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



Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum Addition PlansThe Coopersville Area Historical Society has undergone several transitions over the years. Currently the City of Coopersville (owner of the museum building) is proposing a third expansion that will protect the electric interurban railcar, Merlin, by providing a totally enclosed structure and also provide space for geneology and historical research.


The first addition to the original musuem campus provided an open sided structure to protect the interurban railcar..


On August 14, 2000 the Coopersville City Council paved the way for the second expansion to the museum. With Planning Commission approval, the museum commenced construction of an L-shaped structure, deemed, the Sawmill Project , on the north side of the existing interurban depot building. This 2,076 sq. ft. addition partially covers the area where a freight warehouse was located behind the interurban depot. This addition called, the Sawmill & Early Settlers Exhibit, now houses a sawmill, print shop exhibit, early schoolroom exhibit, a work area and additional storage space. Construction began in September 2000 with enclosure completed in December 2000.


Planning Commission approval came with a few surprises. To meet the state requirements mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) two 7' x 7' handicap accessible restrooms, a drinking fountain, and a utility sink had to be added to the plans. This also required heating and plumbing to be installed before the building could be opened to the public.


Northeast leg of Sawmill Addition, October 2000.

View of the Sawmill Addition from the north side of museum property. October 2000.



The photos above were taken in October 2000 and shows the addition framed and roofing materials in place waiting for installation by museum volunteers. A wonderful group of volunteers collaborated to move this project along (see below). These include licensed builders, Historical Society members, and other volunteers from the community.


The building expansion, known as the "Sawmill and Early Settlers Exhibit " protected a century old "portable" sawmill (right) donated to the museum by the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission. The sawmill is surrounded by a G-gauge model logging train pulled by a Shay locomotive. The expansion also provided additional storage space.

The Historical Society would like to acknowledge some of the major contributors. A lead donor gift by Howard Dykhouse, owner of Best Packaging provided seed money to re-energize fundraising efforts following the initial fundraising auction held at the local VFW Post on April 27, 2000. Society member, Jim Bursma, of Homestead Timbers in Marne gave the Society an exceptional price to side the addition with wood instead of metal. MEIJER® stores of Grand Rapids provided an additional grant. Donations were received by other members and friends of the museum and are very much appreciated. Donor names are recognized in the finished Sawmill Building.


Below are photos documenting the construction progress. Click on the images to see larger photos and additional information.


Cement floors were poured November 11, 2000


Siding provided by Homestead Timbers of Marne was installed to beat winter weather

In addition to the building expansion fund a campaign has been initiated for a museum endowment fund. There are some very good tax credits for donations made to these funds. The Museum is a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so there are tax benefits for donations made to the Historical Society Museum. Call the City of Coopersville (616) 997-9731 or the museum (616) 997-6978 for details.

Photography courtesy of Jim Budzynksi, Budzynski Photography, Coopersville, MI 49404.

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