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.

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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.

A New Face for the Museum

AHS is proud to be part of the Ada community. We have caught the spirit of renewal in the village and are in the process of completing an exterior renovation on the museum building. The project has been made possible through  partnership with the Township and the Korth Family foundation. AHS wishes to thank our partners along with Dixon Architecture, BBD Construction, Bruce Heys Builders, and the Run 4 a Cause organization for making this project a reality. We invite you to stop by the museum and see for yourself! We are working on a project to make improvements to the Averill Historical Museum.  Read about it in this MLive article.

Upcoming Events

May 2-3, 2015 – Spring Into the Past Small Museums Tour
The 13th annual tour highlights all the museums in the Tri-River Historical Museum network. Each museum will be holding open houses from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and all will offer free admission. Pick up a booklet listing participating museums at the Averill Museum, Ada Township Hall, or various businesses in Ada.

May 14, 2015 – Madeline La Framboise Lecture
We have scheduled another entertaining and educational offering, this time featuring Madeline La Framboise (1780-1846). Madame Framboise was an early female business owner, fur trading from Ada up to Mackinac Island. She was fluent in four languages! Join us for more about her incredible story. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Wisner Center inside the Cascade KDL branch. This lecture is presented in partnership with the Cascade Historical Society. Click here for more information.

May 16, 2014 – Arts in Ada and Museum Open House
Ada Historical Society will be there to support the fine and performing arts in Ada! Stroll by our booth as you take in the music and dance performances, shop the booths along Bronson Street, enjoy food, and check out the children’s activities. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Bronson Street and Ada Drive.

Afterwards, wander down to the museum for our Open House. Check out the new face of the museum , our new gift shop, and new temporary exhibit, Madeline La Framboise: Fur Trader, Trail Blazer. Grab a nibble, learn about membership, and enjoy a kids activity in the barn. Open House only lasts from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hope to see you there! Click here for more information.

June 11, 2015 – AHS Board Meeting
We invite you to join in helping preserve, share, and celebrate Ada’s history. Open to all. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

June 16 – August 25, 2015 – Music on the Lawn
A different musical group each week. All events are free and open to all. Grab a lawn chair and come enjoy the sounds of summer at Music on the Lawn! The events will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society. For more information click here.

July 4, 2015 – Fourth of July Parade & Festivities
Come to the village to celebrate our nation’s birth! In addition to the village festivities, AHS will have coffee and water available along the parade route.  The parade will go from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Museum will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July 9, 2015 – AHS Board Meeting
We invite you to join in helping preserve, share, and celebrate Ada’s history. Open to all. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

July 28, 2015 – Garden Party
We celebrate the bounty of summer in our lovely gardens and grounds.  We’ll have treats and special surprises as you tip-toe through the tulips (and hydranges and monarda…).  The event is free and open to all.  Make an evening of it and stay for the Music On the Lawn concert at 7:00 p.m.  That evening’s group is Ghosts of the American Road, singing Americana music. The event will take place at the Ada Historical Society, and will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

August 7, 2015 – August in Ada
 AHS will participate in the village’s annual children’s festival.  Stop  by our booth amid the rides, activities, nibbles, and fun. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Ada village.

August 11-13, 2015 – Pioneer Days
Kids step back in time and live like the Pioneers did in this 3-day summer camp.  Register through the Ada Parks Department here. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at AHS.

August 13, 2015 – AHS Board Meeting
We invite you to join in helping preserve, share, and celebrate Ada’s history. Open to all. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

September 10, 2015 – AHS Board Meeting
We invite you to join in helping preserve, share, and celebrate Ada’s history. Open to all. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

September 26, 2015 – Roselle Park River Fest
Ada’s fall festival.  Visit our booth for Ada-themed goodies and a kids’ craft. The event will last from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Roselle Park. Roselle Park is located at 1010 Grand River Drive NE in Ada.

October 8, 2015 – AHS Board Meeting
We invite you to join in helping preserve, share, and celebrate Ada’s history. Open to all. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

October 17, 2015 – Fall Door Decoration Class
Learn to create an autumn masterpiece for your home. Pre-registration required; registration information coming soon. The event will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Ada Historical Society.

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

The Not-So-Distant Past

AHS has begun research for a new volume of our Ada history book, The Snug Little Place.  The new book will highlight the growth, change, and development in Ada from 1930-1980.  It should be fun to dig into the not-so-distant past and start recording the history that has helped make Ada what it is today.  If you have any desire to 1)share stories or photos, 2) conduct some research, 3) help us connect with long-time residents to hear their stories or 4) know of anyone we might be interested in talking with, then please let us know! For more information check out this mlive article.

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?!…  The Society is thrilled to announce the installation of six historic signs in the corners of the village.  Be on the lookout for the panels, hop out of your car, wander the village and explore Ada’s rich cultural heritage. Landscaping is slated for this spring/summer and the signs will soon be accompanied by a booklet providing a detailed historic walking tour of the village.  We invite you to come ReDISCOVER Ada!

Learn more about the Interpretative Panels Project here.

Interpretive Panels Location Map