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HSM Launches Van Buren County Historical Society Storm Damage Relief Campaign

The Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) has initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the Van Buren County Historical Society (VBCHS) in Hartford recover from the severe storm damage of June 13, 2022.

HSM Launches Van Buren County Historical Society Storm Damage Relief Campaign

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6/30/22

Written By: Historical Society of Michigan

LANSING, Mich.—The Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) has initiated a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the Van Buren County Historical Society (VBCHS) in Hartford recover from the severe storm damage of June 13. Thunderstorms and high winds tore through southwest Michigan, felling trees, knocking out electrical power and damaging buildings. The museum of the VBCHS, one of HSM’s member historical organizations, bore the brunt of the damage. The wind tore off the front part of the roof, exposing the entire interior to the elements. “Our roof ended up in the ravine next to the building and we lost many old trees,” said VBCHS President Sandra Merchant. Rain soaked the museum’s artifacts and archival collections.

“The Van Buren County Historical Society is a longtime member of HSM and in dire need,” said Larry J. Wagenaar, HSM's executive director and CEO. “We are raising the funds to provide relief for the devastated portions of its historical collections and property.”

Donations received through the GoFundMe campaign, which can be found at https://gofund.me/17472e7a, will go directly toward the preservation and restoration of the damaged property and salvageable artifacts and collections. HSM will withdraw the funds from the campaign and convey them to the VBCHS.

The VBCHS is a volunteer-run organization and is in desperate need of help and donations to save its collections and facilities. The museum occupies the former Van Buren County Poor Farm building, a three-story brick Italianate structure built in 1884.

The Historical Society of Michigan is the state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828. A nongovernmental nonprofit, the Society focuses on publications, conferences, education, awards and recognition programming, and support for local history organizations to preserve and promote Michigan’s rich history.