Location: Ludington, Michigan
General Description: White Pine Village depicts the history of Macon County, Michigan through a community of 30 buildings, numerous artifacts, and interesting historical information. The village began through the vision of Mrs. Rose Hawley who saw an opportunity to capture the history of the county at the site of the first county seat in 1965. She, along with other investors purchased 23 acres, plan the layout of the village, and began collecting artifacts and buildings to move to the site. The pioneer style village opened in 1976 and has continued to grow and flourish with the help of many volunteers over the years. All of the buildings are stocked full of artifacts and interpretive signs to inform the public of the historical use of the items on display.
1) A visit to White Pine Village begins at the Admissions/Gift Shop building which is also the home for the county historical society many records. The volunteers working at admissions were very pleasant and we enjoyed talking with them before entering the village proper.
2) The 30 buildings in the village span the gambit of historical buildings you would have found in the area since the pioneer days. Included are the Burns Homestead, Trappers Cabin, County Courthouse, Hamlin Lake Cabin, Fire Station, White Pine Chapel, Town Hall, Post Office, and Marchido Schoolhouse.
3) Local businesses are also very well represented which included Blacksmith Shop, Doctor’s Office, Hardware Store, General Store, Print Shop, The Sugar Bush, and Port Huron Sawmill. In particular, I enjoyed The Sugar Bush which is a shack where they would collect and process maple sap into maple syrup. All you need to know about the collection of sap and rendering syrup is given.
4) Farm life over the last century are also well represented with Jorissen Barn and AG Equipment Sheds. I strongly recommend the Jorissen Barn which houses a number of exhibits about farming from the early days of horses to today. They even include a detailed exhibits about dairy farming which was all new to me.
5) Finally there are a number of small museums in the Village that included Museum of Music, Lumbering Museum, Lumber Museum, Artisan Center, Rose Hawley Museum, Maritime Museum, and Village Time Museum. I spent a lot of time in these various museums, especially the Lumbering Museum that is all about the lumber industry and the Village Time Museum that had a number of interesting clocks and information about clock production that was big in the county at one time.