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Inside of a Castle

The Vault

Exhibits Past
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Exhibits

The Castle Museum of Saginaw County History's exhibits tell the story of the people and places in Saginaw County. Within its walls, you will discover exhibits that celebrate the diversity and richness of the community’s heritage and history.

Explore some exhibit highlights by hovering over the Exhibit Box below. There is even more to discover when you visit!

Hockey jerseys

CENTENNIAL HALL

ABOUT:

Former mail sorting room turned exhibit hall, this space hosts our major temporary exhibits. 

On display now through March 2023:
HOME ICE: Saginaw Scores Professional Hockey

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn about professional hockey in Saginaw from the Gears to the Spirit.

  • See jerseys, memorabilia, and more. Mascots including Gear-Rilla, Sammy, and Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle 

Post Office history exhibit.

POST OFFICE

ABOUT:
The Castle Museum has been housed in Saginaw’s original post office, dedicated in 1898. This landmark building, rescued from demolition twice, is now a museum and is considered our greatest artifact. This gallery details the history of the building.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Photos of original building and expansion photos. 

  • An original vault.

  • A lookout gallery. 

The Alcoves small, temporary exhibits.

THE ALCOVES

ABOUT:

The Alcoves are four distinct display areas in the Main Floor hallway alongside the Morley Room. These exhibits change about once a year on a staggered schedule. 

HIGHLIGHTS:

Examples of what you might find in an Alcove include:

  • Sonny Stitt: Saginaw’s Giant of Jazz

  • Ippel Brothers

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EVERYDAY

OBJECTS OF THE

ANISHINABEK

ABOUT:
Long before the first Europeans arrived in the Saginaw Valley, the Anishinabek inhabited this fertile land. They still live here today.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Their tools and techniques evolved over time. The objects presented here demonstrate inventiveness in the face of changing circumstances and their fine craftsmanship. 

  • Anishinabek (Anishinaabeg) means First People. 

  • The Council of Three Fires is the alliance of the Ojibwe (Chippewa), Ottawa, and Potawatomie.

Artifacts from the 1893 Saginaw Fire

REVEALING OUR BURIED PAST

ABOUT:

Archaeology is the study of the human past through systematic recovery and analysis of material evidence. Archaeologists reconstruct the past through the objects left behind.

 

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • See many artifacts discovered on federal land at the Shiawassee Wildlife Refuge, as well as the tools and procedures archaeologists use to uncover, document, and preserve evidence of earlier times. 

  • Explore Saginaw’s Great Fire of 1893 through maps and materials. See how the archaeological process uncovered the details of the story.

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OUR

FOUNDATIONS

ABOUT:

The first Europeans to the region came as traders and missionaries. Louis Campau established the first permanent trading post and later would become integral to the efforts of the U.S. to obtain lands in central Michigan. 

 

EXHIBIT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Early fur traders: who they were, how they lived, the tools they used.

  • Understanding the Treaty of Saginaw from the perspective of territorial governor Lewis Cass and Anishinabek spokesperson Ogemaw-Ke-Ga-To. 

  • Fort Saginaw, although short-lived, spurred white settlement of the Saginaw Valley.

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TIMBER!

ABOUT:
Together Saginaw City and East Saginaw were once the lumber capital of the world. Despite predictions that the sawmills would run for generations, the boom times only lasted about 50 years, and it all ended as suddenly as it began.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Hang out in a logging camp and think about the lives of lumberjacks. Check out their tools.

  • Saginaw boasted more than 80 sawmills and each had its own logmark. The museum has many on display.

  • See how the wealthy lumber barons lived.

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GEARED FOR PRODUCTION

ABOUT:
Once the lumber boom ended, Saginaw struggled to find a new identity as it entered the 20th Century. What unfolded was one of the most exciting times in the county's history as the region reinvented itself to become a thriving industrial center.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn about the largest iron foundries and see artifacts and images of the casting process.

  • Learn about Jacox steering gear.

  • Hear the stories of the people who labored and made this industrial boom possible.

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MADE IN SAGINAW

ABOUT:
This exhibit explores and celebrates things made or invented in Saginaw, and it tells the stories of the people who made them.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • See beautifully crafted furniture and instruments.

  • Learn about the many businesses located here, from Lufkin Rule to Schust Baking to Saginaw Paving Brick Co. and more.

  • Saginaw women invented hair tonics, baking powder, and even a cleaning product that is still a household name: Spic 'n Span.

CENTENNIAL HALL

ABOUT:

Former mail sorting room turned exhibit hall, this space hosts our major temporary exhibits. 

On display now through March 2023:
HOME ICE: Saginaw Scores Professional Hockey

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn about professional hockey in Saginaw from the Gears to the Spirit.

  • See jerseys, memorabilia, and more. Mascots including Gear-Rilla, Sammy, and Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle 

POST OFFICE

ABOUT:
The Castle Museum has been housed in Saginaw’s original post office, dedicated in 1898. This landmark building, rescued from demolition twice, is now a museum and is considered our greatest artifact. This gallery details the history of the building.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Photos of original building and expansion photos. 

  • An original vault.

  • A lookout gallery. 

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