141 S. Jackson St., Jackson, MI 49201 :: 517.764.4440
Experience Jackson

Historical Home & Buildings Tour

There are over 300 notable homes located in a 15 block historic district, which is located on the city’s west side. Here you will find a wide variety of architecture representing Victorian, English Tudor, Craftsman and unique Ionia Stone homes. You will find interesting touring on the following streets: Franklin Street from First Street to Brown Street. Washington Street from Brown to First Street. Michigan Avenue just west of the city center. Click here for a highlighted map.

There are several locations within the city that have historical significance.

Historical Building Tour Stops

Jackson District Library

(517) 788-4087
Website | Facebook
244 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201

Jackson District Library Inspiring our community to discover, learn and succeed! Jackson County residents can enjoy library services of the highest quality while visiting our 13 locations or the virtual branch at » More Information

Hours

Carnegie Library Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Meeting Facility Features
  • AV Equipment Available
  • Air Conditioned
  • WiFi Available
  • Internet Available
  • Multiple Rooms or Facilities
Event Capacity
  • 80
Jackson District Library

Inspiring our community to discover, learn and succeed! Jackson County residents can enjoy library services of the highest quality while visiting our 13 locations or the virtual branch at www.myjdl.com. The library strives to meet our community’s ever-changing needs for educational, cultural and recreational information. Patrons can reserve books, download eBooks and eAudiobooks, and check the status of their library account by logging in to the online catalog through the webpage 24/7. The library’s computerized catalog is also linked with the Jackson College Learning Resources Center Library.

In addition to the library services and collections, the library offers programs for all ages at all our locations throughout the year. Most programs and services are free of charge.  For more information, call 517-788-4087 or visit www.myjdl.com.

In 1901, Andrew Carnegie donated $70,000 for the construction of a library building in the city of Jackson. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the State of Michigan Register of Historic Sites, this Neo-Classical style building was designed and built in 1906. The facility features inlaid terrazzo floors, intricate ceiling moldings, Carrara white marble staircase and numerous pieces of art. The Carnegie building became the main branch for the newly created district in 1978. In 1981, with a bequest from Mrs. Mable MinterVan Orman, a circular structure was built at the rear of the library. This added an elevator, history room, back lobby and a children's storytelling room. 

Meeting Rooms are available for rent free of charge. See their website for rental policies.

Carnegie Library - Reserve by calling the Reference desk at (517) 788-4087, ext. 1339 or 1340.

McIntyre Room (Seats 24)

Sergeant Auditorium (Seats 80)

Eastern Branch – Reserve by calling the East Branch at (517) 788-4074.

Knibloe Room (Seats 70) 

Meijer Branch – Reserve by calling Meijer at (517) 788-4480.

Two study rooms available on a first-come, first-serve basis (Each Seats 4)  Also, the Meijer Digital Studio offers space for a wide variety of activities.Three additional meeting rooms will be available very soon!

The Child, The Parent, and The Book, by Freeman L. Schoolcraft, bronze and limestone, 1988, Jackson District Library/Carnegie Branch, Michigan Ave.

The Carnegie building is graced with an outdoor public sculpture a parent and child reading and was created by famed sculptor Freeman Schoolcraft, Jackson High School graduate. Freeman Schoolcraft's The Child, The Parent, and The Book sits beside the main entrance to the Jackson District Library welcoming patrons while celebrating the right to read and symbolizing the value of parents and children learning and growing together.

» Less Information

First Baptist Church

(517) 784-3151
Website | Facebook
201 S. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201

First Baptist Church This was the first Baptist church established in Jackson. In 1834, thirteen Jackson pioneers established the Barry-Jackson Baptist Church in Sandstone Township. Five years later the Reverend David Hendee and seventeen... » More Information

Contact
Rev. Gretchen C. Sanewsky, Pastor
Hours

Office Open:
Mon: 8:00 pm - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tue - Fri: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

SUNDAY INFORMATION:
Worship Service - 9:45 am
Coffee and Donuts - 11:00 am
Sunday School & Adult Bible Study - 11:30 am-12:30 pm

First Baptist Church

This was the first Baptist church established in Jackson. In 1834, thirteen Jackson pioneers established the Barry-Jackson Baptist Church in Sandstone Township. Five years later the Reverend David Hendee and seventeen members of that church formed the First Baptist Church in Jackson. Meetings were held in several locations until 1868, when construction began on the present church. J. R. Lewis provided the plans and specifications for this Romanesque Revival-style structure. When a lack of funds resulted in repeated construction delays, "Uncle Ben" Mosher, a member of the building committee, agreed to erect the walls free if the materials were supplied. A donation from four church members in 1871 assured the structure's completion. The church was eventually dedicated on March 10, 1872.

