"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."

Pearl S. Buck

The Ogemaw Historical Society, established in 1978, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to keeping Ogemaw County's history alive. The house, that is now the official museum, was built in 1908 as a home for Bernard and Sophia Blumenthal. The house was solid in 1926 and turned into an upscale evening dining restaurant . After multiple owners, in 2012 Reverend LaVere and Zola Webster deeded the house to the society for $10.00 as a way to showcase its rich historical value to Ogemaw County.

The Ogemaw County Museum, located in Downtown West Branch, MI houses over 30,000 artifacts, which include a bridal room, a military room, and more! There have been numerous repairs made, but the history of the house and the artifacts inside are priceless to the community.

Admission is free and we always welcome visitors. Stop by for an enjoyable tour! The museum is open Thursday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Our phone number is (989) 701- 2525. Call anytime with questions or to schedule a special tour! Thank you for your support!

Driving Tours

Purchase our series of 6 Driving Tour Books. These copies will take you to many historic sites around Ogemaw County that can be taken by car, bike, or horseback. Along with reading the history behind each stop, the books also includes great recommendation on where to grab a bite to eat, a quick drink, or a fun stop along the way! Buy the book and set your sites on an historic adventure that is fun for all ages! These can be purchased at the museum and are $10 a book or $35 for a 4 piece set.

Historical Artifacts

The museum is home to over 30,000 artifacts dated back to when Native American's settled in this area. All of the artifacts in the museum are from Ogemaw County and are important to our history. We have the Nancy Douglas Children's Room, Military Room, Medical Room, and Bridal Room on display upstairs. Downstairs we have Native American arrow heads, kitchen supplies, furniture, and much more!

Genealogy

We have thousands of records that allow us to access your ancestor's past! The museum contains collections of land documents, marriage licenses, newspapers, high school yearbooks, photographs, and more. These archival materials, can give you information on where your ancestors went to school, where they worked, and even show what they could have done in their free time. Some of the materials date back to Native American and Indigenous tribes in the area! It is a great resource whether you're researching Ogemaw County History or are looking for information on your own family. The best part is, it is available to you for free!

Book Sales

The Historical Society has several historical books for sale. These books include, History of Oriolette Basketball $15, Ogemaw Historical Review $2, Footsteps through the Ogemaw State Forest $10, The Country Schools of Ogemaw County $25 each, and autographed copies of Secrets of the Summer $15.

Joyce Nelander

President

Mary Cole

Vice-President

Lois Bergquist

Secretary/Treasuerer

Lynne Goldy

Director

Barry Wilkinson

Director

Bob Hutchins

Director

Sally Rea

Curator

  • 135 S 2nd St., West Branch, MI, USA

One of the Historical Society's biggest fundraisers is done through Rada Cutlery. Rada products are made in the USA and are available to purchase all year long. All of the proceeds we make on the sale of Rada Products goes toward maintaining the Historical Society and the Museum. Please contact us or stop into the museum to place an order. We greatly appreciate your generosity!

Rada Cutlery Fundraiser

Membership
Stop into the museum or contact us to join the Ogemaw County Historical Society. We are always looking forward to recruiting new members and volunteers!

As a member you will help preserve the history of the county and its families.

As a volunteer we are always in need of museum greeters, help at the Ogemaw County Fair, and with different projects related to genealogy, the museum, the artifacts, and fundraising.

  • Single adult or family: $10
  • Retiree: $10
  • Sustaining: $25
  • Small Business: $75
  • Corporate: $125
  • Life Member (one time fee): $500

Preserve Our Heritage Award
Thie Preserve Our Heritage Award is given to individuals that have made outstanding efforts in helping preserve, renovate, enhance, educate, or research the history of Ogemaw County. The award is presented every year during West Branch's Fourth of July Celebration. If you know someone deserving of this award, stop into the museum to fill out a nomination form.

The winners of the award are as follows:
2014 Walt & Dianne Sappington for restoring the railroad freight depot.
2015 The Ogemaw County Fair for 35 yrs. of developing the heritage exhibits and activities.
2016 George Barry Wilkinson for his efforts in making the Blumenthal House into the museum.
2017 Sally Rea for her many research articles regarding Ogemaw County's history.
2018 John Bennett for preserving the history of Ogemaw County Veterans.
2019 Lucille "Lou" Wilebski for her work with the Rose City Historical Society.
2021 Chris & Art Galea for preserving an 1899 Victorian building
2021  Loggin' Wheels Questers for their support and work on research projects
2022 Lois Bergquist for her dedication to the Ogemaw County Museum.