Two area museums join forces

Muskegon Heritage Museum (MHM), an offshoot of the Muskegon Heritage Association, was “gifted” to the Lakeshore Museum Center (LMC) to ensure its long-term legacy after the retirement of Allan and Anne Dake, who have served as volunteer Directors of the Museum for 11 years.

“Anne and I wanted to retire for a second time to enjoy life and travel, without the worry of the day-to-day operations of MHM”, said Allan Dake.

The Dakes and their team of 80 volunteers built an amazing soft touch museum filled with Muskegon’s industrial history and products made by Muskegon businesses.

“MHM is a natural extension of LMC’s collection of Muskegon County’s history” said Annoesjka Soler, President of LMC. “The blending of assets makes both museums stronger.”

This has been in the works for over a year and became official June 2.

The MHM building and its contents were deeded to the LMC by the Muskegon Heritage Association (MHA). It is hoped that the MHA will continue with its original focus on historical houses and buildings in Muskegon.

LMC hired Kirk Bunke as site manager for MHM last fall. He transitioned into the day-to-day operations role and inventoried the collection of MHM. Kirk worked with Allan and Anne to ensure all facets of the MHM blend with the LMC. According to Allan and Anne, “We still plan to volunteer and interact with the many volunteers and visitors of MHM.”

Despite COVID closures, guests will see new when the Museum is able to open for the season.

Since 1937, the Lakeshore Museum Center has collected, preserved, and interpreted the history of Muskegon County through historic exhibits, education and cultural-based programs, and special events and presentations for all ages.

The Center comprises nine sites and buildings including the Main, Archive, Collection Center, Hackley & Hume Historic Site, the Fire Barn Museum, and the Scolnik House of the Depression Era.

The Muskegon Heritage Museum was established by the Muskegon Heritage Association in 1983 to showcase the economic, industrial and social history of the greater Muskegon area. Exhibits cover 12,000 square feet, and span three floors.