To all of our friends and supporters:
The Historic Ottawa Beach Society enjoyed a very successful 2017. HOBS had 94 paid members: a record high. We were able to have the Pumphouse building open for longer periods of time each week, and the public response to our exhibits, special events and live presentations was very gratifying.
We are making bold plans for the summer of 2018, including having the Pumphouse building open even more often and for longer hours. We will be offering two new interpretive exhibits as well as three fascinating live presentations.
The all new interpretive exhibit “Big Red: From Aid to Navigation to Cultural Icon” will occupy the north room of the Pumphouse building. The four sections of the exhibit will focus on the history of the Holland harbor lighthouse, illumination and fog signal devices, and lighthouse keepers and life saving crews. The fourth section will highlight the lighthouses around Lake Michigan, which ones are endangered, and how museum visitors may become involved in saving them.
The Learning Center component of the museum kicked off in October with some very enthusiastic Lakewood Elementary School students beginning their studies of Big Red with a guided tour of that building. They will make a public presentation of their final research projects and artwork in the spring. Those projects will then be included in the Big Red exhibit.
In the south room, the Hotel Ottawa guest register will be featured in a new interpretive exhibit about the Hotel Ottawa. This exhibit will feature a duplicate copy of the hotel register for public inspection and some never before displayed artifacts from the Hotel Ottawa.
The Pumphouse building will have an all new look this summer. Ottawa Couinty Parks and Recreation Department will complete the construction of the East Addition to the Pumphouse building which will house public restrooms. And HOBS will be installing room darkening blinds in the windows.
As wonderful as these plans sound, we need your help and financial support to make the exhibits and programs reality. Won’t you join the HOBS board of directors in both renewing your HOBS membership and also in making a generous donation to the Pumphouse museum fund today?
Very truly yours,
President, Historic Ottawa Beach Society.