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!
Welcoming You to Limited Open Hours
We are excited to welcome visitors back to Ada’s museum!
The Averill Historical Museum will be open for visitation Fridays from 1:00-4:00 pm beginning July 10.
For the safety of our guests and volunteers, please know:
- Masks are required if medically able.
- Number of people is limited to 10 visitors at a time.
- Distancing and hand sanitizer use is recommended.
For the health of others, please stay home if you are not feeling well. If not medically able to wear a face covering, please call or email to request other arrangements.
AHS will continue to evaluate safety procedures and make adjustments as needed. Thank you for your understanding.
Listen to the Ada Current, where we preserve, share and celebrate the unique history of Ada, Michigan. See our Podcast page for details.
New Pop-Up Exhibit: Rightfully Hers
The Ada Historical Society and Averill Museum present a new pop-up exhibition from the National Archives, Rightfully Hers, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Rightfully Hers contains simple messages exploring the history of the ratification of the 19th amendment, women’s voting rights before and after the 19th, and its impact today. Despite decades of marches, petitions, and public debate to enshrine a woman’s right to vote in the constitution, the 19th Amendment – while an enormous milestone – did not grant voting rights for all. The challenges of its passage reverberate to the ongoing fight for gender equity today. This exhibit runs through December 2020.
Rightfully Hers co-curator Jennifer N. Johnson states:
“The ratification of the 19th Amendment was a landmark moment in American history that dramatically changed the electorate, and although it enshrined in the U.S. Constitution fuller citizenship for women many remained unable to vote.”
The Ada Historical Society and Averill Museum are currently open for limited hours on Fridays 1-4:00pm. For more information, please call 616.676.9346 or visit www.AdaHistoricalSociety.org.
Rightfully Hers is organized by the National Archives and Records Administration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives has launched a nationwide initiative and major exhibition that explores the generations-long fight for universal woman suffrage. The exhibition is presented in part by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, and Denise Gwyn Ferguson.
Ada History Books One and Two Now Available!
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 2015. Both 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.
August Thru October 2020
Wednesday, August 26 – A special Music On the Lawn
6:30-8:00 pm at the Van Andel Family Pavilion at Legacy Park. Please join us for a summer night of music featuring the Night Owls String Quartet. Social distancing limits will be in place. Event is free of charge and open to all. See more information here.
September 10 & October 8 – AHS Board meetings
3:00 pm at the museum. Board meetings are open to all. Meetings are temporarily being held via Zoom. Please call 616.676.9346 or email AdaHistorialSociety@gmail.com for information on how to join remotely.
Centennial Properties Program
The Ada Historical Society is excited to tell you about a program which will recognize homes and properties that are over 100 years old. Ada Township has many properties that are a century old or more and we wish to honor them. We will be announcing program details soon. With the ongoing growth and additions to the village, AHS is firmly dedicated to preserving and celebrating these treasures of our community’s heritage.
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.
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.
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.”
Have 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.