Frequently Asked Questions

Are you open year round?
Yes. Staff at upstairs in their offices Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm. We are not open on Mondays. Our museum gallery hours vary with the seasons with additional hours during the summer. Although we have fewer exhibit hours during the shoulder seasons, the exhibit galleries are always available by appointment. If you’re planning an off-season visit please give us a call.

What was the building used for before it was a museum?
Our building was built in 1886 as the Emmet County Courthouse. Harbor Springs was the county seat until 1902 when Petoskey took over. For the next 100 years, the building served as City Hall for the city of Harbor Springs. In 2003, the city moved its offices to Zoll Street and HSAHS began the process of creating a museum here.

Is the museum funded by tax dollars?
No, not at all. The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Historical Society does not receive any local tax dollars for our operations. We rely entirely on generous donations from people just like you.

Our building is still owned by the City of Harbor Springs and we maintain a long-term lease of the building. We thank the city for their support.

What can I do to support your organization?
You can support the Historical Society in a number of different ways. In addition to offering great member benefits, our membership program also provides a quarter of our annual revenue. We raise additional funds through our annual appeal, foundation grants and special events. Another way you can support us is by giving of your time and talents. We are always looking for volunteers.

You look closed. Why are your shades always drawn?
Our shades are closed to protect our artifacts, photographs and exhibits from damage caused by the sun. Think of our shades as sunscreen for artifacts – a necessary part of taking proper care of our collections.

Where’s all your stuff?
Speaking of artifacts, we house most of our collection in the climate-controlled archives room on the second floor of the museum building. Our entire collection is also available to view online.

I have some old stuff in my attic/basement/shed/trunk. Do you want it for the museum?
We love old stuff and we’d be happy to look at your old stuff. Our focus is on the Harbor Springs area so we reserve the right to turn down items that do not have a significant connection to Harbor Springs or to a Harbor Springs resident (past or present). The best bet is to call and talk with our collections manager to see if your item is a good fit.

How do I find out about upcoming events?
You can always visit this website for the latest calendar events. If you haven’t already, you can also sign up for our free eNewsletter that delivers all of the latest info right to your inbox.

Can we use your space for meetings/events?
Yes, our second-floor meeting space is available for use. If you would like to rent the space for a private event, party, community meetings, etc. please call our Executive Director to inquire about our current rental agreements and fees.

Is the museum accessible to disabled people?
Yes. The museum has a barrier-free access on the north side of the building and one dedicated handicap parking space in the lot behind the museum. Both our first and second floor spaces are barrier-free.

Is photography allowed in the museum?
Yes, we allow photography in our exhibit galleries but do ask that the flash be turned off.

Do you schedule school groups or group tours?
Yes, we are happy to schedule group visits to the museum. Our interactive exhibits provide ample learning opportunity for guests of all ages. Just give us a call and we will help you plan your visit to the museum.