The new Museum was purchased in 2012 and is located at 85 South Rutledge in Pentwater.

Our summer hours are June – August, Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 4 pm.

Our winter hours are September & October, Thursday – Saturday 1 – 4 pm

All subject to change if the COVID19 situation changes

Admission is Free – Donations are appreciated

The Museum is closed:
November through May, except for special events.

The Museum is available for private functions. Please contact the Museum staff to discuss your function.

The Pentwater Historical Society rotates its exhibits annually. PHS procures exhibits from local residents as well as other sources and is proud to be able to share relevant historical content from various regions.

Popular permanent exhibits include:

  • Armistice Day Storm features a video, replicas of ships, recovered artifacts from the shipwrecks and more!
  • Pentwater High School features school items such as yearbooks, trophies, awards, class pictures, and two desks
  • Native American Exhibit includes artifacts, a canoe, books, and signs
  • A scale model of the USS Sequoia is new in 2024. See the Sequoia and build your own replica for our Lego Contest.
  • Engage by Cell:
    • 61. Intro to History on Hancock
  • Exhibits 100-500
    100. One hundred block of Hancock Street
    200. Two hundred block of Hancock Street
    300. Three hundred block of Hancock Street
    400. Four hundred block of Hancock Street
    500. Five hundred block of Hancock Street
The Pentwater Historical Museum Features

Engage by Cell (formally Guide by Cell)

Engage by Cell provides narration for the many displays we have in the museum.

The recorded narratives include interesting anecdotes about Pentwater, its people, and landmarks. Guide by Cell is accessible inside the museum as well as anywhere in the world!

Dial (231) 720-0291 on your phone to listen to 54 recorded narratives that explain various exhibits and artifacts that are on display. Each recording is 45 seconds to 2 minutes in length.


~ Exhibits 1 – 18 ~

1. Remembering Ed Bigelow
2. Signs from Former Businesses
3. History Overview of Pentwater
4. Charles Mears
5. Pentwater Channel

6. The Mary Stewart
7. Eldred Shingle Mill
8. Carrie Mears/History of Mears State Park
9. Map of Middlesex
10. Birdland Sign and Building
11. Furniture making
12. Shipwrecks/3 Vessels
13. U.S. Life Saving Station
14. Pentwater veterans audio interviews
15. Pentwater High School artifacts/yearbook/class photos
16. Original weathervane
17. Old pump organ
18. Native American Artifacts

~ Exhibits 19 – 36 ~

19. Henry Carter Johnson collection
20. Pentwater News Collection
21. Channel ferry
22. Swing Bridge
23. Train Depot
24. Hotel Valeria/White Elephant
25. Pentwater Yacht Club
26. Left-hand display cabinet in center of floor
27. Right-hand display case in center of floor
28. Native Americans in the Civil War/Company K

29. Nickerson Inn
30. Special Exhibit:  Tall Tale Postcards
31. Brickyard
32. Movie Houses
33. Novadoc Bell and Ship’s Wheel
34. Undertakers
35. Commercial Fishing
36. Coast Guardsman Jack Dipert

~ Exhibits 37 – 54 ~

37. Pentwater Fire Department
38. Log Ladder from Model T Fire Truck
39. Steam Pumper Fire Engine “Oceana”
40. Cemeteries
41. Origin of Pentwater Community House/Hall
42. About Pentwater Community Hall

43. Large “Scrapbook” Display
44. 3 Hancock Street Hotels
45. 4 Lodging Businesses
46. Cabins and Campgrounds
47. Filling Stations
48. Two Houses on Green Street
49. Several More Stories About Native Americans
50. Thanks for coming
51. Dumaw Creek
52. William B.O. Sands/Home
53. Horse Racing in Pentwater
54. Pentwater Machinery Company

Picture your next special event unfolding in the presence of outdoor beauty and history. Our historic building is available for daily rentals up to 6 hours. Enjoy the beautiful grassy outdoor area adjacent to our historical building which is perfect for an outdoor wedding or a grouping of tents to place tables under for gathering with friends and family. Journey inside of the museum and use the historic relics as the perfect backdrop to creative photographs.

  • Rental Time: Maximum of 6 hours
  • Deposit: $100.00 (refundable after the complete clean-up of the event with the exception of destruction of property)
  • Rental Fee: $200.00


  • One indoor restroom with sink
  • 2 Docent Volunteers
  • Outdoor grass area
  • Access to inside the museum
  • Various centerpieces and backdrop material for additional rental fee

For more information and recommendations for tent rentals, caterers, DJs, and other services please contact: Debbie Deward 231-869-2230.

What is the history of Pentwater’s fine churches?

The Centenary United Methodist Church is the oldest in Pentwater, built in 1867. It burned down in 1875, and was rebuilt with bricks from the Pentwater Brick Yard. The Catholic Church was built in 1868. There is no record of its completion or dedication.

The Baptist Church was built in 1884, but it burned the night before Thanksgiving in 1893. The present church was built in 1894, with Pentwater bricks. St. James Episcopal Church held its first service in September, 1883, and is located near the Baptist Church, and a few blocks away from the Methodist Church.