Historical Society receives two grants for building and technology improvements

The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society recently received two grants which will help with building repairs and technology upgrades. The first grant of $5,000 was awarded by the Great Lakes Energy People Fund and will cover the cost of repairing two widows on the historic 1884 city hall building. The building, which now houses the Harbor Springs History Museum and Historical Society offices, was originally been built as the county courthouse. After the county seat moved in 1902, the building then housed city offices. After the city offices moved in 2003 the building was renovated by the Historical Society and the museum opened in 2008.

One of the distinctive features of the museum building is the brow or dormer windows along the front. One of the windows developed a leak, threatening collections and exhibits in the space below. As a temporary measure, plastic sheeting was placed over this window to prevent further damage.

“Our agreement with the City of Harbor Springs is that the city continues ownership of the building, while building maintenance and repair is our responsibility,” said Historical Society board president Vince Mihalik. “The maintenance of a building that is more than a century old strains our financial resources, and we are deeply grateful to Great Lakes Energy for their support.” The grant from the People Fund will be used to replace these dormer windows and safeguard the spaces below. Work is expected to begin in the Spring of 2022.

Members of the Great Lakes Energy support the People Fund by voluntarily rounding up their bills to the next highest dollar. The rounded up amount is distributed to non-profit organizations and charitable activities that benefit people in the communities served by the cooperative. Please contact Great lakes Energy, 1-800-485-2537, or visit gtlakes.com for details.

The second grant for $5,200 was award to the society by the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. This grant will fund an overhaul of the society’s intranet system – from hardware to the software. The society has already contracted with Coveyou Computer Services and upgrades are underway. “The PHSACF is a strong supporter of our work,” said Kristyn Balog, Executive Director of the society. “We are grateful for their financial support towards these necessary and important technology updates.”