The Benzie Area Historical Society, which owns and manages the Benzie Area Historical Museum and the Drake School, impacts our community in a wide variety of ways:

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  • Our volunteer teachers have created Junior Historians, a curriculum-based program for elementary school students. We also host tours at the Museum and the Drake School for students of all ages.
  • The Society provides research and other support to teachers at both Benzie Central and Frankfort-Elberta Schools. Activities include an annual Bruce Catton essay contest, recreating historical sites/events through art, and learning how to research using primary sources.
  • Over 550 local students participated in the Society’s Junior Historians program, tours and other outreach this year!
  • Our archivists have recorded over 18,250 photographs, diaries, musical scores and other objects in our online archives with many of these artifacts on exhibit at the Museum and Drake School.
  • Local schools, writers, and universities regularly use the archives, and we routinely field requests for people searching for links to their past.
  • Our research department collaborated with the Betsie Valley Trail board, providing photos and recommendations on which events and people should be featured on trail kiosks.
  • We published two books – The Hotel Frotenac and Aux Becs Scies: Frankfort Harbor 1860-1910 this year. These books, which benefit the Historical Society, and others on Benzie County history are available for sale at the Museum.
  • Our quarterly newsletter is focused on sharing the people, events, and industries which have shaped Benzie County’s history, and we regularly provide newspapers and other publications with articles, photos and research.
  • We protect thousands of historic textiles, furniture and other items stored in our climate-controlled collections building.
  • We partner with the Genealogical Society and offer genealogy services.
  • The Benzonia Academy Lecture Series offers free lectures to the general public on national, international, and local history on the second Thursday of each month.

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The Benzie Area Historical Society is a Michigan non-profit and IRS 501(c) (3) tax-exempt membership organization and depends solely on donations for its operations. Please consider supporting our work by joining the Society and attending our events. Visits the The Benzie Area Historical Museum website to learn more!

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