Halloween Cemetery Tours Are Back!

Halloween-Themed Oakwood Cemetery Guided Walking Tours – $15/person
Thursday, October 27th at 4pm; Saturday, October 29th at 2pm & 4pm

We’re so delighted to be once again offering you these incredible walks through the history of our region!

No reservations are required; however, participants are required to sign a liability waiver so please arrive 15 minutes early to sign-in. No charge though a chance for free-will donation will be offered.

Cemetery walking tours meet at the main entrance of Oakwood Cemetery off of Eighth Street, directly across from the intersection of Fair Street and Eighth Street. The tour will start and finish at this location. Parking is available on either side of the entrance, up against the hedge.

Please note: This walking tour covers a distance of approximately 1.5 miles on uneven surfaces over 90 minutes, so please consider if this tour is appropriate for your mobility and stamina capabilities. Additionally, while kid-friendly, some children have difficulty staying interested for the duration and you are the best judge of the appropriateness of this tour for any children who may accompany you.

In case of inclement weather, please check our Facebook page to see if the event has been canceled. We do our best to have any cancellation notice posted at least 1 hour prior to the tour

2022 Tours

TAHS 2022 Summer Tours are here! Both the Oakwood Cemetery tour and the Downtown Historical tours will be offered, as well as a new tour all about Old Towne. Each costs $15.00 per person, and all proceeds will go to Traverse Area Historical Society.

New This Year — Old Towne Tours: Join author and TAHS member Marty McLeod on a new guided walking tour of TC’s Old Towne! The tour will be 1.7 miles, meeting at the statue of Perry Hannah on the corner of Union and 6th Streets. 10am – 12pm, Saturdays, July 16th, August 13th, and September 17th.

Downtown Tours: Meeting at the Statue of Perry Hannah on the corner of Union and 6th Street in Traverse City. Offered June – September, 10am – 12pm. June 25th, July 23rd, August 27th and September 24th.

Oakwood Cemetery Tours: Meeting at the entrance to the Oakwood Cemetery off of 8th Street in Traverse City. Second and fourth Sunday of every month, June – September, 4 pm – 5:30 pm. June 26th; July 10th, 24th; August 14th, 28th; September 11th, 25th and October 9th.

TAHS March Program: Remembering the Clinch Park Zoo

Do you remember talking to Ace the crow, riding the Spirit of Traverse City miniature train, or even pressing a penny down at Traverse City’s Clinch Park Zoo? Both visitors and locals alike have childhood memories of this long-time downtown fixture. Jennifer Loup, former Clinch Park Zookeeper and History BA graduate from University of Michigan will present the history of the Clinch Park aquarium, animals, and attractions from the early 1930s through the dissolving of the zoo in 2007. A building from the original Traverse City Miniature City will also be on display, on loan from The Music House Museum.

This program will be held in person and via Zoom.

Register to join online here: https://events.tadl.org/event/traverse-area-historical-society-presents-remembering-clinch-park-zoo

TAHS February Program – Dramatic History of Traverse Area Libraries

Sunday, February 20th, 2:00-3:30, Traverse Area District Library, Woodmere Branch, McGuire Room – also available online.

Our beautiful, dynamic library on Woodmere Avenue and the other vibrant member and branch libraries of the Traverse District Library System are taken for granted now, but there is an interesting history of how they became that way.  Beyond Books: Stories of Traverse Area Library History 1860 – 2020 tells that story. It was written by noted local author Heather Shumaker, who also did much of the research. The story of the development of libraries in the Grand Traverse area begins with the very early Traverse Township Library and the 1869 formation of the Ladies Library Association. Eventually the Carnegie Library on 6th Street was built to house a growing public library. We discovered that the story of library development, at least in our area, was political, sometimes controversial, and even in some cases very dramatic — with fights over where libraries should be located.  Presenters Anne Magoun and Ann Swaney are Co-Coordinators of CRSTAL (Committee to Record the Story of Traverse Area Libraries), who worked together fund-raising, researching, proofing, and now marketing this book.

