“I think that the number of resources we have here are very significant,” Tri-Cities Historical Museum Executive Director Kenneth Pott said. “They also exist in a way that is unique.”
The Grand Haven area's historical resources include small neighborhoods, individual homes, cottages and resorts; schools and churches; barns and bridges; buildings associated with transportation, business and industry; and governmental structures.
Pott noted that a lot of the resources are located within close proximity of each other.
“That’s unusual,” he said. “You typically have to go great distances to reach all of the sites.”
The resources are complemented by natural and man-made landscapes, including the waterfront, adding to the cultural identity of the community.
“We have this wonderful representation of the natural history of the region with Dewey Hill,” Pott said. “You can talk about natural history and how lakes were formed.”
As a way of keeping on top of all of the historical offerings in the community, museum officials are working on a historic preservation master plan. The museum is working hand-in-hand with the Grand Haven Historic Conservation Commission, the local Chamber of Commerce, the city's Downtown Development Authority, the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other area organizations.
As a guide, the museum looks to adopt a historic preservation manual similar to one used in Chester County, Pa. This plan would integrate historic preservation into municipal policies and community development, and could serve as an example for other communities in the Tri-Cities area.
One of the area's more popular attractions are the Grand Haven lighthouses. This week, city received the deeds of ownership from the federal government after a several-year process.
“2013 is the year of the lighthouse, and getting it here in the holiday season is very fitting,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.