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Relive Jackson’s storied past in one of its

many museums and historic homes

It’s no secret that Jackson history has played a major role in the development of the region and the state. From the first state prison to what was once the largest stop on the Detroit-to-Chicago rail line, little pieces of Michigan history are waiting to be uncovered within the city’s museums and historic homes.

Learn more about the 2024 Museum Passport, where your visits to Jackson County Museums can win you prizes through the end of the year!

A Trip Through Time

Step inside one of Jackson’s preserved properties and experience a time before cars, technology, and almost every convenience we now take for granted. Costumed guides lead the way on a tour of the Waterloo Farm Museum and its 10-room farmhouse, while the Dewey School Museum close by paints a picture of a mid-1800s school day. The Mann House, the Hubbard Memorial Museum and Coe House Museum all provide a snapshot of the late 1800s within striking Victorian exteriors. Stroll through the Ella Sharp Museum and see what several aspects of daily life were like during the Civil War era. In addition to six galleries, this museum feature a 150-year-old log cabin, schoolhouse, doctor’s office, print shop, country store, wood shop and farmhouse. Tompkins Historical Society features a farmhouse museum, rug looms and black smith demonstrations, a replica frontier log cabin, an 1880’s school house, and a working windmill. 

An Exhibit for Every Interest

Jackson’s museums are as diverse as its history, from antique organ museums to the Whitetail Hall of Fame Museum’s 50 record buck racks on display. Explore hands-on science exhibits and animals at Imagine Planet. Gaze up at the cosmos under Hurst Planetarium’s 30-foot dome or gaze down at Ye Ole Carriage Shop Auto Museum’s seriously sleek display of 60-plus classic cars. Musicians and music lovers will appreciate Conklin Reed Organ & History Museum, where over 100 fully restored antique organs are on display — some dating back over 150 years. One of Jackson’s newest additions in Jackson is Michigan’s Military Heritage Museum, which focuses heavily on the involvement of Michigan in the U.S Military, but they also have artifacts from all over the world, and from many different time periods.. Then, stop over to the Lost Railway Museum, where they document the history of Jackson’s trains and railways, which once featured one of the busiest stops in the state! They also have a virtual train ride called the Boland Express, that puts you in a restored antique railway car on an animated tour through local transportation history. From there, you can make your way to the Cambridge Junction Historic State Park and Walker Tavern, a major stopping place for stagecoaches traveling between Detroitand Chicago in the early nineteenth century.

Grab your map, your historic tour begins now!

Uncovering historic Jackson has never been easier than with our self-guided tour. Spend the day exploring some of Jackson’s unique museums, or take a few days and experience them all! Get started now by submitting the form, then we’ll send you the information to start your historic tour!

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