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!
NOTICE FOR MEMBERS ONLY: Voting for the Board Officers (President and Treasurer) and four Directors for the years 2020-2022 is being held. Ballots will be sent out electronically or may be picked up at the box by the side door of the Averill Museum starting June 22, 2020. They may be returned electronically or by mail and must reach the museum by 10:00 am. July 11, 2020. The results will be announced at the Annual Meeting on July 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm. This meeting is open to all members but due to the Covid-19 restrictions will be held as a Zoom meeting. If you wish for a Zoom meeting invite, please call 616.676.9346 or email AdaHistoricalSociety@gmail.com to request.
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.
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.
July Thru September 2020
June 11, July 9, August 13 – 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.
Thursday, July 23– The Origin and Expansion of Baseball in the 19th Century
7:00 pm at the museum. Presented by Michael Stevens, professor of English at Cornerstone University. See more information here
Friday, August 21 – Beers At the Bridge
6:00-9:00 pm at the Ada Covered Bridge and Leonard Field.
Thursday, August 27 – Garden Event: “Bees & Pollination”
7:00 pm at the museum. Join us for an un-bee-lievable lecture presentation and walk through the museum gardens. See more information here
Thursday, September 10 – Unique Museum Collections
7:00 pm at the museum. A special presentation by Chuck Schoenknect and Ward Paul.
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.