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.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 13– Monthly Board Meeting
1:00 p.m. at the museum.  Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out ho we we’re making history! Please call or email with any question.

Saturday & Sunday, May 6-7 – “Spring into the Past” Tri River Historical Museums Tour
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Averill Historical Museum and others.  The Spring into the Past small museums tour and open house will be May 6th and 7th.  All musuems in the Tri River group will be open that weekend and all will be FREE.  The theme this year is “Fashion Through the Ages.” Pick up the 2017 museum booklet showing all other locations at the Ada Museum.

Thursday, May 11 – Monthly Board Meeting
1:00 p.m. at the museum.  Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out ho we we’re making history! Please call or email with any question.

Saturday, May 20 – Arts in Ada
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Bronson St. and Ada Dr.  The Ada Historical Society will be there to support the fine and performing arts in Ada.  Enjoy food, check out the children’s activities, visit our booth for Ada-themed gifts, take in live music and dance performances.

June-October – New Temporary Exhibit
Stop by and check out our new temporary exhibit, Ada Under Construction, highlighting three past periods of building in the village.  Regular hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. or by appointment.

Thursday, June 8 – Monthly Board Meeting
1:00 p.m. at the museum.  Board meetings are open to the public. We welcome your involvement. Join us to find out ho we we’re making history! Please call or email with any question.

Tuesday, June 13 – Music on the Lawn
The Family- Nick Ayoub playing covers from the 1960s-2000s.  7 p.m. at the museum.

Friday, June 23 –  Music on the Lawn/Beers at the Bridge event
Roosevelt Diggs 
playing country, folk, rockabilly, blues, western swing, and bluegrass.
6 p.m. at the Ada covered bridge & Leonard Field. For more info on the band visit: http://www.rooseveltdiggs.com

Tuesday, June 27 –  Music on the Lawn
Gooder’n Grits 
playing old-time, pre-country, southern Appalachian. 7 p.m. at the museum. For more info on the band visit: www.gooderngrits.us

Tuesday, July 4 –  Fourth of July parade & festivities
Come to the village to celebrate our nation’s birthday! AHS will have coffee and water available along the parade route and the museum will be open in the afternoon.  8:30-11:30 a.m. for the parade/1-4 p.m. museum open hours.

Tuesday, July 11 – Music on the Lawn
Tony Reynolds playing popular pop, standards, light jazz hits of the ’60s-’80s.  7 p.m. at the museum. For more info visit: www.tonyreynoldsvoice.com.

Thursday, July 13 – Monthly Board Meeting
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. 1 p.m. at the museum.

Friday, July 21 – Music on the Lawn/Beers at the Bridge even
Great Scott playing the best from the ’50s to the new millennium.  6 p.m. at the Ada covered bridge & Leonard Field.  For more info on the band visit: greatscottlive.com

Tuesday, July 25 – Garden Event & Music on the Lawn
Come early to stroll the gardens, then stay for Music on the Lawn.  Our wonderful Master Gardener will be on hand, we’ll have light refreshments, and a few surprises.  Garden Event is 5-7 p.m. on the museum grounds. Then The Adams Family plays acoustic folk & rock.  7-8:30 p.m. at the museum.  For more info on the band visit: www.theadamsfamilyband.com

Tuesday, August 1 – Music on the Lawn
Boogie Woogie Kid 
playing piano – boogie woogie, jazz, ragtime – with a bit of history thrown in.  7 p.m. at the museum.  For more info on the band visit: www.boogiewoogiekid.com

Friday, August 4 – August in Ada
We’ll enjoy the dog days of summer with our littlest friends at Ada’s annual children’s festival. Look for the AHS booth amid the rides, activities, nibbles, and fun. 10 a.m. -2 p.m at Ada Township Park.

Tuesday, August 8 – Music on the Lawn
Peat in the Creel
playing traditional Irish music.  7 p.m. at the museum.  For more info on the band visit: www.peatinthecreel.com

Thursday, August 10 – Monthly Board Meeting
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. 1 p.m. at the museum.

August 8, 9, 10 – Pioneer Days summer camp
We are excited to offer another year of summer camp with the Ada Parks department. Kids get the chance to step back in time and live like the pioneers did!  To join the fun, please pre-register through the Parks Department at 616-0250 or online at www.ada.mi.us.
9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the museum.

Friday, August 18 – Music on the Lawn/Beers at the Bridge event
Thirsty Perch Blues Band playing rockin’ blues.  6 p.m. at the Ada covered bridge & Leonard Field.  For more info on the band visit: www.thirstyperchbluesband.com.

Thursday, August 24 – Quilt show & program
The museum will feature a quilt exhibit from August 14 – September 2.  On August 24th, we will offer a lecture on quilts in partnership with Cascade Historical Society. More details to come. 7 p.m. at Roselle Park.

Friday, August 25 – Music on the Lawn
Stone Hedge playing classic rock. 6 p.m. at the Museum


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