Founded in 1839, First Baptist Church has been a vital presence of God’s hope and grace in downtown Jackson for more than 170 years. From the corner of South Jackson and Cortland Streets, the congregation continues to live this legacy through mission and outreach to the community. With about 190 members First Baptist is a place to be known by God and friends. 

Photos coutesy of First Baptist Church of Jackson.

» Less Information

First Congregational Church

(517) 784-8577
Website | Facebook
120 N. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201

First Congregational Church This pre-Civil War building has a fascinating history that includes a well-documented story about adding a basement AFTER the structure had been in operation for several years. This monumental Romanesque... » More Information

Contact
Rev. Larry Hoxey
Hours

Office Open: 9 am - 2 pm weekdays

Sunday Services: 
8:30 am Faith Connections (Early Service)
10:00 am Sunday Service (Sanctuary)
10:00 am Sunday School

First Congregational Church

This pre-Civil War building has a fascinating history that includes a well-documented story about adding a basement AFTER the structure had been in operation for several years. This monumental Romanesque Revival church was erected in 1859 according to plans by architect Horatio N. White of Syracuse, New York. It is this congregation's third church. In 1871 the building was raised eight feet to accommodate lower-level classrooms. In September 1861, on the eve of departing for duty in the Civil War, the "Jackson Blair Cadets" and the Jackson County Rifles gathered with their families in the crowded sanctuary. At Detroit's Fort Wayne the troops joined the Eighth and Ninth Michigan infantries respectively. Beginning in the 1840s with the anti-slavery movement, the congregation actively participated in social reform--most notably the temperance and civil rights crusades. In 1987 the church was placed on the State Register of Historic Sites.

Photo Courtesy of Jackson District Library Archives.

» Less Information

Michigan Central Railroad Jackson Amtrak Depot

(517) 787-6385
Website
501 E. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201

Michigan Central Railroad Jackson Amtrak Depot In operation since September 1, 1873, Jackson’s train depot is the oldest continually operating rail station in the United States and was also the largest stop on the line between... » More Information

Hours

Building open every day 7:00 am - 2:30 pm

Michigan Central Railroad Jackson Amtrak Depot

In operation since September 1, 1873, Jackson’s train depot is the oldest continually operating rail station in the United States and was also the largest stop on the line between Detroit and Chicago in train travel's heyday. The Victorian-Italianate red-brick station used heart pine, ash, oak and walnut woods harvested in Michigan for its interior structures. A carved walnut arch separated the ticket office from the newsstand and women’s waiting room and crystal chandeliers hung overhead. The station currently services the Amtrak Wolverine line which still runs from Detroit to Chicago. 

Fast Facts

  • After a 32-foot addition in 1901, the building measures 296 feet long by 45 feet wide
  • 2nd in Michigan only to Detroit in terms of passenger boardings and frieght tonnage handled in it's heyday
  • The park in front of the depot was known as Le Grande Square and was once much larger and extending to the north
  • The express building to the east of the depot was built between 1880 and 1900 to handle mail and other shipments
  • The depot, express building and Le Grande Square are listed on the US Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places
  • Famous people to stop at the Jackson Depot include President McKinley in 1899, President Taft in 1910 and Presidential Candidates Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and John F. Kennedy in 1960
  • The mural in the archway inside was painted by Jackson artist Lee Bauman for the Bicentenial Celebration and feature French turbo trains that Amtrak operated in the 1970s
  • In 1926, 63 passenger trains a day passed through the Jackson Depot and it is estimated a total of 422,000 passengers would have used the station that year
  • Today about 28,000 passengers each year board or alight  from the 6 daily Amtrak trains stopping at the Jackson Depot

» Less Information

Armory Arts Village & Michigan’s First State Prison

(517) 784-2220
| Facebook
100 Armory Court
Jackson, MI 49201

Armory Arts Village & Michigan’s First State Prison The Armory Arts Village is a one-of-a-kind, creatively focused, mixed use neighborhood.  An affordable space designed to meet both the living & workspace needs of emerging artists, musicians, designers,... » More Information

Hours

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Saturdays and additional times by appointment only.

Armory Arts Village & Michigan’s First State Prison

The Armory Arts Village is a one-of-a-kind, creatively focused, mixed use neighborhood.  An affordable space designed to meet both the living & workspace needs of emerging artists, musicians, designers, craftsmen, and other creative people. Armory Arts Village is listed on MSN in the top ten most unique buildings worldwide in which to live. The building is a private residence, an artist community and a nationally recognized historic site. 

