By Pat Maurer
There are two museums dedicated to preserving the heritage of Clare County.
The Farwell Museum, organized by the Farwell Historical Society, is full of memorabilia about the Village and the surrounding area. It also serves as the home for the Farwell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Both the museum and chamber are housed in the 131 year old building that once housed the Ladies Library Association. The building has been home to the Rebekah Lodge and the Farwell Women’s Club and as a site for church suppers, ten-cent dinners and the Red Cross. It was once the Surrey Township Library.
It is one of the few remaining old structures in Farwell and is located at 221 West Main Street. The museum is open year round on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from May through September from noon to 4 p.m. Contact them at 989-588-0580. Farwell Museum Meetings are the 3rd Wednesday of Every Month at 6:30 p.m. Their website is farwellmuseum.com.
Just five miles north and one mile east of Clare at the corner of Eberhart and Dover Roads is the Clare County Historical Society’s Historic Dover School, Museum building and restored Ott Cabin.
The Dover School was the first school built in Clare County in the late 1870s and the last country school to close in the county in 1966. Former students and neighbors bought the school and property, started the Historical Society and began restoring the school to it’s now original condition.
The complex sits on the site of what was once Crawfordville and later renamed Dover. It features one one-room school, a museum filled with artifacts from Clare County’s past and the recently reconstructed 1897 Ott family log cabin where 18 children were raised.
The site is open Saturdays from May through October from 1 to 4 p.m. There are also special events throughout the summer including tours and classes for school children, and Old Fashioned Day in late September and even on old fashioned Christmas Pageant in December. The school, museum and cabin are also available for special group tours.
To schedule an event, call 989-539-7546 or 989-386-7284. The Historical Society meets on the first Tuesday of the month from April through November and work mornings are held every Tuesday from May through October.