Take a fascinating tour through America’s history in Jackson, Michigan. Start by visiting the very spot the Republican Party was formed, then make your way to a historic train station that held many slaves’ tickets to freedom. Head over to Ella Sharp Museum's Hillside Farm Lane to see what life was like during the Civil War Era, and join 30,000 other spectators as they watch some of the most famous Civil War battles during the Civil War Muster, then learn more about our nation’s heroes at Michigan Military Heritage Museum.
Birthplace of the Republican Party
Only in Jackson can you stand on the same ground that our forefathers did in 1854 to form a political party that stood strong against slavery and fought for justice for all. The Republican Party was founded right here on what was then the outskirts of town. Visit this historic landmark, Under the Oaks, to be amongst the company of early political leaders and several United States Presidents.
Your American history tour wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Jackson Station, the oldest continually operating passenger rail station in the country. As an important stop on the Underground Railroad, slaves were said to have hopped aboard the cargo trains to reach freedom in Canada. Jackson Station holds a wealth of history that’s just waiting to be uncovered!
Ella Sharp Museum
At this iconic Jackson museum, you will find galleries of history, a village set to the Civil War Era, and so much more! The Ella Sharp Museum provides opportunities for everyone to explore, engage in, and enjoy American history and the arts.
Nestled within the mature tree of the museum’s grounds is the Hillside Farm Lane. Here you will truly feel like you are living in the Civil War Era as you explore this fully-erect historic village. Highlights include an 1860’s log cabin, the Dibble one-room schoolhouse, country store, print shop, doctor’s office, wood shop and the Merriman Sharp Farmhouse.
Civil War Muster
Watch the Civil War come alive around you as 1,500 reenactors storm the battlefield at Jackson’s Civil War Muster. This two-day festival features a new battle every day, so each is different from the last. In addition to this, walk through the battlefield re-encampment to hear historian lectures, see impersonators, and dance to period music. Once night falls, join in on the military ball and artillery “night fire”.
Michigan Military Heritage Museum
Relive the stories of Michigan’s war heroes at Michigan Military Heritage Museum. In addition to first-hand accounts of what happened on the battlefield, the museum has a wealth of military artifacts, most of which were donated by veterans! As you make your way through this fascinating museum, you will see armor, weapons, maps, and uniforms from nearly every war the United States fought in. One of the visitors’ favorite exhibits is the four timeline themed rooms, which detail our country’s military history with artifacts, maps, artwork, and much more!
Spend a Weekend Enjoying Our Nation’s History
As you can see, Jackson is peppered with American history; these five places are just the tip of the iceberg. From corner to corner, the county is overflowing with unique artifacts, monuments, and historic locations that paint the picture of our country’s past. Spending a day in Jackson just wouldn’t be enough time to enjoy all the unique stops. Book your hotel stay today to spend a weekend exploring our history!