This was the original site of Michigan's first state prison, approved by the legislature in 1838. A temporary wooden prison, enclosed by a fence of tamarack poles, was built on sixty acres donated for that purpose here. In 1839 the first thirty-five prisoners were received. A permanent prison was built three years later. Beginning in the 1880's under Warden H. F. Hatch a greater emphasis was placed on the education and rehabilitation of prisoners. After 1934 the inmates were housed in the new prison north of Jackson. During the Industrial Revolution, Michigan's First State Prison was important to the development of Jackson by providing cheap labor in our factories.

Nearby restaurants include Shlenker's Sandwich Shop, Chilango's Mexican Grill and Anna's Gifts & Porch Cafe.

Jackson's Historic Prison Tour now begins at Michigan Theatre. Click here to learn more.

» Less Information

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

(517) 787-3370
Website
309 S. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church On December 8, 1838, the founders of St. Paul's Parish met and began the task of drafting the Articles of Organization for a ""new Protestant society."" The Parish of St. Paul'... » More Information

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

On December 8, 1838, the founders of St. Paul's Parish met and began the task of drafting the Articles of Organization for a ""new Protestant society."" The Parish of St. Paul's Church was officially established with the signing by twenty-two persons of the articles of Organization on January 12, 1839.
Its first house of worship, a small frame church completed at a cost of $2,500 by vestry member Lemuel S. House, was consecrated on October 20, 1840. By 1850 the group had outgrown its original home, and plans were begun to build a larger church.
Designed by Buffalo architect Calvin N. Otis, the new Romanesque Revival church was consecrated on January 11, 1853. Remodeled and expanded several times, it is one of the oldest Episcopal church structures in southern Michigan.

Photo Courtesy of Jackson District Library Archives

» Less Information

Under the Oaks City Park

Website 418 Second St.
Jackson, MI 49201

Under the Oaks City Park This is a historical site honoring the birthplace of the Republican Party. On July 6, 1854, a state convention of anti-slavery men was held in Jackson, Michigan,  to found a... » More Information

Park Features
  • Flower Garden
Under the Oaks City Park

This is a historical site honoring the birthplace of the Republican Party. On July 6, 1854, a state convention of anti-slavery men was held in Jackson, Michigan,  to found a new political party. Since the convention day was hot and the huge crowd could not be accommodated in the hall, the meeting adjourned to an oak grove on "Morgan's Forty" on the outskirts of the town forever known as "Under the Oaks".

Photo Courtesy of the Jackson District Library Photo Archives.

» Less Information

Coe House Museum

(517) 522-8324
| Facebook
371 W. Michigan Ave.
Grass Lake, MI 49240

Coe House Museum Coe House was constructed in 1871 for Henry Van Winkle, who owned and operated a hardware store and farm equipment "dealership" in Grass Lake. In 1953 Archie and Myrta Coe bought the... » More Information

Hours

By appointment only.

Coe House Museum

Coe House was constructed in 1871 for Henry Van Winkle, who owned and operated a hardware store and farm equipment "dealership" in Grass Lake. In 1953 Archie and Myrta Coe bought the home, and it was from Mrs. Coe, by then a widow, that the Grass Lake Area Historical Society bought the house in 1972. The architecture of the home is Tuscan Vernacular. It has been furnished to represent a typical home of the Victorian Era. A variety of events are scheduled throughout the year, including flea markets, craft shows, music and a heritage celebration.

 

» Less Information

The Mann House

(517) 524-8943
Website
205 Hanover St.
Concord, MI 49237

The Mann House The Mann House is an excellent example of typical middle-class domestic architecture of the early 1880s. Built in 1883, the Mann House is now a museum operated by the Michigan Historical... » More Information

Hours

Memorial Day to Labor Day

Thursday through Sunday

10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Mann House

The Mann House is an excellent example of typical middle-class domestic architecture of the early 1880s. Built in 1883, the Mann House is now a museum operated by the Michigan Historical Center. It is furnished with the 19th century heirlooms of the Mann family including the family's sleigh, buggy, and many household implements. Caretakers recreate holiday celebrations by decorating and arranging the museum as it would have been seen during those times. A marbleized slate fireplace, peculiar catch-release doorknobs, and eight rooms of period furniture adorn the two-story house. Admission to Mann House is free.

» Less Information

Whistle Stop Park Depot

517-522-4332
218 E Michigan Ave
Grass Lake, MI 49240

Whistle Stop Park Depot The Central Railroad (later the Michigan Central Rail Road, or MCRR) came through Grass Lake in 1842, and the community grew around that first depot. In 1887, Grass Lake was awarded a... » More Information

Hours

By appointment only

Park Features
  • Flower Garden
Meeting Facility Features
  • Air Conditioned
  • Alcohol Permitted
Event Capacity
  • 125
Whistle Stop Park Depot

The Central Railroad (later the Michigan Central Rail Road, or MCRR) came through Grass Lake in 1842, and the community grew around that first depot. In 1887, Grass Lake was awarded a stone depot designed by the same architects and with stone from the same quarry as the Ann Arbor station. This historic Romanesque train depot offers displays of local interest. Available for rentals, receptions, parties, and weddings. 

