School children enter Michigan's Historymobile, 1964
Seeking Michigan brings history to your home. The technology it utilizes may be new, but the mission isn’t. These photos depict an earlier effort to deliver Michigan’s past directly to its people.
The Michigan Historical Commission launched its “Historymobile” in 1964. This fifty-four foot long “museum on wheels” traveled to Michigan communities for the next ten or so years. It sparked interest in state and local history and promoted Michigan museums. Local historical society members often served as “hosts or hostesses” for the Historymobile, thus strengthening ties between state and local history agencies. In fact, cooperation was key at many levels. In that first year, eleven Michigan businesses supported the venture, while fourteen Michigan museums contributed nineteen separate exhibits. The exhibits covered Michigan’s history from prehistoric times to the present. The American Association for State and Local History, impressed by this moving museum and the cooperation entailed, presented the Historical Commission with an Award of Merit in 1965.
In its heyday, the Historymobile racked up an impressive number of miles. A 1967 Michigan Department of State publication notes that it visited 146 communities during its first three years. Of course, today’s Web technologies can reach even more communities in a shorter period of time. Here at Seeking Michigan, your own personal “Historymobile” is right at your fingertips!