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Michigan History Center
Ranked #3 of 74 things to do in Lansing
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Michigan History Center fosters curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan's stories. Home to both the Archives of Michigan and the Michigan History Museum, the Michigan History Center offers experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. There is no admission charge for the museum on Sundays. There is no admission charge for the Archives of Michigan. The Archives are open 1:00 - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday, and 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Whether you are learning about the history of the State, just curious or exploring in Lansing, this is place tells you all about Michigan's wonderland.

Know going in that there is a lot to absorb and it is all totally worth it. Do not rush your visit. There is a cost for all age groups while Sundays are free. Call for hours. Lot parking is available and there is a charge so have singles. There is a dollar bill changer on the 1st floor.

There are three floors and two mezzanines. Explore them all.

The second floor Mezzanine is great for kids as it has a one room schoolhouse, which really were still operating in Michigan until 1965. Of course, Amish schoolhouses are still one room and have about 3-4 teachers.

The second floor feature George Sidman's Congressional Medal of Honor, the sword of Guv Lewis Cass and other important artifacts. What's really unique about this floor is that it shows the various road and early highway styles of Michigan, according to the very knowledgeable guard. The road is plank and then becomes an uneven paved road.

Showcased are Michigan's first inhabitants, brave souls and gifts/medallions that were given to them. The fascinating Civil War display which also portrays women spies. Of course, you'll see the letter thanking Michigan for its pivotal role in the Civil War, particularly at Gettysburg. There's a Territorial Church and the Woodward Diorama.

On the 1st floor is a topographical map which arches up to the second floor. Pieces of gypsum, limestone, coal and oil are on view and can be touched.

The State tree, White Pine, is in the center of the building surrounded by glass. It's really an awesome architectural marvel. Our state was decimated by the lumber barons and the climate changed from that of a rain forest to what it is today.

There is also a special exhibit gallery which frequently changes.

On the Third Floor there are era rooms depicting the 1920s and a speakeasy, the Great Depression, railroad depot, WPA mural, Battle of the overpass bloody shirt, and the original Pearl Harbor Newspaper.

There's also a State Archives -- I didn't have time to explore it though. There's stairs and elevators.

If you get hungry there is a dining area and also a pop machine.

Of course, who can pass up a gift store, which has quite unique items like the UP and "D" key chains, necklaces in walnuts, State stuff and more. This store has the largest on-site collection of books for sale about Michigan in all categories.

Take time to see this. It's a fun way to learn. Oh, did I mention that it is just 2 blocks from the Capitol?

3  Thank StepOnBusTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 - 149 of 173 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2013

The museum does a very good job of portraying life in Mi since the early days. i was particularly interested in the information about iron and copper mining. And I learned about the solar compass invented in order to map the Upper Peninsula. The large iron ore deposits made conventional compasses inaccurate.

1  Thank capitollover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Apart from the spectacular Straits Bridge,enjoy unrivaled wildlife and natural beauties in its 700-mile stretch from the shores of Lake Erie and borders with Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior to the Porkies.

4  Thank Earle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

A wonderful museum. You start with pre-white men and progress thru The French & Indian Wars, Statehood, Farming, Lumbering, to Manufacturing. Also the the wars from Civil War thru Vietnam are covered. Walking thru a colonial French fort and then a copper mine. Being inside a lumber mill and a automobile assembly plant. Walking down on a 1920 business street. So much to absorb. Several visits are needed. A must visit if you like history.

3  Thank Chipperhigh2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

This museum is small, but its really good for kids. I would recommend going on a guided tour as you get a lot of extra information.

3  Thank RachealF_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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