Heritage Day in September highlights the depot every year with an Open House. Stop in on the first Saturday in December to experience the festival of lights. While checking out this fantastic depot, why not take advantage of the beautiful park with its flower garden and nice gazebo located adjacent to the building.

» Less Information

Hanover Horton Conklin Reed Organ & History Museum

(517) 563-8927
Website | Facebook
101 Fairview St.
Hanover, MI 49241

Hanover Horton Conklin Reed Organ & History Museum The Lee Conklin Antique Reed Organ & History Museum proudly displays over 100 fully restored and working antique reed organs. Visitors to the museum are often treated to the beautiful sounds... » More Information

Hours

May - October: Sunday 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
By appointment the rest of the week. 

Meeting Facility Features
  • Air Conditioned
  • Multiple Rooms or Facilities
Event Capacity
  • 44
Hanover Horton Conklin Reed Organ & History Museum

The Lee Conklin Antique Reed Organ & History Museum proudly displays over 100 fully restored and working antique reed organs. Visitors to the museum are often treated to the beautiful sounds of these antique instruments, as they are in playable condition. The collection includes parlor, cottage and church organs along with elegant rosewood melodeons, some dating as far back as the mid-1800’s. The historical collection includes a turn of the century classroom, barber shop, library, printing press and telephone switchboard. The museum building itself, once Hanover High School, was designated a Michigan Historical Site in 2000 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. The museum is owned and operated by the Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society. Special events include Rust N' Dust Days, Fourth of July Tractor Pulls and October Corn Mazes. 

The Heritage Park Event Center hosts monthly concerts called Bluegrass Bonanza and is also great place to hold your next gathering. Whether you are expecting a small crowd or a full house the event center can accommodate your needs. There are two rooms available. The small meeting room features a classroom style space that holds 44 people maximum and includes the use of the kitchen. The large meeting space is also available for rent and also includes the use of the kitchen. If you are interested in renting either room, please contact the Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society office at 517-563-8927.  There is NO Alcohol / NO Smoking policy for all of the Museum Buildings and Grounds.

Group tours are welcome.  The buildings and restrooms are handicapped accessible except for the 2nd floor of the museum. Please allow 1.5 hours for the tour. Please visit their website for more information on group tours.

» Less Information

Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum

(517) 596-2254
Website | Facebook
13493 Waterloo Munith Road
Grass Lake, MI 49240

Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum These museums offer a vivid look into 19th century pioneer life. Costumed tour guides take visitors through a 10-room farmhouse built by a German immigrant and seven additional outbuildings. Then... » More Information

Hours

Open: the Friday after Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend.  1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Friday, Sat. and Sunday

Both the Dewey School & Farm Museum are open by appointment and for special events.

Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum

These museums offer a vivid look into 19th century pioneer life. Costumed tour guides take visitors through a 10-room farmhouse built by a German immigrant and seven additional outbuildings. Then groups are encouraged to continue their visit at the Dewey School Museum where pupils will experience a typical school day in the mid-1800s. 

The Waterloo Farm Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Siebold Farm/Ruehle (Realy) farm since 1973, is a complex of farm buildings nestled in the curve of a scenic rural road. Highlights include a farmhouse built in 1850s, a rare restored wooden Perkins windmill, a log house with stone fireplace, a woodworking and blacksmith's workshop with working forge, the granary which now serves as a gift shop, and many other buildings that supported 1880s farm life. 

The Dewey School Museum, located three miles north of the Farm, is a one-room schoolhouse that was built in the mid-1800s and held classes until 1956. At Dewey, the schoolmarm teaches her pupils (the visitors) about a one-room schoolhouse and guides them through a typical day.

The Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum are run by the Waterloo Area Historical Society. The mission of the WAHA is to foster an understanding and appreciation in children and adults of the pioneer farmers of Michigan, their family life and their children's schooling. The WAHS was formed in 1962 to acquire and restore the Realy Family Farm as a tribute to Michigan's pioneer farmers.

Group Tour Information

For more group tour information click here. Waterloo Farm Museum provides guided tours of the ten-room farmhouse, log cabin, barns, blacksmith and woodworking workshop, bake house, ice house, milk cellar and windmill. These tours are lead by knowledgeable guides in period dress and are usually combined with the Dewey School museum visit lasting between 3 to 3.5 hours. The gift shop will also be open at this time as well, to browse and purchase books, crafts, toys, collectables and clothing. Please call for group pricing.

» Less Information