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Washtenaw County Historical Society

The Commuter - Michigan Central Railroad station, Ann Arbor, Michigan

1905-1910, Library of Congress

To educate and inspire community engagement in the preservation

and presentation of area history.

The Museum on Main Street and

The Argus Museum are  located in

historic buildings and neighborhoods

Are you curious about a house or building or an early pioneer?

Click here to submit your question.

First published in 1941, the issues of the WCHS newsletter Impressions  digitized and online.

What's Next on the Menu at the Museum on Main Street? - Breakfast!


The International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s Fourth Biennial Juried Exhibition is April 10 – August 28, 2021 at the Museum on Main Street. If not live, it will be virtual.

It's all about celebrating the first meal of the day, breakfast. This juried exhibition showcases the best in contemporary breakfastware. Everything from functional cereal bowls, toast racks, batter bowls, syrups, toasters, egg cups, shirred egg servers, juicers, butter dishes, coffee pots, tea pots, or related breakfast paraphernalia, or a sculptural work relating to breakfast


The International Museum of Dinnerware Design is the only museum in the world devoted to the subject of dinnerware, international in scope, no material limitations, including functional ware, ancient to futuristic, and fine art referencing dinnerware.

JOIN, DONATE or RENEW - 2021  

For 163 years membership dues and donations (private and public)  have been, and continue to be our most essential  financial support. When you join the Washtenaw County Historical Society your contributions allow all of our exhibits and programs to remain free and open to the public. Your contributions helped fund a mew high density storage unit for collections and to maintain the largest artifact we have in the collection - the house that serves as the Museum on Main Street.

Congratulations to the Salem Area Historical Society

The 2020 Pauline Walters Memorial Award winner was the Salem Area Historical Society. The award will be used to create story boards that will recall “stories from the 1800’s and early 1900’s about the farming community and families of Salem Township.”  The panels will be displayed in the Dickerson Barn, which is part of the Jarvis Stone School Historic District. 

January News

Pauline Walters.jpg
Pauline Walters Memorial Award

This award grants financial support to an individual or
organization that fulfills our mission to educate and inspire our community to  engage in the preservation and presentation of Washenaw County history.


The award was established in memory and honor of Pauline who served the Society for many years in various capacities from board member to President. From the moment the Museum opened she was present every weekday. Pauline truly loved history, helping people, volunteering and the Museum on Main Street.The maximum award amount is $500. A link to apply online for toe 2021 award will be posted when the 2020 winner is announced!

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.




"Stories of the University Library": A Bicentennial Exhibit is a compilation of photographs and news articles that show a few of the stories surrounding the University of Michigan Library and how it has grown throughout the University’s first 200 years.

19th Amendment Centennial - Online Exhibits


We Miss

Seeing You...

Our museum is closed but our website is always open.Voicemails and emails are answered. We can't wait until we are all safe enough to open our doors and welcome you 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

The Argus Museum

525 West William - Ann Arbor, MI 48104

734-769-0770    cchidester@onealconstruction.com


(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)