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.

Read the current Uniquely Ada Newsletter!


Open Hours

The museum is open Friday & Saturdays, 1:00-4:00 pm from March-December. Museum is closed to visitation during January and February. Please call or email with any questions.


Ada History Books One and Two Now Available!

SnugBookReprint

After being out of print and sold out for many years, AHS has re-printed “A Snug Little Place,” Memories of Ada, Michigan, 1821-1930.  A second volume titled, The Next 50 Years in “A Snug Little Place,” Ada, Michigan, 1930-1980 was published in 2015Both books are available at the museum during open hours, Friday and Saturday, 1:00-4:00 March-December or call/email with requests.  They are also available at the Ada Township and Cascade Township offices.

Upcoming Events

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January thru May 2020

January 9, February 13, March 12 – Monthly Board Meeting
3:00 pm at the museum. Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out how we’re making history! Please call or email with any questions.

Thursday, January 16, 2020 – Music of the Civil Right Era
7:00 pm at the museum.  In honor of the Dr Martin Luther King Jr holiday, we present music historian Jon VanderPloeg.  On behalf of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA), VanderPloeg explores the meaningful songs that came to represent the Civil Rights movement. Download the flyer to this event.

Sunday, March 1 – “Lost In Michigan” Lecture Presentation
2:00 pm at the Cascade Library Wisner Center. Author Mike Sonnenberg discusses his travels on the back roads of Michigan with photos and stories of the interesting places he has found. He created the Lost In Michigan website and popular book series Lost In Michigan: History and Travel Stories From An Endless Road Trip. Download the flyer to this event.

Friday, March 6 – Museum Re-opens for Visitation
Regular hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 1:00-4:00 pm or by appointment. The museum re-opens to visitors after a short winter’s nap.    Plan to visit exhibits highlighting Ada history and see what changes we have planned.

New Ada History Exhibit OPENS – Ada is…Taking Care of Business
Opening March 7, 1-4:00 pm. Business matters in Ada as we explore almost 200 years of commerce in the village.  The corner store, the gas station, restaurants, farming, and other industries have shaped the community.  Come mix business with pleasure and see what we have in store.  Museum regular hours resume in March, Fridays & Saturdays, 1-4:00 pm.

Friday, March 13 – Ada Township Leprechaun Hunt
3-6:00 pm around the village.  You never know, one of those leprechauns just might be sneaking around the museum…For more info: http://adamichigan.org/events/2020/march

Saturday, March 21 – Forest Hills Community Expo
9:30 am – 2:30 pm at Ada Christian School, 6206 Ada Dr.  AHS is proud to join in this community celebration. The Expo features area businesses and organizations, local products and services. Admission is free and includes a kid zone play area, food from area restaurants, and live entertainment.

Saturday & Sunday, May 2-3–“Spring Into the Past” Tri River Historical Small Museums Tour
11:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Averill Historical Museum and other Tri River museums.  All museums in the Tri River group will be open that weekend and all will be FREE.  The theme this year is “Celebrating Women’s Right to Vote 1920-2020” The museums are located in Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent, and Montcalm counties.  The 2020 guide booklets will be available at all the museums.

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.


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