Museum opening May 13Published 9:51am Friday, May 3, 2013
With the opening May 13 of the Dowagiac Area History Museum, local artifacts will be on display downtown.
Formerly located upon the Dowagiac campus of Southwestern Michigan College, the transfer of the museum to the central business district was a collaborative effort between the City of Dowagiac and the college. Located at the corner of Division and West Railroad streets, locals will remember this site as the former Behnke Paint and Floor Covering store.
“The city appreciates the generosity and civic mindedness of the Behnke family, who have worked closely with us to help in our quest to find this new home for Dowagiac’s museum,” Mayor Don Lyons said. “Located within easy walking distance to Dowagiac’s specialty shops, and our fine and casual dining, the former Behnke property, now owned by the city, is an ideal spot to attract visitors from far and wide to the downtown and to its museum.”
“Dowagiac has a very interesting and unique history,” Lyons said.
“The preservation and recording of that history is very important. There are so many stories that need to be told and remembered. If we don’t do it now, those stories will be lost forever.”
Following a nine-month transformation, the former retail site that once looked out onto West Railroad Street, now faces toward the heart of the central business district in a restyled building, reminiscent of the 19th century storefronts that line downtown.