Welcome

The Ada Historical Society preserves, shares, and celebrates the unique history of the Ada community.

The Ada Historical Society and the Averill Historical Museum of Ada are located at 7144 Headley Street, Ada, MI 49301.

The museum is closed for tours during January & February.  Please contact AHS with any questions.

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Read this MLive article about our fantastic new barn quilt! Stop by and see for yourself.

Read the current Uniquely Ada Newsletter!


Change Brings Opportunity

The evidence of growth is all around Ada.  Caught up in the spirit of renewal, we too are taking part! AHS maintains the community’s archives and historic collections. But the collections are in desperate need of space for proper storage, processing, and exploration.  And so, AHS is working toward making that dream a reality.

This informational sheet explains more on our museum expansion project.  Be on the lookout soon for opportunities to support this project so important to our mission to preserve, share, and celebrate the unique history of the Ada community.

Building Excitement for Ada’s Museum Expansion Project 

Fundraising efforts to raise $669,000 for the Museum Expansion Project officially started Spring of 2017.  Overall response has been positive and community support has been strong.

We’re pleased to report that Ada Township/AHS has received a generous grant of $50,000 from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The MCACA coordinates support for cultural and arts organizations state-wide using public funds.   For more info on the MCACA, visit their website: http://www.michiganbusiness.org/community/council-arts-cultural-affairs/

Thank You

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Many thanks to all who helped make 2017 our most successful summer concert series yet!  The series included seven concerts at the museum and three special Beers At the Bridge events at the Ada Covered Bridge and Leonard Field.  We even got to celebrate the covered bridge’s 150th birthday party.  Combined attendance for all concerts reached more than 7,200.

Thanks all those who came out to enjoy the concerts.  Thanks also to the fantastic musicians for entertaining us all.  And a big high-five to mother nature for the cooperative weather.

AHS is grateful to be part of this exciting and fun community series.  Music On the Lawn concerts are sponsored by Ada Township.  The Beers At the Bridge events are made possible through the sponsorship of the generous businesses listed below.

Dan Carter Advisors CPA PLC
Edward Jones
Frattallone Wealth Management Group
Schnitz Ada Grill
Edward Jones – Ada Hillside
Bridges Animal Hospital
Norman Family Dentistry
Protravel International
Ada Vision Center
DMC Design
Ada Hills Family Dentistry
In Motion Studio
Marilyn’s Style of Ada
Grand Rapids Bicycles
Clear Stream Empowerment Coaching
The Grand Salon
AIC Insurance
RiverPoint of Ada – Keller Williams
Kingma’s
Rotary Club of Ada-Cascade
Jam’n Bean Coffee Company
Fred L. Hansen Co.
Sietsema’s
Dine Out Dawgs
Pour House/ The Blue Moose Sports Pub
Zeno’s Italian Ice

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 12 -Monthly Board Meeting
1 p.m. at the museum.  Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out ow we’re making history! Please call or email with any questions.

Thursday, November 2 – Veterans’ Day Event
7 p.m. at the Roselle Park resource building.  We partner with Cascade Historical Society to present a program featuring the WWII Women’s Air force Service Pilots (WASP), presented by Jane Doyle.

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Thursday, November 9 – Monthly Board Meeting
1 p.m. at the museum.  Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out ow we’re making history! Please call or email with any questions.

Tuesday, November 14 – Decorate the Museum
10 a.m. at the museum. We’ll Start the merry bells a ‘ringing and deck the halls for the holiday season.  New ideas and many hands are most welcome.

Friday, November 17 – Wreath Sale Fundraiser begins
Do good and look good in one easy step! Let us help you with inspiration in decorating for the holiday season. Know that you will help preserve our community’s history as you get into the holiday spirit. 2017 Holiday Wreath Order Form

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Do you love to take photos? Do you enjoy posting on social media? Or would you simply like to help us preserve Ada history?

The village is undergoing significant change and will continue to grow. If you take any photos of the changes, consider sharing a copy with AHS and we will add them to our community archives. Buildings coming down and going up, you and friends enjoying new amenities or sites in the village, even favorite photos of the last few decades in Ada, digital or printed photos. Please drop by the museum, email, post to our Facebook, even mail to the museum–whatever it takes!

For future generations to know Ada as we experience it, it needs to be documented. And a picture is worth a thousand words.


Ada History Book is Now Available!

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Ada Historical Society has published its second book about the history of Ada. This upcoming edition is titled, The Next 50 Years in “A Snug Little Place,” Ada, Michigan, 1930-1980.  The new book is a follow-up to AHS’s 1992 book covering Ada history from 1821-1930.

Special Spring Pricing!

Regular price will be $25.00.  Books are available at the museum during open hours, Friday and Saturday, 1:00-4:00 and by appointment.  They are also available at the Ada Township offices and at Gravel Bottom Brewery.  For more information click here!


Wish List

Since its inception in 1974, AHS has been fortunate to receive ongoing support from members and the community.  We have benefited from countless volunteer hours, essential object donations, and financial support to aid in our programming and the preservation of this community’s archives.  We simply could not operate the museum and host events without this generosity.

We ask that you keep the museum in mind as we move into the season of giving.  Please stop by the holiday wreath sale fundraiser, shop for unique Ada gifts in our gift shop or gift a loved one with a contribution in their honor.  Below is a sampling of items on our holiday list.  Please call or email us if you can be of help.  Thank you!

  • Crank handle ice cream maker for historic demonstrations
  • Digital transfer of oral history audio tapes
  • Cider press for historic demonstrations
  • Garden bench
  • 3 hat stands for exhibiting and storage
  • Assistance with military veterans database program

 We’re In the Movies!

The Ada Historical Society has had the unique opportunity to partner with a class from the Communications Arts and Sciences Program at Calvin College.  Our goal was to create a video that served as an introduction to Ada history and to the community in general. AHS has been fortunate to benefit from the students’ advanced technological skills and fresh approach.  The finished product is a bite-sized temptation that will leave you wanting more! Click here to see Ada: Historical Momentum.

Ada Post Office

This image from the early 1900s shows the Ada Post Office when it was located at the corner of Ada Dr. and Thornapple River Dr. (the site of the current telephone building.) That building burned down in 1920.  For years after that, the Post Office was located in the Masonic Temple building on the corner of Ada Dr. and Bronson St. (now the Ada Bike Shop and Schnitz Deli.)  Students from Calvin College treated the photograph to a colorization process for inclusion in the new Ada history video, “Ada: Historical Momentum.”                                   


IMG_1009Have you seen the signs?!…  Come take a stroll through time in Ada village.  Hop out of your car, wander the tree-lined village streets and explore Ada’s rich cultural heritage.  The site map will guide you to eight different interpretive panels that take a then-and-now approach to Ada’s history with text and historic images.  We invite you to come ReDISCOVER Ada!

Learn more about the Interpretative Panels Project here.

Interpretive Panels Location Map