jr. and fatefully became the setting for his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech and his assassination.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Hill Auditorium


Welcome Back!

The Washtenaw County

Historical Society

P.O Box 3336

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-3336

734-662-9092  wchs-500@ameritech.net

The Museum on Main Street

500 N. Main Street - Ann Arbor, MI 48104

734-662-9092    wchs-500@ameritech.net

Open Saturdays & Sundays

12 Noon - 4 pm

The Argus Museum

525 West William - Ann Arbor, MI 48104

734-769-0770    cchidester@onealconstruction.com

Open Monday-Friday

9am - 5 pm


(L) Unidentified subject of Ann Arbor photographer Obadiah A. Kelley, David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography

(R) Daniel L. Quirk Jr. started the “Ypsilanti Players” in 1915 and played many roles during the early years of the theatre,, (Ypsilanti Historical Society)