TAHS January Program – Traverse City Transformed: From Industry to Recreation

Sunday, January 16th, 2:00-3:30. McGuire Room, TADL Woodmere branch.

This wide-ranging program weaves striking local art and historical photos with images of paintings from the Detroit Institute of Art.  The presentation gives clues as to how and why Traverse City has changed so much over the past 150 years. It is an expanded version of a 2019 program presented as part of Northwestern Michigan College’s Dennos Museum’s 2018 – 19 “Visions of American Life” exhibition, which was loaned from the DIA. 

Presenter Peg Siciliano has a Master’s Degree in American History with a Specialty in Archives from the College of William and Mary.  She is the past archivist of the TAHS, writes historical articles for the TC Record Eagle, and currently works for the Traverse City Area Public Schools. 

TAHS November Program – Marty MacLeod: Old Towne and the history of Traverse City’s old South Side.

Sunday, November 21st, 2:00-3:30, McGuire Room, TADL, Woodmere Branch.

Held both online and on the Zoom platform. Event link: https://www.tadl.org/event/traverse-area-historical-society-4/

Zoom link:

The TAHS November program will be all about Old Towne—or, more correctly—all about the old South Side. Old Towne Neighborhood Association President and TAHS member Marty MacLeod has drawn from the research for her forthcoming book and will “show and tell” the story of this vibrant Traverse City neighborhood. Her accounts and research span from 1865, when the Union Street bridge first spanned the Boardman River, to 1965, when the area first became known as Old Towne. You won’t want to miss it!

TAHS Annual Members Meeting with Keynote Speakers – National History Day Award Winners Elyse Heffner and Veronika Caughran.

Sunday, October 17th, 2021. 2:00-3:30, McGuire room, TADL Woodmere Branch (also available online).

The October meeting is designated as our annual meeting in which TAHS members are updated on the state and accomplishments of the society by the TAHS President and vote on board members up for election. The meeting is also open to non-members, and this year people can attend in-person as well as virtually.

Our keynote speakers will be Eighth Graders Elyse Heffner and Veronika Caughran. They were the 2021 National Award winners in the Junior Division for the George Washington Leadership Award. They received this award for their project “George Washington’s Farewell Address.”  They completed research, prepared a presentation paper, and presented an exhibit of their findings.  They were a finalist at East Middle School and had the opportunity to compete at the State level. They were winners at the State level and competed at the National Level.

This meeting will be held both in-person in the McGuire room at the Woodmere branch of the Traverse Area District Library and also live online on the Zoom platform. You can register for online participation at: https://www.tadl.org/event/traverse-area-historical-society-3/

TAHS September Program (Virtual): Explore the Secrets and Mysteries of Dating Historic Photos!

September 19th, Sunday, 2:00-3:00. Zoom platform, in conjunction with the Traverse Area District Library. Register for the event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdOuorjguGdSFY_BeqrSzaQLUB0SEJ6Fu

Join us and discover hints and strategies for dating and identifying those perplexing, unidentified photos. Past Historical Society Archivist Peg Siciliano will offer ideas using historic images of local people and locations.  Siciliano has a Master’s Degree in American History from the College of William and Mary with a Specialty in Archives. She is currently on the TAHS Board, is a teaching assistant at TCAPS, and writes local history articles for the Record Eagle.

TAHS Walking History Tours

TAHS Summer Tours are back. Both the Oakwood Cemetery tour and the Downtown Historical tours will be coming back in 2021. All tours will adhere to social distancing guidelines. $10.00 donation/person. All proceeds will go to Traverse Area Historical Society.

Downtown Tours: Meeting at the Statue of Perry Hannah on the corner of Union and 6th Street in Traverse City. Last Saturday of every month, June – September, 10 am – 11:30 am. June 26th, July 31st, August 28th and September 25th.

Oakwood Cemetery Tours: Meeting at the entrance to the Oakwood Cemetery off of 8th Street in Traverse City. Second and fourth Sunday of every month, June – September, 4 pm – 5:30 pm. June 13th, 27th; July 11th, 25th; August 8th, 22nd; September 12th, 26th.