The Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum (a.k.a. Plymouth Historical Society) was organized in 1948 with 18 original members; when the charter closed in 1949 there were 51 members. PHS was incorporated as a non-profit Michigan corporation in 1955. For its first ten years, with no museum to care for, members met, wrote, and read papers on phases of Plymouth history; membership did not exceed 70.
In 1961, the City of Plymouth offered the Orson Polley house to the Society for a museum. Mrs. Norma Cassady was the Museum’s first curator and the Plymouth Historical Museum opened to the public in 1962. The little house museum quickly filled to capacity. That’s when Miss Margaret Dunning stepped forward with an incredibly generous donation.
In 1972 ground was broken for the present museum building. One year later the building, not yet a “Museum,” was dedicated in a public ceremony. The Plymouth Historical Museum again opened its doors to the public on February 14, 1976, in a brand-new, purpose-built 15,000 square-foot museum building.
After the PHS purchased the Dr. Welden Petz Abraham Lincoln Collection in the late 1990s, it was time for another expansion. Margaret Dunning stepped up again and gave another extremely generous donation to allow for the building of an 11,000 square-foot addition, which was completed in 2001.
Please note that the Plymouth Historical Museum is privately funded and receives no government support. The small admission fee charged helps us keep our doors open. Privately Funded; Publicly Enjoyed...
The Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum, formally the Plymouth Historical Society, is a privately funded membership organization dedicated to preserving, teaching, and presenting history through the operation and support of the Plymouth Historical Museum.
To be recognized as a premier provider of innovative, historical, and educational opportunities for the region.
- Accessible to all
- Historical accuracy
- Integrity and honesty
- Preserving and presenting history
- Stewards of history
- A part of the community
- Inclusive and diverse
- We value our volunteers, benefactors and staff
- Respect for our collection
- Prudent use of our environment
- Creation of a legacy
- Fiscal integrity
Board of Directors, 2015-2016
Mike Pappas, President
Sally Fedus, Vice President
Margaret Harris, Secretary
Jim Burroughs, Treasurer
Pam Yockey, Past President
Jeff Ashton, Director
Wes Graff, Director
Dan Packer, Director
Aaron Frank, Director
Jim Vermeulen, Director
Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, Executive Director, 734-455-8940 ext. 9, firstname.lastname@example.org
Madelyne Beddoes, Cashier & Scheduler, 734-455-8940 ext 4
Janet Burns, Office Manager, Volunteer Coordinator & Bookkeeper, 734-455-8940 ext. 6, email@example.com
Mike Hoggard, Facility Manager, 734-455-8940 ext. 8
Melody McCann, Administrative Assistant, 734-455-8940 ext. 0, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Nielsen, Archivist, 734-455-8940 ext. 3, email@example.com
Leslie Ryder, Education Coordinator, 734-455-8940 ext. 2, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Thackston, Exhibits Coordinator, 734-455-8940 ext. 7
Policy Regarding Political Campaigns
The Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum expressly prohibits the following actions by the organization at any time or place, by any party on organization property or by any party present at or participating in any organization functions: (i) endorsing or opposing, either directly or indirectly, any candidate for political office; (ii) donating or contributing to a candidate’s campaign; (iii) participating or engaging in political fundraising events or otherwise soliciting contributions to a candidate’s campaign; (iv) distributing statements for or against a particular candidate; or, (v) engaging in any other activity that may favor or oppose a candidate.