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The Pentwater Historical Society Museum features an Archival Attic. The Archival Attic is in the upstairs of the Museum. It contains information from various sources on many subjects, such as Agriculture, Business, Churches, Events, Government, Hospitals, Industry, Military, Organizations, Parks, Police & Fire Departments, and more.

The public is welcome to look through the archives by appointment only.

Publications available for purchase at the Museum:

  • Poems from French Town
  • Schrumpt Book (1853-1942)
  • Historical Home Tour
  • Lake Michigan Shipwreck Poster
  • Pentwater Sesquicentennial Book
  • Pentwater Indian Migration
  • Lake Michigan Fishing
  • History of Pentwater Yacht Club

Publications and files available for in house research purposes:

  • Ledgers from Sands
  • Council Meeting Minutes
  • Red Barn
  • White Elephant
  • The swing bridge
  • The Last Man Standing Club
  • Carrie Mears
  • Henry Johnson (Glass Blower)
  • The Oil Boom in Pentwater
  • The early PW and the Chicago connection
  • 1900’s
  • North Park
  • Bass Lake
  • Oceana Beach
  • Juniper Beach
  • Campbell Park
  • Photos of unidentified people
  • DVD’s: The Flood of 1986, Masonic Lodge,
  • Pentwater Newspaper on microfilm beginning in 1860
  • The First 100 Years by Reginald Yaple (The history of Whispering Surf Campground)


The Pentwater Historical Society Museum has a large collection of pictures and postcards which visitors are welcome to explore during regular business hours or by appointment.


The following years of the Pentwater High School yearbook are available to peruse in the Museum during normal visiting hours:

1916, 1921, 1940, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1953-1959, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990, 1992-1999, 2001-2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019

Missing

1952, 1964, 1991, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017

Please let us know if you have one of our missing years!


For in-depth genealogy information, visit https://www.oceanahistory.org/research-materials/.


Not sure where to begin on your hunt for a specific piece of history? Contact us! We can help!


Are you curious about the history of your home or business in Pentwater? Although we wish we had extensive histories on every structure in Pentwater, that unfortunately is not the case. The PHS does have a book available for purchase which provides histories on dozens of homes and businesses in Pentwater.

If your home or business is not listed the best place to search for answers is at the Register of Deeds Office of Oceana County which is located at: 100 S State St # M-3, Hart, MI 49420. (231) 873-4158.


Pentwater is part of Oceana County. Just a bit down the road is the Oceana County Historical and Genealogy Society. They are home to an outpouring of historical research material. Visit them online at https://www.oceanahistory.org or in person at 114 Dryden St Hart, MI 49420 (231) 873-2600.

What is the history of the Pentwater Ferry?

The ferry was a wooden scow on which one could ride across the channel to catch the train or visit friends in Frenchtown. It cost five cents for a person, ten cents for a man with a horse, 25 cents for a team and wagon, two cents each for cattle, sheep, and pigs.

The ferry operated from 1858 until 1926. It ran on a heavy wire cable stretched across the channel from shore to shore. The ferry man would pull the scow across the channel with a large wooden mallet slotted to fit the cable. Occasionally, passengers would help.