Welcome To The

Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum
(home of the Del Shannon Memorial and the Del Shannon Room)
363 Main Street, Coopersville, MI 49404
Jim Budzynski, Curator  (616) 997-6978

info/voice mail:  (616) 997-7240


The Historical Society was founded in 1980 to preserve local history for the enrichment of both visitors and local residents. The museum is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by the federal government and is governed by a board of directors which meets the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Museum. These meetings are always open to the public and any interested person is encouraged to attend.

The Historical Society is a member-based organization and currently has about 200 members. Many of these memberships are from out-of-town and out-of-state. Membership helps fund the ongoing operations and the mission of the historical society.

The first Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm the Historical Society holds their monthly program meetings which usually include special historical programs and lectures. There are also occasional visits to local points of historical significance. Education and entertainment are part of the Society's activities which are always open to the public. Call Lill or Jim Budzynski (616) 997-6978 for information on Historical Society activities or membership.

The Historical Society originally met in the InterUrban depot building when it was being utilized by the Coopersville Public School System as an alternative education site. In 1987 the Historical Society completely took over the building and with the assistance of a state grant began renovations of the building. An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held in 1989. The building is owned by the City of Coopersville and leased back to the Historical Society.

The first major project after the initial building renovations was the addition of the interurban railcar Merlin. To help protect the car and provide a work location safe from the elements a canopy was erected over the railcar in the mid 1990s. This project was funded with a grant from the Michigan Arts Council and spearheaded by a local resident, Randy Laug. Randy received assistance from the local Boy Scout Troop along with many other local volunteers. Another grant from the Michigan Arts & Humanities Council (as it is now called) allowed for most of the exterior renovations of Merlin to be completed. In 2000 an Evans Memorial Award grant from the Michigan Architectural Society allowed for work on the interior of the car to be initiated.

In 1995 the museum received recognition from the State of Michigan with the installation of a State Historical Marker which currently stands in front of the building. Another key milestone in the history of the Historical Society was the installation of the Del Shannon Memorial Monument. This was dedicated during the local Del Shannon Memorial Car Show and local Summerfest festival in August of 1996. Coopersville was the hometown of the Rock 'n Roll star Del Shannon or Charles Westover as he was know prior to his more famous stage name. A major exhibit at the museum displays many pieces of memorabilia from his rock 'n roll career.

Through local fundraising, grants from Best Packaging, Meijer Corporation and discounted materials from Homestead Timbers of Marne, a major addition to the museum building was begun in 2000. Called the Sawmill Project its formal designation is the Sawmill and Early Settlers Exhibit. This L-shaped addition to the north and west of the original Interurban Depot was built to include a working "portable" sawmill donated from the Ottawa County Parks Commission. Also housed in this addition is a early schoolroom exhibit which incorporates portions of the original 1908 Coopersville school building which was torn down in the late 1980s. Brick, windows and blackboards from the building are incorporated into the schoolroom exhibit. The building also houses a print shop exhibit, handicap accessible restroom and storage space.

Currently plans are in the works to provide another addition that will totally enclose the interurban rail car to protect it from the elements. This will also provide for additional exhibit areas, archival storage, activity and meeting space. Architectural renderings have been presented to the city council and grant applications as well as fundraising strategy are currently being developed. To help with this project or for more information call the City of Coopersville (616) 997-9731 or the Budzynskis at (616) 997-6978.

| Meetings/Events | Rock n Roll: Del Shannon | Sawmill | Interurban | Railroads | Drugstore | Quick Tour | News | About |

Museum Hours

Tuesday: 3pm-8pm; Wednesday: 10am-1pm; Saturday 10am-4pm

other times by appointment - please call 616-997-6978 or email historicalsoc@allcom.net


© 2008-2011 Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum.