The Davison Area Historical Society will soon have new digs as crews put the final touches on a new building at the Robert Williams Nature Preserve.
The historical society will soon operate three museums in the Davison area: the museum at 263 E. Fourth St.; the Kitchen school at Bristol and State roads; and the new facility at the Williams property.
Randy Stewart, zoning and building administrator for Davison Township, said the new museum, which will give the historical society more room to display artifacts from the Davison area, will be ready for occupancy next week.
Workers from Great Lakes 1-800 PAINTING and Painting in Davison donated their time and the drywall and Sherwin Williams donated the paint to finish the new two-story facility.
The historical society is preparing for its move, but members say they won’t be in a hurry to relocate the artifacts from the downtown museum — which will still be open and will have offer displays for the public to see.
“I think its wonderful,” said Debbie Koski, president of the historical society. “I can’t wait to display things we haven’t been able to show.”
The new museum will include displays such as two, century old, horse drawn sleighs which were pulled from a Davison Township barn about three years ago and some of the artifacts found at a dig site in the old Seeleyville settlement — the first community in the Davison which was located near M-15 and Maple Road in Davison Township.
The museum will also feature a theater where historical films can be shown. The theater will include 28 original seats from the old Midway Theater which was once a movie house in Davison, but was demolished more than 10 years ago to make way for the new Kroger shopping center.
Those seats are located in the old Davison Masonic Lodge and are being donated to the museum by the Masons, said Stewart.
Koski said she is happy to see the museum will be handicap accessible, something the other Davison historical sites are not, and she is pleased with the opportunities for reaching out to the area youth the museum will allow.
“In the future we hope to work with history classes in Davison schools,” said Koski. “Maybe we can get more kids interested in history.”
Stewart said work on the nature preserve will continue and more grant money is being sought to continue the efforts at the 100-acre site Genova Products owner Robert Williams donated to the township last year. Williams gave the property he and his family had lived on for a number of years, off Atherton Road west of M-15, to the township for development into a nature center.
The township is working with Davison schools and other community organizations to develop a sprawling nature preserve which will include trails, outdoor programs and activities and other recreational and educational opportunities for members of the community.