Mid Michigan College has long displayed select historical photos on the Harrison Campus that were part of a larger collection donated from the estate of Forrest Meek, a local historian, who studied Clare County from its founding to 1900. Meek donated photo collections to Mid and many other organizations throughout the mid-Michigan region in his estate.
In 2017, Mid’s Library Services team archived the portion of the Meek photo collection that was donated to Mid. The Clare County Historical Society (CCHS) then partnered with Mid to hold, on loan, the physical photo collection which consists of hundreds of photos depicting community members, locations, and common occupations of the era.
Mid’s Harrison Campus is currently undergoing renovations, which necessitated the removal of the historical photos so they would not be damaged.
The $12 million Harrison Campus renovation project will result in a smaller footprint, improving efficiencies, creating a more student-friendly atmosphere with collaborative spaces, addressing infrastructure and mechanical system issues, and improving campus safety and security.
“We reached out to the CCHS to see if they would hold and maintain the 81 historical photos from the Harrison Campus,” explained Corey Goethe, Director of Library Services at Mid. “The CCHS team graciously agreed to accept the photos on loan and we greatly appreciate their collaboration in maintaining this historical photo record for our local communities.”
“We’re happy to partner with Mid Michigan College again to ensure these photos are well cared for and available to the public,” said Jon H. Ringelberg, CCHS Representative. “The CCHS plans to display the collection on a rotating basis and allow other local organizations to display the photos in temporary exhibitions.”
The Clare County Historical Society preserves, advances, and distributes the history of Clare County. CHHS manages a complex at the intersection of Dover and Eberhart Roads, which includes the museum, Dover One-Room Schoolhouse, Ott Family Log Cabin, and Blacksmith Shop.
Interested community members can visit the CHHS complex 1pm-4pm on Saturdays May through September. There is no admission fee.